'The Prison Within': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about documentary on life of San Quentin prisoners

'The Prison Within': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about documentary on life of San Quentin prisoners

Life as a convicted prisoner is just as traumatic as those who have fallen victim to crimes. It changes people psychologically and socially, weakening their emotional life, and undermining their identity. A new unscripted film 'The Prison Within' documents the effects of imprisonment and deteriorating mental health on those incarcerated in San Quentin prison. It also offers an unvarnished look at the justice system and how victims and criminals establish a rapport and come to terms with the crimes committed. Here is everything you need to know about the film.

Release date

'The Prison Within' will be released on demand and home video from Gravitas Ventures on August 25. 



Prisoners incarcerated for murder inside the San Quentin Prison overcome the barriers of the penitentiary prison system by working with victims of violent crimes to decipher the truth behind the cause of their own violence. Each individual featured in the film undergoes a drastic change to reveal how every human being can defeat his demons and break out of his inner prison to stop the cycle of violence. The film chronicles the harrowing accounts of survivors of violent crimes as well as prisoners who were left to deal with the aftermath of their actions. It brings to light the devastating and life-altering impact of untreated trauma that they underwent.

The prisoners and survivors gather together to participate in the Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG), an innovative restorative justice program enabling prisoners to determine how traumas experienced in the past led them to their criminal actions and to understand the impact their crimes have on their victims. They go through a plethora of emotions together ranging from pain, shame and rage, as they confront the truth and battle their extreme trauma. 'The Prison Within' is a justice system reform documentary that spotlights stories of men imprisoned for committing murder and also chronicles their journey of recourse, redemption, and rehabilitation. 

The film serves as a perfect example to depict how a human is capable of change, how we can evolve as a community, and being humanitarian means connecting our sense of humanity to the one within others, even if they are criminals. The film addresses the justice system's failure at promoting the rehabilitation of prisoners, which may lead to a cycle of long term violence in them. Ultimately, a fallout from unchecked trauma affects the community. The film is narrated by Hill Harper ('The Good Doctor', 'Homeland'). 


'The Prison Within' is directed by Katherin Harvey, a former Los Angeles Public Defender and volunteer prison college instructor. She gained unprecedented access to film and document the intimate and candid sessions inside the San Quentin Prison. 


If you liked this, you will love these

'Survivor's Guide to Prison'

'The Central Park Five'

'Into the Abyss'


'They Call Us Monsters'

Share this article:  the prison within vod release date plot trailer documentary San Quentin prisoners murder