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“60 Days In” goes undercover in Utah County Jail

SPANISH FORK, Utah – The Utah County Jail is the setting for the ninth season of the A&E series “60 Days In.”

The show sends volunteers undercover into prisons and detention centers across the country to uncover any problems.

Fears of the project

Utah County Sheriff Mike Smith was approached by the production company for years before he finally decided to agree.

“For me, it was basically an opportunity to examine the day-to-day operations of our facility. There was no other way I could do that at the level that '60 Days In' offered,” Smith said.

Although he remains concerned that the prison was highlighted in the program, Smith said he could not have conducted such a thorough review any other way without incurring costs to taxpayers.

“If something comes out that we don’t feel particularly good about, we own it, fix it and improve our facility,” Smith said.

However, not everyone was happy with the project. It was kept under wraps, under the guise of another kind of documentary. Smith says few people knew what was really going on. Now that everyone knows, reactions from prison officials are mixed.

“I have employees who support me. And of course there are some who are not so happy about it, and that's understandable,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, I think our desire, our goal to improve the facility, outweighs everything else.”

Problems uncovered; changes on the way

Smith says they're already making changes based on what they learned from the experiment. What those changes are, Smith says, people will just have to watch to find out. The new season premieres May 30 on A&E.

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