Hard Time

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Thurs­day, 7.30pm, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic If you’ve been to Las Ve­gas you prob­a­bly won’t be too sur­prised to learn there’s a jail there. This se­ries is all about life on the in­side. How­ever, in the vein of the old adage about what hap­pens in Ve­gas stays in Ve­gas, the episode is wryly ti­tled Come on Va­ca­tion, Leave on Pro­ba­tion. Each year the jail sees al­most 80,000 peo­ple who have been ar­rested and, as they also say in Ve­gas, you never know who is coming in next. Get picked up on the strip and you’ll prob­a­bly end up in the Clark County De­ten­tion Cen­tre. Just like Ve­gas it­self, the ac­tion at the jail is 24/7. On av­er­age the fa­cil­ity holds 3500 in­mates a day, many of them drunk or high. If you are ex­pect­ing to see fa­mous types you’ll be dis­ap­pointed. In­stead, the usual raft of petty crim­i­nal types is pep­pered with doc­tors, lawyers, jour­nal­ists and teach­ers. Per­haps be­cause they are so of­ten in­tox­i­cated it doesn’t seem to dawn on many of the in­ductees that their predica­ment is se­ri­ous. How­ever, af­ter go­ing through what’s called ‘‘ book­ing’’ (fin­ger­print­ing, cloth­ing and body searches) comes the moment of truth when they find out what they are charged with and what the con­se­quences will be. If noth­ing else this may work as aver­sion ther­apy for those in­clined to have too much fun on hol­i­days.

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