False imprisonment is a serious type of crime which can be conducted by both government and private individuals and institutions. It refers to situations where an individual or group of individuals have been deprived of their freedom without their consent, and without a legitimate reason for doing so. False imprisonment can occur in different types of situations and is not only limited to people who have been incarcerated in government-sanctioned prisons - it can also refer to a more broad range of situations.
For example, when a robbery is taking place and the robbers take citizens as hostages, this is considered false imprisonment - it fits all the characteristics of the felony and is prosecuted as such. On the other hand, being sent to jail on the basis of a wrong sentence also falls in this category, though prosecution proceeds slightly differently in such cases, as the guilt is sought in the higher rings of administration.
There have been cases where even legitimate businesses and organizations have conducted false imprisonment, mostly related to cases where a customer has been reluctant to pay their dues for a specific service and have been detained until it has been paid off - merchants do not have the right to do that by default, and thus such cases give the client an opportunity to raise press false imprisonment charges against the merchant. In most jurisdictions, the crime is treated very seriously, and can lead to prolonged periods of incarceration combined with severe fines.