Drugs, violence, and prostitution: It’s just another day at Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Participants on the A&E documentary series “60 Days In” experienced these shocking realities firsthand.
The show follows seven undercover inmates who spent two months in the jail to expose problems within the system.
The participants — who were booked under false charges and assumed false identities throughout their stays — lived among the jail’s 500-inmate population without corrections officers or other inmates discovering their secret.
At the end of their two months, the participants informed Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel of the inner workings of jail life, like how inmates were inventing drugs with household materials and where they were stashing homemade weapons. They also revealed the psychological toll the deplorable living conditions took on them.
A&E has already completed filming the show’s second season, which will premier in August. The final episode of season 1, a reunion special, airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET.
Here are some of the most shocking moments:
Drug use is rampant at Clark County Jail. Inmates often invented bizarre homemade drugs to catch a buzz, such as a 'crack stick,' made from an electronic cigarette filter.
To make a 'crack stick,' inmates crushed the e-cigarette filter and then wrapped it in coffee-soaked toilet paper and smoked it.
One participant learned that trustees -- inmates selected for jobs like food preparation and garbage collection -- were sneaking drugs into the women's pod on food trays.
In one case, an inmate beat another inmate for reneging on a deal to give away his hash browns. 'It's not really fighting over hash browns,' Zac, one of the show's participants, said on camera. 'It's fighting over a guy not keeping his word.'
Inmates know a fight is imminent when inmates start 'lacing up.' Most of the time, inmates wear jail-issued sandals, but when they want to fight, they put on sneakers. 'You can't fight in (the sandals) very well,' an inmate said in one episode. 'They come off easy, and they slip.'
At one point, an openly gay inmate prostituted himself in exchange for items from the jail's commissary. Jail staff transferred him out of the pod when they learned of the scheme.
In one episode, officers performed a raid to uncover a cell phone illegally obtained by one of the inmates. Cell phones can be used to coordinate attacks and drug deals with inmates in other parts of the jail.
During the raid, officers found a shank hidden in a light fixture. The handle was covered in string, presumably for an attacker to wrap around his hand to keep his grip.
First-time inmates are constantly tested by those higher on the social ladder. In an early episode, an inmate stole sandals from one of the participants, thrusting her into an uncomfortable confrontation.
Another participant, Jeff, was pressured into buying commissary items for one of the senior inmates. Word quickly spread that Jeff could be taken advantage of.
Just one hour a week was devoted to 'rec time,' when inmates could play games and socialise in a sunlit room.
But that's considerably better than the inmates in solitary confinement. One participant, Robert, spent 30 days in solitary as punishment for breaking a jail rule. He was isolated in a small cell for 23 hours a day.
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