Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail sees the notorious investigative journalist explore life in a US jail. There are so many good shots in this, especially if you enjoy seeing the contrast between a remorseless murderer and a skinny English dude.

The documentary is interesting as it demonstrates how fucked up the prison system is, case in point – the 14 year old sentenced as an adult who is unable to attend prison classes because he is young and vulnerable. He didn’t kill anyone, but has had basic access to education taken away from him. The documentary allows us to see the life of a prison warden and how they get around various issues by pleading ignorance or in some ways, covering for the prisoners. The relationships between the guards and the prisoners are also interesting as we see the balance of fear and respect constantly change.

I find that a lot of prison codes can be explained through theories of Darwinism. Survival of the fittest is a term frequently raised by the subjects of the documentary, but the concept of fight or flight is tested here. Prisoners don’t have much choice but to fight as their ability to run has been taken away from them. The closest thing to flight in prison is to call the guards, but by the time they get there, it’s usually too late to stop any violence.

Ultimately, the documentary is a demonstration of the wasted lives that will be spent inside that prison.

Check out Part 1 of the first episode…

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