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7 civilians go undercover in corrupt jail for new A&E series

The criminal justice system has been a hot issue recently, from President Obama focusing on prison reform to the Netflix series Making a Murderer capturing national attention. Now, A&E is tackling the topic with a new docuseries. The network announced Wednesday that 60 Days In will premiere in March and follow seven ordinary civilians as they go undercover as prisoners at the Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

The group of everyday people agreed to spend time in the big house in what A&E calls “an effort to expose internal issues and what really happens behind bars.” The seven innocent prisoners had their own fascinating personal motivations to participate, too, though; a man named Isaiah, for example, wants to understand what his incarcerated brother is going through, and a woman named Barbra believes that jail isn’t tough enough and wants to experience it herself. While the group is law enforcement-heavy, including an aspiring DEA agent, a police officer, and a security guard who wants to work in corrections, it also contains a social worker and a teacher.

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The stars of the show will be shown serving time at a facility with a history of corruption, which is actually what inspired Sheriff Jamey Noel to create the program. A&E was allowed to capture footage with around-the-clock cameras, and none of the Clark County Jail officers, inmates, or staff were aware of the fact that these undercover prisoners were in their midst. The series is bound to be fascinating, albeit dangerous.

“After recently taking office, it was no secret that the Clark County Jail had problems and we needed to take quick control,” said Sheriff Noel in a press release. “The only way to truly understand what was going on in the jail was to implement innocent participants into the system to provide first-hand unbiased intelligence. These brave volunteers helped us identify critical issues within our system that undercover officers would not have been able to find.”

A&E tweeted a teaser for the series Wednesday, highlighting the danger of the experiment.

60 Days In will premiere with two of its 12 episodes airing back-to-back on March 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Starting March 17, episodes will air weekly at 10 p.m. ET/PT.