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Old May 22 2011, 03:42 PM   #1
George Bailey
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New Louis Theroux

I just noticed that there's a new Louis Theroux tonight, I almost missed the last one thinking it was a repeat, and nearly missed this because I didn't know it was on. So here's a heads up for anyone Louis Theroux fans.

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.
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Old May 22 2011, 04:41 PM   #2
Ethros
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Re: New Louis Theroux

I love me some Theroux, can't wait
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Old May 23 2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: New Louis Theroux

It was quite good, but he has done an American prison before, and really was there anything that shocking given what we see on the news/tv about the American prison system all the time? And given he's seen so much of the world the naive schtik is getting old, he seemed geuinely shocked that these prisoners were fighting for respect/a bunk, and I'm pretty sure he probably wasn't...but I know it's his thing, and also its why he's so good at getting people to talk to him so I'm probably being overly picky.
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Old May 23 2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Re: New Louis Theroux

^This wasn't a prison though, it was a jail. These aren't people who've been found guilty of a crime and it's possible some of them are innocent. As for the naive shtick, well as you said it's what he does. Gives people enough rope to hang themselves, or explain the world/their situation as they see it. And honestly, as a middle class white English bloke, I don't think he'll have actually experienced these things himself, and regardless of if he's seen these thing before being there and witnessing it first hand must make it hard to see. I mean from the guys masturbating at the guards to the possibility that guy was going to be beaten and/or raped when he was put in that cell, it seemed obvious no one cared what they got up to in the cells, they even blatantly and openly talked about bullying and extorting other people with the guards stood there... Even the guy who was a trustee.
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Old May 23 2011, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: New Louis Theroux

I watched a lot of those prison documentaries in the last couple months (basically everything I could find on bittorrent) - Hard Time, Lockup, etc. (search for it if you're interested, there's mountains of that stuff) so nothing there really shocked me, but still... yeah, objectively it's pretty shocking.
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Old May 23 2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: New Louis Theroux

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
^This wasn't a prison though, it was a jail. These aren't people who've been found guilty of a crime and it's possible some of them are innocent. As for the naive shtick, well as you said it's what he does. Gives people enough rope to hang themselves, or explain the world/their situation as they see it. And honestly, as a middle class white English bloke, I don't think he'll have actually experienced these things himself, and regardless of if he's seen these thing before being there and witnessing it first hand must make it hard to see. I mean from the guys masturbating at the guards to the possibility that guy was going to be beaten and/or raped when he was put in that cell, it seemed obvious no one cared what they got up to in the cells, they even blatantly and openly talked about bullying and extorting other people with the guards stood there... Even the guy who was a trustee.
Yeah the fact that whatever went on in the cell was up to the prisoners was pretty scary, but though some of them may be innocent of the crimes they were charged with my understanding was that you had to be a particular type of prisoner in order to end up there, ie have a particular kind of rap sheet. It is disturbing to think they're effectively on remand however.
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Old May 23 2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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Re: New Louis Theroux

Starkers wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
^This wasn't a prison though, it was a jail. These aren't people who've been found guilty of a crime and it's possible some of them are innocent. As for the naive shtick, well as you said it's what he does. Gives people enough rope to hang themselves, or explain the world/their situation as they see it. And honestly, as a middle class white English bloke, I don't think he'll have actually experienced these things himself, and regardless of if he's seen these thing before being there and witnessing it first hand must make it hard to see. I mean from the guys masturbating at the guards to the possibility that guy was going to be beaten and/or raped when he was put in that cell, it seemed obvious no one cared what they got up to in the cells, they even blatantly and openly talked about bullying and extorting other people with the guards stood there... Even the guy who was a trustee.
Yeah the fact that whatever went on in the cell was up to the prisoners was pretty scary, but though some of them may be innocent of the crimes they were charged with my understanding was that you had to be a particular type of prisoner in order to end up there, ie have a particular kind of rap sheet. It is disturbing to think they're effectively on remand however.
I think certain floors that's true, but it seemed to be fairly arbitrary as to who ended up there and why. Just look at the newer jail, two of them ended up there later on.
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Old May 23 2011, 09:34 PM   #8
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Re: New Louis Theroux

I might try some "gunning" next time I see a hot girl walking down the street.
See how it goes
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Old May 23 2011, 09:46 PM   #9
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Re: New Louis Theroux

^I'm sure that'll endear you to them, and get you laid in no time.
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Old May 23 2011, 10:03 PM   #10
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Re: New Louis Theroux

It was OK, but I didn't think it was as good as some of his previous entries. What did he really show us that wasn't common knowledge anyway? Jails are overcrowded, brutal and threatening places. I think we all knew that. It felt a bit too voyeuristic. Having said that, there's no doubt that US jails and prisons are FAR more dangerous and difficult environments than British ones. But it's a question of quantity and intensity rather than a qualitative difference, at least from my brief experiences with the British penal system (across police jails, high and low-security prisons, and forensic psychiatric settings). Things like fighting, extortion, masturbating, etc, etc are common enough in British prisons too. As for the fact that these guys were on remand rather than convicted and still being subject to those conditions, well, there are reasons for people being remanded into custody and not left to roam the streets. Some of them are financial, but a lot are safety-related.

As for the faux-naivete mentioned upthread, well , yes it's his interviewing trademark; you either roll with it or not. Kind of like Paxman's scorn, Humphrey's incessant interrupting, or Frost's unctuousness. It's just the way he works.
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Old May 24 2011, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: New Louis Theroux

Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
^I'm sure that'll endear you to them, and get you laid in no time.
"Am I a habitual masturbator?... sheeittt!"
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Old May 24 2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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Re: New Louis Theroux

Ethros wrote: View Post
Bob The Skutter wrote: View Post
^I'm sure that'll endear you to them, and get you laid in no time.
"Am I a habitual masturbator?... sheeittt!"
Love that he was surprised by that fact.
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