->''I'm breakin' rocks in the hot sun\\
I fought the law, and the law won.\\
I fought the law, and the law won.\\
I needed money 'cause I had none.\\
I fought the law, and the law won.''
->-- '''The Crickets''', "I Fought the Law"

Jail, the Big House, the Slammer.

If a show is set in Prison, the wardens and/or guards usually contain at least one DrillSergeantNasty, and there is a prevalence of gang violence, drug abuse, and {{Prison Rape}}. Due to the need to present the setting as extremely violent, dangerous and chaotic, shows set primarily in prison, such as ''{{Oz}}'', will frequently use RedShirt characters.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Subtropes: ]]


[[index]]
* TheAlcatraz
* CardboardPrison
* EpiphanicPrison
* GildedCage
* GlassyPrison
* TheGulag
* HellHolePrison
* LuxuryPrisonSuite
* PenalColony
* POWCamp and its two bastard children, the internment camp and the concentration camp.
* PrisonEpisode
* TailorMadePrison
* ThrownDownAWell, aka the {{Oubliette}}.
[[/index]]

See PrisonTropes and CrimeAndPunishmentTropes for tropes that frequently come into play in stories featuring prisons.

For RealLife background information:
* [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPrisons Useful Notes: American Prisons]]
* GaolTime (useful notes on British prisons)
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!!Prison as the main setting:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/HardTime''
* "Harry 20 on the High Rock" in ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/BirdmanOfAlcatraz''
* ''{{Brubaker}}''
* ''CoolHandLuke''
* ''EscapeFromAlcatraz''
* ''Film/{{Fortress}}''
* ''Film/TheGreenMile''
* ''Film/LetsGoToPrison''
* ''TheLongestYard''
* ''Film/{{Prison}}''
* ''Film/TheShawshankRedemption''
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Time Spike'' by Creator/EricFlint and Marilyn Kosmatka, which is loosely connected with his ''[[Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo Ring of Fire]]'' series. A modern American maximum-security prison, as well as several other groups, are moved back in time to the Cretaceous Era.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Alcatraz}}'', with the flashback half of the show being set in the eponymous prison.
* ''Series/BadGirls''
* ''Series/{{Colditz}}''
* ''HogansHeroes''
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack''
* ''{{Oz}}''
* ''{{Porridge}}'' which ran considerably against type, being a sitcom with relatively little violence. Episodes focusing instead on surviving institutional life, characters and friendship.
* ''PrisonBreak''
* ''Series/PrisonerCellBlockH''
* ''TheSlammer''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''The Chronicles of Riddick: VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay'' is based on escaping a prison.
* ''VideoGame/{{Sanitarium}}'': A great game based on escaping from a loony bin.
* ''TheSuffering'' is a third-person shooter that takes place on a prison... that gets attacked by monsters.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' had you breaking ''into'' a high security prison, Nova Prospekt. To do this you had to storm a fortified beachfront, run past several machine gunners, scale a steep cliff face and shoot down a pair of gunships just to make it inside. According to another character, this was ''easier'' than breaking out. Once inside, the largely empty Nova Prospekt turned out to be pretty eerie.
** The ''Riot Act'' mod is about breaking out of Combine-operated prison.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'': The entire game is set in the titular insane asylum/prison. Fortunately, it's varied enough to be entertaining the whole way through.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/LuckyDog1'' until the main cast breaks out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''TheLydianOption'' is a sci-fi comic set on an asteroid prison run by a species that incarcerates criminals for every offense, no matter how minor.
* ''LastRes0rt'' features a deadly reality show with prisoners (and a few volunteers) as the contestants, taking place on a space station that provides (among other things) the prison complex the players are being held in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' version three has a jailhouse/prison/military stockade as one of the locations, frequently used as shelter by the students. So far it's one of the least bloody locations on the island, with only one person having died there. V3 characters Brad Kavanagh and Eduardo Trinidad-Villa are also mentioned as having spent time in juvenile hall, Brad on (false) murder charges, and Eduardo on assault charges. Brad was released when the real killer came forward and his case was overturned, but Eduardo served his entire sentence.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superjail}}''
[[/folder]]

!!Prison is frequently used as a set:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''OnePiece'' (Impel Down arc.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'', [[spoiler:IQ Squared and Pronto]] end up here at the finish.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Multiple books by JodiPicoult, including ''ThePact'', ''Literature/VanishingActs'', and ''Change of Heart''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''
* ''Series/BreakoutKings''
* ''LawAndOrder'' and the derivatives
* ''MyNameIsEarl'' (season three)
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' (series eight)
* ''TheShield'' (season four)
* ''Series/TheSopranos'' (season six, minor appeareances in the rest)
* ''Series/TheWire'' (season two, more briefly in season three and still more briefly in season 4)
[[/folder]]
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