National Geographic Society
National GeographicNat Geo Wild

  • Premieres Saturday Feb 12nd at 10:00 pm, 9:00 pm BKK/JKT
  • National Geographic Channel


Hard Time goes to jail in the most iconic city in America - Vegas.  Its a world filled with stories where guilt or innocence hangs in the balance.

Each hour will organize around a theme. But it will work on other levels as well: chronology, recurring characters, and the context of the world outside the jail walls in a city where vice and crime drive the ever churning system, rewarding both the one-time viewer and the season long watcher.  Additionally, as jail is a world of deadlines and countdowns  to verdict, to release, to transfer to prison and even sometimes to a return behind bars  so each episode will aim to have a through story with a built in "Clock" or countdown to an event.


  • Hard Time : Come On Vacation, Leave On Probation
    Las Vegas is known by the slogan "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas." But ask anyone at the Clark County Detention Center; Vegas' main jail, and they'll tell you it's really "Come on Vacation, Leave on Probation." In a city where vice and crime drive an ever churning system, Clark County Detention Center is a never-ending revolving door of repeat offenders, hardened criminals and often, unlucky transplants pushing the legal limits of a good time… who have now landed themselves in the tightly controlled world of jail. Survival here means figuring out how to serve time in a world where no one knows their fate and anything can happen. It's here that first timers and harden convicts alike realize there are consequences for their actions… punishment felt while doing time.
  • Hard Time : Running The Joint
    Vegas Jail is purgatory. It's where inmates await trial, await their sentence and worry about their fate. But even in limbo, life goes on. Gang members run hustles and play cat and mouse with the officers on shift. Inmates have relationships - however temporary - in a bid to capture some sense of normalcy in an otherwise surreal world. And porters have some of the only jobs in the facility. The job helps pass the time but also puts them at the center of the jail black market economy.
  • Hard Time : Love Behind Bars
    Las Vegas can be a town of excess - Sin City. And many of the 80,000 people who come through the Clark County Detention Center each year have taken those extremes too far. Drugs and vice are an easy trap that can lead you straight to arrest and incarceration. But while arrest is the end of the road on one hand, it's also the beginning of the story. It's the start of hard time for some and the place of hard choices for others. Life, lust and love continue on even after arrest. And with nothing but time, inmates are forced to choose whether to continue down the same path or change their ways.
  • Hard Time : Jail Mom
    When crime happens in Vegas, the criminal stays in Vegas, at the largest jail for the city. The Clark County Detention Center is in the heart of downtown Las Vegas, minutes from the Strip, and it's a co-ed jail. Male and female inmates are housed under one enormous roof, but worlds apart. The women's unit is filled to bursting with accused and convicted prostitutes, drug dealers and even murderers. It's a world of contradictions, from extreme aggression to intense affection - a world we explore from the point of view of a singularly intimate and intimidating role: the jail mom.
  • Hard Time : Judgement Day
    Across the street from the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas is the Clark County Courthouse. Each day hundreds of inmates are collected from their jail cells and herded through the underground network of tunnels that connect the two buildings, to face a Judge. Sooner or later, every inmate in the jail must make the trip, and while most will plead guilty and take a deal, those who maintain their innocence will go to trial. Attorneys are hired, a jury is selected, and the accused enter the fight of their lives, at the end of which a jury of their peers determines their fate guilty or innocent. Jury trials are an intense, personal, and often painful experience for those involved and a process that we explore from the perspective of three inmates as they go through the life-changing ordeal of a trial, judgment, and ultimately a verdict.
  • Hard Time : Revolving Door
    The Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, handles more than 80,000 people each year. For many inmates a stay in jail is a harsh wake-up call, and a one-time stop. But for thousands of offenders hooked on drugs and alcohol, CCDC has become a revolving door. Addiction is now calling the shots for these inmates, fueling criminal behavior that keeps them cycling through the system. Overwhelmed, the jail battles to get these repeat offenders clean and sober. By documenting the lives of two very different inmates, we witness the triumphs and tragedies of the fight to break free from the shackles of addiction.
  • Hard Time : Gangs Behind Bars
    Inmates and officers are constantly under pressure from gang activity. For some, survival in the jail comes down to reputation and intimidation.
  • Hard Time : Mental Hell
    Within the walls of the Las Vegas jail, hundreds of addicts and mentally ill are further imprisoned within their own minds.
  • Hard Time : Misfits & Outcasts
    We spend time with three inmates who for one reason or another simply dont fit in, each must make take different paths to survive their time in jail.
  • Hard Time : Stress Box
    Las Vegas can be full of vices-both legal and illegal. Break the law and you're hauled into the Clark County Detention Center, a sobering jail in the middle of the glitz and glam of the strip. But getting booked here punishes more than arrestees-family and friends on the outside often share the heartache of the jail sentence. Loved ones must navigate an intimidating world where details of what's happening behind bars are hard to find and visitation lasts only 30 minutes a day. It's this stress that can drive some families closer…and others apart.
  • Hard Time : Inmates vs. Officers
    Just like Sin City, the Clark County Detention Center never sleeps. It's a round the clock operation, where challenges come daily. From feeding the inmates to combating riots, keeping the peace comes down to the officers-- but giving in to the control of the system is up to the inmates. In an environment where people's freedom has been taken from them, even the smallest rule must be followed or chaos can ensue.