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Business Behind Bars (2000)


The documentary reports on the privatisation of prisons in the USA and Australia. The film looks at the economics of allowing private companies to run jails. It also investigates the social and moral aspects of this new approach. Government representatives, legal officers, prisoners and guards are interviewed. This is intercut with film from inside prisons.

Curator’s notes

The state of Victoria has embraced the privatisation of prisons with 50 per cent of prisoners privately incarcerated. Political pressure and the increased availability of prisons have led to an increase of prisoner numbers. The documentary successfully tackles this issue and many others, such as recidivism and mental health. The documentary satisfies a curiosity to see inside prisons as well as providing useful information. Other films produced by Pat Fiske include Selling Sickness, also with director Catherine Scott, and Australia Daze.