Image credit: flixable.com
This is a brand new Netflix docuseries about a group of young girls who are locked up for crimes within a prison.
The docuseries follows these girls over a series of months seeing what their life is like in the prison and finding out about the girls crimes and their backgrounds.
Although the girls are in prison for their crimes, it works a lot like a rehabilitation centre. The girls do not have a limited sentence they have to serve like standard prisons, but programs they have to complete, for example drug abuse or similar. Any bad behaviour or failure to comply will get the girls extra time in the prison.
The prison (Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility) had a good method of convincing the girls of sticking to their program and behaving themselves, these are the “burgundy shirts”. Any girls who have behaved well, and completed their studies and programs to a high standard can win the right to wear the “burgundy shirts” (Instead of the normal purple shirts). This is successful as it isn’t easy to achieve, but it allows the girls to feel as they have achieved something, and showing other girls it is possible. Not only do you get a clothing upgrade, burgundy shirts do also come with a sentence reduction and a few other benefits.
Clearly something Madison is doing, is working well. They children receive help and schooling, and Madison has an 80% success rate at keeping their children out of jail after they spent time at Madison. This is a stark comparison to Americas normal rate of less than 35%.
Throughout the course of the show you find out a lot of devastating facts about many of the girls life, some whose mothers were in and out of prison for most of the girls lives, some whose boyfriends were shot dead in their arms, others who were in a car accident and blamed themselves for killing a friend, and finally girls who have completed their sentence time, but who do not have parents who want to look after them, so cannot be released. If you think about the fact that all of these girls are under 17 years old, some as young as 14 when they arrived in Madison, it is devastating to imagine what they have been through.
Overall this show is incredibly powerful to watch, and I found myself crying for and with the girls at multiple times. It is a very nice showing that even in the darker part of our society like prisons, there is still good, and kindness in humanity. I wish all the girls the best in their future and hope their time spent in Madison helped them learn what they needed to learn. I would highly recommend this show to anyone to give it a watch.