Now that Beyond Scared Straight and Beyond Scared Straight: Extreme Teens are done for forever (or at least the foreseeable future), A&E is keeping audiences on lock-down with a new reality prison show on Thursday nights called Behind Bars: Rookie Year.
Behind Bars: The Rookie Years follows ten brand-new correctional officers at the Penitentiary of New Mexico through their day-to-day routines, highlighting the struggles each rookie goes through when first interacting with inmates. This is a recipe for yelling and fighting between inmates and officers, neither of whom seem to be scared of the other.
It’s hard to tell if what is happening is real or not on this show. The rookies are given an awful lot of responsibility their first day, to a degree that seems unsafe and ridiculous. Either way, this show is incredibly intense and interesting as you watch these rookie officers, some of whom are just 19 years old, interact and take charge of over 100 inmates – especially the one female officer who is left alone to watch 140 inmates. Yeah, right… right? Granted, it was in the lowest security inmates, but they are still inmates, after all. That’s all part of the intrigue that suckers you in to begin with: Will she be attacked? What will they do if she’s attacked? What if there is a riot?
Watching prison shows are like driving by a car wreck: It’s not something you want to be a part of and the unknown element sort of scares you, but you sure are curious what exactly is going on.
Catch all new episodes of Behind Bars: Rookie Year on A&E Thursdays starting at 10pm ET, or catch up on previous episodes On Demand.