Sheriff already making changes to jail prompted by new docuseries

Sheriff already making changes to jail prompted by new docuseries
Published: Feb. 18, 2016 at 9:40 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2016 at 10:00 PM EST
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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) – In three weeks the new docuseries based at the Clark County Jail will premiere on the A&E Network.

The show is called "60 Days In" and the premise is seven innocent people volunteer to serve time in an effort to expose internal issues and show what really happens behind bars.

That's why Sheriff Jamey Noel agreed to do this. He has been very outspoken and open since taking office last year about wanting to turn the jail around. He says this show gave the jail a unique opportunity to uncover issues never seen before.

Since production has wrapped, Noel says he doesn't regret letting the cameras have free rein.

"We did a lot of work in the very beginning, but we've got a lot more to improve upon," he said.

Noel said it's now time to take what was uncovered and come up with a corrective action plan.

Some changes have already been made, like designating a daytime restroom for all inmates to use, so some won't be bullied into not having anywhere to go. Noel says this was a huge concern after watching it unfold on camera.

"It was something we never got any inmate complaints about, even ones that have been here for 20 to 30 years, so this was absolutely something that we didn't know was going on," Noel said.

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No tax dollars were spent for the show, but the jail did benefit. According to the contract between show producers and the sheriff, the facility received $500 per day of each shoot.

Probably the best perk was getting to keep the state of the art security cameras, a huge upgrade from the jail's old system.

"The camera system that was left behind and gifted to the sheriff's office as a result of this, you can literally read what someone is writing out on a piece of paper," Noel said. "(It's a) night and day difference."

Another takeaway, Noel says, is he was glad to see street drugs aren't running rampant in the jail like what they used to be. But that, in turn, is leading to a new problem.

"People are purposely getting arrested to bring the slang word 'mule' drugs into the jail because they can't get it in anymore through the inmates or through the staff," Noel said.

That is why a body scanner is now on Noel's wish list. Just another way, the sheriff will continue to stay on top on his jail, whether it plays out on the television or not.

The sheriff says they will use the money made to reinvest in equipment and training.

The 12-episode series premieres on March 10 on A&E.

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