How “Lockup” Aims to Give Realistic Look at Life Behind Bars


If you've ever wondered what life in jail is really like, you've got two options: Get arrested or watch “Lockup,” a reality show on MSNBC that was shot in various county jails, and some state prisons, says the Washington Post. Soon, you'll be able to see what life in the Fairfax County, Va., Adult Detention Center is like. “Lockup” has finished four months of filming inmates, staff members, families and others at the 1,000-inmate facility. The program is produced by California-based 44 Blue, which has been doing “Lockup” since 1999.

The company produces six one-hour episodes that are self-contained and do not form a story arc from one week to the next. The show airs on weekends on MSNBC, gets high viewership and has more than 260,000 fans on Facebook. “Lockup” is not looking for shallow drama or clueless chatter. Its aim is journalistic — to capture life behind bars, for both inmates and staff. “It's just an interesting world not many people get to see,” said producer Christopher Rowe. They look at daily life in the jail, the prisoners discuss how they got to this point, and they talk about their families.

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