The Animal Factory goes deep into San Quentin, a world of violence and paranoia, where territory and status are ever-changing and possibly fatal commodities. Ron Decker is a newbie, a drug dealer whose shot at a short two-year stint in the can is threatened from inside and outside. He's got to keep a spotless record or it's ten to life. But at San Quentin, no man can steer clear of the Brotherhoods, the race wars, the relentlessness. It soon becomes clear that some inmates are more equal than others; Earl Copen is one of them, an old-timer who has learned not just to survive but to thrive behind bars. Not much can surprise him-but the bond he forms with Ron startles them both; it's a true education of a felon.