A&E’s ’60 Days In’ is a documentary series that breaks all bounds by exposing the realities of the prison system, its workings, and how it affects the individuals incarcerated. Within this social experiment, a group of zealous volunteers is sent to live amongst the general population of local county jails for about two months. There, they try to simultaneously outwit and gain the trust of the prisoners without revealing that secret cameras are filming their every move. It is complex and risky, so we can’t help but wonder whether the cast is compensated or not. Let’s find out, shall we?
Does the 60 Days In Cast Get Paid?
Even though prisons are often classified as one of the most dangerous places for the average being, all the participants in this production willingly apply to be undercover operatives. The jail administrators select the cast members depending on the candidates’ backgrounds and abilities and later provide them with criminal backstories to make them seem authentic. Most importantly, though, the producers give the moles a set of code words and hand signals that they can use to let the crew know if and when they wish to get out of their situation. It’s imperative for their own safety.
Considering these aspects, along with the fact that the budget for each episode of this intriguing show is reportedly $375,000, the participants probably earn around $3,000 per installment. After all, there are a lot of operating and organization costs that A&E needs to cover as well. In other words, although the cast does not risk their lives to walk away with nothing, it doesn’t seem enough due to the circumstances. With that said, maybe the once-in-a-lifetime experience balances the monetary aspect. The aforementioned amount was shared by a former producer on a Reddit thread.
According to News & Tribune, it appears as if the jails are the ones that usually end up benefiting the most from this series. Sheriff Jamey Noel from Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Indiana — where the first two seasons were filmed — has since revealed that they were promised $60,000 from the network in exchange for exclusive filming rights. That’s $500 per day for a total of 120 days. However, the Sheriff explicitly stated that “[the money] will go to training and equipment actually for the jail, so anything that we do that can approve the jail operations.” It would better only their system, nothing else.
As per reports, ’60 Days In’ also compensates the prison staff if they work overtime owing to the filming process. Thus, the finances are a little low-budget for this production, and people have also criticized it for its evident heavy editing and repetitive shots. Yet, fans have still grown to love the drama and tension created through these features because it offers them something different. That’s why the show has managed to be on the air for so long.
Read More: Where is 60 Days In Filmed?