How Deborah Norville’s Most Important Story Put Her Behind Bars

Norville spent a week in one of America's toughest jails in 2000.

To mark Inside Edition's 30 years on the air, Deborah Norville has recalled her most memorable assignment for the show.

For the longest-serving host of Inside Edition, it may seem impossible to pick just one, but the seasoned anchor says spending a week in jail was her most important story. 

In 2000, she was sentenced for a week in the Davidson County Jail — regarded as America’s toughest — in Lexington, N.C.

She said that what she discovered from that week in jail was that “not a darn thing was being done to prevent” the incarceration rate from increasing. 

“There was nothing happening while these women were behind bars that was going to help them make better decisions going forward," she said. "Many of them will never be adjudicated and found guilty. They'll be there for a period of time, the charges will get thrown out, and they'll never get processed through the system.

"But what they really needed were job training skills. What they really needed was help getting off drugs. What they really needed were decision-making classes that would enable them to not choose the wrong path repeatedly, which is what had gotten them there in the first place. Nothing was being done to keep this from happening over again.” 

Norville added that spending a week in the jail was “physically harder than I thought, but emotionally more fulfilling than I ever expected."