‘Behind Bars: Women Inside’ Season 1 Review: A well-managed prison can help inmates transform their lives
A&E's four-part reality series about women in prison takes us through the lives of female inmates at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center, which houses some of the most dangerous and socially outcast women of America. As we hear their stories, we learn that some of them have had explosive lives and heartbreaking history. While good girls can easily go bad, if they are kept in the right facility and under a strong but supportive administration, they do have a chance to turn back into good again.
The Massachusetts prison is home to women from all walks of life, not necessarily all from criminal backgrounds. Even first-time felons have ended up here. And once they are inside, they are all treated the same. Typically, in such environments, it is easy for women to get influenced by those who are serial offenders. But the caseworkers, parole officers, and even the guards at the WCC proved to be in sync with the inmates and what they needed to improve and be released.
Women like Vanessa, Krystal, Missy, and Cash are serious about their exoneration and would do anything to get out after serving their term with their best conduct. Having said that, there are also some inmates like Baby D, Jackie, and Franklin, who would perpetually break the prison rules and go about their day. For such prisoners, the facilities might not hold any significance. But for the rest, they feel grateful for the support so they can improve their lives.
Another highlight of the Massachusetts prison is its active initiative and engagement in addressing drug abuse and helping with the rehabilitation of addicts. Inmates like Vanessa, who was pregnant with her third child, had her caseworker work out a rehab plan so she could give birth like a normal mother. There is also the story of Cash, who also is a heroin addict and had a relapse. But as she continues her term at the correctional center, she realizes that all she wants is a normal life, where she can raise a family, get a job and carry on, leaving her criminal history behind.
Such instances do prove that prison does not necessarily have to result in someone’s downfall. With the right guidance and support, combined with their own determination, female prisoners can go back to society and live a life that they always wanted.