The Big House
Cast & Crew
A look at some of America's most feared prisons. Part 1 examines Jefferson City. This correctional institution was closed in 1965 amid fears that it was leaking cyanide gas. Notorious inmates included James Earl Ray, who escaped from its walls and went on to kill Martin Luther King Jr.; gangster Pretty Boy Floyd; and World War I socialist leader Emma Goldman, aka "Red Emma." Part 2 examines Lewisburg Federal, once considered the most modern prison system in existence, credited with developing SORT -- Special Operational Response Team -- used in riots and disturbances. Notorious inmates included Jimmy Hoffa, Alger Hiss and Martin Sobel. Part 3 examines Florida State at Raiford. Established on an 18,000-acre tract in 1913, the main unit was known as "The Rock." The staff prided itself on the fact that not one escape was successful in 72 years of operation.