Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars – ITV

New ITV series Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars visits six prisons to find out what life is really like for prisoners and staff

ITV’s new four-part documentary series Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars examines the reality of life behind bars for both staff and inmates.

With exclusive access to six jails, plus Britain’s largest prison officer training college, this is a comprehensive look at our prison system and the challenges it faces on a daily basis.

The film begins in HMP Downview  in Surrey with repeat offender Gemma, 32, who is serving five years for burglary.

She’s often violent to staff and has struggled with drug addiction for a long time, something she fears will affect her again when she is released.

But an unexpected lifeline may help her get back on the straight and narrow.

Gemma Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars

Repeat offender Gemma is used to life locked up as we see in ITV’s Inside Prison: Britain Behind Bars

We also meet newbie prison officer Jon Aldridge (pictured top), who is starting his first shift at HMP Bullingdon, Oxfordshire, after a 10-week course at training college.

It’s a steep learning curve as he quickly has to deal with wing politics and the huge problem of self-harm.

But he gets guidance from an unlikely source…

TV Times rating: ***