Jamie Bennett has published "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Media in Prison Films," at Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 97-115 (May 2006). Here is the abstract.
Generally, people have low levels of exposure to prisons through personal experience and therefore the media plays an important role in informing beliefs and actions. In particular prison films are an important and extensive form of media depiction. However, media depiction of crime and imprisonment has been criticised on ethical, political and social grounds. This article explores how prison films have depicted the relationship between the media, crime and punishment. It argues that this is a significant and integrated part of the prison film genre. It also argues that these representations are important both as a narrative device and in making the media a focus of pressure for reform.
Nicole Rafter also has some discussion of the prison film in chapter six of the second edition of her book Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society (Oxford, 2006).
[Cross-posted to the Law and Humanities Blog]