Could You Do 60 Days In?
When we think of reality television, adjectives like, award-winning and ground-breaking, usually don’t come to mind first. We think of entitled housewives willing to do anything to stay relevant. We think of people vying for grand prizes, often disrupting their lives to participate. The last time I personally used these words to describe an “unscripted” television show was Intervention. So what is 60 Days In?
Here’s the premise: The Sheriff would like to uncover crime and corruption in the Clark County, Indiana, jail system. But how do you find it when you can’t trust anyone? Send in seven innocent volunteers to find the breaks in the system, that’s how. Each cast member has their own motives for participating in this experiment, and six of the seven are relatable. There’s a social worker, teacher, military wife, and a marine, to list a few, and it’s up to them to prove their innocence and get out or stay in for the entire sixty days.
This is reminiscent of the Rosenhan experiment. For those of you who took sociology 101, remember this infamous experiment to determine the validity of a psychiatric diagnosis? Three women and five men were admitted to mental facilities across the nation under the guise of “auditory hallucinations.” After admission, the participants were told to say they no longer experienced the anomaly and wanted to leave. The average stay was 19 days, the longest nearly a year, and all but one were diagnosed with schizophrenia “in remission” before their release. The result: The “scientific” tests couldn’t determine the sane from the insane.
On this show, the participants aren’t just tossed into the system. They receive training on the politics of jail and how to assimilate. Only three officers in the department know about this experiment, and it’s a definite career ender if anyone gets hurt, but if they succeed, these guys are heroes. Our jail system is broken and I admire the creative thinking by these sheriffs who are trying to find out who’s bringing in the drugs and which cops are on the take. Snitches get stitches so it’s up to these volunteers to get in and get out with the information. It’s safe to say we would have heard by now if anyone was killed while filming this.
Which brings me to Robert. Of the four men and three women participating, he is doing this for the wrong reasons and will be the first to get a jumped, in my opinion. He needs to cut the sarcasm and stop telling inmates they are better than child molesters. Gee thanks, man. He’s a K-4 teacher who wants to share the perils of choosing the wrong path with his students. I cringe for the little Kindergartners who will be subjected to his stories. Robert probably has a relatively high IQ, but he lacks street smarts and it shows up during training. His question to the officer: What size is the flat screen? So tune in to see this guy and stay to see if the officers accomplish their mission.
So, could you do 60 Days In? Here’s my answer – hell no. But I’m so glad others chose to participate and help make a difference. This is important. This is a call to action. This is the stuff Emmy’s are made of. And whatever the participants were paid, I’m sure wasn’t enough, but I hope they feel fulfilled by what drew them to this experiment in the first place.