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Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders refers to an Arkansas-based Netflix jail series as “reckless”



Little Rock, Arkansas – Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement regarding a recent Netflix series set in Arkansas that has caused a great deal of controversy in the state.

On April 10, the show titled Unlocked: A Jail Experiment will make its debut. The show centers on an experiment conducted at the Pulaski County jail, which Governor Sanders deemed to be “reckless.”

“This is a reckless decision by the Pulaski County Sheriff and highlights the need for our new state prison to keep repeat violent offenders off our streets and our communities safe,” Gov. Sanders said in a statement.

The movie firm Lucky 8 captured 46 prisoners participating in an experiment last year. The goal of this experiment was to see if the prisoners could take care of themselves by leaving them unattended.

However, legal concerns arose when Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde revealed that he never approved the project and only learned of its existence from Netflix’s trailer release.

According to Hyde, the sheriff presented the concept to the county attorney in 2021, but it was unfeasible to carry out due to legality and liability concerns.

“I think they interacted and exchanged legalese for two or three months after that,” Hyde said. “We never heard anything about it again until last Thursday.”

To film at the Pulaski County jail in 2022, Pulaski County Sheriff Eric Higgins signed a “location release” with Lucky 8, certifying that he had the right to let a film team into the building.

For six weeks, they were paid $1,000 per day to film.

But Hyde asserted that he alone is authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the county. The sheriff denied that there had ever been a contract on this.

The Pulaski County Quorum Court approved two separate resolutions this week about the creation of Unlocked: A Jail Experiment, despite the ongoing debate and issues.

Sheriff Higgins would be asked forty questions on the first of the two ordinances, all of which had to do with the production and the agency’s involvement in it. Higgins is supposed to respond to the inquiries promptly—five business days.

The second of the two ordinances would ask justices and citizens questions concerning payments associated with production, payments made to employees and prisoners, and possible accidents or fatalities that might have happened during production.

As the documentary’s April 10 debut date draws near, the county attorney is looking into the document to see if it is legitimate.

Sheriff Higgins asserted that despite this, the experiment featured in the program produced positive effects.

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