JPay Blog

Today in Corrections-related Media: Alcatraz on FOX

Alcatraz on FOXSo there’s a new TV show coming out, and it’s set in one of America’s most famous prisons – we almost have to write about it, right?

Alcatraz, which premiered Monday on Fox, is the new show from producer J.J. Abrams, the mind behind Lost.  As you might expect, there are plenty of plot twists and conspiracy theories, and some metaphysical bends that strain the imagination.  And just as Lost was only tangentially about a plane crash and a tropical island, the only corrections-related aspect of Alcatraz is its title.  This is no Lockdown.

It is, however, an entertaining procedural with plenty of footage of both the real and an imagined Alcatraz – and several interesting flashbacks that give a feel of what The Rock must have been like when it was still operational.  The premise is solidly Abramsiam – the day before Alcatraz closed in 1963, 300 inmates and guards vanished, only to reappear in the San Francisco of the present, not having aged a day.  The first of these apparitions is an inmate who was falsely convicted and mistreated while incarcerated, and though he commits some present-day crimes that the show’s protagonists must solve, it’s clear that he’s not a 50-year recidivist.

Alcatraz is entertaining and mind-bending and set in perhaps the country’s highest-profile defunct prison.  We’ll be tuning in next week… will you?



  1. Gordon

    April 17, 2012 - 12:00 am

    I just do not get it, all these people on here complaining about a TV show. WHat about all the horroe movies they make? I bet those individuals that are complaining are the watchers of them movies, as a matter of fact these are the same people who legalize the killing of babies through abortions. Furthermore, the same complainers are the same ones who say they should be doing something more constructive, well then they should not be on the J=Pay complaining when they can be doing something productive and not destructive.
    Yes I used to be an “inmate” and I learned that it is a waste of energy and time complaining about things we cannot change instead of making a change for the things we have the power to choose.

  2. Misi

    April 15, 2012 - 10:07 am

    I have read all of these statements and most I agree with. I’m a mother new to this world. I’m not going to be judgemental because only GOD has that power, but to Kathy for u to criticize parents it’s so wrong u simply have no clue what u r talking about. I’m a nurse a good mother I raised my son the best way I could they choose the things they want in life we all have choices. I cry a lot and pray for Jim and not just him prisoners in general it’s a hard life because when u committ a crime u give up who u r and u r subjected to anything it’s almost like another form of slavery except they chose that life by not doing the right thing. Life has rules without rules u will total chaos what’s done is done this mother is going to support her son every step if the way just still love them and pray because GOD us still blessing and molding even in prison. I pray a hedge of protection around my son everyday. Thank u

  3. Peggy

    April 12, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    I have tried to watch different shows about Prison life, but have to turn it. It hurts so deep just thinking about my Son being incarcerated enough that I can’t watch it.
    I agree with KB on using some of that money to improve our prisons. Our loved ones are paying for what they have done, they don’t need to be treated badly, or go without the neccessities they need.

  4. adrienne

    March 17, 2012 - 6:59 pm

    I’m British and don’t know anything about the
    prison system in America.I simply send emails
    to prisoners in America and I have no personal experience of crime or criminals
    apart from that.All I can say is that Alcatraz is a fictional programme and nothing
    whatsoever to do with reality and never the
    twain shall meet.Alcatraz is fictional
    entertainment and your difficult and sad
    experiences of crime and prisons has got
    nothing whatsoever to do with it so why
    shouldn’t the programme be shown, bearing in
    mind that it’s fiction and not reality?

  5. KB

    March 6, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    I think that if they do a show like that then some of the proceeds should go to improve prisons around the country. There are more people that get all bent out of shape for someone leaving a dog/animal in a car with the windows rolled up in 100+ heat than people actually doing something about the way most of the prisons treat the inmates. I should know I was a guard.

  6. Estella

    March 5, 2012 - 12:07 pm

    Come on people use your heads,For the ones doing time have nothing to lose,they pray on yes even the Guards,there pay nothing get more from prisoners,my son has been in prison sence 92.They don’t have it good,some have it very hard.Hell i just want my son to move closer,i have not seen him in 10 yrs. his fam mostly stay in Detroit,which they would like to see him.

  7. Leta

    February 28, 2012 - 10:24 pm

    Nope i ain’t tuning in,i have a boyfriend in g robert cotton correctional facitiy and i think i have been through enough and am trying to gt him home away from that hell hole.

  8. Chinadohl

    February 24, 2012 - 5:24 pm

    the only way to stop putting money in the prisons are to bring disciplinary credits and good time back in affect!

  9. Chinadohl

    February 24, 2012 - 5:21 pm

    I like the show!

  10. linda

    February 24, 2012 - 1:26 am

    Dee, I’m not trying to insult any one I have been hurt myself. An attack of rape and the guy got only 5 years, so I my self have suffered. I also have a husband in prison and know what goes on not because of any thing he has done.I have had family and good friends there. I have forgiven my attacker so until you have been on the receiving side don’t judge. I do go to church and have raised boys of my own. They are wonderful young men. I was truely blessed with them…All I was trying to say is I’m sick of all the bad things that go on in there. Do you forget about the victims and what they have gone through? The reality is we all live in a horrible sinful world. Make the best of it. We need to stop putting money in prisons and put it back in to the schools to educate our children. Not keep locking them up.

  11. Dee

    February 22, 2012 - 10:08 pm

    I too am a mother of someone in prison. It is very heartbreaking. Just like the other mothers said, it is hard enough for us on a daily basis to wonder about our children being physically & mentally abused in the system & not being able to do anything about it. Now why would we want to see anything to add to our concern. It is certain shows that gives us no comfort in feeling that they are safe in anyway. As for Linda, you are a very sick person & Kathy you are not to far behind her. If I am not mistaking you are the one who asked why we didn’t have them in Church, well what about the ones who were in Church but the girl wasn’t? In my sons case, he wasn’t the one out running the streets acting like a fool, she was, he was just caught in the cross fire..SAD, SAD, SAD..Before you make statements criticizing the parents for what YOU think they should have been doing, you really need a reality check, cause they just might have had them in Church!!!

  12. Gloria

    February 22, 2012 - 11:29 am

    I have started watching Alcatraz. It’s a very interesting show but, yes, if you have someone in prison, it’s kind of bad. Plus, the officers (even the lead guy played by Sam Neil) are jackasses who can and do get away with anything. But this is 18 years into my son’s sentence, not so fresh and painful. I couldn’t watch The Shawshank Redemption for years! And like all things here in the free world, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

  13. Kathy

    February 18, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    Y’all wanna see real? Get on the enter net and pull up “turned out” this is a real film from real prison no fake acting. Lamark lives in Auburn Alabama and is free after serving 15 years. He made this film to speak truth and to educate about the reality of prison…….

  14. Ladyjanered

    February 15, 2012 - 3:57 pm

    When will we all take irresponsibility & quit
    whining? When the going gets tough – the tough get going!! Suck it up, dry your eyes,and look to your God and be thankful for what is right. Stay focused on what is right and what we can do in our own world to make it a better place and never lose the love or the ” power of faith.”


  15. Mrs. T

    February 11, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    It is entertainment yes, however I as a mother of an lifetime inmate I feel terrible and heart broken, when I see these bad things about prison on TV.I however have the power to change the channel. He wakes up in the morning to the same things day after day and goes to bed facing the same…Sad.. I feel that TV is evil and addicting and has too much influence on peoples lives. They should create a show that is a Fantasy example of a good prison where prisoners trully do get rehabilitated. TV is evil think about that,it is addicting. Most of America is Fat because of TV not because of what we eat it is what we dont do because of our addictions. We have the power to turn off the TV. When I feel too much anxiety about what is on the boob tube, I shut it down. I controll the TV it doesnt control me. We need to pray for the world we live in and change our ways. Learn to interact with each other with respect.

  16. Kathy

    February 11, 2012 - 12:38 am

    Arona at least your son is safer in 23 hour lock up then in population. Thank Christ that he’s safe.

  17. Kathy

    February 11, 2012 - 12:36 am

    I’m sick of hearing y’all cry about your son’s being in prison. Where were y’all when they were runnin the streets. You should been in church and beatin their asses. If they can’t do the time they should not have done the crime!!!!

  18. arona

    February 10, 2012 - 3:00 am

    Noone hurts like a mother when her child is locked up especially if he is locked up 23hrs in a day in solitary ,You feel all his pain and sufering ,It is so hard.Watching the prison shows makes you feel the hurt and pain even more.I agree with what most of the mothers are saying because “I feel it”.

  19. Kathy

    February 9, 2012 - 8:46 pm

    You can all say what you want about the bit Linda wrote. You’d be surprised what goes on in there. I work at a prison and have seen it all. You may think your man isn’t
    capable of these types of things but don’t fool your selves.

  20. Helen G. Boyd

    February 9, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Yes time is being wasted on the subject of this new series. What we all as a whole should be doing is prying to our Lord and Saviiour that he bring our loved ones to know God and to have an intimate relationship with our Lord and Saviour. And that they will repent if they are indeed guilty of the crime for which they are incarcerated for. To give Hope and Love and Peace and Faith to our Loved ones. For indeed they are like lost sheep not knowing the path that God has made for them, but with the Love for God in their hearts they too will see the light. My son has been locked up for going on 16 years and I have come to the realization that only through knowing our Lord and Saviour will he find true Love and happiness I pray for him to come to know God and to want to do Gods’ will. He was just barely 18 when he went into the system and has basically grown up in there but, don’t get me wrong it has not been easy especially at first when we as Mothers come to visit and see that our sons have been beaten up. All I can say is that I thank God everyday for all the many blessings he gives me and for Loving us unconditionally. And that is what we too must do for our Loved ones. Love unconditionally Be more Christ like. After all GOD IS LOVE!!!!

  21. LindaA

    February 5, 2012 - 7:11 pm

    No thanks. Real is bad enough, dont want any extras thrown in.

    Someone is getting another prison one ready to go. It will be in northern panhandle Florida.
    Forget the name, sorry.

    I agree with Connie. Its really rough for new people, but not a whole lot better for us moms.
    I really think we go through the same hell that our inmates do.

    Love is all we can give.

  22. tajkhan

    February 3, 2012 - 9:48 pm

    I pray and ask that if there is anyone wrongfully imprisioned, anywhere in the world, that you please have them released immediately. Please give every prisoner peace and hope in their heart that they can know how much you love them. In Allah name I pray, Amen My prayer is for all prisoners everywhere. That the Lord will give them the strength they need to make it through their ordeal. We are all Allah creation no matter who or where we are. My prayers are also with the your families of prisoners for they are often forgotten. They too are, in a way, imprisoned. May God grant peace to all of you my Dear Allah please bless all of ouer families & let their faith be strong. Give them hope & love. Bless them with the promise that everything will turn out fine. Amen
    O Allah Let these people know you are with them.Bless them and help them through these times.You are Not alone – God is always present I wish you love, health and happiness Amen I thank you for including us all, those of us who have a dear one in prison. My dearest friend is incarcerated, justly, because he was too poor to afford the proper counsel. We are appealing his her casess and ask that you pray for him as well as for us. We need all your prayers. Again thank you for your thoughts and prayers, we need all the prayers we can get Dear Lord,
    I�m not sure of everyone’s current situation, but You know Lord. Please protect the prisoners, all over families and friends from harm. Strengthen their will and courage to face their everyday struggles. Show them Your love and comfort them. Pour out Your blessings on all ouer people. Bless their finances so that they can afford to pay their bills and enjoy life – paying for legal defence is expensive. When the people are released please bless their employment endeavours. Bless them with good friends, surround them with kind and encouraging people. For the prisoners who have done harm to others please help them to repent and to make amends with their victims. For the prisoners who are innocent of their charge please help them to gain their freedom quickly and legally. Heal their bodies and minds of whatever ails them, make them well and whole again. Thank you Lord. I pray this in Allah name, amineeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  23. Ellon

    February 1, 2012 - 1:39 pm

    Prayer and Belief in God can change any condition and mind set. As a man/woman think in their hearts so is he. In spite of what is are is not going on, we must continue to believe that God is in control and that he protects our loved ones. It is all a choice and through prayer those who have chosen that lifestyle can still be set free from it. Bless them and pray for all those incarcerated. They need our prayers and support.

    God Bless

  24. RBM915

    January 31, 2012 - 8:27 am

    Well I just finished reading what everyone else has said… and I have to agree that way too much thought is being put into this show. I have yet to see it, but I do intend to check it out. It looks pretty good. I watched some episodes of “Locked Up” and I also enjoyed all seasons of “Prison Break”. Loced Up… is mostly an iformational show… but I am not much into reality t.v. so I did not watch very much… I already know some of what goes on in there from what my Loved one tells me. Prison Break… very entertaining from beginning to end. As for the person who thinks that all men in there resort to an alternative lifestyle… it is unfortunate that you have that mind set. It must be hard for you. I happen to know that I don’t have to worry about that with my loved one. God Bless everyone.

  25. Connie Dowler

    January 27, 2012 - 9:15 pm


  26. Connie Dowler

    January 27, 2012 - 9:13 pm

    Linda,your disappointing,what ones are new at this,you sure put disgusting and hurtful thoughts in their heads. NO!They do not all engage,they have a choice and NOT all of them choose as yours did. Try something positive…God is Good!!!

  27. Deborah

    January 27, 2012 - 8:48 pm

    Listen people! I cannot believe that so much energy is being wasted on discussing a freaking television show!
    My 22 yr. old son is in prison, and has been in the “system” since the age of 12.
    I happen to watch most of the prison and jail shows on TV. They dont make me bitter.
    They make me realize what my son is going through on a daily basis. It hurts my heart to have him locked up. It will be a long time before I can have him home again.
    These shows are just that. SHOWS. For our entertainment. Some are actual events in the prison system, but, the show Alcatraz, is just for entertainment. It states that in the credits.
    By the way, I actually enjoyed both episodes! The creator has a wonderful mind!
    View it for what it really is. Entertainment.


    January 26, 2012 - 8:46 pm


  29. tklvn

    January 25, 2012 - 5:17 pm

    Linda, you are the one that’s sick. You have the worse outlook I have ever seen. I don’t know about your man, but my husband would not and is not doing anything with any other man. OMG, I have more faith in him and our marriage than you obviously do. My man has been in for 16 months and is about to come home. Oh and by the way, everyone in his dorm likes watching Alcatraz, they have watched both nights so far and plan to keep on watching it. From what I see, yall are treating this fiction like its lockup, wich is non-fiction. Two differnt things entirely.

  30. Linda

    January 25, 2012 - 12:18 am

    I’m sick of the whole prison scene. My husband is locked up. Between all the gaurds, drugs and homosexuality that goes on in there I’m fed up. Ladies any of you that thinks for a minute that your man ain’t indulging in that life style, is a fool. Just think when you kiss them in visitation what does their punk man in the back do with them when your done turning them on? Open your eyes and ears. It’s going on…..

  31. tklvn

    January 24, 2012 - 5:31 pm

    So what you are saying is that just because you don’t agree with or like the show then noone should enjoy it? I really don’t get what you are trying to say about judging people? I don’t know about you, but I always treat people with the respect that I want to be treated with. As far as judging anyone, I don’t. I just don’t understand where you get judging people out of watching a tv show that is fiction. Just because it based on an actual place but in no way is based on an actual even. Unless you really believe that in 1963 over 300 people disapeared and are now starting to re-appear.

  32. beatrice

    January 24, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    What in the world do we need to see things that we as parents or children of inmates want to see stuff that you and I know is all going to be fabricated. Are they really going to show the assualts officers commit on camera. Or the daily shit inmates go through just to get by. Have to watch there backs,making sure your not talking to the opp color,come now dang get real movie prodocers put ur life on air……

  33. Connie Dowler

    January 24, 2012 - 11:51 am

    I totally disagree. The world gets enough ideas from TV anyway,if they cannot think of a new this show. TV show,magazine,no matter the case,everyone goodand badboth inthis picture and actual alcatraz,are all humans with feelings with real blood running throug their veins. SO MANY IN THESE SUPPOSEDLY REHABS WHILE OCKED UP AND GOOD MEDICAL ATTENTION IS ALL A BUNCH OF CRAP. We are out here judging them and the only difference is “They just got caught.”

  34. tklvn

    January 23, 2012 - 3:22 pm

    Being a wife of an inmate and a Nurse all day long that does take care of the sick and as you stated “rock a crack baby” wich I find offensive as I’m sure the baby would if they could understand what you said. I don’t see anything wrong about watching a TV show that’s entertaining and maybe for an hour forgetting about my saddness, concidering the show is not realistic and yes I will be tuning in again next week.

  35. lady belladonna

    January 21, 2012 - 5:38 pm

    no! no! NO! too much of reality with the pfrisoners having no cooling in the summer and probably no heat in the winter is god awful. that’s the facts so what’s so good about watching stupid made up shit on tv? the truth is harsh. let’s not pretend.

  36. I agree. As a parent of a 21 yr old inmate, I already have have enough thoughts going on in my head...every day of my life and I do flapa

    January 20, 2012 - 2:47 am

    I’m with you on that, I’m a mother of a inmate. The things My mind has to think about everyday as do tons of other families. Its real. If people need to entertain their minds with the thoughts we wish could be pushed away, Then I feel more sorry for them then us… I mean really? Thats what you need to help you get through the day? go read a book to a blind person… or go to a hospital and rock a crack baby. At least feel good about what your brain is thinking about

  37. axel

    January 19, 2012 - 4:31 am

    Nope – I won’t be tuning in. The real thing is more than enough. Prisons are not – and are not supposed to be entertaining.

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