Inside Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men during four days of intensive group therapy with serving convicts, revealing an intimate and powerful portrait of authentic human transformation that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.


Filmmakers: Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous
Country: USA
Runtime: 87 mins
Year: 2017
Format: HD



Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, The Work follows three men from outside as they participate in a four-day group therapy retreat with level-four convicts. Over the four days, each man in the room takes his turn at delving deep into his past. The raw and revealing process that the incarcerated men undertake exceeds the expectations of the free men, ripping them out of their comfort zones and forcing them to see themselves and the prisoners in unexpected ways. The Work offers a powerful and rare look past the cinder block walls, steel doors and the dehumanizing tropes in our culture to reveal a movement of change and redemption that transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.


"Better than fiction" ★★★★★ The Times

"Will break the hardest of hearts" ★★★★★ Total Film

"Extraordinary" ★★★★★ The Observer

"Life changing stuff" ★★★★★ - Metro

"A damn privilege to watch this movie" ★★★★★- Little White Lies

"Always compelling" - Screendaily

"Remarkable vérité portrait" - Variety

"The most powerful group therapy session ever caught on camera" - IndieWire

"A riveting group encounter" - The Hollywood Reporter

"A harrowing and enlightening experience" - RealScreen

"Fascinating" -


Jairus McLeary (Director) is a Legal Videographer from Chicago who began with shooting video ethnography in college; subjects in their natural setting, in order to experience, interpret, and represent culture and society. The experience motivated him to make his first film, The Work after years of participation inside Folsom’s Circles.

Gethin Aldous (Co-Director) has been a professional TV and Film director for 15 years. He is based in NYC and currently directs motion capture for a major video game company. This is his second feature length doc. He works with prisoners at Folsom and other prisons throughout the country in his spare time.


Director: Jairus McLeary

Co-Director: Gethin Aldous

Editor: Amy Foote

Producers: Alice Henty, Jairus McLeary, Angela Sostre, Eon McLeary, Miles McLeary

Executive Producers: James McLeary, Rob Allbee, Gethin Aldous


Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary - SXSW 2017

Audience Award - Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Nominated Best Documentary -  IFP Gotham Awards 2017

Nominated Best Cinema Documentary - The Grierson Awards 2018

Best Single Documentary - International The Grierson Awards 2018


SXSW 2017

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

Melbourne International Film Festival 2017

Camden International Film Festival 2017

Busan International Film Festival 2017

IDFA 2017

CPH:DOX 2018

DocPoint Documentary Film Festival 2018

!f Istanbul 2018

Millenium Film Festival 2018

Vilnius International Film Festival 2018

Human Right Wrong 2018

Americana Film Festival 2018

Le voci dell’inchiesta 2018

Bangkok Screening Room 2018

Pakhuis De Zwijer Doc by Night 2018

Copenhagen TV Festival 2018