Prison for Profit 

What happens when governmental and intricate care tasks like detention and rehabilitation are left to market forces and powerful international uncontrolled corporations take over. A phenomenon often started through cost-cutting by governments.

In ‘Prison for Profit’, we follow investigative journalist Ruth Hopkins and the lives of former prisoners and prison warders from South Africa’s Mangaung private prison, which is run by the controversial private security firm G4S, a British multi-billion company active on a world-wide scale.

Leaked video footage filmed by prison guards shows the violent face of this notorious private prison from the inside. We expose how this very violent system of profit maximization at a company like G4S works, how this multinational operates this prison and what the far-reaching negative consequences are for society.


  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 83 & 52
  • Production: IFProductions
  • Director: Ilse van Velzen & Femke van Velzen
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: Netherlands



  • Best Human Rights Feature movie (Life After Oil International Film Festival 2020, Italy), IDFA 2019 / IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary (Netherlands), HUMAN International Documentary Festival 2020 (Norway), FIFDH Geneva 2020, One World International Human Rights Documentary Festival 2020 (Czech Repubic), Movies That Matter 2020 (Netherlands), Stockholm Feminist Film Festival 2020 (Sweden), Millenium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival 2020 (Poland), ACT Human Rights Film Festival 2020 (Colorado,USA), Take One Action Film Festival 2020 (UK).

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