JEFFERSONVILLE — The second of seven participants to voluntarily enter the Clark County jail and stay undercover for 60 days left the show early after succumbing to severe illness.
Robert, a teacher, was pulled from A&E's "60 Days In" and taken to the emergency room after complaining of stomach cramps. In a previous episode, mall security guard Jeff also left the show after a fight with an inmate.
"This is the single most disappointing day of my entire life," Robert said. "I wanted to do this so bad.”
At the time, Robert was living in segregation and due to return to general population in a few days before he became ill. Because of the nature of the show, participants can't be taken to the hospital and brought back since they are given a fake last name. Clark County Sheriff's Office Capt. Scottie Maples said the department couldn't risk giving false information to medical staff.
"It’s a little suspicious that Robert got so sick right before he’s supposed to go back into general population," Maples said. "Honestly, I don’t know if Robert is faking his symptoms or not, but regardless we have to get him medical attention."
GETTING THEM INTEL
After a rough start in F-pod — where the females are housed — Tami, a police officer, has become friendlier with her fellow inmates. With the drama settled, she's become more focused on getting useful information for the sheriff.
That opportunity comes when "pod boss" Amber tells fellow inmates to watch for something coming in on one of the food trays. When the producers enter the pod to film, Tami notifies them the women are smuggling in contraband.
"Before I entered into this facility, I knew that there was a problem with contraband," Tami said. "During 'chow,' half the time the CO [corrections officer] doesn’t check the tray so maybe they put it underneath the tray or they’re actually mixing it in with the food and it gets sent up to the pod.
"As a law enforcement officer, it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve had to see. I have a lot to tell the sheriff when I get out of here."
Meanwhile, over in D-pod where the men are housed, recent high school graduate Isaiah discovers the inmates have been creating contraband of their own.
The men are seen smoking "crack sticks" — an e-cig filter rolled inside a type of coffee-soaked paper — which releases nicotine and gives them a small high.
If caught, the jail considers this a violation and can lead to up to 30 days in segregation.
FRIENDSHIPS IN JAIL
During the episode, Isaiah and Zac, a Marine, begin to form close friendships with two of the inmates they're living with.
Zac befriends a fellow Marine named Brian, who is in jail on drug charges. Zac feels camaraderie with him, especially after Brian splits his food when Zac misses the breakfast call.
By the end of the show, Zac says Brian is like a "blood brother" to him and hopes he can recover from his addiction.
“I’ve seen first hand how tough addiction can be through my wife and her struggle with addiction so I do understand that Brian’s struggle with addiction is an ongoing battle," Zac said. "It’s not going to just end overnight. It’s something that is a life-long struggle."
Isaiah also makes a close connection with an inmate named Treshawn. However, when asked to be his lookout while Treshawn steals commissary from another inmate, Isaiah realizes how easy it is to be consumed by poor decisions in jail.
And once Treshawn and the other inmates begin pressuring Isaiah to join in smoking "crack sticks," he becomes torn with what to do.
"It’s hard to be good when you have so many bad influences like that," Isaiah said. "It’s kind of hard not to get wrapped into doing bad things. You have to have some type of good influence around you or you will fall."
One friendship that isn't budding so well is between participants Barbra and Maryum, who neither know the other is in the program. When Maryum draws a picture for another inmate that appears like a foot stomping on the American flag, Barbra becomes greatly offended since her husband served in the military
"Once you’re inside, the littlest things can get exaggerated and cause drama," Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel said. "One person sees things one way and someone else sees that same thing a completely different way.
"Tensions rise and sometimes they boil over.”
Participants also got to experience what holidays are like inside jail during the episode. For Thanksgiving, the inmates are given a traditional meal, including turkey, green beans and pumpkin pie.
"It’s definitely the most food we’ve ever gotten on a tray at one time," Zac said.
The women in F-pod also celebrated the holiday with notes and words of thanks.
"I’m thankful for these girls and to be a part of their life and for them to be a part of my life," Barbra said. "We’re learning so much from each other, and we’re taking so much away from this. I’m really blessed to be with these girls."
The next episode of “60 Days in” airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on A&E.