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[[quoteright:320:[[WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jimmy_in_the_big_house_title_card.png]]]]

->'''The daughter:''' This is a picture of me and my father. We used to go to the park everyday. But now my father can't, because he is in prison. Today my mother is taking me and my little brother to prison to see our father. My mother told us that we can talk to our father, but we can't touch him or hug him.
-->--''[[Series/SesameStreet The animated insert from Sesame Street: Little Children, Big Challenge - Incarceration]]''.

A {{prison}}-centered installment in a larger work that is otherwise not about prison. It might be an episode in a serial, a sequence in a video game, or a few chapters in a book.

Usually this involves one or more major characters being in prison, or at least in [[ImplicitPrison noticeably prison-like circumstances]]. In some cases, they might run the prison.

When this trope shows up in video games, you can expect [[NoGearLevel the inventory of the player character(s) to be taken away]]. [[StealthBasedMission This results in the player having to use stealth and cunning to avoid the guards]], until the hero(es) get their inventory back.

Despite this being only a segment of the series, [[NothingIsTheSameAnymore it might end up having permanent effects on the tone of the series from that point on]]. For example, it may [[HadToComeToPrisonToBeACrook portray major characters as becoming more inclined to crime as a result of said imprisonment]]. More generally, a prison episode is often used to show and/or begin a DarkerAndEdgier ToneShift.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Monkey D. Luffy breaks ''into'' Impel Down, the Marine Forces' top maximum-security prison, in an attempt to free his brother Ace. [[spoiler:He succeeds in rescuing Ace, but ends up losing him anyway.]]
* In ''Anime/JingKingOfBandits'', Jing heads to the prison Seventh Heaven in order to find Campari and steal his dream-making power.
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Kenshiro was lead into Villainy Prison by Jackal and had to fight the notorious killer Devil Rebirth. Later in the series is the Cassandra arc, where he must free his captive brother Toki, but not without a fight against the cruel warden Uighur.
* The ''Anime/DevilMayCryTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Wishes Come True" has a guy being sent to prison due to the machinations of an evil "wish-granting" demon mask, and Dante not only has to bust him out, but deal with the demonic security staff and the demon mask behind this mess.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Franchise/{{Batman}} comic books have featured at least a couple of stories involving Batman being a prisoner in Arkham Asylum: "This Way Lies Madness"/"Asylum Sinister" in ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' #327-328 and "The Last Arkham" in ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: Shadow of the Bat'' #1-4 to name two.
* The ''ComicBook/MsTree'' arc "Prisoner in Cell Block Hell''.
* Both movie and comic versions of ''ComicBook/SinCity'' include a very existential-looking prison for John Hartigan.
* Both ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' and ''Comicbook/ThePunisher'' have had arcs or issues set in prisons. One time actually had Daredevil put into prison and the Punisher had himself commited to watch Daredevil lose his mind.
* The ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' had one in the Silver Age, [[GreatEscape the Super Stalag]] [[RecycledInSpace Of Space!]]
* Except for a couple of flashbacks, the whole issue 36 of ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'', "The Day That Will Come," is set in Time Zero, the prison of the TimePolice, since Paperinik was ArrestedForHeroism... just in time for a jailbreak. It is one of the darkest issues of the series.
* ''ComicBook/RobynHood'': In ''The Hunt'' miniseries, Robyn is imprisoned in an inter-dimensional prison and has to escape.
* ''Cruel and Unusual,'' an X-Men Gold story arc, sees the X-Men imprisoned for a while thanks to a mind-control fuelled FrameUp.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'': "Time Terror" is this for Socrates, being in the Wild West.
* ''Anime/SonicX'' fanfic ''FanFic/DontKeepYourDistance'' has a scene where protagonist Paint and her friend (and Dr. Eggman's robot) Star are arrested and preparing for trial after she brings it to her village and is accused of endangering it. Nevertheless, they seem to like the officer and their guard and spend most of their time happily talking.
* ''Fanfic/PrisonIslandBreak'' is a ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' AlternateUniverseFic with the Contextual Reassignment of a prison -- not just the canon characters going to prison for once, but actively being convicted criminals. Active and completely unrepentant for the most part. All of the powers/talents that make them heroes in canon are simply redirected to criminal ends. Sonic robbed a bank, nearly managed a second one, killed a cop in the process and escaped normal prisons with utter ease. Shadow killed his foster parents, then used his Chaos Control to rape and murder young women. He started killing men "just to even it out" and was only caught by complete accident on his part.

[[folder:Film -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' has strong prison themes, with [[spoiler:Sunnyside Daycare]] as a prison-equivalent, complete with [[spoiler:a GreatEscape]]. Bonus points for the [[CerebusSyndrome shock]] [[DarkerAndEdgier value]] of a prison-themed installment in a G-rated Creator/{{Pixar}} series.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/MadeaGoesToJail'', a movie about a woman who was arrested for her behavior management problems.
* ''Film/ErnestGoesToJail'' has Ernest going to jail due to the machinations of a crooked lawyer representing an evil crimelord on trial for murder charges who [[EvilTwin is a dead ringer for him]].
* ''Film/MuppetsMostWanted'' has Kermit spend the majority of the movie in a Russian gulag after being mistaken for a frog criminal named Constantine who looks like him.
* Film/TheThreeStooges short ''So Long, Mr. Chumps'' has the boys getting themselves into prison to spring an innocent man.


* The third ''[[Literature/CHERUBSeries CHERUB]]'' book, ''Maximum Security'', has James and his friends sent to infiltrate an American maximum security prison.
* ''Literature/NickVelvet'': In "The Theft of the Convict's Calendar", Nick is hired to steal a calendar from inside a cell in a maximum security prison.
* Subverted when Chip gets thrown in the brig in ''[[Literature/RatsBatsAndVats The Rats, The Bats, and The Ugly]]'': He wants to stay in the brig where he gets a mattress and three meals a day. At the front, he doesn't get that.
* The novella "Literature/TheBordersOfInfinity" in the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' is set in a very nasty but ''technically legal'' [[UsefulNotes/TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar prisoner of war]] camp.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Much of the beginning of Season 2 of ''Series/TwentyFour'' has Jack in prison to break out a drug kingpin as part of a larger plan.
* In ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', the first season has George, Sr. in prison. However, as part of an "[[InsistentTerminology illusion]]", his son GOB goes to prison for an episode to prove he can escape in 24 hours time. [[spoiler:He escapes when an inmate shivs him and he's taken to a hospital.]]
** Later, Tobias spends some time in prison to research the role of Frightened Inmate #2.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': Much of "Broken Arrow" is set inside Iron Heights and focuses on Roy's attempts to survive in prison after he confesses to being the Arrow.
* The episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' where Sheldon commits contempt of court - or rather utter contempt of the judge - and is sent to the cells until he apologises. Although Sheldon Cooper out-weirds hardened criminals to the point where "you're in my spot" makes a tough con give up his seat to the psycho, the thing that makes him crack and make a grovelling apology is when he realizes the awful truth about the bathroom facilities...
* ''Series/{{Bonanza}}'':
** The 1971 episode "Kingdom of Fear" is set at a prison camp and is based on ''Film/CoolHandLuke''.
** The 1972 episode "Riot!" meant to address sub-human living conditions prevalent in the era -- and to a point, even in the early 1970s, when this episode was aired ... and to a point, even today. The episode introduces Tim Matheson to viewers as the long-running series' last major new character: Griff King, who is paroled to the Cartwright's custody; Denver Pyle, who became known later as Jesse Duke on ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'', plays the uncaring, cold-hearted prison warden.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'': Fiona spends a chunk of season six trying to survive in prison, while Michael works to get her out.
** Michael also voluntarily goes to prison for an episode to help protect an old buddy of Sam's.
* In ''Series/{{Covert Affairs}}'' Annie is taken to a high security prison in Russia.
%%* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' episode "Redemption"
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': [[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E11HeavenSent "Heaven Sent"]] doubles as this and a TortureChamberEpisode, as the Doctor is trapped in a mysterious clockwork castle by unidentified enemies. It turns out [[spoiler:that he's inside his own confession dial]].
* ''Series/DueSouth'': Ray gets sent to prison for being in contempt of court. In order to watch Ray's back as well as protect an important witness in Ray's case, Fraser intentionally commits a crime and gets sent to prison himself; but he's so straitlaced that the cop who's arresting him as a favor has to be the one who puts the single candy bar in his pocket.
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': Although it was always Boss Hogg's goal to send Bo and Luke Duke to prison, and most episodes did involve the Duke boys tricking Rosco into letting them escape from jail, only one episode -- the terrifying "Cool Hands, Luke and Bo", a brilliant adaptation of ''Film/CoolHandLuke'' -- was actually set at a prison, and a prison camp at that.
* The ''Series/{{Ellen}}'' episode "Three Strikes" revolves around her being arrested for participating in an animal rights protest and ultimately remanded to the custody of her parents.
* And on ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'', there is the episode where Debra Barone is arrested and incarcerated for drunk driving. Seeing her in the lock-up makes her brother-in-law, Lieutenant Robert Barone, do a very big double-take.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'''s Rashomon episode "The Ugly Truth" features most of the crew on a disc like prison-thing.
* In ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' episode "Mistaken Identity" both Will and Carton are arrested due to racial profiling. In "There's the Rub" Will and Phil are mistakenly jailed for solicitation.
* ''Series/TheGoodies'': "Goodies in the Nick" is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. The Goodies spend several years in prison after committing a series of crimes for a police sergeant to solve so he can gain a promotion.
* ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'': Season 1's finale ends with [[spoiler:Will Graham]] incarcerated, [[spoiler:[[FrameUp framed]] by Hannibal Lecter as the Copycat Killer]]. The first half of season 2 follows up with him trying to expose Hannibal and prove his own innocence.
* ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' has an episode in which Chin is kidnapped and wakes up in prison, where the DirtyCop that Chin got incarcerated wants to have some fun with him before killing him. Unable to trust the guards, Chin resorts to starting a fire in the hope that he can communicate with the rescue workers. The fire triggers a prison riot that Chin must survive long enough for Five-0 to rescue him.
* ''Series/HenryDanger'' had the episode "Christmas Danger" which is surprisingly, a ChristmasEpisode only in name, but a prison episode in plot.
* In ''Series/{{House}}'', the title character [[spoiler:is sent to prison after his actions during the season 7 finale. The first episode of season 8 sees him on the verge of being granted parole. The following episodes go on to inconsistently reference his status as a conditionally released prisoner (he is forced to wear an ankle-mounted GPS, which viewers are sometimes reminded of).]]
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'' had "The Prisoner" in its first season in which Harm was held by the Chinese.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', the season 3 pilot features this after [[spoiler:Nate is voluntarily sent to prison to protect the rest of the team]]. Notable in that it avoids a dark feel due to the team staging an escape in typical ''Leverage'' fashion.
* ''Series/MacGyver1985'':
** In "The Escape", mac infiltrates a prison in French North Africa in order to break out an unjustly imprisoned missionary.
** In "Jack in the Box", Jack Dalton is sent to a prison farm by a CorruptHick who is using the prisoners as a workforce for his mine. Mac ends up in the same prison when he goes looking for Jack.
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** ''Series/Daredevil2015'' has "Seven Minutes in Heaven", which has great focus on Wilson Fisk's time in prison, and Fisk manipulating Frank Castle into disposing of Dutton, the current prison "kingpin".
** ''Series/LukeCage2016'' has "Step into the Arena", told mostly in flashbacks, documenting Luke Cage's time as an inmate at Seagate Penitentiary up to the experimentation that gave him his durable skin.
* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' had "Jessica Behind Bars". While it's set in a jail, Jessica is only there because of a writing program that involves a former student.
%%* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' has a several-episode-long imprisonment arc.
* The first half of the third season of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' follows Earl as he serves time for [[TakingTheHeat confessing to a crime committed by his ex-wife, Joy.]]
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': [=McGee=] gets tangled up in a women's prison riot in "Caged." The plot revolves on him trying to resolve the conflict and the other characters trying to get him out alive. Notably, he is [[CharacterDevelopment significantly more badass afterwards]].
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' has a several-episode arc in which Reese is held in prison on suspicion of being The Man In The Suit.
* The episode “Solitary Confinement” of ''Series/PsiFactor'' is set in prison. In order to investigate the death of a man who died in solitary confinement, Peter Axon goes under cover as an inmate.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'''s eighth series was an extended prison episode.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' is the rare example where the Prison Episode is the GrandFinale.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': The special ''Little Children, Big Challenge: Incarceration'' has a Muppet kid named Alex who has a father in jail. Older characters explain what incarceration is, saying when somebody violates the law (a grownup rule), they have to go to jail or prison.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
** "The Chute" has Tom and Harry sent to an orbiting prison after being falsely accused of terrorism.
** "Repentance" is an interesting case in that ''Voyager'' itself is turned into a prison for several death-row inmates.
* The ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "Canamar" is a variation; the episode is named for a notorious prison, yet Archer and Trip spend the whole time on a prison transport that never actually makes it there.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has "Folsom Prison Blues" which features Dean and Sam deliberately getting themselves arrested so that they can solve a case inside a prison.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' had a one-hour special where the gang visits a country named Yerba, and eventually, one [[EyeScream missing eye]] and dead octopus later, everyone gets sent to prison. Andre and Beck have rocks thrown at them, Jade is nearly beat up by another prisoner, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Robbie is put on the girl's side]]. They manage to escape thanks to their teacher, though.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' had "Locked Up and Tied Down" where she went to prison for killing a girl long ago except the girl became the prison's warden.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used a number of times in the ''Zelda'' series.
** In the ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' the Gerudo throw Link into some sort of cell, leaving him all of his equipment, and no matter how many times he escapes and gets caught again, they just throw him back in the same cell. With all of his equipment.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' begins with a prison sequence, but makes you break ''in'' to save the princess.
** The prison in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' makes sense, but the one in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' is absolutely a CardboardPrison. The way out of the cell is hidden behind a pot (though it would still work wonders at imprisoning moblins...or [[TopHeavyGuy any adult male]], for that matter).
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' has one sequence in a prison cell. However, it follows a very humorous scene and precedes a challenging boss, so it's better than most. It is especially interesting because the prison lets you keep your sword.
** There are two prison sequences in ''Chrono Trigger''. The second one strips the party of equipment, inventory, and cash after the party is distracted by a LookBehindYou. Ensues a StealthBasedMission unless [[BareFistedMonk Ayla]] is in the current party.
* Chapter six of ''VideoGame/MafiaII'', "Time well Spent," follows Vitto as he serves time inside Hartmann Federal Penitentiary.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGear,'' Snake is thrown in a jail cell... from which the player can escape in seconds simply by punching the wall. The prison escape sequences of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'', however, were fun and memorable.
* The 1982 ''Escape From Rungistan'' game starts with "escape from a jail cell". You had to (a) ask a guard to bring you dinner (b) give a piece of cheese to a mouse (c) move your bed under a window (d) give a piece of candy to a child and (e) dig a hole in a wall to get out.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'' has you captured and stripped of your weapons.
* There are several examples of this is the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'': You have to escape a prison in the middle of a desert.
** Ditto ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX''.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', the desert ''is'' the prison.
** There's another in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', surprisingly ''not'' in a desert.
** The characters of VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII have to survive the Nalbina Dungeons, which is full of people who are just left there to die of thirst or starvation. The [[OhNoNotAgain Dreadnought Leviathan]] can also be considered a prison episode. After the [[TempleOfDoom Tomb of Raithwall]] the characters are arrested a third time but they escape quickly thanks to [[spoiler:the nethicite blowing up the Ifrit]]
* Kaim and company in ''VideoGame/LostOdyssey'' are at one point obliged to escape from the brig of a [[CoolShip royal yacht]], dodging security drones and pussy-footing across pressure-sensitive floor tiles. Hilariously, they begin their escape by [[LaserGuidedAmnesia wiping the memory]] of their guard and convincing him that they were jailed by accident, so even if the player makes a mistake and the party gets caught again, the guard will apologize and let them back out.
* The last segment of ''VideoGame/TexMurphy'': Overseer takes place on the island prison of Alkatraz. Tex Murphy finds himself trapped a cell and must escape and make his way deep into the prison while avoiding deadly security droids.
* In ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'''s parody RPG, ''[[VideoGame/PennyArcadeAdventures On The Rain Slick Precipice Of Darkness Episode 2]]'' the main characters are at one point placed in a sanitarium. While your two companions are locked up, tied down or what-have-you, your character is allowed to run completely free, albeit disarmed. On the other hand, when you rescue your friends, they haven't been disarmed.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** Each game in the main series (except for ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'') starts the PlayerCharacter off as a prisoner. Escaping or being released is usually part of the tutorial, before the game [[OpeningTheSandbox Opens The Sandbox]].
** If you commit a crime and then speak to a guard, you have the options of paying a fine, going to jail, or resisting arrest. Choosing to go to jail, depending on the game, either has an amount of time pass based on the size of your bounty or literally puts you in a jail cell with the options to try to escape or sleep in the bed to serve your sentence. In each case save for escape, one of your skills will randomly decrease as part of the punishment. (Simulating not using it due to being in jail.)
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' has a mission during the main quest to break ''into'' the [[TheAlcatraz Ministry of Truth]], the [[CorruptChurch Tribunal Temple]]'s maximum security prison for blasphemers and heretics, in order to rescue a friend who is imprisoned there. The prison is built into a [[FloatingContinent hollowed-out moonlet]] which hovers over Vivec City, requiring levitation to reach. There, you must sneak past or fight through scores of the Temple's elite [[ChurchPolice Ordinators]] to bring your friend the [[WarpWhistle teleportation scroll]] needed to escape.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' has a second prison episode as well - when you first enter Markarth you get to witness an innocent woman (potentially - you can stop it if you're quick) being murdered in the middle of a crowded city square. If you work with a local miner to investigate, the corrupt guards eventually pin the murder on you and throw you in prison. You're [[PlotTunnel stuck in there]] until you find a way to escape.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' has Lloyd, the main character, tossed into a Desian prison in the middle of the desert. He busts out on his own, just before the party shows up... too late.
* In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII: Trial by Fire'', the titular hero gets his behind tossed in the prison of Raseir. This is the first time in the game where it's not an instant death and involves breaking out, but this was all a plan by the game's villain, who then proceeds to show up after your break, and have his evil ways with you.
** And again in ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV: Shadows of Darkness'' where the now-undead evil vizier Ad Avis from ''Trial by Fire'' traps you in his dungeon. Yet again part of a bigger plan, seeing as he ''hopes'' you figure out how to break out and kill the [[BigBad Master of Darkness]]. Too bad the Master of Darkness is someone you know and by hammering a stake trough the vampire's chest, you earn a Game over! Ad Avis... will you never learn.
* In ''VideoGame/PlanetAlcatraz'', although the whole planet is technically is a [[PenalColony prison]], the Industrial Area is the only place that most resembles a prison, or more precisely, a labor camp. You're stripped of all belongings and have to run errands for the bosses to get promoted, before having the opportunity to escape. One of the NonstandardGameOver screens implies you spend the rest of your life there working.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII: The Frozen Throne'' has a campaign mission where Lady Vashj and Kael'thas free the Blood Elves from the Dalaran dungeons, which are full of ultra horrifying monsters. It isn't a bad level, but at the end of the day it isn't as challenging as the normal base-building campaign missions.
** ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has the Stockades, an instanced prison dungeon in the center of Stormwind serving prior to the Cataclysm as a continuation of the Defias questline and now updated to fit current miscreants.
* ''VideoGame/DeadToRights'' has an extremely long prison level early in the game, where the player has to compete in various minigames and do a lot of hand-to-hand combat to arrange a prison break.
* ''VideoGame/{{XIII}}'' features one (two?) levels inside Plain Rock Asylum, a mental institution.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'', Max is drugged, tied up, whacked with a baseball bat, and still manages to get out and continue his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* The last level of the 2005 ''[[VideoGame/ThePunisher Punisher]]'' game features Frank Castle in Ryker's Island during a prison riot led by Jigsaw. He starts out unarmed, but quickly gets guns from the mooks.
* ''VideoGame/TombRaiderIII'' puts Lara in this.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto2'' has a level where you specifically have to get arrested and then spend time in prison before escaping again.
* ''VideoGame/IllusionOfGaia'' throws Will into the castle dungeon near the beginning of the game.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has a main quest called "Captured!", which sees your player character thrown into prison; you can either fight your way out or select two of your party members to break in and rescue you. The latter option is probably the [[MoodWhiplash single biggest source of hilarity]] in an otherwise {{grimdark}} game.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' begins with a prison episode, as the player character is shackled and guarded by several soldiers with drawn swords, and they have no idea what's happened. Unlike most instances, however, they neither break out nor get rescued; rather, they accompany their captors to deal with the situation at hand.
* In ''VideoGame/SpaceRangers 2'' engaging in criminal activity may result in the character being sentenced to several months in jail. This triggers one of the game's many text-based minigames. Throughout his stay the character can join a fight club, race cockroaches, become a stool pigeon for the guards and, if he plays his cards right, ''come out much richer than he was going in.'' Granted, he may also die, but that's a minor detail.
* ''VideoGame/DiscworldNoir'' has a brief prison-escape scene at the Patrician's Palace, which takes Lewton into [[spoiler: Leonard of Quirm's secret workshop]]. A subversion because, once he's broken out of his cell, Lewton has to repeatedly break back ''into'' the secret location he'd escaped through to close the case.
* Case 2 of the second ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations''. Notably [[spoiler: the victim here was the ''killer'' in the first case, and the murderer from [[ContinuityPorn the very first case in the series]] appears as a witness.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellDoubleAgent'', Sam goes undercover as a prisoner to infiltrate a domestic terror organization and earn their trust.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shadowman}}'' the main character is tasked with tracking down and killing five serial killers and take away the dark souls that empower them. Three of them are in the same prison, and have started a riot. Because the lockdown prevents the player character from exploring the whole prison, he must use portals in Deadside to access different parts of the prison.
* ''VideoGame/{{Silent Hill 2}}'' has a level exploring a prison beneath the lake of the town.
** The main character of ''VideoGame/SilentHillDownpour'' is a convict who escaped after his prison transfer bus crashed in the town. The last level of the game has the town transporting him to a prison where he must finally confront his past.
* In ''VideoGame/FableI'', the Hero is captured and sent to Jack's dungeon for at least a year. Part of escaping involves winning a race against the other inmates and being "rewarded" with a private recitation of the [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy warden's poetry]].
** A similar sequence happens in the Spire in ''VideoGame/FableII'', but this time, you're actually hired as one of the guards, and you have to help break out one of the prisoners in a period lasting about ten years.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' features one of these after [[spoiler:you send a warning signal to the NSF and antagonize UNATCO]]. Getting out of the cell is easy, while escaping the whole prison complex can be nigh-impossible depending on the character build.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', the first (and unplanned) visit to [[{{Film/Tron}} Space Paranoids]] revolves around the party being in a digital prison following an accident involving [[Disney/LiloAndStitch a mysterious blue alien]]. With the help of a friendly program named Tron, they manage to escape their cell, and subsequently escape the computer that's imprisoned them.
* In ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'' the party is knocked unconscious trying to pass through the enemy stronghold and are thrown in prison, except for Edea, who very easily takes the cell keys and breaks into the prison to break the rest of the party out. Amusingly, when she enters the prison, a party chat can be viewed where the rest of the party comes to the conclusion that Edea is suffering a far worse fate than them and are planning a wacky escape scheme, only for Edea to come in and point out how loud they were yelling their plans (they're held in separate cells and were unsure of how far they were from each other.). It's even funnier when the random encounters reveal there most definitely ARE a lot of guards patrolling the cells.
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'': The game begins in a prison; your character has to bust out after [[spoiler:awakening from a 5-year coma after the events of the previous game]]. They have to break in (and back out again) later, when a drugs specialist is required.
* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' sees Sonic taken to Prison Island after being mistaken for Shadow. A handful of stages take place on the island, some within the prison complex itself.
* In ''VideoGame/YuGiOhMonsterCapsuleGB'', Seto Kaiba's RPG World starts with Yugi's imprisonment.
* At one point in ''[[VideoGame/{{Resistance}} Resistance 3]],'' you are captured by bandits who use a local prison as their base. They force you to fight in a [[GladiatorGames gladiatorial arena]], until one of their own has a change of heart and frees you, giving you The Mutator, a gun that [[BodyHorror essentially makes enemies puke themselves to death.]] Brutal revenge ensues.
* On the route to the GoldenEnding of ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney,'' the protagonists tell the king that they'll defend him in court and the king, offended at the implication that he doesn't have a HundredPercentAdorationRating, throws them in jail. An allied prosecutor lets them out and says the charges are dropped.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/WatchDogs'', Aiden sneaks into a prison (by turning himself in, gun in hand) in order to frighten/save a witness.
* Connor finds himself in a depressing recreation of Bridewell Prison in ''Videogame/AssassinsCreedIII'', after a violent altercation leads to a cross-city pursuit that gets him arrested and framed.
* ''VideoGame/RandalsMonday'': [[spoiler:After Randal is wrongly accused of Matt's murder.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/LoboWebseries'': In the four part story arc "Bustin' Out Of Oblivion", Lobo tries to free Slaz and his lover Major Snake from Oblivion Intergalactic Correctional Facility.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/TheTimeGuys'': Doc Chronos, Timmy and Caveman have been arrested by Roman senators (almost), [[AnachronismStew King Confucius of France]], and [[LargeHam Alexander the Great]].
* The ''LetsPlay/HoboBros''' Hobo Theatre series has "The Great Luigi Escape", in which [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Luigi]] breaks out of prison.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/OneHundredAndOneDalmatiansTheSeries'' episode "Cadpig Behind Bars", where Cadpig is sent to the pound, which [[PoundsAreAnimalPrisons is run like a prison]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AaahhRealMonsters'', Ickis gets put in jail because he was mistaken for a fugitive.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'' has "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czULZ9IRaic Sonic]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAjJMbLhHC8 Breakout]]", which is about in-universe cartoonist Sketch Lampoon going to prison [[{{Thoughtcrime}} for making fun of Dr. Robotnik...]] and Sonic deliberately letting Robotnik's minions catch him so as to get behind bars to escape from prison and take Sketch with him.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' has episodes like these. Noticeable when Stan was sent to prison where he enjoys staying and doesn't want to leave.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has two prison episodes (technically three, since one is a two-parter):
** Season one has "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderImprisoned Imprisoned]]", where Katara deliberately gets herself imprisoned by the Fire Nation in an attempt to free a friend from said prison.
** Season three has "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheBoilingRockPart1 The Boiling]] [[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheBoilingRockPart2 Rock]]", where Zuko and Sokka infiltrate a Fire Nation prison in the hopes of locating Sokka's father, who had been captured in the war a few weeks earlier.
* In the episode "Birdbrain of Alcatraz", WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}} is convicted of a crime (which, unusually for the character, he actually ''didn't'' commit) and is sent to prison. He has to survive a lot of weird, overly strict rules and share a cell with a literal stool pigeon while his friend Lydia works to prove his innocence.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'' episode "Our A-Story is a "D" Story", the subplot has Todd go to prison [[ItMakesSenseInContext due to a botched scam involving a celebrity from the previous episode]]. Two rival gangs, the [[ThoseWackyNazis Aryan Nation]] and [[TheCartel Latin Kings]], both try to recruit Todd. When he tries (and fails) to court both of them, Todd winds up accidentally igniting a deadly {{prison| riot}} [[MobWar gang war]].
* This is the premise of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' episode "A Date with the Booty Warrior", in which Tom and Ruckus take Huey, Riley, Butch, and four other schoolboys (who had all been suspended for fighting) on a precautionary field trip to the local prison, which is infested with {{depraved| bisexual}} [[PrisonRape rapists]] who commit sodomy just to satisfy their boredom. Things soon go very wrong when the inmates start a [[PrisonRiot riot]], and they take the protagonists as hostages.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' episode "Jail House Flock" has Captain Planet in jail when Hoggish Greedly has him arrested for damaging his equipment and trespassing on his property by lying about intending to replace the wetlands his construction project will destroy. The Planeteers manage to get away and do what they can to clear Captain Planet's name.
* The ''WesternAnimation/ChalkZone'' episode ''The Label Police'' had Snap being sent to Label Prison for removing a tag from his pillow. He spends the episode attempting to break out with the other prisoners, who include the polar bear for putting a "dry clean only" shirt into a washing machine and a 7-year-old girl for solving a jigsaw puzzle that is only for people 8 or older.
* ''WesternAnimation/FatAlbertAndTheCosbyKids'': The 1984 episode "Busted," although the prison serves as a backdrop to the episode's ScareEmStraight purpose. In essence: The gang is given a terrifying tour of a prison after they are caught in a car a friend -- who had run afoul of the law many times before -- had stolen. Needless to say, the tour makes the right impression on the kids.
* ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' has [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xr9kau_garfield-and-friends-episode-4_shortfilms "Wanted: Wade!"]] , where Wade Duck rips the tag off Orson Pig's chair. About 2 minutes of the episode is a fantasy sequence where Wade dreams about what would happen if the police caught him for ripping the tag off a mattress.
** A later episode, [[http://video.tvguide.com/Garfield+and+Friends+Show+Episode+51/Garfield+and+Friends+Show+Episode+51/10954101 "The Legal Eagle"]], had Roy jailing everyone because he took his job as deputy too seriously.
* In the season two premiere of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', "Leader of the Pack", Coyote, at the behest of Xanatos, breaks out the rest of the Pack.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi'' episode "Cell Block Rock", Ami and Yumi try on disguises to avoid running into rabid fans, but accidentally glue the fake facial hair they use for their disguises to their faces. As a result, Kaz mistakes them for trespassers and has them thrown into jail, where Yumi pleads to be set free while Ami initially gets accustomed to prison life.
* In an episode of the second season of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', "Rumble in the Big House", both the Dark Hand and Jackie get themselves sent to prison. The former to release Xiao Fung, the Wind Demon, and the latter to try stop them.
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' has "Jimmy in the Big House", where Jimmy and Beezy try to bust Cerbee out of an animals-only prison by disguising themselves as pandas. Unfortunately, Cerbee had already escaped by himself, so the duo now have to get themselves out.
* The ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "[[Recap/LittlestPetShop2012S1E4Gailbreak Gailbreak!]]" is about retrieving a dog held in the [[MegaCorp Largest Ever Pet Shop]]'s pet storage area, which is portrayed much like a prison.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'', "Jailbird and Jailbunny".
* The majority of the Mumfie's Quest arc of ''WesternAnimation/MagicAdventuresOfMumfie'' is this, [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids which is rather shocking for a show meant for preschoolers.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMJf6hEtco Phineas And Ferb Get Busted.]] While what they are sent to is called a reform school, it is most certainly run like a prison.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', "The Big House" wherein Tommy is inside a daycare center that, much like the above example, looks and feels like a prison.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has several of them, mostly involving the villains, but occasionally major characters (especially Homer, sometimes Marge) end up in jail as well.
* In "Opening Night" of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', Spidey volunteers to test the security system of [[TheAlcatraz The Vault]], a prison designed to house super villains. Unfortunately the prison's computers are hacked by [[spoiler:the Green Goblin]], locking all the guards up as the prisoners are let out of their cells.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' has actually had a few prison episodes. In the episode "Doing Time," Mrs. Puff gets arrested after yet another one of [=SpongeBob=]'s failed driving tests, and [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick try to break her out after they agree it was [=SpongeBob=]'s fault. In the episode "The Inmates of Summer," [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick accidentally board a prison ship instead of the summer camp boat they meant to get on. In the episode "Jailbreak," Plankton who is imprisoned after yet another attempt at stealing the Krabby Patty Formula concocts a plan with a few other inmates to break out.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': In [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS4E15Deception "Deception"]], Obi-Wan [[FakingTheDead fakes his death]] and goes undercover as his supposed killer to infiltrate a plot against the Supreme Chancellor. The first step? Getting arrested and taken to prison to get close to the mastermind of the plot.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode, "[[Recap/TinyToonAdventuresS1E21GangBusters Gang Busters]]", Montana Max and his gang steal a slushie machine and Buster gets framed for slushie theft. When Buster is put on trial, Plucky acts as his lawyer, but is so obnoxious, that he ends up getting them both arrested and thrown in juvenile hall. Buster and Plucky later dig their way out of juvenile hall, and meet up with Rocky and Mugsy. After Buster leads them to the Warden, the Warden thanks Buster by giving him a chance to [[ClearMyName find and arrest the real criminals who framed him]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces2017'' episode "Smokey and the Racers" had all the racers end up in prison when Dick Dastardly attempted to cheat by having his cousin Sheriff Longarm D. Law arrest the other racers for speeding. Unfortunately for Dastardly, his cousin arrests him as well, forcing him to work with Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, I.Q. Ickley, and the Gruesome Twosome in finding a way to bust out of jail.
* In "Terrors" of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Superboy and Miss Martian go undercover into Belle Reve to ascertain and foil a break out attempt.