I figure this probably deserves its own thread since it took center stage in the Characterization of The Knight thread. Maybe it's too late and the debate is dying down, but worth a shot, right? Anyway, here's my thought on the Dent Act: TDK established that Dent prosecuted 549 mob-related criminals. TDKR establishes that 1,000 men are in Blackgate "languishing" under the Dent Act and being denied parole. Logically, this seems to suggest that either the other some odd 500 are either previously convicted criminals (predominantly non-mob,) that are now being denied parole OR that the Dent Act has helped locked up more criminals, also without parole. Personally I think the second option makes more sense but the movie doesn't provide enough evidence to determine which is true. However, the one determination than can be made is that whether the Dent Act heightened police power or simply abused the judicial system or both, it turned Gotham into much more of a police state than it had previously been. And that is pretty much the point. More importantly though, denial of parole is, in fact, not the only change made by the Dent Act that's referenced in the film. We can't forget that Selina Kyle was locked up in that prison with all those mob thugs as the only female prisoner. That's extreme. The prison guard says that "The Dent Act allows non-segregation based on extraordinary need". So there, denial of parole is not the only statute of the Dent Act, this proven within the movie. No conjecture. And wouldn't it be pretty random if denial of parole and gender segregation are the only things the Dent Act changed? As if female crime was a huge problem in Gotham. This just illustrates how dominant and meticulous a piece of legislation the Dent Act had to have been.