Segments in this Video

Repeat Offenders (04:01)


Keith Huff, diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, has been incarcerated five times. Every year in Beecher Terrace, one in six people cycle in and out of prison and Kentucky spends $15 million on their incarceration. This video follows the story of four inmates. (Credits)

Juvenile: Christel Tribble (05:26)

Tribble, age 15, lives with her mother and six siblings; her father is in and out of jail. She was sent to alternative school because of her behavior and has now been summoned to court for truancy.

Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (03:17)

Approximately 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the U.S.—Kentucky is at the center of expansion. The jail has 1,793 beds but is always over capacity; it detoxes up to 90 people daily.

Inmate: Charles McDuffie (03:25)

McDuffie, age 67, is serving a five year sentence for burglary. He served in Vietnam and began using drugs to cope. Incarcerating hundreds of thousands of people costs the country billions of dollars.

Juvenile: Demetria Duncan (04:51)

Duncan, age 14, has been to juvenile jail three times and currently faces charges of assault. Duncan's mother died when she was nine and she struggles to cope. Incarceration is often the response to social problems; Kentucky spends $87,000 a year to incarcerate a child.

Prison Population (03:35)

The U.S. houses nearly 25% of the world's prison population; Kentucky's prison growth increased 45% over the last decade. Kentucky legislation will provide early release to non-violent offenders. Huff is released and vows never to return.

Huff's Prison Release (03:42)

Intensive parole supervision is designed to help offenders stay out of trouble. Huff moves into a group home for ex-prisoners; he has few belongings.

Juvenile Shelter (03:36)

Kentucky incarcerates more than 1,000 juveniles every year for minor offenses. Duncan will soon go to court for assaulting her aunt. She wants to earn a special pass to visit her mother's grave site but her aunt refuses to take her.

Juvenile Choices (06:31)

Duncan earns the pass and hopes her aunt will change her mind; she flees the shelter. Tribble continues to skip school and faces an additional charge of resisting arrest. Three days before court, Tribble overdoses on pills.

McDuffie's Prison Release (05:02)

McDuffie is released into drug rehab and will spend six months at the treatment facility. Offenders released early must regularly report to their parole officer. Huff has gone missing and is declared an absconder.

Tribble's Juvenile Court Hearing (06:30)

Tribble faces charges of resisting arrest and accepts a home incarceration deal where she must attend school. Three days later, Tribble skips school and is sent to detention.

Recidivism (05:01)

Prison numbers in Kentucky are slowly reducing. Mark Bolton discusses the "frequent flyer" population. Huff returns to prison for violating parole; he stopped taking his medication.

Recovery and Mental Health (03:23)

McDuffie has nightmares about Vietnam and receives therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. McDuffie discusses a particular incident and turning to drugs.

Louisville Metro Youth Detention Services (06:44)

Duncan is angry she was caught and cannot be released on home incarceration. Formal involvement with the juvenile justice system increases the likelihood of recidivism. Tribble goes to court for HIP violations and receives probation.

McDuffie's Mental Health (02:33)

McDuffie discusses writing a letter to the man he killed in Vietnam. He is letting go of shame and guilt.

Duncan's Juvenile Court Hearing (02:49)

Judge McDonald remands Duncan to LMYCD pending disposition. Duncan is ultimately sent to a detention camp.

Prison Reform (03:11)

By 2013, Kentucky has 1,300 fewer prisoners and nearly 3,000 more treatment programs and the state planes to reform the juvenile justice system. The prison near Beecher Terrace is again over capacity. Huff does not know if he will keep returning to jail.

Offender Status (06:56)

McDuffie has managed to stay clean; he meets with other former soldiers. Tribble has been attending school and staying out of trouble. Duncan was released to her aunt in 2014 and is now on the run.

Credits: Prison State (01:01)

Credits: Prison State

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Prison State

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



FRONTLINE investigates the impact of mass incarceration in America.

Length: 84 minutes

Item#: BVL151238

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.