In jail for nothing

Network: France 5   Type: Documentaire   Format : 70’   Directing: Florence Kieffer


From a prison population of some 70,000 detainees in France, nearly 30% are “accused”, meaning they are being remanded in custody. Suspected of having committed a crime or an offense, they are imprisoned while the case is investigated.

Each yearinnocent people are wrongly incarcerated for days, weeks, sometimes months, before being freed without their cases even being adjudicated, for the justice system has in the meantime realized its mistake.
In 2015, for example, 576 people had their cases dismissed after being jailed. Other innocent people remain in jail until their trials, after which they are acquitted and freed.

A lot of anonymous people, whose ordeal never reaches the news media, suffer the injustice of the justice system.These innocents are thrown into prison for offenses that range from simple swindles to blood crimes, not to mention hold-ups or sexual assaults. Their average time behind bars is seven months. Of course one day they regain their freedom, but their incarceration, whatever its length, leaves indelible marks. Even after been proven innocent, victims of abusive incarceration remain “suspect” forever.

This documentary gives the floor to four victims wrongly jailed for crimes they didn’t commit in order to better understand what they went through and the malfunction of our legal system.