John McAllister AKA Eastside: Unlocked Inmate is a Tattoo Artist Even Today

Also known as Eastside, John McAllister was one of the inmates seen in the first season of Netflix’s ‘Unlocked: A Jail Experiment.’ The journey he went through over the course of the highly unique experiment allowed him to learn more about himself and how his actions were impacting others. He also grew quite concerned over what life had in store for him next, something that prompted him to change his ways in a way he himself might not have imagined.

John McAllister AKA Eastside Changed His Ways During the Experiment

When John “Eastside” McAllister was first seen in the Netflix show, he was part of the younger crowd in Pulaski County Detention Facility’s H-Unit. Sharing a cell with Ty, he shared how he was known for his tattoos and had crafted a way to exchange favors and money by inking people through his improvised gear. When he learned of the experiment that Sheriff Eric Higgins had decided to implement for the residents of his unit, Eastside could not help but feel ecstatic about it.

That said, Eastside did find himself unhappy that some of the older inmates of the unit were trying to act as leaders and police everyone. He and his friends were more inclined towards making merry and enjoying their newfound freedom without following any regulations, especially those that were not being implemented by law enforcement officers. Initially, Eastside had been content with following the rules, though he still gave tattoos using soot, stapler pins, and much concentration.

As some of his fellow inmates loosened up in their insistence on following rules, Eastside and some other younger inmates decided that they wanted to light a fire for purposes that included smoking tobacco, among other things. Using batteries in the clock that was in the common area, the group was able to start a fire, and Eastside was able to hang a burning wick in his room. However, the smoke from the same triggered the alarm and caused the officers to come back and search the area, though they fortunately did not find anything in his room at this point.

That said, the presence of unburnt wicks across the unit did prompt a more thorough shakedown that resulted in the officers finding several banned contrabands. This included the hooch (illegally made alcohol) that was found in various cells, including that of Eastside. Concerned that this revelation might bring an end to the experiment that has been going on till that point, Eastside decided to take the blame for it all on his head. He willingly signed the papers that stated that he was the owner of the illegal contraband.

Eastside claimed that he had realized that his cellmate, Ty, did look up to him, but it was due to his criminal actions. Hence, he wanted to turn towards a better path. His ownership meant that the experiment continued, and while Eastside did lose some of his privileges, he remained in H-Unit and even started to make good progress regarding his mental health. In fact, during the final day of the decision, he was one of the most passionate speakers who wanted the experiment to continue instead of coming to an end.

Where is John McAllister AKA Eastside Now?

Since his time in Pulaski County Detention Facility, John “Eastside” McAllister has been moved from the facility to complete his sentence. The charges levied against him include possession of drugs and firearms, along with theft and breaking and entering. His sentence, which included a 3-year prison term, was given out on August 7, 2023. He is now a resident of Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility, which is located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Prior to his sentence in Arkansas, Eastside had also been arrested in Nebraska and given a 5-year sentence on December 16, 2019. The charges against him in Berakasa included drug possession and burglary. His sentence has actually been for five years, but he was released on January 20, 2021, as per discretionary parole. Now in the Arkansas facility, Eastside seems determined to keep a “low profile,” though he has continued his work as a tattoo artist, claiming that it was good for his mental health.

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