Seven ordinary citizens are pretending to be convicts in a harrowing, new documentary series from A&E called "60 Days In."
The volunteers signed up to serve two months at the Clark Couny Jail in Jeffersonville, Indiana, to show what it's like to be incarcerated there.
The facility has a history of problems including overcrowding, sexual relationships between guards and inmates, and drug smuggling, authorities said.
“After recently taking office, it was no secret that the Clark County Jail had problems and we needed to take quick control," Noel said in a statement from the cable network.
"These brave volunteers helped us identify critical issues within our system that undercover officers would not have been able to find," Noel said in the release.
Hundreds of hidden cameras filmed around the clock, the network said. Few people knew of the project. Guards and inmates were in the dark.
There are gritty, bloody scenes of fights, drug use and confrontations between real inmates and the posing volunteers.
At one point, a weeping female volunteer says she has had enough.
The civilians, who have never been charged with a crime, include a police officer, a social worker and a military wife.
Their reasons varied for volunteering, but they shared the goal of "leaving with a better understanding of the system — how it operates, its psychological effects, and wanting a part in exposing its larger impact on society," the network said in a press release.
The weekly series debuts on March 10.