The author explains two penal systems, those of the US and Norway to better understand the idea of imprisonment, both literal and figurative. In the two nations: the former, reputedly ineffective at best and abhorrent at worst, and the latter, is hailed as one of the world's best. He began to explore what it was about prisons that were interesting from an organizational communication perspective. When he met George, he had been in incarcerated for more than three years, serving time in Lawton Prison for purchasing goods with counterfeit money. Unlike George, Cullen's suspicious demeanor set him on edge from the beginning. Cullen's conversation with him focused on some of the dire communication situations he has witnessed while incarcerated. George and Cullen experiences, illustrate that poor communication is among the toughest issues facing both US inmates in prison and their family members. But communication issues seemed rare indeed in Norway's alternative system.