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First, the big, outside the prison setting is summarized by this handy, fake history book infographic. The short version: Robocop happens, minus Robocop, OCP therefore becomes one of several hugely powerful megacorp that takes over a bunch of government functions (one of which being prisons).
Second, the list of major players. I've only got two right now, and they're kind of skeletal, but I'm happy with the feel they have.
The first is basically Switzerland. The political prisoners, being horribly outnumbered, unconnected, and often unskilled, banded together to form one group. They're the smallest of the major powers by far, but also the most organized, and by strictly defining and controlling their borders and avoiding agressive policies, they manage to be the most stable as well.
The second is Bartertown mixed with immediate pre-collapse Rome. I named them the Trade Commission, but that's a terrible name. Anyway. The trade commission enforces contracts, makes sure all agreements and exchanges are free from coercion, collects taxes, and does absolutely fuck all else. The vast majority of people within the Trade Commission's (extremely vague) borders are not actual members, but civillian traders or visitors looking to make a deal.
Basically, this faction's territory is where you go to export your shit, load up on useful items, or spend your loot from the previous adventure.
And that's it. So, the immediate task for now is expanding on those, and making two or three more to go with them. I think the other major powers should be more generic and mafiay, but I don't really know how to differentiate between two mafias. Degree of centralized organization, maybe. Resources controlled, too. And of course, ridiculousness of uniforms. Actually that's kind of enough to work with.