Louis Theroux: A Place For Paedophiles

  • More Options

VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
Rating: 8.6/10 based on 136 votes cast.
Is This Documentary Broken?
(Click Here To Let Us Know)

Louis has gained access to Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, which houses more than 500 of the most disturbed criminals in America, convicted paedophiles. Most have already served lengthy prison sentences, but have been deemed unsafe for release. Instead, they have been sent here for an indefinite time. Spending time with those undergoing treatment, Louis wrestles with whether he can ever allow himself to believe men whose whole history is defined by deception and deceit.

Related Documentaries

From The Web

  • Angie

    Difficult and highly disturbing subject matter indeed. What these men have done is vile and incomprehensible, but as it happens i agree with what one of them alluded to when he said its not so much a mental health issue, and that mental health help won’t help, whats happened is criminal. and that it is, murderers i’m sure aren’t incarcerated after they’ve served their sentence into a warehouse to receive treatment that doesn’t determine whether they’ll ever get out. though at the same time i agree the majority of communities if not all would feel very uncomfortable to be at a close proximity to any or one of these men. From what i can see the state is thus trying to create a happy medium, however the blip in all of this is that human rights are inevitably affected. No-one can ever be satisfied. the question that remains i suppose is which is better universally? and perhaps the coalinger mental hospital is from a utalitarians point of view a form of doing the greatest good. 

  • Joshua Bailewy

    No need for any left-wing ethics. Paedophiles of all forms are scum and should be dealt with before they deal with an innocent child.

  • Guest

    They all fit the typical paedophile stereotype, does this have something to do with the fact that they are attracted to children? Have they been homosexuals all their life and then turned to children because no one else wanted them? I highly doubt they will ever be ‘cured’ or not relapse if they got the chance if/when they get out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/BrunoSweetdog Bruno Sweetdog

      agreed, its quite disturbing! Louis is such a daring and inspirational investigator!  soo inspirational I wrote a song about it!

    • fifi

      Wow…someone really needs to educate themselves. Being gay has as little to do with being a paedophile as being straight does…. or were you being sarcastic…it’s hard to tell on the internet sometimes…

    • josh

      @Guest You are an idiot if you think that all of them were homosexual. You are also an idiot in thinking that a question like “Have they been homosexual all their life?” is a valid question at all considering what homosexuality is. Paedophilia has no direct connection with being homosexual and it is insulting to insinuate that it does.

    • Rut

      Its not about them being gay but about what attracks them as sexual beings, they get turned on by children unfortunately…and if u compare that to other peoples sexual needs u will figure out they will never stop being turned on by children, like I will not suddently stop liking men because somebody tells me its wrong and I should turn to women or whatever.

    • Skyra

      Paedophiles are not gay. Gay men are attracted to other gay men, while paedophiles are men or women who are attracted children, either male/female or both, but children. You cannot mix the two.

  • guest

    As soon as this ended I was relieved it was difficult watching this knowing what these men have done. The conclusion to this was distressing, I wouldn’t trust anyone of these men to be outside and be around anyone’s children. I don’t know why these people do this but this facility seems like its still a work in progress. I don’t think these men are mentally ill, if this perversion was not something they wanted but knew was wrong, that still doesn’t take away the fact that they still did it knowing it was wrong, that makes it a criminal act. As a mental facility, it really fits the bill. It does look like a looney bin. They have baseball, carpentry, art room and celebrating every other festive day on the calender year? Please, they’re not retarded, it’s like another universe in there. I can understand why that man would prefer jail over that facility, in jail you know your place, there’s ethics among inmates and wardens, you know if someone crosses the line there will be consequences. In there everyone looked like they were on gasoline. Erh, I’m feeling a lot of negative energy over here, do you maybe want to take a few deep breaths?! These people have no reason to be treated like they’re mentally ill, they’re criminals.

  • redwhiteandblue

    What is there to understand? These parasites hurt the most vulnerable among us, and i for one am not impressed with this documentary at all . I do not care that they are locked up and hope they stay so, for the protection of all society.

    I was really unimpressed with that guy at the beginning, who said he was not sure what was legal,HUH?  So, it is okay to hurt a child if it has not been made a law yet or your not sure if it is legal or not!?!?!

    Also the comment, i am not trying to judge you here, HUH? Have we become so delude we are not able to judge that child molestation is wrong and that your bad person if you do this?  I did not see all that much anguish on anyone’s face, Mr.Theroux even commented that he believe some of the men to be sincere? O really? Does he want them living near his family, in contact with his children? Would he count on their sincerity then? There is a reason people do not want them to live in their neighborhoods.

    Sorry this one was pointless. There are child molesters? They get locked up? Really? I did not know! Thank goodness for Mr.Theroux!

    • Mintzworks

      I don’t think child molestors are bad people. I think they’ve done abhorrent things.

      We’d love to lump them all in as monsters and satan personified, but there’s likely some good in them.

      In my opinion there are really very few Richard Ramirez types in the world.

  • guest


  • homi k bhabha

    Love the Joanna Newsom track at the end “oh my love , oh it was a funny little thing..”

  • Sconezeta

    a few things: First the name of this institution seems a bit odd. I guess it reminds me of something sexual for some reason and I find it oddly named. Also, I heard the argument one inmate mentioned for judgment as a criminal vs. mental crime. From the persons interviewed I would have to say it is indeed a crime they cannot seem to control and thus must be viewed as an mental disorder. I mean if people are getting castrations holy shit lol. By the way I believe that guy may truly be on the way to some type of control of his problem but who knows. The place looks first rate and about as good as it could be for incarceration… Why the majority (70%) don’t want treatment to try to face their issues is amazing? Lastly I hate government programs and $$$ spent on lost causes but I can’t imagine letting these people loose on society again… catch 22 I guess and this seems like the most humane way to deal with them.

    • Anonymous

      Its called Coalinga State Hospital because thats the name of the town its in. The actual town of Coalinga was actually Coaling station A, and when it was established as a town, the “station” was removed, making it Coalinga. Look it up. We have a very good football team.

  • phdstudent

    I am APPALLED at the amount of money spent on these people. 200K a year?!?! Chemical castration costs much less. That 200K should be used to pay for the victims therapy.

    • Mintzworks

      I agree it’s a very high number – maybe they use some of that money to pay for the initial building costs?? Who knows.

      I don’t agree that chemical castration (or real castration) is any answer – take for example the guy who orally copulated 50 kids. Don’t need a penis for that.

  • Guest

    I certainly agree that Paedophiles should in some way taken care of (taken care like treatment, not killing them :) ). However, the thing of sexual orientation is a tricky question. In my opinion people doesn’t choose sexual orientation. Being straight or homosexual isn’t a choice. Isn’t that the case of paedophilia then? Homosexuality was once also seen as a mental disorder, and homosexuals were sent to mental hospitals. I think paedophilia is an act of crime and is no way okay, but not a mental disorder crime. Sexual acts should be something done with mutual consentement, and where both actors understand what they are doing.

  • darwind

      Keep these creeps locked up forever or death penalty or castration.  No mercy for these monsters.

  • Stuart David

    Interesting. I can’t imagine that some of those people “should”  ever get out but while they are there I don’t think they should be forced to endure the demeaning behaviour that resulted, for example, when Mr. Price gave an honest answer to a question. He went on to explain the source of his feelings toward that issue and was interupted rudely by the clinician who had apparently forgotten that she had asked a question. That whole episode came full circle when “he” apologized later for an incident that was her fault. The goal there was to simply dominate the man right or wrong.     

    Hard to believe too that the film maker “believed” the guy who said he wasn’t turned on by the boys in tights. That photograph was totally provocative.

  • Guest

    Pedophilia is in no way close to homosexuality. Homosexuality is not chosen, but it is between two consenting, mature adults and doesn’t hurt anybody. Pedophiles prey on children, who are not mature enough to consent to anything sexual and are thus victims of their offenders’ “sexual orientation”. To liken homosexuality to pedophilia is sickeningly false and only shows ignorance. 

  • Maria

    It’s quite sad that they have better living conditions and medical care than so many innocent people who lost their jobs and homes and now live in tents all across the USA.

  • Neilkilleen

    Just a taught !!prison population is 30/40 %  white male, but 99% there ????

  • guest

    Its such a wrong thing to keep some there for life, as terrible as their crimes were, if every body who had murdered someone went to a a clinic for life after completing their sentence time their would be uproar. If it was a voluntary treatment center then they would benefit a lot more. whats the point in having a justice system and a prision sentence if after you complete it you are given an indefinite life sentence. 

  • guest

    Its such a wrong thing to keep some there for life, as terrible as their crimes were, if every body who had murdered someone went to a a clinic for life after completing their sentence time their would be uproar. If it was a voluntary treatment center then they would benefit a lot more. whats the point in having a justice system and a prision sentence if after you complete it you are given an indefinite life sentence. 

    • Anonymous

      Um. They have cell phones, a mall, flat screen t.v.’s, concerts. Yeah. They sure do have it rough.

  • Eltolley

    I lost interest after about six minutes.

  • Deals34

    what sick freaks

  • Anonymous

    I would just like to mention, that Coalinga State Hospital is named that because its in the town of Coalinga. Living in the town my whole life, I’m glad to finally know what was like behind there. After passing by all the time, and knowing people who work there and hearing all the stories of what goes on there is horrific. He really sugar-coated it. There are men that like to taunt and get aggressive. Its sad really. I’m also glad to know that they actually have to find a place to relocate them. I always thought they just pushed them out the door. And since the town of Coalinga is in the middle of no where, they would be sent into town, which is pretty scary having to be a child who walks around daily.

  • Mintzworks

    This doc left me with a couple of questions and curiousities:

    I wonder if there’s a sort of class system in this hospital – like does the date rapist hate the child molesters? Do similar offense-types hang out together for protection? Is there any violence in the hospital? Are there any homosexual relationships (either consensual or forced, like in a prison setting)?

    If anyone knows for sure, please reply.

    • Melissa Wells

      I HIGHLY doubt a date rapist would be civilly committed. These are repeat sexual violent offenders. They love to minimize their crimes and are master manipulators.

  • shesmelting

    I love how at 13:22 she feels the need to reassure the interviewer that the penile monitor is unused and clean.  LOL.

  • JE92

    They should stop sugar-coating the fact that they are INMATES. They also should stop treating these derelicts like they are anywhere intelligent, since they can’t answer a damn question straight.  In the old days, didn’t they actually castrate men like these? Some used to beg for it, since they KNEW if released into society, that they would do it again.

  • John Mulvihill

    Calling Nurse Rachid.

  • Maureen Umnus

    I really enjoyed this video and I highly recommend this to anyone of all ages. It was very interesting and I think you should make another. Great Job!!!

  • jess

    A lot of people don’t “wake up and choose”..who they are. A lot of people are horrible, murderous and evil. A lot of people don’t deserve a second chance or acceptance of any kind.

  • tasha

    OMG they are so freaking sick!!

  • http://documentaryheaven.com john j

    i am a survivor of one of these beasts and i can tell you this, that teacher with the picture, and the guy who got castrated, are absolute geniuses at manipulation,extremely intelligent, and will never stop doing what they do and you can see the effect of treatment only in the way they have conned the poor professionals they are way out of their league,i have spent an entire life accepting the fact i was molested and all the problems that go along with it.nothing will ever change that,the depression ,drug addiction,low self esteem,etc.for years i blamed myself and to know this doesnt give me a pass on my behaviors,but it make me responsible for how i react to life before i learned this i wasnt.these guys can never live among us good place for them.

  • Jackie

    How about taking all the taxpayers dollars that are funding this facility and spending it on the victims’ counselling. Their lives were destroyed by these monsters, and the majority will face depression, drug abuse, mood disorders and possibly suicide. And yes, Mr. Group Facilitator, they DID make a choice to abuse children. We aren’t talking about cancer here, we are talking about someone molesting a child.

    • Melissa Wells

      I am a survivor and can pay for my own therapy. Use the money to keep these animals locked up.

  • Matt Starkes

    Most definitely a difficult watch….

  • Tanya

    It’s a shame he didn’t touch on the differences in brain activity in these peadophiles. Neurologists have found that different areas of their brain interact. It’s the same as a psychopath’s brain. I don’t think they can be cured unless they have no desire for sex at all. I think most of those ppl don’t enter the programme because they know they can’t be cured. The others are just hopeful that they can be cured or could possibly fool ppl into getting out. Or as the one man said, get castrated to have no sexual desire at all. Jaycee Lee Dugard was a victim for 20 years, in captivity, of released peadophile.

    It’s a shame but they are victims of biology. They didn’t choose it. Which implies they will always be dangerous and unfortunately, should be kept away from the public.

    • Melissa Wells

      It is so untrue they can’t help offending. Much like people with Antisocial Personality Disorder (Psychopaths) can chose to be violent or not.

  • Temy

    The disturbing thing is that people can be locked up for life because they might do something in the future which societ doesn’t like.

  • Mike

    They served their time, release them. Either that or sentence them to life without parole. You can’t throw out a person’s constitutional rights because you find them ‘icky’.

  • K Masyk

    For those of you who tried to point out a majority of gay men in this facility-wake up and get your head out of your homophobic ass-there were many straight, gay and bisexual men in this documentary, and it is well known that being does not equal peadophile. That is like pointing to the millions of men who have molested young girls and claiming their acts as a result of being heterosexual.

    As a side-note. Although I enjoy the subjects Louis is willing to present. I find him to usually be a horrible interviewer and journalist. He never really seems to ask relevant questions and often stares blankly like an idiot at his guests and the audience.

    And why is Mr.Price being interrogated by him and the psychologist at 32:00?
    She keeps on budding in and uttering classical statements of annoyance. Then he says she’s not his doctor and doesn’t want to talk with her, so she stands there and says she doesn’t know what’s going on..bitch..

  • Theunseenelephant

    I don’t believe that paedophila, adhorent though it is in modern western society, is so abnormal or unusal. their is a long history of incest to prove this point.
    I would like to see a broad survey done to see what percentage of men when exposed to relatively mild pornography involving a minor and an adult become aroused.
    I believe maybe there is a rather large elephant in the room that we like to pretend is just not in our room.

    • Melissa Wells

      ok sex offender…you are a disgusting pig

  • amjens

    @theunseenelephant, you make a good point and I’ll admit it made me think. However, a few things about your argument don’t work for me. Just because something isn’t “abnormal or unusual” doesn’t mean it’s morally justifiable. Humankind has a long, long history of murder and rape and it’s not seen as an elephant in the room, it’s seen as a punishable crime. The same can be said for pedophilia. As for exposing men to “mild pornography involving a minor and adult”, I assume you mean the kind of test they talk about in this documentary and not actual child pornography, since that would be illegal and unethical. But assuming we did a broad study on how many males were aroused by suggestive scenarios involving children, I don’t think it would change the way the crime is seen. Who hasn’t gotten angry for a split second thought about punching someone, or worse? The difference is that you don’t do it. You remove yourself from the situation. As disturbing as the thought of child molestation is, thinking about something is not the same as doing it. As long as you don’t do the crime, you are not a criminal.

    As for this documentary itself, it sheds a lot of light on the question of morality, which is essentially, “What does the most good for the greatest number of people?” It’s not an easy question to answer in this case. As much as I want these people away from innocent children, I struggle with the fact that many have been put in this facility indefinitely for what is a criminal act. Of course, if any of these men were to show no remorse or fail to understand that what they did was wrong, they should be absolutely kept away from the public. However, others who admit their mistake and understand how their lack of self-control damaged others need to be released after doing their time.

  • Taylor

    Paedophilia is the most horrific act in the world. Paedophiles are the worst form of terrorists that ever existed. This crime should be awarded the maximum punishment, most preferably a death penalty. Once these monsters are caught they need to be presumed guilty unless beyond doubt proven innocent. There are no two ways about it.

    I am disturbed by the comfort factor of the facility. They donot deserve any form of comfort. I am quite struck by how articulately manipulative they all are. It’s a pattern in each and every one of them. Yes I agree with most of you here that the facility is really eating a lot out of the tax payers’ dollars. It’s not right. They need to be punished and eradicated permanently. Hang them. Lethal injection. Lots of choices. For the better good of all, sacrifices need to be made.The government needs to realize that pedophilia cannot be cured. Period. This disorder cannot be tolerated. And any disagreement would probably come from closeted paedophiles themselves and those who gain keeping them in such facilities. Line them up for execution. I cannot think of anything else.

    The world needs to wake up and eradicate this pandemic. End of Story.

  • Georgia Matsell

    Anorexics can not eat because of their illness, people like me with depression can be sad but those two behaviours affect themselves whereas padeophillia affects two people and causes harm to young children. It needs to be treated but in some ways it is digusting.

  • David

    This is one of the most disturbing things i’ve ever seen.

  • julie

    What I find disgusting is this random ass dude in the beginning who is supposedly “helping” these perverts. He says “nobody chooses to be a pedophile or a rapist.” Excuse me? So these men were forced to rape and molest young children? sure. These men should be told what they really are. Scum, pathetic, and worthless. They should be told the after effects of child molestation on the child. the lifelong scars, the therapy, everything. and they should know and realize that THEY DID IT. they CHOSE TO DO IT. They CHOSE to act on their wrong feelings. they. chose. to. act.

    • Max

      i couldn’t agree with you more on that

  • Max

    the fact that the facilitator claimed that ‘nobody chooses to be a rapist’ makes me extremely uneasy. raping someone is an active choice; molesting a child is an active fucking choice, and it sickens me that someone who doesn’t view sexually violating children as a choice is involved in working in a hospital full of pedophiles.

    • James

      I fully agree max, just because I like women doesn’t mean I can go out and do what I want. We are civil human beings.

  • James

    There is never no excuse for sexual abuse, or any sexual acts on minors it is completely unethical, it is discusting. However I think that the stereotypical pedeophile has a unfortunate sexual orientation towards minors and I seriously think that the scientific community should be doing some serious research into the reason why some people have this orientation and investigating into ways to treat this.
    No one asks to be a pedophile no, I in some respects feel sorry for those who don’t commit any crimes and have to hide in a world of guilt and in some respects sexual fraustration and may never have a long term partner or a family.

    • James

      (added to above) by don’t commit crimes I am really trying to say “law abiding citizens”

    • Melissa Wells

      you sound like a member of NAMBLA

  • phu

    drone strike this facility

  • Corey

    I would like to state before i get into this comment that i am NOT defending or excusing the actions of these men what they did was extremely long and they should be punished, BUT for the comments made early about executing everyone one of these men without question is absolutely ridiculous. These men did not choose to be pedophiles, you do not choose your sexual orientation it is really just a roll of the dice. So to those demanding the death of all of these men put yourself in their shoes, what if you were stuck with a sexual orientation despised and reject by society and how do you know you would have self control to never act on those urges? So before you are so eager to condemn try to look at things from a broader perspective without being so reactive.

    • Melissa Wells

      Are you insane? It is not a sexual orientation!

    • Morten Andreassen

      I agree. My ex-wifes friend is one of the few people in Norway who has worked with pedophiles. Her experience was that 99,9% of pedophiles know full well that if their desires were to be acted out it would damage another individual, so they don’t actually act out their fantasies, and instead take the risk of being judged and despised by non-specialist health personell, in sheer bloody anguish over their own nature.

  • Brandon

    It’s amazing how objectively these “inmates” or “patients”, for lack of a better word, talk about the crimes they committed. It’s like they weren’t the ones who had done it. What makes me even more uneasy, however, is the lack of remorse each one of them express. Do they not realize the extent of how their selfish sexual behaviors will affect their victims for the REST OF THEIR LIVES? It’s fucking pathetic. Not to knock the documentary, because it is quite informative, but it makes these pedophiles (or “ex-pedophiles”) seem like the victims. Just to remind everyone, these guys did have a choice when they decided to rape small, vulnerable children. The victims did not have the luxury of choice.