August 11, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Gretl Plessinger
|Santa Rosa CI Lieutenant Andrew Williams |
with the 44 Blue film crew.
For the first time in Florida Department of Corrections (DC) history, a television production crew will be filming inside a Florida prison for almost eight weeks, with unprecedented access to inmates and staff who wish to participate.
44 Blue, the production company that produces the prison reality series “Lockup” for MSNBC, began filming at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution (SRCI) in the Panhandle this week. Santa Rosa CI houses all custody levels of inmates, and a number of inmates with mental health issues as well.
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Buss worked with 44 Blue when he was the prison Commissioner in Indiana, and he felt the effort was worthwhile.
“I have no qualms about them coming into our prisons. I’m proud of our staff and how well our facilities are run, and I hope this will help Floridians understand the challenges we face with our inmate population, as well as the benefits prisons provide to their communities through our programs and re-entry efforts,” said Buss.
44 Blue’s film crew visited SRCI in July to scout the Santa Rosa CI location and interview inmates they may want to focus on. They will be filming during weeks in August and September. A staff member, Santa Rosa CI Lieutenant Andrew Williams, has been assigned to the crew full time and employees and inmates have been told they may opt out of being filmed. 44 Blue is paying a fee to cover the cost of the DC’s expenses.
“I am honored that Santa Rosa CI has been chosen for this opportunity,” said Warden Randy Tifft. “Our staff is looking forward to working with the film crew to showcase our inmate programs and what we do each day to protect the public.”
The series of shows is expected to air on MSNBC in early 2012. Rasha Drachkovitch is Executive Producer of the series and President of 44 Blue Productions.
For more information contact:
Office of Public Affairs (850) 488-0420
Rasha Drachkovitch (818) 760-4442