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This new documentary series for ITV goes behind the walls of a most extraordinary little prison – on the Isle of Man – where doing time is unlike anywhere else in Britain.
The Isle of Man, with a population of 85,000 is a proud self-governing island with its own legal system and prison regime, perceived to have a harsh sentencing policy and the only jail is a one-stop shop for all offenders convicted there.
The prison has some of the lowest reoffending rates in Europe – purportedly due to its progressive penal policies.
Because of the island’s small population many of the prisoners and the staff already know each other, and men, women and youths are banged up together. This series paints a picture of how girlfriends and boyfriends, even generations of the same family, serve sentences next door to each other.
It focuses on the extraordinary stories of the prison staff and its inmates, including big characters like governor Bob, who uses his wealth of experience behind bars to implement his progressive ideas, hardline head of security Margo, personal shopper to the prisoners George ‘Stores’, and Jonesy the singing prison officer.
The programme also explores the relationships between girlfriend and boyfriend Goldie and Lorraine, father and son Ross Sr and Ross Jr, and blossoming friendships between prisoner and prison officer Jonno and Jonesy.
Throughout the series inmates with convictions from fraud to robbery, drug dealing to cyber crime, mix together with staff at all levels from Governor to Head of Security to officers – and talk candidly about life on the inside of this prison like no other.