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|This article is about the Comic Series prison. You may be looking for the TV Series prison.|
The prison as it appears in the comic series
|Status||Partially destroyed, overrun by the undead|
|Seen in Series|| Comic series|
Video game (Mentioned)
|Issue/Episode|| Issue 12 to Issue 49|
|Gallery||The Prison (Comic Series) Gallery|
The exact location of the Meriwether County Correctional Facility is ambiguous, but judging by the length of travel from their original campsite, conversations between the Governor and Gabe, and the appearance of the crashing helicopter containing a television news crew, it is most likely located a few miles away from Atlanta in the surrounding countryside. In the novel The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, it is stated that the prison is the Meriwether County Correctional Facility, though it is also stated that the prison is 23 miles from Woodbury, and that correctional facility is only 7 miles away.
The prison is where the survivors settle after they are kicked off of Hershel Greene's farm. It is also where most of the character and continuity's story-arcs were formed.
In comics continuity, it is also the second longest lasting location the survivors remained in, surpassed only by the Alexandria Safe-Zone: The group stayed there for seven months, beginning with their arrival in Issue 13, right up to the climactic and tragic destruction by the Governor and the Woodbury army in Issue 48.
Discovery and Clearing
Simply referred to by the survivors as "the prison," it was found by Dale and Andrea after the group departed the Greene family farm. The prison boasted three fences that surrounded the entire penitentiary, as well as having its back to a hill and only one main dirt road leading to the entrance as well as many guard towers around the perimeter. Starving and desperate, the group quickly surmised that it being in a relatively isolated area, and without any other potential safe havens to move to, it was the most viable option to stay safe as it also would have many weapons, food and medicine. The decision was quickly made to search and secure the penitentiary.
After the initial clearings of the zombies inside, Rick Grimes and Tyreese found four inmates who were trapped inside the cafeteria that had been living inside since the outbreak's beginning: Axel, Thomas Richards, Andrew, and Dexter. Even with this risk, Rick deemed it worthy for the entire group to settle in, and make it their new home. Tensions soon arose between the inmates and the survivors, while Rick primarily was busy dealing with the proper settling of their new haven, the witnessing of the end result of a suicide pact between Chris and Julie, and his subsequent discovery that anyone who dies of any cause (short of damage to the brain), reanimates.
Serial Killings and Mutiny
It soon becomes apparent the survivors and the convicts cannot co-exist, as Rachel and Susie Greene's bodies are soon found, decapitated. Dexter is wrongly accused, but after an attempt on Andrea's life, Thomas is found to be the culprit. He is brutally beaten by an overwhelmed Rick, later Thomas is thrown into a cell and told that he is going to be hung but a naive Patricia tried to help him, believing he was just sick and not evil, Thomas then dived at Patricia and began choking her to death before a distraught Maggie Greene later shoots him to death.
Dexter does not take kindly to the false accusations and concludes that cooperating with Rick's group was wrong. He organizes Andrew to sneak into A-Block, the building containing the guard's riot gear and weapons, to help take back the prison. After confronting Rick with shotguns and a defecting Patricia, a standoff ensues that is only prevented due to zombies escaping from A-Block. While temporarily working together to hold the wave back, Rick makes the difficult decision to kill Dexter "in the crossfire," as he knew the convict would have killed or kicked them out afterwards. Andrew surrenders his weapons, but flees in distress, never to be seen again by the group. Michonne joins the group soon after.
In between the bloodshed and drama, several sub-plots develop. Carol and Tyreese's relationship is challenged after the mysterious Michonne joins the group and eventually ends the relationship after Carol catches Tyreese and Michonne together, Michonne and Tyreese then start a relationship. Maggie and Glenn struggle through the loss of more of her family and her father's strictness of their intimacy. Maggie and Glenn eventually marry in a ceremony performed by Hershel. Patricia is isolated and verbally attacked by Otis after her temporary defection with Andrew and Dexter, although Otis apologizes and both become friends before Otis is later killed. Allen slowly begins to come out of his shell following Donna's death in the Wiltshire Estates, but, he is bit and dies of an infection/blood loss while investigating the interior of the prison. Tyreese and Axel both become close friends. Dale and Andrea discuss the possibility of splitting off and finding somewhere safer and quieter and have adopted Allen's children Ben and Billy as both their parents have died. Patricia believes that no one in the group likes her, but, Billy Greene confirms that Hershel, himself and Maggie are still her friends and apologizes for not acting like it. Lori's pregnancy advances rapidly, and she is strained by Rick constantly leaving, particularly when Rick, Glenn, and Michonne go missing when searching for a helicopter that crashes. However, when Rick returns from Woodbury with Alice, Alice is able to help with Lori's pregnancy and delivers the baby, named Judith. Hershel and Patricia talk after Otis death and become closer friends. After Carol's death Lori and Patricia also became friends as Patricia volunteered to help Lori look after the children and saved Rick's life with a blood transfusion after he had been shot. Carl and Sophia also establish a relationship.
Eventually, significant conflict within the group arises when Tyreese finds himself giving in to Michonne's sexual advances. Carol witnesses their actions and is evidently hysterical and upset, causing her to slit her own wrists. Rick goes to inform Tyreese and finds him with Michonne. The pair's strong friendship is temporarily broken when their ensuing argument ends up in a brutal beating, leading to a schism between the group and their opinion on Rick's leadership. Carol later fed herself to a roamer when rebuffed from a proposed relationship between her, Lori, and Rick. Before committing suicide, however, Carol seduced Billy Greene and had sex with him, leaving Billy very troubled after she killed herself.
A matter of days before the final Woodbury attack, Patricia and Axel were seen together, establishing a loving relationship. Patricia was distraught after Axel was shot and killed in the attack.
Hershel and Billy Greene were deeply saddened after witnessing Patricia's death. During the final stages of the assault, Billy is shot and killed. Having lost all his children, Hershel gives up and becomes depressed, allowing the Governor to shoot him without fighting back at all.
First Woodbury Invasion
Following the allowed escape of Rick and Glenn from Woodbury with the assistance of Stevens, Alice, and Caesar Martinez, the Governor awaited the return of Martinez on the location of the prison. Dr. Stevens did not survive the escape, having been bitten on the outskirts of Woodbury. Rick, Glenn, Alice, and Martinez rediscover the prison overrun with roamers. Dale informs the group that they had accidentally allowed the roamers in when Tyreese was returning from searching for them. Otis was killed by the roamers in the ordeal. With Rick's return and the assistance of Martinez, the rest of the group was able to seal the fences and deal with the roamers, retaking control of the prison.
When Martinez did not return (having been discovered as a mole after fleeing the prison to inform Woodbury and ran down in the RV by Rick), the Governor set out a search party to find Martinez. The search party found Martinez as a roamer and stumbled upon the prison. The Governor, further enraged by Michonne's mutilation and torture of him, convinced his town that the prison survivors were deranged monsters who deserved to die, and arranged an army of Woodbury citizens to assault and take the prison by force. The Governor drove his force en masse to just outside of the prison's outer gates and delivered with a megaphone an ultimatum to Rick's group inside the prison: surrender the prison or die. When they did not respond, the Woodbury army began its assault, peppering he prison yard with gunshots while shooting and running down roamers with a tank around the outer fences.
This first assault was successfully repelled by Rick's defenders. The Woodbury army was preoccupied with keeping the roamers near the fences off of them, which allowed Andrea and Glenn (after some resistance and a grazed bullet to Andrea's head) to snipe enough of the attackers, to which The Governor called for a retreat. Axel also suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and Rick suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach, but they survived and recovered and the group was intact after the attack.
However, fearing for their safety, Dale, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Billy, and Ben left the prison following this attack. Tyreese and Michonne also departed, but to assault the surviving army in a surprise attack. Rick was shocked, angry, and dismayed at the turn of events that occurred while he recovered, bedridden from his gunshot wound. He believed that they could no longer repel an assault from Woodbury with so many defenders absent. While Tyreese and Michonne were able to kill a small number of the Woodbury force, their guerrilla attack was a failure and Tyreese was captured and executed (beheaded) in front of the prison after Rick and the others once again rejected the Governor's ultimatum, believing that they would be murdered the second they stepped out of the prison.
Second Woodbury Invasion
When the Woodbury forces returned for a second time, very little strategy had been altered from the first attack, at the beginning. Woodbury's invaders were still preoccupied with the walkers at the fences, while the prison's defenders fired upon the army from under cars that they had parked before the assault as a line of cover from the incoming gunfire. Billy had taken up sharpshooting in the watchtower in the absence of Andrea and Glenn, and even threw a grenade to great effect, taking several attackers out of the fight, as well as destroying an enemy vehicle. Andrea had also returned, surprisingly, and sniped several of the invaders from the RV's roof. However, Rick's prediction that they were hopelessly outnumbered with the absence of half their number was deemed true. Axel was shot in the head and killed by the attackers, while Andrea was knocked out of the fight when a Woodbury soldier drove his truck into the RV. When the Governor believed he was losing the fight once again, he drove the tank through the prison's fences, destroying the only true safety that the defenders had.
Overrun and Massacre
Without the fences, Rick's defenders were at the mercy of the Woodbury army and the walkers pouring through the exposed opening. Patricia was shot through the head and killed as she attempted to escape from the cover of the guard tower where she had hid under fire with Hershel and Billy. Billy, too, was shot in the head and killed as he and Hershel made their rush from the doomed area.
Rick had retreated into the prison to collect Lori and Carl and discovered Alice pointing a gun at Lori, feigning allegiance to The Governor in an attempt to secure safe passage for them back to Woodbury. Rick, Lori (holding Judith), Carl, and Alice attempted to escape the prison by way of a truck left in the yard. Rick alerted the attackers to their position by screaming for Hershel to join them. Hershel had given up after the death of his son, requesting and granted death by ways of a gunshot to the head from the Governor. Alice sacrificed herself, waiting at the entrance of the prison yard to provide a gunfire cover for the Grimes family. Alice was shot through the leg by one of the invaders and executed by the Governor.
Rick, Carl, and Lori continued to try and make their way to the truck under heavy gunfire. Lori, trailing the other two, took a massive gunshot blast to her back, killing her and Judith. Rick, witnessing the murder, grabbed Carl and moved them through the walkers and out of the prison yard through the destroyed fences, realizing that they wouldn't make it to the truck under the massive gunfire. Once they made it safely past the walkers and into the hills on the outskirts of the prison, Rick broke the news of Lori and Judith's deaths to Carl, hugging him amidst the chaos that reigned around them.
Lilly Caul, the woman from Woodbury who had murdered Lori and Judith, quickly realized that she had murdered a mother and her newborn, and finally realized the Governor for the true monster that he was. She then shot the Governor through the head, pushing him into the crowd of walkers that were bearing down on the remaining attackers' position inside the prison yard. The Woodbury army then attempted to make their way inside of the prison, but then ran out of ammo as they made their way to the doors, followed by the walkers.
Lilly and the others ran out of ammo, but manage to fight their way through the cell blocks being pursued by walkers. In the end, only six survivors escape the overrun facility, just as hundreds of walkers converge there, attracted by the gunfire.
The prison is not shown in the Video Game. However, it is the prison to which Lee Everett was being taken right before the outbreak began. He never reached the prison, due to the police car in which he was being driven crashing.
The prison is also where Vince, Danny, Justin, Jerry, and Marcus Crabtree were being transported to by prison bus when Vince's Story begins. Similar to Lee's story, the bus and group of inmates never made it to the prison due to the outbreak and jammed highway.
- Rick, Carl, Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Dale, Sophia, Ben, and Billy are the only people of Rick's group to have made it out of the prison alive after the second Woodbury attack. Along with prison residents, only six Woodburians (Lilly, Speed, Matthew, Hap, Gloria, and Ben) made it out from the flooded prison.
- In a Q&A with Jake Rodkin and Harrison G. Pink, designers of the video game, it was stated that the prison that Lee Everett is being transported to in the beginning of the game is the same prison in the comic series of The Walking Dead.
- The prison was originally supposed to be a high school.
- In Issue 111's Letter Hacks, it confirms the prison was originally set to appear in Issue 7, skipping the Greene family farm.
- Prison Blocks A and C, as well as the prison courtyard, are buyable properties in The Walking Dead Monopoly.
- The prison is also a territory in The Walking Dead Risk.
|Locations (Comic Series)|
|Cynthiana, Kentucky • Atlanta, Georgia • Atlanta Survivor Camp • Wiltshire Estates • Greene Family Farm • Meriwether County Correctional Facility • Woodbury, Georgia • National Guard Station • Fr. Gabriel Stokes' Church • The Hunters' Base • Alexandria Safe-Zone • Hilltop Colony • Washington, D.C. • The Sanctuary • The Kingdom|