Spotlight on: Sheriff Jamey Noel

Sheriff+Jamey+Noel+produces+the+show+%2260+Days+In%2C%22+following+seven+innocent+individuals+looking+to+expose+the+realities+of+Clark+County+Jail.++The+participants+of+the+show+were+hand-picked+by+Noel.

Photo courtesy of wetpaint.com

Sheriff Jamey Noel produces the show "60 Days In," following seven innocent individuals looking to expose the realities of Clark County Jail. The participants of the show were hand-picked by Noel.

Patrick Toulme, Staff Writer

Background:

Jamey Noel is a sheriff at the Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Ind.  Currently, he is part of the show “60 Days In,” airing Thursdays on channel A&E, in which seven individuals pose as criminals to unearth the corruption in the jail.  The show has been renewed for a second season and critics have praised it for its unique concept based firmly in reality.  tjTODAY spoke to Noel about his experience on the show and jail life, as well as remedial actions he has taken to improve jail conditions.

How did the idea for the show “60 Days In” come about?

It was my idea while brainstorming how to improve the conditions at the Clark County Jail.

It was obvious from watching the show that some of the undercover participants did a better job integrating into jail life than others. Do you think there is a specific personality type that is able to cope with jail better than others?  Why do some people adapt to jail better than others?

I think that Zac did the best at following my instructions to be a good witness and blend in versus getting caught up in the “pod drama”.  I think some people adapt to jail better because it’s the environment they are used to (repeat offenders) or, like Zac, they do their time and stay away from the problem areas and inmates.

With so much idle time for inmates, would it be helpful in controlling their behavior to have the inmates perform useful tasks to give more structure to their day?

We have increased the programs offered in the Clark County Jail such as: General Education Development (GED), Freedom 101, faith-based programs, and Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.

Have you ever thought about placing a guard behind protective glass as a deterrent to the fights and attacks that go on in the jail?

The corrections officers’ pod office is just outside the pod section doors and, with the new cameras that were donated by the production company, we can better monitor the inmates in each pod section.

I saw an article detailing that several officers were caught being involved in the drug trade in the jail. Is this common and what mechanisms are put in to control this situation? Any chance these officers could end up in your jail?

I have terminated five corrections officers and six have resigned during the course of the 60 Days In Program and immediately afterwards. I will not tolerate illegal or improper behavior of correction officers.

If you could do anything to make correction facilities better, what would you do?

[I would help facilitate] remedial training for corrections officers to check food trays for contraband.