BBC Crime Doc 'Boys Banged Up' Airs On Sunday
Set your timers for Sunday, crime obsessives.
The four-part docu-series takes a deep dive inside Hydebank Wood Prison in South Belfast, Northern Ireland, a young offender's institution that uniquely rebranded itself as a college.
Hoping to find out what life in Hydebank is like when the cell doors shut, broadcaster Steven Nolan was given exclusive access to film life behind bars.
The series is billed as taking "an unflinching look at life in prison for young offenders".
During his time at Hydebank, Nolan meets the male inmates and explores the events that brought them there.
Hydebank houses around 100 young offenders and suspects on remand, most aged between 18 to 2. Their offences range from theft through to murder.
Many offenders suffered neglect, abuse and troubled home lives in childhood.
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During his time at Hydebank, Nolan considers the relationship between social deprivation and crime.
Poverty and mental health issues remain the key reasons why young men end up in offender's institutions like Hydebank and account for why over half of them reoffend within a year of leaving prison.
Before it rebranded itself as a 'secure training college' in 2015, Hydebank had a notorious reputation and was plagued by critical reports and drug scandals.
Following its overhaul, the training college's format means that prisoners are called 'students', while staff are called by their first names.
The rebrand means that day-to-day, inmates are engaged in 'purposeful' activities, training or education.
Nolan explores the interesting contrasts found in the college-prison hybrid - such as the fact that when classes end, students go back to sleep in their cells.
The broadcaster isn't afraid of posing difficult questions, either. He engages with inmates, challenging them about their responsibility for their crimes, and what compelled them to commit them.
Boys Banged Up lands on BBC Three Sunday 3rd May.
Featured Image Credit: BBC