A family man convicted of killing an intruder must cope with life afterward in the violent penal system.

John Smith: When your life is defined by a single action, it changes the concept of time.
[last lines]
John Smith: Usually I'm quoting someone else's words. The least I can do is give you some John Smith originals. They won't be poetic. But they'll be the truth. Yes, prison desensitizes you. But it also forces you to see what's most important. Family. And loyalty. Because a con like you knows neither exists in this place. So don't run from who you've become, felon. Embrace it. Grow from it. And you'll never lose sight of what truly matters. That's my final piece of advice, Wade Porter. You protect your family at all costs. Even if you're forced to kill again. Because if i had to, I'd wipe out the whole planet to get mine back. So long, friend.
John Smith: What a piece of work is man. And there is no good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Human beings are perhaps never more dangerous than when they are convinced beyond a doubt that they are right. Patience. Penance.
Officer Collins: Close 13.
[door closes]
Snowman: Come on. I'm supposed to be in PC the rest of my term. Jackson said.
Officer Collins: Jackson's dead... you can get up.
John Smith: [to Porter] Prison is not about street gangs. It's about race. The Hispanics are cut in half. You got the northerners and the southerners. Trust me, they're always at war. With the blacks, you got a mixture of gangs who forget their beefs and unite with the Asians and the Pacific Islanders. Don't bother trying to figure out who's who. They all hate you.
LA Judge: [to Wade] This court sentences you to three years in state prison.
Gordon Camrose: You gotta stop living in the past, John.
John Smith: Hey, I am the past.
Gordon Camrose: Though it wasn't the only reason I watched out for him. And I tried to explain that to him. He was one of my true friends.
Wade Porter: Mine too.
Wade Porter: [to Laura] Stay in this room.
Laura Porter: It's just that anytime I hang on to any bit of hope it gets taken away from me.
John Smith: [first words to his new cell mate] You jerk off? Face the wall. You break wind? Put your ass to the door. You shit or piss? In the can. You do all that, we'll get along famously.

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