This film tells the true story of a brilliant young man's descent into an unforgiving and brutal prison system that sought to break him. Originally found" incompetent to be sentenced" by five of six psychiatrists, DeFriest, like many prisoners with mental illness, spent an incredible amount of time in solitary confinement - 27 of the last 34 years. His crimes? Taking the tools that his recently deceased father had willed to him before the will was probated - and a string of "Houdini" escapes in the early 1980s that earned him the unending ire of the system.