Filmmaker Louis Theroux goes “behind bars” at San Francisco’s notorious San Quentin State Prison. The oldest prison in the state of California, San Quentin has a reputation of being underfunded, overcrowded, and relatively unconcerned with the health and wellness of its many, many inmates.
Theroux spends two weeks at San Quentin. He speaks to the guards about the racial divisions within the prison, about the way that the prisoners and guards interact, and about the impact that their job has on their own psychology. Among the prisoners interviewed by Theroux are inmates like David Silva, serving a sentence of 521 years, as well as two groups of inmates who have to be kept separate for their own safety.
Cutting and insightful, Behind Bars provides a fascinating look at the microcosm of the infamous San Quentin Prison.