'Ideally, I would like to have a wife, a couple of kids and a dog. But instead I am locked up for 1214 years, without any chance of early release.' Randall is locked up in Red Onion State Prison, a 'supermax' prison where inmates are in their cell 23 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In the United States, 100,000 convicts are held in solitary confinement. Director Kristi Jacobsen had the opportunity to spend a year filming in the prison where Randall is locked up. She spoke with wardens and with the inmates, all of whom are held in solitary confinement. They live in cells no bigger than 2.5 by 3 meters and when they leave their cells, they are shackled hand and foot. The inmates talk candidly about the reasons why they ended up there. The crimes for which they were imprisoned vary widely. But all of them share the same fate: chances are slim that they will be released any time soon, if ever.
Kristi Jacobsen manages to capture the atmosphere in prison in images and sound, coming very close to the inmates. This provides a remarkable sketch of a incredibly inhumane environment.
Text: Dirk van der Straaten