“A Nation of Women Behind Bars,” a Diane Sawyer “Hidden America” Special

You won’t want to miss watching this television program, featuring ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, whose news crew has taken a sensationalist view of women in prison. The film crew visited four women’s prisons across the country, including the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor. Here’s an excerpt from the ABC publicity announcement:

Primetime Special on Women in Prison Airs Friday, February 27 at 7 pm on 20/20

ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer takes you on a journey into the world of women living behind bars in America’s prison system today. “A Nation of Women Behind Bars,” a Diane Sawyer Hidden America special is a one-hour primetime event airing Friday, February 27 on 20/20 at 7 pm, PT on the ABC Television Network.

Women are the fastest growing group of prisoners in the country. Sawyer gives us an inside look at the issues of mental health in women’s state prisons where 73% of the inmates have mental illnesses. She also explores the daily duel of wits between inmates and guards and the intricacies of contraband, currency and conspiracy. Inside these walls, the women still find ingenious ways to get the food they crave, the makeup they miss, and sometimes even sex.

This is Sawyer’s third special on women in prison. She has been committed to reporting this issue over nearly two decades. In 1996, she reported from the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women about life inside a maximum-security prison and how inmates prepare for life on the outside. In 2004, Sawyer spent two days and two nights at the Metro State Prison for Women in Atlanta dressed in a prison uniform to experience the underground culture of an inmate.

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