D.L. Hughley stars as Ben, a disillusioned teacher struggling to get his career back on track and escape his own damaged past. Tapped to salvage an inmate teaching program at a state prison, Ben's unorthodox methods win over a hardcore crew of unlikely students. Wielding freestyle rap lyrics like weapons, Ben inspires drop-outs and lifers alike to clean up their act and transform their lives, even talented but troubled teen drug dealer Gabriel (Cantillo), whose raw skills just might be his ticket out of the ghetto after he enters a poetry-slam competition outside the prison walls. But after a deadly jail riot erupts, Ben must fight to survive this private hell. A stone-cold shattering drama, "Shackles proves how tough it is to break the cycle and make a difference - or even make it out alive.