Behind Bars

Murderers, rapists, thieves and other criminals fill high-security prisons run by specially trained guards.

Explore the uncompromising reality of these prisoners’ lives with BEHIND BARS, premiering Thursday, September 22 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Investigation Discovery.

Through unrestricted access to the cell blocks of some of the highest level security prisons, this four-part series captures a world where every day constitutes a fight for survival.

On the surface, prison life is built upon order and discipline. The prison guard shifts run like clockwork as they closely monitor the inmates and escort them back and forth from their cells. However, underneath this routine is a seedy underworld.


Highlights from the first episodes of BEHIND BARS include:


BEHIND BARS – “Washington”

Thurs., Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

A surge of criminal activity on the streets of a once peaceful city causes chaos and overcrowding in Spokane County Jail, pushing inmates and officers to the limit. Convicted felons outnumber staff four to one. To even the odds, many detainees are locked down 23 hours a day and kept under strict supervision by an elite group of specially trained officers. Known as the Corrections Response Team or CRT, this force of 22 men gear up daily to maintain control in a volatile facility where inmates violently fight the system.


BEHIND BARS – “Tennessee”

Thurs., Sept. 29 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

At Shelby County Division of Correction, seven men spearhead the battle to keep gangs and contraband at bay. Known as the Gang Intelligence Unit, an elite squad of officers keeps close watch on some of the most dangerous criminals in Memphis. GIU faces a constant challenge from brazen inmates who are willing to do almost anything for illegal contraband and to protect gang alliances.



Thurs., Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

Behind the walls of the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center lies a world where criminals lash out at authority every day. Every day 100 petty and high-security inmates arrive at the facility. To keep them in line, the jail relies on a select team of officers: the Special Response Team, or SRT. They tackle any emergency, from detainees stealing supplies from officers, to inmates who could be suicidal – or may be just playing the system. Jail investigators and medical staff follow up with these problem inmates, sometimes saving their lives, other times throwing them in “the hole” and teaching them a lesson.