Madea Goes to Jail is a 2009 comedy drama film. It is the third movie in the Madea series.
After a high-speed freeway police chase (seen in Meet the Browns) results in Mabel "Madea" Simmons' arrest.However, she is released, due to the fact that the arresting officers forgot to read her Miranda Rights. Instead, she is placed in an anger management course, has her driver's license suspended indefinitely(although it was already suspended). Returning home from court, Madea finds a party taking place in her house hosted by her brother, Joe Simmons, who is trying to cheer up Madea. However, Madea is not amused by the festivities, and uses a machine gun to scare the party goers away.
Madea consults with Dr. Phil McGraw for anger management, but does not cooperate with McGraw. Returning home, Madea, needing to buy groceries, calls Cora to drive her to the store after she was sitting in her beauty salon for too long, but Cora declines, angering Madea. Joe predicts that Madea will get into trouble if she goes to the store, but Madea ignores him and goes anyway, driving in her car. At Kmart, Madea commandeers a forklift truck to remove another car out of a parking space that a rude woman(who was also the wife of a police officer) had stolen from Madea wants, and flips the car over, destroying it. Madea is arrested and brought to court again, where Judge Greg Mathis sentences her to prison for five to ten years.
Meanwhile, assistant district attorney Joshua Hardaway is on the fast track to career success, but is given personal to handle: prosecuting a young prostitute and drug addict, Candace "Candy" Washington, with whom he is already acquainted. Josh asks his fiancée and fellow ADA Linda Davis to fill in on his behalf, but when Josh takes Candy out to eat and gives her his business card in order for him to contact him for future assistance, Linda fears Josh may be cheating on her. Linda threatens to leave Josh, telling him that he should only socialize with a higher class of people.
Just before Madea's trial, Ellen asks Josh how he knows Candace. He tells Ellen that they were close friends from childhood through college, until one night when he took her to a party. He ended up going on a date and leaving Candace behind at the party, where a group of his friends gang raped her in his absence, for which Josh continues to harbor deep-seated guilt. After Josh asks Ellen to help Candace, Ellen gets her a job interview, but it results in sexual harassment by the interviewer, who Candace kicks in the groin before storming out.
At the district attorney's office, Josh's best friend, Chuck, runs into Linda, who he discovers is falsifying Candace's file to deliberately get her sent to prison and away from Josh, a practice in which she has been engaged with other defendants as well, including Madea and Candace's friend Donna. Linda tells him to keep his mouth shut or she'll tell the head A.D.A. that Chuck cheated on his bar exam to get his job. Candace returns to prostitution, until she is arrested by an undercover policeman.
When Candace ends up in prison, she discovers that Donna and Madea are there as well. Madea is shocked when she meets her cellmate, a serial killer named T.T., who is serving time for murdering 18 men.
While in prison, Madea befriends Candace, and comes to her defense when she is sexually harassed by Big Sal. Candace, Madea, T.T., and Donna attend a class taught by Ellen at the prison, in order to have time reduced from their sentences. During a lesson about forgiveness, Madea notices that some of the inmates would rather play victim instead of taking the blame for their crimes. She tells the class they need to stop seeing themselves as victims and forgive those who lead them on the paths they were on, as they weren't the ones who ended up in jail. Candace is moved by her words, and during a visit with Josh, Candace admits that back when she was raped at the party he took her to, she called his name repeatedly as the attack happened, but he never came for her. Candace held on to that anger for so long, she forgot how to move on. But with everything she learned from Ellen and Madea, Candace finally decides to forgive Josh and pick up the pieces of her life.
On Josh's wedding day, Chuck, serving as best man, tells him that Linda falsified Candace's file to get her sent to prison and away from him, despite Linda's threat
. During the wedding ceremony, Josh tells the entire congregation, including his and Linda’s boss, what Linda had done, and jilts her at the altar. Josh then rushes to the prison where he admits to Candace that he loves her and the two kiss. Because of the now-revealed news of Linda's tampering with client files, there is a public outcry and a protest movement gains momentum to set Madea, Candace, and the others free. Candace, Madea, Donna and four other women that Linda prosecuted have their convictions overturned and are released while Linda will be forced go to prison for her crimes.