SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Life behind bars at the Sacramento County jail is about to be exposed in a gritty Netflix documentary “Jailbirds”. The Southern California production company 44 productions was given exclusive access to the inmates and the jail and will expose life behind bars to the public.
The documentary has the full support of the Sacramento Sheriffs department who were approached with the idea for the show last year.
“You’re pulling back the curtain so to speak, “said Sheriff’s spokesperson Sgt. Tess Deterding. “So I think there may be some viewers that may be disturbed about what life looks like in custody, but from our perspective, some members have viewed all the episodes that will air and they were kind of happy about what the outcome was.”
In most cases, it won’t be pretty. The show will explore relationships in jail, contraband, and even brawls. Part of the deal was the inmates weren’t paid and the sheriffs’ department received no money as well.
With 2,400 male and female inmates, Marley Brown who was visiting the jail, says her currently incarcerated friend was excited to be featured on the show.
“It’s cool,” said Brown. “Cause I watch those shows all the time and I wonder why they don’t do our city. The other day she called me and we talked about it and she said ‘I’m on TV. I’m on Netflix. I don’t remember what day but you got to watch it.'”
Ten percent of the jail’s population is female. Those inmates are charged with various offenses including assault with a deadly weapon, home invasion, murder, and robbery.
The sheriff’s department is happy Sacramento was chosen for the show.
“I’m not exactly sure what there reasoning was for picking Sacramento but from our perspective, it was a cool opportunity to showcase a lot of our programs we have going on,” said Deterding.
The idea was to showcase programs like rehabilitation, vocation, and education but Deterding says once production crews got inside, it quickly took another turn into a reality drama.
“We had little input in terms of where the story would lead them and what types of questions they would be asking and where that would lead,” said Deterding.
The production crew had a team of five and were fully supervised and escorted by a Sheriff’s deputy who was prepared to pull the crew out of harm’s way in case of an emergency.
Viewers will get to know the inmates and learn how they try to make the best of life behind bars. Some finding love despite jail regulations. Some interesting aspects of the show will detail how contraband is passed through toilets and how people even communicate through toilets.
Brown says she can’t wait to watch.
“I’m gonna watch it when it comes on there because it’s a lot of people I saw a lot of faces on there,” Brown said.
“Jailbirds” airs May 10th only on Netflix and will be guaranteed to have a large Sacramento area audience.