clap someone in jail
clap (one) in jail
To put one in jail, often abruptly. You can't just clap someone in jail! What are the charges here?
clap someone in jail (or irons)put someone in prison (or in chains).
The meaning of clap in these idioms is somewhat removed from the original one of ‘make a sudden explosive sound’. Over time the word developed the additional sense of ‘make a sudden action’, without necessarily implying any sound.