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Prison Families

New Zealand


 Available to rent or buy for our New Zealand viewers on Vimeo here

PRISON FAMILIES is a ground-breaking new series following ten New Zealand families over six months as they grapple with the challenges of living with a loved one behind bars. From suburban housewives to notorious families of crime, each episode documents one family’s unique story of law-breaking, justice, and redemption. What's it really like when a family member gets locked up? How do you cope emotionally and financially? And can you really forgive someone who commits a terrible crime? 

Every family has a story. Be it behind closed doors, or behind bars.

In TV3’s groundbreaking new series, cameras go behind closed doors to reveal the hidden world of prison families, as we follow ten New Zealand families, each living with a loved one in prison. A fascinating insight into the stories behind the headlines and the families dealing with the aftermath of crime.

Filmed over six months, each episode documents a different family’s incredible story. From a family fighting the stigma of their notorious crime-boss uncle, to a suburban housewife picking up the pieces after her husband is locked up for stealing millions. These are ten families from ten very different walks of life.

What’s life really like when a family member is sent behind bars? Can you forgive your husband or your son who commits a terrible crime?

The series follows these families during a pivotal moment in their lives. For some it’s the much anticipated parole hearing- finding out whether their loved one will finally get out. For others it’s a drastic move; relocating their entire lives to avoid stigma and start anew. Prison Families documents these incredible journeys as the families forge new paths, deal with inevitable prejudice, and come to terms with the crimes committed by their own family.

How does prison life on the inside affect family life on the outside?

Like all of us, these families face the daily routines of work, bills, love and life - but with an added challenge. Some say when a criminal is sent behind bars, their family goes too. For prison families, life is now a system of rules and regulations that dictate their every moment. They must deal with social stigma, long distance pilgrimages for prison visits, and sometimes immense financial hardship with the main bread winner inside, all while battling to make a better future.

From early morning raids on the family home to dramatic arrests, striking dramatisations bring to life the moments that changed these ten families’ lives forever.

With an imprisonment rate higher than the UK, Canada and Australia, the New Zealand Prison System touches thousands of families every year. It is estimated that over twenty thousand New Zealand children are living with a parent behind bars. This series takes a candid snapshot of prison family life and explores the universal themes of justice, stigma, forgiveness, and family.

Prison Families takes viewers into the lives of ordinary families forced to deal with extraordinary circumstances. A frank, no-holds-barred look at real families caught in real trouble- and the bonds that pull them through.

Technical Specifications

TV Production

10 x 30 minute documentary series for TV3

Represented by TVF International

Contact will.stapley@tvf.co.uk

Senior Sales Executive