The BEST Episodes of Hard Time (2011)
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Dec 4, 2021
Network: National Geographic
Ever wonder what life is like inside a maximum security prison? In this National Geographic series, producers lived within the prison walls, capturing the day to day life of inmates and correctional officers.
#1 - Breaking Point
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 23, 2009
Go inside Hi-Max - the most extreme prison environment allowed in Georgia - and at the other end of the spectrum "shock incarceration," an intense boot camp for non-violent first-time offenders.
#2 - The Ropes
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 2, 2009
Follow new inmates as they learn the ropes and face the hurdles that come with entering Hays State Prison, one of the toughest facilities in the state of Georgia.
#3 - Prisoner Protest
Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired Aug 9, 2011
Hays State Prison is challenged by an inmate sit-in.
#4 - Misfits and Outcasts
Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Oct 23, 2012
Las Vegas, Nevada draws in people from all walks of life, and its jail is no different.
#5 - The Hustle
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 1, 2011
Go inside the underground prison economy at Ohio's Ross Correctional Institution and see inmates try their hands at different money-making strategies. A "jailhouse thief" brings his street ways within jailhouse walls, brutally robbing inmates and selling their possessions. A drug dealer on a 27-year sentence for attempted murder struggles to stay "clean" after getting caught up selling contraband at the orientation prison.
#6 - Prison City
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 1, 2011
Ross Correctional Institution is a gated city. Every inmate must make a choice: Use his sentence to prepare for a life on the outside, or fall prey to the convict mentality which on the inside is called getting institutionalized.
#7 - Battle Behind Bars
Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 5, 2011
Georgia's Smith State Prison goes into lockdown following a large, bloody fight.
#8 - World Without Men
Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 12, 2011
Georgia's largest female facility, Lee Arrendale State Prison.
#9 - The Convict Cycle
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 16, 2011
The Hays State Prison in Georgia is a disciplinary camp with closed security and is home to 1,500 inmates.
#10 - Cellphone War
Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 2, 2011
Officers battle a flood of contraband cellphones at Georgia's Smith State Prison, where access to a mobile device means power on the inside..
#11 - Tools of Control
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 9, 2009
Step inside Hays State Prison where a war is underway between inmates and officers.National Geographic follows inmates and prison officials as they struggle to set the rules inside these walls.
#12 - Changes Behind Bars
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 16, 2009
Step into the extreme world of a state correctional system, where transformation often occurs and starts physically, sometimes in the form of an illegal prison tattoo, sometimes becoming what some call "the female gender" behind bars.
#13 - Breakout
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 30, 2009
Follow the intense manhunt for two escaped convicts from Hays State Prison as inmates go into lockdown, tactical squads assemble and K-9 units scour the countryside looking for clues.
#14 - Breaking the Rules
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 8, 2011
A high-stakes game of cat and mouse plays out at Ross Correctional Institution in Ohio. On one side, you have the inmates: men who've spent a lifetime breaking the rules and outwitting the system. On the other is a team of officers who monitor every corner of the prison and work to catch the offenders red-handed. There are rule breakers: a drug hustler trying to run his game behind bars, an old-school inmate, a jailhouse lawyer subverting the system and a lone wolf with one too many strikes.
#15 - Worst of the Worst
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Mar 15, 2011
With more attacks on inmates and staff than any other facility in Ohio, Lucasville is the jail within the prison system. Fight, extort, run contraband or break the rules in any other prison in the state and you could be sent here. With some of the strictest controls of any prison, new arrivals at Lucasville spend 23 hours a day on lockdown with little movement and even fewer privileges. But even in such a restricted setting, the hustles and gambles of prison life continue.
#16 - Women on Lockdown
Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 19, 2011
Three inmates, a first-timer, a career criminal, and a murderer with a life sentence attempt to adjust to the pitfalls and challenges of Georgia's toughest women's prison.
#17 - Inmates vs. Officers
Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 9, 2013
Just like Sin City, the Clark County Detention Center never sleeps. It's a round the clock operation, where challenges come daily.
#18 - Gangs Behind Bars
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 9, 2012
Las Vegas is a crossroads for the major gangs of California and the Southwest. And at the Clark County Detention Center, inmates and officers are constantly under pressure from gang activity.
#19 - Jail Mom
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 4, 2012
Meet the jail mom. Older, wiser, steeped in the ways of the convict, the jail mom's influence can be benevolent or vengeful, nurturing or violent.
#20 - Against the Wall
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 22, 2011
Enter the locked-down world of Ohio's intake prison. For the newly convicted, the Correctional Reception Center (CRC) in Orient, Ohio, is their last view of the free world. More than 14,000 inmates are sized up each year at CRC and moved on to serve out their sentences. From robbers to murders and rapists, CRC sees it all. And while most follow the rules and do their time peacefully, some inmates come in with their own agenda, ready to make trouble.
#21 - Running the Joint
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Sep 11, 2012
At Las Vegas's main jail, Clark County Detention Center, inmates try as hard as possible to retain a sense of normalcy. And for many, that means keeping up their gang lifestyle. Well go inside one of CCDCs most difficult dormsan open housing unit filled with high-security inmates, repeat offenders, felons and gang members where life on the inside can be just as tough as life on the outside.
#22 - Breaking In
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 21, 2009
National Geographic follows new inmates and correctional officer cadets as they first enter the treacherous world of Georgia's prisons - embarking on a yearlong journey behind bars.
#23 - Gangs vs. God
Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Jul 26, 2011
The Metro State Prison in Atlanta is where female offenders in Georgia begin their jail term.
#24 - Prison Gangs
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 1, 2011
In prison, every day is a fight for survival. An inmate's most important weapon may not be a shank or a razor, but instead a gang membership. With more than 1,400 classified gangs in the Ohio prison system, inmates are joining up in alarming numbers.
#25 - Female Offenders
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Feb 15, 2011
Forget what you thought you knew about women behind bars: theyre the fastest growing prison population in America, and one of the toughest to manage. At the Ohio Reformatory for Women, the system is tested daily by every kind of female offender: from capital murderers, to nursery mothers - and everything in between. Behind these bars, there are "pseudo-families" instead of gangs, infants being raised by inmates, and a complicated web of contraband trades and power plays. This is a world of women unlike any youve ever seen.