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|This article is about the Comic Series prison. You may be looking for the TV Series prison.|
The exact location of the Meriwether County Correctional Facility is ambiguous, although it is known that the facility is located an hour or two away from Atlanta. 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 the 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 the comics' continuity, it is the second-longest lasting location the survivors remained in. It is 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 with 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 would also have supplies. The decision was quickly made to search and secure the penitentiary.
After the initial clearing of the zombies inside, Rick Grimes and Tyreese found four inmates who had been trapped inside the cafeteria since the beginning of the outbreak: 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 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, regardless of cause (short of damage to the brain), reanimates.
Serial Killings and Mutiny
It soon becomes apparent the survivors and the convicts cannot co-exist when Rachel and Susie Greene's decapitated bodies are found. Dexter is accused of their murders, but after an attempt on Andrea's life, Thomas is found to be the culprit. He is brutally beaten by an overwhelmed Rick, and is later thrown into a cell and told that he is going to be hanged. A naive Patricia tries to help him, believing he is just sick and not evil. Thomas then dives at Patricia and begins choking her to death before a distraught Maggie Greene 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 either killed or kicked them out afterwards. Andrew surrenders his weapons and 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 and eventually ended after the mysterious Michonne joins the group and 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, though they 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 killed. Allen slowly begins to come out of his shell following Donna's death in the Wiltshire Estates, but he is bitten and dies of an infection/blood loss while investigating the interior of the prison. Tyreese and Axel 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 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, and she is stressed 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, who is named Judith. Hershel and Patricia talk after Otis's death and become closer friends. After Carol's death, Lori and Patricia also become friends as Patricia volunteers 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.
Significant conflict within the group arises when Tyreese finds himself giving in to Michonne's sexual advances. Carol witnesses their actions and becomes hysterical, slitting her 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 of Rick's leadership. Carol later feeds herself to a roamer when Lori rebuffs her proposal of a polyamorous relationship between her, Lori and Rick. Before committing suicide, however, Carol seduces Billy Greene and has sex with him, leaving Billy very troubled after she kills herself.
A few days before the final Woodbury attack, Patricia and Axel are seen together, establishing a loving relationship. Patricia is distraught after Axel is shot and killed in the attack.
Hershel and Billy Greene are 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
After allowing Rick and Glenn to escape from Woodbury with the assistance of Stevens, Alice and Caesar Martinez, the Governor awaits the return of Martinez on the location of the prison. 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 is 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, reclaiming the prison.
When Martinez does not return (having been discovered as a mole after fleeing the prison to inform Woodbury and run down in the RV by Rick), the Governor sends a search party to find Martinez. The search party finds Martinez as a roamer and stumbles upon the prison. The Governor, further enraged by Michonne's mutilation and torture of him, convinces his town that the prison survivors are deranged monsters who deserve to die, and arranges an army of Woodbury citizens to assault and take the prison by force. The Governor drives his force en masse to just outside of the prison's outer gates and delivers with a megaphone an ultimatum to Rick's group inside the prison: surrender the prison or die. When they do not respond, the Woodbury army begins its assault, peppering the 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 remained intact.
Fearing for their safety, Dale, Andrea, Glenn, Maggie, Sophia, Billy, and Ben leave the prison following this attack. Tyreese and Michonne also depart, but to assault the surviving army in a surprise attack. Rick is shocked, angry, and dismayed at the turn of events that occur while he recovers, bedridden from his gunshot wound. He believes that they can 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 is captured and beheaded in front of the prison after Rick and the others once again reject 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|