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Hard Time is a National Geographic Channel series that goes behind the scenes of some of toughest correctional facilities in the country. The show takes a day to day look at the day in the life of inmates, guards, and wardens. Hard Time pulls no punches when it exposes the harsh realities of prison life, and the hopelessness of the individuals who are serving long sentences, life sentences, or are on death row. Episodes focus on several facilities such as Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Ross Correctional Institution in Ohio, Forth Worth Correctional Facility, and the Georgia State Penitentiary.

The female prisoners are a good mix of African American, White and Latino. The women are mostly poor, uneducated, and incarcerated for some type of drug charge. The women are usually repeat offenders who find themselves caught in the revolving door of incarceration, release, and relapse. The show takes a sympathetic look at the plight of these women who often leave behind children who are made wards of the state. Some of the females are in prison on serious felony charges such as robbery and murder. The women find that prison is a dangerous, often unforgiving place, as altercations could lead to injury or death.

The male prisons are notoriously harsher than the female. The mixture of drugs, testosterone, psychosis, and anger is sometimes volatile. Most of the men profiled are also incarcerated for drugs and the recidivism rate is very high. Many are in prison for heinous crimes, and are facing life sentences or death. Oddly enough, these inmates seem to have made peace with their situation. Wardens have the difficult task of walking the tightrope between tending to the issues of inmates and understanding the inherent risks and dangers of the men and women who guard the prison. Although guards seldom admit the truth, it is apparent that safety is a real issue as a number of guards have been murdered. At the end of the day, most of the parties involved try make the best of their situation.

Hard Time is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (34 episodes). The series first aired on January 21, 2009.

Hard Time is available for streaming on the website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Hard Time on demand atAmazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play, iTunes online.

Tuesday 10:00 PM et/pt on National Geographic
4 Seasons, 34 Episodes
January 21, 2009
Cast: Martin Kove
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Clips & Extras

Hard Time Full Episode Guide

  • A woman who acts as a maternal figure to other inmates gets into trouble when officers find a suspicious item inside her cell.

  • Just like Sin City, the Clark County Detention Center never sleeps. It's a round the clock operation, where challenges come daily.

  • Profiling the friends and families of inmates at Las Vegas' Clark County Detention Center.

  • The stories of three Clark County Detention Center inmates who clash with their incarcerated peers.

  • Stories of drug addicts and mentally ill inmates at Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas.

  • Profiling inmates at the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas and the continued problems with gangs.

  • Profiling repeat offenders who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and their struggle to overcome it.

  • Clark County Detention Center is the end of the road for some and the beginning of the story for others.

  • Romance continues even after arrest.

  • Inmates work to retain a sense of normalcy. And for many, that means keeping up their gang lifestyle. A closer look inside one of CCDC's most difficult dorms.

  • The profile of a female inmate who has been locked up at Nevada's Clark County Detention Center 22 times. Assuming a motherly role to the younger inmates, she uses her own choices as a cautionary tale to keep them from getting further into trouble.

  • Two brothers face felony charges after throwing a hammer through a store window; an Idaho native who just moved to Sin City awaits her fate after being picked up for DUI and cocaine possession.

  • Hays State Prison in Georgia houses some of the roughest convicts in the country. Some claim they have changed for the better while serving their sentence, while others feel they have gotten worse.

  • In Georgia-Hays State Prison, inmates become tired of the their living conditions. They decide to refuse to work for more rights. It's intended to be peaceful, but prisoners heavily outnumber officers, who aren't taking any chances.

  • Officers are fighting the war against a flood of contraband cellphones at Georgia's Smith State Prison. Watch as a special group of investigators attempt to intercept cellphones before they enter the prison walls.

  • Drugs, crime and violence scatter Smith State, one of the toughest prisons in Georgia. For many inmates, joining a gang may seem like the only option to survive, but we'll meet some "lifers" who have turned to Islam for protection.

  • The most violent offenders in Metro State prison get sent to the hole: the jail within the jail.

  • For many women in prison, adapting a male persona makes life on inside a little easier.

  • Prisoners attempt to gain control of a dorm in a Georgia prison by striking out against a correctional officer.

Most Popular Hard Time Episodes

Hard Time Video Clips & Extras

Solitary Confinement | Hard Time Clip (01:14) Maximum Security | Hard Time Clip (02:56) Death Row | Hard Time Clip (03:12) Gang Leaders | Hard Time Clip (03:59) Izzy | Hard Time Clip (04:17) Life After Prison | Hard Time Clip (02:56) Inmate Strike | Hard Time Clip (04:01) Welcome to Metro | Hard Time Clip (04:43)