This summer, go behind bars and behind the scenes for a first-hand look at how one small town is handling the worst drug epidemic in American history and turning the tables on the justice system with THE PROGRAM: PRISON DETOX. The first three episodes will premiere on August 25th on discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service, and additional episodes will drop weekly after that. The staff of the Sevier County, Arkansas jail piloted a revolutionary program to save its community, which has been devastated by drug addiction, by offering qualified inmates the unprecedented chance to walk free if they graduate from a three-month drug rehabilitation program.
The series chronicles the emotional journeys of inmates, called trustees once they begin the program, who are facing upwards of 70 years in prison as they endeavor to see their prison sentences erased – if they successfully put in the work, graduate from the program and adhere to the rules set forth by its administrators. It’s their last chance at redemption, but they’ll have to reckon with their own inner demons and repair damaged relationships with family and friends, all while enduring long days and navigating the challenges of life behind bars. The program, which has a 72% success rate and is in its 14th iteration, unites the trustees with a team of specialists as they attend classes and maintain a rigorous work schedule within the jail. Program creators Robert Gentry, the sheriff, and Chris Wolcott, the jail administrator, have assembled a team who will do everything they can to set the trustees up for success both within the program and when they renter society. Trustees will work with substance abuse counselor Lynette Gilmore, whose personal history dealing drugs before turning her life around uniquely qualifies her to aid the trustees in their road to recovery, as well as a family advocate, a deputy prosecutor, a peer recovery specialist and additional jail staff.
While they all share a history of addiction and the desire to repair relationships with their loved ones, each trustee has a unique story. Camron, a strong student in high school and a state champion in track and field, had a promising life ahead of him, but when he found out he wasn’t the biological father of his son, he fell into destructive habits and was arrested for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, and now faces 70 years in prison. Angela’s addiction has landed her in jail many times over the years, but this most recent time, her young son had no one to care for him because her husband had been murdered while she was in jail, forcing her to turn to an unlikely caretaker – her husband’s ex-wife. Tonya’s drug addiction began at a very young age, and she has spent her life in and out of jail. During her most recent stint, the Department of Corrections offered her an early release, which she turned down in order to join the program and work through her addiction, hoping to repair her relationships with her five children. Hoping it would break the cycle, Steven’s grandparents raised him due to his mother’s struggle with addiction, but he still started using drugs as a teenager. He was so high the day his grandmother died that it took him hours to make his way to the hospital to pick up his grandfather. Barry has spent his life alternating between rehab and jail, but now, facing 38 years in prison, he’s ready to rebuild his life for the sake of his children. For these trustees and the rest of their classmates, the program is their last hope – the stakes couldn’t be higher.
For more information on discovery+, visit discoveryplus.com. Viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #TheProgram and can follow discovery+ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
THE PROGRAM: PRISON DETOX is produced for discovery+ by Big City TV, part of The Content Group.
discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service. discovery+ will launch with a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of discovery+ on Verizon. At launch in the United States, discovery+ will have the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service, featuring a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment and a slate of high-quality documentaries. For more, visit discoveryplus.com.