New reality series 60 Days In premieres on Crime + Investigation Network

Barbra, a innocent volunteer sent to Indiana's Clark County Jail, speaks to Imagine TV Network about her experience being part of the novel reality series, 60 Days In.

Imagine TV Network

Seven volunteers are sent to live among the general population of Indiana's Clark County Jail for 60 days without officers, staff and fellow inmates having the knowledge that these innocent civilians were not incarcerated. To create a sense of authenticity, participants were given an identity and a cover story was prepared for them.

Image credit: Crime + Investigation Network

Barbra, a military wife and a mother of two young children, is one of the seven participants and says the footage for the program was filmed almost entirely from surveillance cameras within the country jail.

Secrecy was of utmost importance to the integrity of the reality show. "No one knew what the program was even about, because there was even a cover story for the show itself," she says.

  1. Inmates and guards were told that the producers were filming a series about the experience of first-time prisoners, leaving out the detail that the seven volunteers were not real prisoners.

The seven participants were given training by both Sheriff Jamey Noel and Captain and Public Information Officer Scottie Maples to prepare them for the transition to prison life.

The facility has a history of problems including overcrowding, drug smuggling, creating counterfeit weapons and even sexual relationships between guards and inmates. Although the sheriff had considered bringing in undercover police officers into the facility to provide intelligence, he could not get anyone to commit to stay beyond two to three days.

Keeping her cover story straight was also important for her own security. She explains, "If I failed at holding my cover, it would have been a huge security risk for both myself and the other participants."

To keep participants safe and to signal to the producers that they wanted to be removed from a potentially dangerous situation, they could utter the phrase, '‘I really miss the coffee,’ or place a towel on their head.

Before her experience in jail, Barbra held the view that the inmates should have mandatory jobs so that they are pulling their weight to earn the benefits they are receiving. She was of the opinion that while the homeless population are struggling to survive, the inmates were spending taxpayer's money and had it easy behind bars.

Her perspective has since taken a 180-degree change. She acknowledges the mental, emotional and physical turmoil of being incarcerated and remarks, "I hope that the audience learns not to judge a book by its cover and to see the deeper side of what's behind bars."

For her, it is not enough that the audience change their views. "I hope that this opens the eyes of law enforcement officers to help them understand why there are repeat criminals."

60 Days In premieres on Crime + Investigation Network (StarHub TV Channel 403) tonight at 9pm(SIN/HK).



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment