60 Days In: It Doesn’t Get More Real Behind Bars

60 days in

Volunteer to Go to Prison?

One of my worst nightmares is going to prison, where God only knows what could happen to me. Granted, I believe if it ever came to that, I would be nothing like Jeff in A&E’s series “60 Days In.”

Jeff, a security guard who has a long history of being bullied, is as good as meat behind bars. The entire series, he’s been taken advantage of by the other inmates. And during last week’s episode, we see crazy Ricky attack Jeff because the TV has told him that Jeff is a pedophile.

Yes, the TV.

Another day in the life of being locked in a cage.

After being smacked around, Jeff told the producers he wanted to go home and, after ratting our Ricky to the guards, he was whisked off to solitary for the night before being let out the next morning.

Then, this week’s preview brought us back to Robert’s storyline. He essentially feigned (we think) his own insanity to be removed from general population and be rewarded with a month in solitary. But now he’s headed back to the gang, and promptly complains of some ailment.

I couldn’t make this stuff up. Those are just two of the plots twists to this new series that takes an innovative approach to the reality for tens of thousands of the incarcerated across this nation.

If you haven’t watched it, the premise is that the Sheriff and captain of the prison in Clark County, Indiana work with the producers to implement a clandestine program that introduces civilian moles into the system so they can spy on the inmates and report any drug use, other criminal behavior or to simply make recommendations on how to improve operations.

It’s interesting to watch the transformation of the “contestants,” if you will, as they learn prison culture and essentially do what they must to survive. In fact, keeping their stories straight is a matter of life and death.

As part of the ruse, the producers install hidden cameras in each of the “pods” to record day and night, and they periodically interview all of the prisoners under the auspices of filming one of those many documentaries on TV today that show us the inner workings of prison.

“60 Days In” definitely stands out in today’s reality noise and through its use of previews each Monday of that week’s full episode that airs on Thursday. The trailer lasts an astounding 10 minutes, which is truly remarkable. But it makes sense and certainly helps to create a buzz via social media.

If true crime intrigues you and you always find yourself watching court and prison shows, definitely give “60 Days In” a shot.

About Ryan Gray

An award-winning, professionally and academically trained journalist. I'm a reporter and editor of news, business, sports, and entertainment and manager of the entire production process for print, online and multimedia/interactive for my company. I drive our brands and those of our clients via storytelling and audience engagement. I also direct curriculum development for related conferences and provide quality assurance on all projects and facilitate teamwork throughout the company and convert traffic and readership into dollars. In my spare time I enjoy music, playing with my daughter, blogging and consuming great TV shows and films. Specialties: News/feature reporting, editorial direction, editorial production management, video direction, multimedia, blogging, content marketing strategy, social media, editing/proofreading, page layout, HTML, public relations, photography/videography

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