Clark Co. Jail used as filming site for new TV docu-series - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clark Co. Jail used as filming site for new TV docu-series

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Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In
Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In
Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In Courtesy: A&E - 60 Days In
Sheriff Jamey Noel Sheriff Jamey Noel

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- It's a raw look inside the Clark County Jail, including drugs, fights and illegal activity -- and it's all about to air on national television.

The A&E Network just wrapped up production of a new docu-series called "60 Days In."

"What the hell did I get myself into," one participant says in a promo for the new series. 

It's a never-before-seen experience inside the Clark County Jail – at least to the general public.

Sheriff Jamey Noel took over the department last year. He says he was already trying to clean up illegal activity inside the jail when A&E contacted him about exposing life behind bars.

Crews started filming in late September and are currently wrapping up production.

"I don't really consider it a reality show,” said Sheriff Noel. “I consider it more -- this is really documenting someone's true experience and I think when people watch the show and they watch the program, they're gonna be pretty amazed."

Sheriff Noel says A&E sent him about 100 people to choose from for the show.

He picked seven of them, vetted them and trained them for what they were about to experience.

The participants came from all over the country and included an ex-marine, a security guard and a military wife. All of them had no criminal background.

A&E says the participants have never been charged with a crime or done any time.

All of them were willing to give up their freedom for a real look at life behind bars.

"One girl won't acknowledge me. She don't like black people," a woman says in the promo.

Inmates and officers knew that a TV show was being filmed about first-time inmates. But Noel says what they didn’t know was those seven people were basically undercover.

We showed the promo video to Clark County defense attorney Amber Shaw.

"I guess our clients are telling us the truth,” said Shaw. “A lot of the times when, you know, people don't believe them because they figure you're an inmate and you're lying just to get out of trouble or, you know, snitching -- that kind of thing. So it's interesting to see that a lot of what they tell you actually is going on."

Sheriff Noel says they did not uncover any criminal activity involving staff, but issues did come up they'll address.

"We've learned a lot from the staffing level, procedural stuff that we can do where we're short-handed staff-wise,” said Sheriff Noel. “If we had a body scanner we could stop every bit of drugs, hopefully, by being able to check things that are in body cavities, etcetera, so we've learned a lot."

Sheriff Noel says no tax dollars were spent on the fake inmates and the production company paid for everything. He also says some of the cameras installed for the show are staying behind for the department to use.

Noel says neither the department, nor anyone on staff was paid for their involvement.

"60 Days In" is set to air in March.

The contract between the show producers and the sheriff's department calls for the producers to pay $500 per day for up to 120 days for photography in the jail. In addition, the production company will reimburse the department for personnel who assist with the "principal photography" of the show.

The contract also allows the sheriff's department to review show episodes and suggest changes before they are sent to the network for air. WDRB News obtained the contract through an Indiana open records request.

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