More people are imprisoned in the United States at this moment than in any other time or place in history, yet the prison itself has never felt further away or more out of sight. This is a film about the prison in which we never see an actual penitentiary. The film unfolds a cinematic journey through a series of landscapes across the USA where prisons do work and affect lives, from an anti-sex-offender pocket park in Los Angeles, to a congregation of ex-incarcerated chess players shut out of the formal labor market, to an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs.
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