A night in jail is something most people try to avoid. But, the latest group of inmates at the new DeKalb County Jail not only wanted to be there, but they paid for the opportunity.
Participating DeKalb County residents were processed, booked and put in cells. The law-abiding citizens were invited also as a way for law enforcement officials to test the new facility.
“I found it online,” said participant Megan Prather. “Actually, someone posted and said ‘Who in their right mind would do this?’ and I immediately called my husband and told him we had to do this.”
Prather says she made a Thirty before 30 bucket list — and one of the items was to get arrested.
“Of course it’s a terrible career choice to get arrested for something bad,” said Prather. “But, I thought this was a great opportunity to check something off my bucket list.”
Fellow prisoner and recent law school grad Sam Bunting said he wanted to put what he read about in his textbooks to practice.
“[I wanted to see] what goes into it,” said Bunting. “How inmates are treated when they get booked, what they have to go through, the steps the officers are going to take.”
Dan Templin says this experience can help him see what those officials go through in their work place.
“[I can understand] in terms of their procedures,” said Templin. “How it is that they need to handle people that are incarcerated.”
Participants had the chance to live the inmate life for three hours.
“I feel like I’ll be able to put myself in other people’s shoes,” said Prather. “To think about what it would be like to go through that process.”
“It’s a great opportunity for the community at large to participate in,” said Bunting. “It definitely gives people a better idea of what goes into an operation like this.”
Each participant paid $40 to participate. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office says those funds will be given to a charitable organization that provides services to the jail.