Seven Innocent People Volunteer to Serve 60 Days in Prison to Show Real Life Behind Bars

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.

Read: Cops: Prison Teacher Gave 3 Inmates Maps, Helped Them Escape

Sheriff Jamey Noel said he had tried to bring in undercover officers to pose as prisoners, but hadn't been able to find anyone who would commit to more than one or two days, WTSP-TV reported.

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.

Read: Female Guard at Rikers Island Charged With Raping Male Inmate, Contraband Smuggling

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.

Watch: Teresa Giudice Says Prison Had Blood-Stained Mattresses, Maggots in Food

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