Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s HBO special gives inside look at disciplinary boot camp for wayward young men

A new HBO documentary offers viewers an inside look at a Florida youth prison boot camp program.

Executive produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Rock and a Hard Place” follows the story of a group of young men at the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department Boot Camp Program.

Johnson was inspired to make the documentary after being asked to speak at the facility, Fox News reported.

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“I think that the combination of physical discipline…. spoke to some of the things that Dwayne uses in his life to keep on the right track,” director Matthew O’Neill told Fox.

“He’s been very public about — there was a time where he was a wayward youth and there but for the grace of whatever he could have been in boot camp or in prison. So he sees the importance of second chances and the importance of using discipline to reform your life,” he said.

Participants in the program, which also offers educational classes, have to be eligible, according to O’Neill.

“You have to have the prosecution, the defense, the judge, and in many cases the victim on board to allow these young men to go to boot camp,” he explained. “So boot camp is an opportunity instead of going to a state prison where you’re going to rot away, you have a chance to reform yourself and be back out in six months under community control.”

The intense training is “all part of this process where they’re broken down in order to be built back up and that’s what you see over the course of this program,” O’Neill shared, adding that he hoped the documentary film “shows and humanizes many of the people who are incarcerated.”

“Rock and a Hard Place” debuted March 27th on HBO and has already gotten praise from viewers.

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Frieda Powers

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