Within These Walls
A television movie based on the true story of Sister Pauline Quinn, who created a prison program designed to help female convicts train dogs that are used to help the disabled. Joan Thomas has lived a hard life tangled with crime and drugs. When she lands in prison, she gives up hope of ever finding happiness. Convicted of murder and imprisoned for life, anyone's efforts to get close to Joan are spurned, including her estranged son's attempts to visit her. When Prison Supervisor Melinda Donovan agrees to allow a new program that trains dogs for the disabled to be brought into the prison, Sister Pauline Quinn, the head of the program, spots something special in Joan and tries to persuade her to join, but to no avail. When one of the inmates abuses the dog in her charge and is dropped from the program, Joan finally agrees to participate. Over time, Joan and Pauline develop a mutual admiration for each other and learn to cope with the demons of their pasts.
The unconditional love of the dogs profoundly affects the inmates. Caught in an inmate fight, Thomas is thrown out of the program by Supervisor Donovan, but Quinn pleads to have Thomas return and complete the training. Suddenly, a review board shuts the program down, devastating Quinn's hopes and wrecking weeks of hard work. For the first time in her life, Thomas seeks to help others by appealing to Donovan for a last chance to prove the program's worth -- with consequences even Quinn could not have imagined.