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Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail (2-parter begins Sun 22nd May @ 9PM, BBC2)

krish

Distinguished Member
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BBC - BBC Two Programmes - Louis Theroux, Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail, Part 1
[BBC iPlayer - Louis Theroux: Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail: Part 1]

In the first episode of this two-part series, Louis spends time in one of the most notorious sections of Miami County Jail: the fifth and sixth floor of 'Main Jail', where many of the most volatile inmates are incarcerated.

Held in large cage-like dwellings for up to 24 men, the inmates have developed a strange and violent jail culture. The men - who remain in the cells almost all the time and may only leave for yard time twice a week - live under the sway of a gladiatorial code. They fight each other for food, for status, and often just to pass the endless hours of confinement. Trips to the infirmary are a frequent occurrence as inmates are viciously attacked and beaten, but the guards say they are powerless to end the abuse.


Broadcasts
Sun 22 May 2011, 21:00, BBC Two (England, Scotland, Wales only)
Sun 22 May 2011, 22:30, BBC Two (Northern Ireland only)
Mon 23 May 2011, 23:20, BBC Two (England, Northern Ireland, Wales only)
Louis' Blog
- Miami Mega-Jail

So we have a new show coming up this Sunday May 22, the first installment of a two-parter entitled Miami Mega-Jail. It’s about life in one of America’s toughest and most violent jails, in particular the two floors of the Main Jail in which many of the most volatile and unmanageable inmates reside. Some of you may recall that we made a documentary about San Quentin prison a few years ago. Believe it or not, what we experienced in Miami was even more extreme. Unlike prisons, the inmates of jails are mostly pre-trial. They have not been convicted and are technically innocent. Something about this atmosphere of uncertainty, as well as the sheer scale of the place (7000 inmates), makes it all the more chaotic and volatile – at least, in the areas reserved for problem inmates. On the fifth and sixth floors there are up to 24 men per cell and a gladiatorial code exists in which inmates are expected to fight to prove themselves. We taped the two episodes over the course of a couple of months, starting late last year. I’ll post a bit more about it when I have time. That’s it for now!
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Prisoners and religious zealots do appear to be his favourites :)
- was going to do Scientology, but decided against (too much hassle dealing with their people) and thought Panorama's John Sweeney was doing a very good job

I'd quite like an occasional new When Louis Met...
e.g. Nick Griffin, Peter Mandelson
 

soundstory

Prominent Member
Prisoners and religious zealots do appear to be his favourites :)
- was going to do Scientology, but decided against (too much hassle dealing with their people) and thought Panorama's John Sweeney was doing a very good job

I'd quite like an occasional new When Louis Met...
e.g. Nick Griffin, Peter Mandelson

Yes indeed, I agree we need a few new When Louis met's...........

As you've highlighted, there are a few characters out there
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Part 2 is on BBC2 this evening ...
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BBC - BBC Two Programmes - Louis Theroux, Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail, Part 2
[BBC iPlayer - Louis Theroux: Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail: Part 2]

Louis Theroux concludes his exploration into Miami Mega-jail, one of America's largest and most violent of jails, a holding pen for almost 6000 un-convicted inmates.

Louis goes deeper into the jail system, meeting an alleged triple murderer facing a possible death sentence. He also follows a group of forty or so younger inmates who have escaped prison by pleading guilty and agreeing to attend a four month military style boot camp. Among them is a 14-year-old boy facing a possible ten year sentence for armed robbery if he can't survive the boot camp's relentless and brutal training and indoctrination programme. Many will drop out and receive prison sentences, but for a handful this will be their second chance at life.


Broadcasts
Sun 29 May 2011, 21:00, BBC Two (except Northern Ireland (Analogue), Wales (Analogue))
Wed 1 Jun 2011, 23:50, BBC Two (except Northern Ireland (Analogue), Wales (Analogue))
Louis' Blog
- Miami Mega-Jail Part 2

Thanks for all your comments about the Mega Jail show. I'm sorry to say I've been away all this week so I haven't been around to soak up a lot of the positive feedback. Anyway, Part 2 is coming this Sunday.

A lot of people commented on how bleak the first installment was. Part 2 offers some glimmers of hope. Every few months the jail system chooses thirty or so of the younger inmates who are guilty of serious usually violent crimes and offers them a second chance: a place in a boot camp programme for four months instead of a long custodial sentence. We follow a cadet troop over the first few weeks, including a guy from the sixth floor of Main Jail called Patrick who's been in all kinds of trouble.

We also go back to Main Jail and experience more of the weird gladiatorial code, courtesy of an inmate called Johnny Jackson who we meet just as he's been removed from his cell for beating up a cellmate who “went psych”; and we go to another jail facility in the Miami system, called “TGK”, where we visit the “Special Management Unit” including a guy who's been in solitary for years and is possibly facing the death penalty for an alleged triple murder. I think my encounter with him, in particular my second visit to his cell, is my favourite section of the whole two hours of Part 1 or Part 2.

I can't write much more because I have to get to work. If you're interested in a little more background on my time in Miami there is an interview for the Radio Times website here: Louis Theroux on his return to the US penal system - Blogs - Radio Times

And there's an article I wrote for the BBC website here (featuring a nifty sketch of the cell lay-out): BBC News - Louis Theroux goes to the Miami mega-jail
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
sure there is something out there, maybe we could start a competition :D
Not sure if it was the big reveal about the American prison system that has not already been done before in editorials or studies but it was still interesting with Louis bringing his usual style to proceedings

GABOS
 

Citizen J

Prominent Member
I find Louis Theroux absoutely fascinating, I really enjoyed these two programmes. Some of the ongoings in prison I already knew about but there were still some aspects that was news to me.

As ever very informative.
 

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