| 11 min

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Part of the Canada Carries On series, this short documentary reports on the conditions in a Canadian penitentiary, focusing on the treatments developed to reduce the amount of recidivism. Prisoners spend the majority of their days in cells, but they also work—in quarry gangs, on farms, and as tailors and shoe-repairmen. Monthly visitors are allowed, but movements within the prison are tightly controlled. This film is a revealing portrait of the criminal justice system and its philosophies on recidivism in the middle of the 20th century.

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Penitentiary, Ronald Weyman, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • director
    Ronald Weyman
  • script
    Ronald Weyman
  • producer
    Sydney Newman
  • photography
    Lorne C. Batchelor
  • music
    Eldon Rathburn

  • RealGenie

    Remember, that was 1951. Things have changed somewhat in the past 65 years.

    RealGenie, 13 Dec 2016
  • sixam

    I presume a lot of contemporary Canadian criminologists (like the ones I encountered in university) would naively judge the regime depicted in the film as "too harsh".

    sixam, 25 Jun 2014

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