Miami Mega Jail

59 minutes 8.6/10 based on 11 votes

Part 1

In the first episode of this two-part series, Louis Theroux 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.

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.

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Discuss This Documentary

  • Interesting…thx!

  • Jay

    Great. Louis is the best.

    This jail is a travesty. And this is a state run facility, the for profit jails are even worse.

    A local judge where I live was sending kids to juvenile detention unnecessarily because he got a kick-back from the privately run facility. The system is just disgusting, I hope I never have to deal with it.

  • Tim

    It’s the same in all large metro area jails. The hardcore inmates that are not and never will be fit for society have made the jails what they are. It’s not something they do when they get to jail, This is how they are when on the streets as well. These are career criminals that cannot and refuse to be rehabilitated.

    • ricky

      your attitude is really worrisome to me because it flies in the face of all sociological / psychological evidence, which dictates that people’s attitudes and behaviors are quite fluid and easy to manipulate. the ‘hardcore inmates’ overwhelmingly grew up in dysfunctional homes with little sense of community or economic security. they’re the product of their environments [aren’t we all?], and can be reformed with effort. this is also true of the internal prison environment: surely you’re familiar with the stanford prison experiment? people play the roles they believe they’re expected to; if expectations and environmental factors are changed, so too will behavior.

  • Brent

    Honestly, I’ve done time at Maplehurst Toronto’s supermax. That place was way harder than any doc I’ve seen from the states except for San Quinton. try 50 guys to a pod, 2 showers, 2 toilets, 2 phones, 1 TV and 70% of the inmates in detention are there for violent felonies.

  • mikedemod

    150 Pieces Of Cake.

  • steve

    i so wish offenders watched this before doing wrong doings in society

  • tron

    I mighta ended up in that hell-hole. The police found a painter’s putty knife in my pocket and I told them it was there before it was found and the report was written up as a concealed weapon/ 6 in. blade. This Doc scared the hell out of me.

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