[03/18/14 - 10:13 AM]
Oscar(R)-Nominated Documentary "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall," Going Inside a Penitentiary Hospice Staffed by Inmate Volunteers, Debuts March 31, Exclusively on HBO
The film tells the story of a terminally ill World War II veteran serving a life sentence for murder, who resides in an on-premises hospice unit staffed in part by fellow prisoners.

[via press release from HBO]


Nearly 20% of prisoners in U.S. penitentiaries are elderly. Over the next decade, approximately 100,000 inmates, many serving life sentences, will die alone in their cells. As a result, some prisons have created hospices that enlist inmate volunteers to care for these terminally ill prisoners.

Oscar(R)-nominated this year in the category of Documentary Short Subject, PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL goes behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary, one of America's oldest maximum-security prisons, to tell the story of a terminally ill World War II veteran serving a life sentence for murder, who resides in an on-premises hospice unit staffed in part by fellow prisoners. Showing how the hospice experience can profoundly touch the lives of the incarcerated, both those nearing death, and those who may find a measure of redemption in caring for inmate patients, the film debuts MONDAY MARCH 31 (9:00-9:45 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: April 3 (11:00 a.m., 5:45 a.m.), 6 (3:15 p.m.), 12 (10:45 a.m.), 15 (5:00 p.m.) and 18 (noon)

HBO2 playdates: April 2 (8:00 p.m.) and 19 (11:00 a.m.)

"The University of Sing Sing," looking at inmates working toward a diploma and a fresh start though a transformative program, debuts at 9:45 p.m., immediately following the debut of PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL.

In 2005, the Iowa State Penitentiary created a hospice program funded by private donations and prisoner contributions. Two infirmary rooms were set aside for terminally ill prisoners and set up by six inmate volunteers, all serving life sentences, who were specially trained to care for the dying. Director of nursing Marilyn Sales calls the hospice unit "a labor of love" for inmate volunteers, who work five days a week, ten hours a day caring for patients.

Filmed with unrestricted access over the course of six months, PRISON TERMINAL follows Jack Hall and the hospice volunteers who care for him. One prisoner volunteer says he feels good helping others, noting, "For once, I'm somebody that nobody thought I could be."

The experience can also have a deep impact on the ailing prisoner. Don Skinner, Hall's once-estranged son, visits him in prison throughout the final days of his life and believes the prison caregivers have changed his father. "It's you guys that have shown the compassion to my dad," Skinner says. "And my dad ain't the guy he used to be."

Director and producer Edgar Barens has made documentaries, experimental shorts, music videos and PSAs. For the past ten years, his documentaries have explored issues in the American criminal justice system, and prisons across the country now use his work as teaching and training tools.

PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL was directed, produced and photographed by Edgar Barens; edited by Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; co-edited by Gladys Mae Murphy. For HBO: coordinating producer, Greg Rhem; senior producer, Lisa Heller; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

  [march 2014]  

(series past and present)
(series in development)
(tv movies and mini-series)

[11/25/15 - 11:01 AM]
Disney Channel Orders a Third Season of "Girl Meets World"
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[11/25/15 - 11:00 AM]
HBO Confirms Debut Date for Animated Adult Comedy Series "Animals"
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[11/25/15 - 10:35 AM]
American Hero and Fan Favorite Alek Skarlatos to Join "Dancing With The Stars: Live! -- Dance All Night Tour"
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[11/25/15 - 10:04 AM]
Gwen Stefani and Sia to Perform on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 Telecasts of NBC's Emmy Award-Winning Series "The Voice"
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[11/25/15 - 09:01 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Pulls in Front with "Dancing with the Stars" Finale
The Alphabet leads the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[11/25/15 - 08:42 AM]
New Debut Date for "Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists"
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[11/25/15 - 08:36 AM]
Week Two of "Chicago Med" Is Up 50% vs. Last Season's Slot Average
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[11/25/15 - 08:33 AM]
ABC Wins the Final Tuesday of November with a Season-High Performance
ABC spins the numbers for Tuesday, November 24.

[11/24/15 - 04:45 PM]
Video: First Promo for "Grease: Live" to Air During "Scream Queens" Tonight
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[11/24/15 - 02:44 PM]
Michigan State at Ohio State: Highest-Rated Game of Season across All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Saturday, November 21.

[11/24/15 - 02:41 PM]
"Monday Night Football" Helps ESPN Win the Night among All Networks
ESPN spins the numbers for Monday, November 23.

[11/24/15 - 01:48 PM]
Spike TV Unwraps Big Ratings for "Lip Sync Battle" Holiday Special
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[11/24/15 - 01:40 PM]
The CW Extends "The Flash/Arrow" Crossover by Four Minutes
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[11/24/15 - 01:26 PM]
"48 Hours: The Strange Case of Kurt Sonnenfeld" Is Saturday's #1 Program with Viewers
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[11/24/15 - 01:01 PM]
NBC's Annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" Celebrates the Music of the Holidays Live on Wednesday, Dec. 2
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