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National Geographic ChannelNat Geo Wild


America's Hardest Prison provides a no hold-barred look at some of the toughest penitentiaries and jails in the USA.

Jobs don't get much tougher than dealing with thousands of dangerous convicts but that's exactly what the officers at these menacing jails have to do every day.

For staff and prisoners alike, problems with overcrowding, understaffing and gang politics create the constant risk of erupting violence.

Can the officers prevent some of the most violent men and women in America from winning the battle?

This is a world where violence, gang warfare and escalating tension all come with the territory, and only the very toughest are able to cope.


  • America's Hardest Prisons: Deadly Sentence
    Dilapidated and overcrowded, Denver's county jail has become a deathtrap – as inmates find new materials to make lethal home-made weapons.
  • America's Hardest Prisons: High And Deadly
    Overcrowding and gang problems make Sacramento a troubled prison, and underfunded staff face a deadly struggle to bring it under control.
  • America's Hardest Prisons: Texas Gang War
    With one of the highest crime rates of any large city in the US, San Antonio's jail is tough – and has an enormous gang presence to prove it.
  • America's Hardest Prisons: Officers Under Siege
    Tampa Jail welcomes around 74,000 new inmates each year, from meth dealers to murderers. How do guards manage the chaotic intake?
  • America's Hardest Prisons: Blood On The Border
    El Paso County Jail is home to many dangerous gang members, making life dangerous for officers and inmates alike.



  • High and Deadly photo

    High and Deadly

    As trouble escalates and budgets plummet, this huge, understaffed jail is facing its biggest chal...

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