Behind Bars: Rookie Year jumps right into its second season, following correctional officers in their rookie year as they are taught to handle criminals in a jail penitentiary. Aaron Bell, the show’s senior training officer, is tough on the rookies and challenges them so that they are well trained to handle anything that may happen while they are interacting with inmates.
Set in New Mexico, real life novices are followed as they navigate through the system and learn how to assert their authority. They must endure 16 hour long workdays (as most correctional facilities are understaffed and not paid well). The prisons themselves are filthy as inmates are constantly flooding the toilets in their cells or creating messes with anything they could find. Officers suffer from burn out, fatigue, and other mental health issues. The rookies take on more and more challenging inmate groups, moving up to the most violent offenders housed on “Level 6”. Correctional officers agree that this sector is the most violent and most dangerous place to work in.
The first season of #BehindBarsRookieYear was filmed at the Penitentiary of New Mexico. The new season is still filmed in New Mexico but it opens up to include a second location, the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility. Ariel Montoya, one of the two female correctional officers cast in the series first season, returns in the second season so that we can continue to follow her journey. Andrew Cordova, Cohen Mangin and Lily Rodriguez also return, and their stories will be followed along with a batch of new rookies joining the staff.
Upcoming episodes explore what happens when a correctional officer loses track of the inmates in his unit, and what happens when authority boundaries are challenged when a new correctional officer takes on new responsibilities. Keith Pallesen, a rookie from the first season who struggled with the position, changed directions. Still working for the penitentiary system, he no longer works directly with inmates.
Fans on IMDb with experience working in correctional facilities praise the show for its honest portrayal of what it really is like in New Mexico prisons. They express their frustrations around the naive choices and mistakes make by the correctional officers, but forgive them for their age and lack of experience. Bell is celebrated in being thorough and realistic in his coaching and his commitment to making sure that the rookies are ready for anything.
This show has a rating of 7.9 on IMDb but popularity is quickly decreasing, with viewership decreasing with each new episode aired. Viewership was measured at 0.77 million for
How long with the rookies stick it out in this incredibly challenging and thankless career? Will the series be around long enough for us to find out?
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