Here’s a concept that’s sure to keep a lot of stereotypes alive and well. For example, don’t we all know that most bikers and Hell’s Angels have been in prison at some point? (What? You didn’t know that? Must not be watching enough TV.) And, most TV mechanics on Monster Garage, Overhaulin’ and Pimp My Ride look like they’d fit right in behind bars. So why not marry the concepts together, and make a TV show about mechanics that actually are behind bars?
That’s exactly what they’re doing at the Southern Desert Correctional Center outside of Las Vegas. The prison auto restoration shop is in talks to be the focus of a new show called “Bighouse Choppers” on Court TV. Each episode will show the inmates creating a custom car or motorcycle. They’ve already done a pilot apparently, and the result is a motorcycle called “The Shank”. The rear fender struts are actually made out of cell bars!
Howard Skolnik, head of Nevada’s Prison Industries, hopes this show will counterbalance the negative way prison is portrayed on TV, in shows like OZ. But, if you’re showing the prison as a great place to work, doesn’t that hamper its effectiveness as a deterrent to crime? Won’t out-of-work gearheads be trying to break in to prison, so they can have steady jobs and be on TV?
Plus, of course, the show will bring in lots and lots of money for the prison, some of which they may even share with the inmates. I think we may have hit on the real motivation here…