Thursday Louis Theroux: Miami Mega Jail 10pm, BBC Four
AREPEAT for this harsh, two-part documentary from 2011. Another in Theroux’s loose series of prison films, we follow him into Miami County Jail, a detention centre where most of the inmates are still actually awaiting trial. Many prisoners here, then, are still theoretically innocent, yet they are held in an unimaginably volatile environment that often breaks down into outright brutality. As Theroux wanders the noisy, dingy corridors, inmates and jailers alike are remarkably frank. Extortion is commonplace and, on the fifth and sixth floors, where the most dangerous convicts dwell in cage-like cells and the overstretched guards leave them to their own devices, life is governed by a gladiatorial code, with fights between prisoners for status and even food. The veneer of control is very thin indeed. As Theroux uses his quizzical, sheep’s clothing tactics to peer into dark corners, it’s eye opening stuff, but not exactly feelgood.