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In Shot Caller (2017), Jacob is sentenced to 18 months of jail time, which he and his lawyer consider "no time", when compared to the much longer 5 year sentence he might have faced, had he fought the charge in court.

He seems eager to get out so he can be with his son and family again.

Once inside, during his first night, he witnesses another new inmate get assaulted and raped in the middle of the night, and he seems so traumatised by this that he has determined nothing like that will happen to him.

So, during his first minute of recreation, he beats someone up who was hounding him, to show people he is tough, to display dominance, to demand respect - this leads him to be introduced to the white/skinhead gang, which is the beginning of the end for him, as it leads him down a spiral of crime and a lifestyle that ruins his life.

Why was he so eager to join the gang and commit all the violence? Was he merely motivated, purely, by self-preservation from other inmates' violence? Throwing your life away and putting your family at risk seems like too much of a high cost, especially for this character.

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Yes, that is absolutely what it came down to. Jacob didn't want to end up like the other inmate that was raped, and you can hear his lawyer in the voice-over telling him what it takes to get through a Maximum Security prison sentence. After he gets into that fight, you see Frank telling him how being a "lone wolf" is dangerous, and how The Brotherhood can protect him. If he had been in a Minimum Security prison, he would have definitely just done his time as quietly as possible to get out as soon as possible.

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