4 December: "Prison for Profit" Documentary screening and discussion
In this searing documentary film, former prisoners, prison guard whistle-blowers and an investigative journalist paint a shocking picture of South Africa's first privatized prison, Mangaung, in Bloemfontein. The film follows investigative journalist, Ruth Hopkins, who spent 7 years investigating this G4S-run prison. It reveals the harrowing experiences of former prisoners. Leaked video footage filmed by prison guards shows the violent face of this notorious private prison from the inside.
In many countries, private companies now have significant interests in the running of prisons, probation services, immigration detention centres and psychiatric clinics. Reports of malpractice and abuse are often suppressed: journalists and academic researchers play a seminal role in uncovering the attendant realities of this rapidly growing industry, filling the gaps left by lack of transparency and weak governmental oversight.
After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Ruth Hopkins, who will be joined by one of the former Mangaung inmates featured in the film, together with experts on prison privatisation from the USA, Australia and the UK. There will be time for questions.
Ruth’s book, ‘The Misery Merchants: Life and Death in a Private South African Prison’ was published on 1 September 2020.
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