5 Things We Have Learnt About Women’s Prisons By Watching Wentworth Prison.
First off, a little background behind the hit t.v show. Wentworth prison is an Australian T.V drama programme first broadcast on May 1st 2013. The series serves as a contemporary re imagining of Prisoner Cell Block H which ran from 1979 to 1986 with a total of 692 episodes produced. Lara Radulovich and David Hannam went on to develop Wentworth from the original concept of Reg Watson; the producer of Prisoner. The series is set in the present and begins with a prisoner called Bea Smith’s early days in Wentworth prison.
For season 1-3 of Wentworth, it was filmed on purpose built sets in the suburbs of Clayton, Victoria. Production moved to Newport, Victoria when it reached the fourth season of production. The show has received mainly a positive reception from it’s critics, with the first episode being the most watched Australian drama series premier in Foxtel history. The series went overseas to several other countries, including the United Kingdom and New Zealand,.
Season 5 was commissioned on the 19th July 2016 and premiered on the 4th April 2017. Season 6 has already been commission and began production on 16th May 2017. It will premiere in 2018.
1. Prison Is Full Of Real Life Baddies
The majority of prisoners in Wentworth aren’t victims of circumstance, they weren’t just in the wrong place at the wrong time nor were they failed by an unfair justice system. They are genuine criminals who have broken the law – a lot of which being violent crimes that have been committed. You would automatically think that this would make the characters less empathetic, but no, it actually does the opposite – it makes them more real and relatable, more human and much more interesting. The reason being is because you know what they are capable of.
2. Prison Guards Are Humans Too
The prison guards at Wentworth Prison are not just bullies working in the justice system – they don’t represent law and order, they don’t control how long the prisoners get in jail etc and they’re not sadists either. They have actual lives outside of the prison and their lives impact on their work; as we see in the series. Some of the guards have some pretty complicated personal lives and some very juicy secrets.
3. It’s Not Who You Know, It’s What You Know…
One thing the prison guards, prisoners and governors fear alot more than any makeshift weapon is for one of their deep, dark secrets to become common prison knowledge. Certain information has the potential to ruin lives which is why it makes it both the most fearsome weapon and most valuable currency.
4. The Inmates Families Are Victims
It’s not just about life on the inside of the prison walls when it comes to Wentworth Prison, we also get to see what life is like for the families of the prisoners on the outside. In one particular prisoners case we see a daughter of a prisoner knowing that her mother was sent to prison because she tried to kill her father but she had no clue about how abusive her father was.
5. As a prisoner, everything can be taken away from you
We all know your freedom is taken away from you when you go to prison but do you ever think of the implications this may have on other things in your life? In season 1 episode 9, Bea fought to get permission granted so she could attend her daughters funeral but ends up being absolutely heartbroken to find out that permission has been revoked and unable to attend her child’s funeral. Granted, attending a funeral isn’t necessarily a privilege but in prison these things can be taken away with no real reason.