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Crime and justice are prominent features on television, with an endless amount of shows that feature criminality, investigations, and court proceedings. Yet, in the television world, the “back-end” of the criminal justice system is largely absent in popular culture narratives. There are relatively few television series that feature prison or jail as the primary setting. As such, the purpose of this chapter is twofold: first, to provide a history of prison-themed series on television, and second, to discuss common depictions and narratives that are routinely used within the various genres in prison-themed television programs.
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- “Within These Walls”: The History and Themes of Prison-Themed Television Series