Before you get stuck into the new docu-series The Jail: 60 Days In— which makes for essential and utterly addictive viewing, by the way—here’s some background information on the jail and the reasons behind its undercover experiment: your basic need to know.
What is the Clark County Jail?
Clark County Jail is a correctional facility in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It houses around 500 inmates currently, with both men and women inside. The prison is divided into different sections, or ‘pods’ as they are otherwise known. The participants in the experiment are going into C Pod, which is known for its drug problems; D Pod, which is the most violent section of the prison; and F Pod, its female unit. What kind of crimes have its inmates been charged with?Basically, commit anything from a misdemeanour to murder and you can find yourself in the Clark County Jail, which means it ‘s home to some pretty dangerous criminals.
Why is it holding the 60 Days In experiment?
The jail is known for its corruption. Drug dealing is rampant and even the prison officers have been accused of crimes after inmates were found with mobile phones. Things have improved since the current sheriff, Jamey Noel, took over, but he understands that there’s still plenty to be done, which is why he created this experiment. Since the sheriff knows that the inmates won’t snitch on each other and he can’t count on officers to report other officers, he’s bringing in a group of civilians.
How corrupt is it?
The current sheriff has the job because his predecessor, former Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden, was arrested for hiring a prostitute and lying to federal investigators about it. He’s not actually in prison himself—having agreed to a plea deal— but he is facing two years probation and some hefty fines, which is a lot better than the 25 years inside he could have been sentenced to. As well as that, a former corrections officer Dalton Warfield was also arrested and charged with having sex with an inmate. Warfield pled guilty and was charged with a year of home incarceration and three years probation. The sheriff has also said it’s easier to get drugs inside and more cheaply than it is outside and that people have even been getting arrested deliberately, just so they could score. All of which gives you an idea about the level of corruption within the jail.
Is it really that dangerous inside the Jail?
D Pod is generally said to be the worst, but life inside is never going to be easy, no matter which pod you’re in. You’re facing convicted murderers and gangs in an environment when you only have to look someone in the eye to cause some serious trouble. Fights are common and violence is a fact of everyday life. So yes, it is. Life isn’t going to be easy for the people participating in 60 Days In.