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While serving a three-year sentence for larceny, Linda Wilson, a former nurse, meets Dr. Phillip Duncan, a young physician who is conducting physiological experiments at the women's prison. In spite of Linda's embittered attitudes, Phillip encourages her to work as a nurse at the prison hospital and, after battling a prison typhoid epidemic with her, realizes he has fallen in love with her. Bolstered by Phillip's love, Linda, who was forced to steal food after she was unfairly fired from a nursing position, refuses to participate in an upcoming prison break that has been set up by Anna "Big Annie" Barry, her vicious, scheming cellmate. When, however, Warden Edmund Miller, who has found out about Phillip's relationship with Linda through the vindictive head matron, Mrs. Clara Glover, admonishes her to end the affair to protect Phillip's career, Linda decides to join Annie and escape. After Linda steals a set of master keys from the hospital, she and Annie overcome a matron, break a boiler pipe and start a fire panic in the cell blocks. In the ensuing chaos, a matron shoots and kills young Millie Anson, Linda's other cellmate who had taken the blame for a theft committed by her boyfriend, and wounds Annie before being shot fatally herself. Linda and Annie then force Mrs. Glover to drive them to safety outside of the prison. After leaving Mrs. Glover by the roadside, Annie dies from her wounds and Linda remains at large. Eventually Linda is trapped by the police and is put on trial for the escape. Although faced with a life sentence, Linda refuses to defend herself against charges that she led the escape and killed the matron. Finally Phillip asks the judge to allow him to question Warden Miller, who confesses that he told Linda to remain silent to protect Phillip. Cleared of all serious charges, Linda accepts Phillip's marriage proposal and faces her final months of imprisonment with hope and courage.