[ cheers and applause ] this is "nightline." >> tonight, 60 days in. these innocent volunteers agreeing to months behind bars in a violent prison. >> going to get stitches. >> in a reality tv show twist, serving time as undercover inmates. >> i was absolutely petrified. >> part of the sheriff's effort to expose crime and corruption in his jail. would you do time without committing the crime? model misfortune. it was a dream come true for lexi palmer, so she thought. this jamaican model is filing a suit against donald trump's modeling agency. >> i felt like i was a slave or something. >> what trump's lawyers are saying. a birthday bash anyone would dream of. a deinseer dress, lavish cake, this teen serenaded by pitbull and nick jonas, making her
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the world of reality show drama. here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> reporter: barbara and zach are going to jail. >> i have no idea what to expect. >> reporter: this is day one of their lockup in a place known for violence and illicit activity. >> it's really hitting me how real this is. >> reporter: every inmate says they're innocent but zach and barbara really are. >> i hive never been in jail. >> reporter: barbara is a military wife and stay at home mom. >> why is jail not so bad that they're not afraid to change their ways and go back again? >> reporter: zach is a former marine who served in afghanistan, who wants to be a dea agent. >> seeking a career in law enforcement, i felt this would give me a perspective that no other law enforcement officer has ever had. >> reporter: they are two of the seven volunteers going undercover to expose what really happens behind bars, all for the new a&e show "60 days in." innocent people serving time for
but with very real consequences. >> it's miserable. that's the only word i can think of to describe it. miserable. >> reporter: this as jails and prisons across the country have been in the headlines for corruption and violence. just last week, this inmate fight in the santa clara county jail was caught on camera. just one day after the sheriff dime. >> it looked like two people, one hit him with the shoulder, then the fight was on. then a lot of other people jumped into the fight. >> reporter: crime and misconduct at the hands of prison staff is on the rise too. increasing 90% in 10 years. just last month, the fbi arrested 46 corrections officers in georgia for smuggling contraband and drug trafficking. they have yet to enter pleas. in 2014, sheriff jamie noel took over a jail in clark county, indiana, that was riddled with corruption and violence. >> you think you run this place --
i had parents blowing my phone up, e-mailing me, saying i'm sorry my son got arrested but he's getting more drugs in jail than he could get on the street. >> reporter: so he decided to team up with a&e and hundreds of their reality show cameras to uncover it all. did you worry you're putting your career on the line by putting innocent lives at risk? >> i did. there's a lot of slipless nights will be i'll be honest, what we learned far outweighed me, my personal reputation. >> this was the perfect jail to do something like this at. it had had interruption corruption, it had had problems. it was known for being a violent, sort of terrible place. and this new sheriff comes in and says, i got to figure out how to fix it. >> welcome to "60 days in: the aftermath." >> reporter: dan abrams hosts the reunion show. >> there why safety rings. if i'd been the sheriff i would have been nervous. cameras everywhere, in theory monitoring as much as possible. but you can't have a camera
they had cameras all over. >> reporter: no one on the inside, neither guards nor inmates, know that zach, barbara, and the five others are actually reality show participants. >> very much who's going to be the alpha male, who's going to let people run over them. >> reporter: only sheriff noel and his chief deputy know the truth. they go in armed with nothing but surveillance cameras, a safe word, a cover story. >> we spent a lot of time making sure she knew what their cover story was, what their cover name was. >> reporter: first they all go to jail boot camp to learn how to deal with the unwritten rules of life on the inside. >> got to be very careful what was you say and how you say it. >> reporter: hoping what they learn will help keep them safe. >> don't become engaged in criminal activity. >> reporter: when they'll have to fend for themselves in a population that includes volatile, sometimes violent criminals. >> it's loud. it's dangerous. it's confusing. you have no control over anything you do. you have no privacy. >> reporter: the training does little to prepare barbara for the harsh reality. >> i've been in jail two days
here two months. >> reporter: with his military experience, zach is able to adjust. >> the nice thing about being in jail as opposed to being in afghanistan is in afghanistan, you don't know who the good guys are and the bad guys are. in jail, you kind of just have to treat everybody like a bad guy. >> reporter: he's sent to c-pod, otherwise known as the most drug-ridden part of the jail. zach learns the early warning signs that a fight's about to break out when a prisoner starts casually putting on his shoes. >> called lacing up. they're going to put their shoes on to fight. >> i didn't see any of it because i stayed on my bunk. >> did you ever try to intervene? >> yeah, that was one of the toughest situations for me. i had to keep myself in check. i cannot get involved in this situation, i don't want to jeopardize the program. >> didn't want to blow your cover? >> didn't want to blow my cover. >> reporter: after this fight none of the inmates are willing to cooperate. >> people don't snitch. snitches get stitches.
culture that convinced the sheriff to open his quail up to reality show cameras. >> the tough part is inmates don't like to talk to me, sheriff the special. the corrections officers either, they immediately get branded as a snitch. >> reporter: but they will talk to the fake inmates who are reporting back on the intricate system of getting around the authorities. >> they like to make their drugs in jail. they basically take their drugs that they're supposed to be taking during the medication time, they combine their medications together, they'll roll it up in tampon papers and smoke it. or they will melt down jolly ranchers and mix it with jolly ranchers and suck on it. >> reporter: 47% of prisoners are locked up because of drug offenses. >> if you keep housing bodies, treating them like an animals, that's what you get in return. >> reporter: these cameras are helping get drugs out of the jail. >> they were jikking drugs in, in their body cavities, several arrests base pod what we learned after that. >> reporter: all that
mean a jail is safe. one of the show's characters is punched in the face. all caught on camera. but nothing can be done to stop it. >> i don't feel safe at all. not one second, i don't feel safe. >> reporter: zach, barbara, and the other participants were compensated for the time they spent in jail. and yet not all of them make it through the 60 days. zach and barbara both managed to gut it out. >> the sleeping conditions are extremely difficult. you get a mat and you're on a metal bunk. everything's very dirty. it's extremely cold in there. the first few weeks were absolutely miserable. >> the fantasy is that it's a country club lifestyle and the state and good taxpayers are paying for you to do nothing all day. the reality is people are poor, they have mental health issues, substance abuse issues, and jail is a very unpleasant place to be. >> reporter: it may be a reality show but the sheriff says he's implemented real changes. did you fire any corrections officers after this? >> we did.
we had several that actually quit. >> they knew the writing was on the wall? >> exactly. >> you cleaned house after this? >> it was tough. it's not easy. >> reporter: barbara says she's cleaned house too. >> i came home a better person. i know that. i am so grateful for life. i have this new like awesome vision for myself and for my family. >> in what way do you think it changed your life? >> i don't judge. i'm so open to everyone now. i'm kind. i'm not as opinionated as i used to be. i'm all here. next, donald trump's modeling agency under fire. why a jamaican model is saying his company misled her and the federal government. and now it's your voice, your vote. tonight the democratic presidential contenders debated in miami. univision's jorge ramos waste
clinton about her ie-mail controversy. >> if you get indicted will you drop out? >> oh my goodness, that's not going to happen, i'm not answering that question. i'm not a natural politician in case you haven't noticed, like my husband or president obama. so i have a view that i just have to do the best i can. >> both speaking out against republican front-runner donald trump. >> i think the american people are never going to elect a president who insults mexicans, who insults muslims, who insults women, who insults african-americans. >> i was the first one to call him out. i called him out when he was calling mexicans rapists, when he was engaging in rhetoric that i found deeply offensive. i said basta. but i think women would agree, getting home... to cuddle up with their man is nice too. but here's the thing: about half of men
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donald trump is facing new controversy, but not related to politics this time. a jamaican model is now suing his modeling agency. what do his lawyers have to say about these accusations? here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: in a video for this year's "sports illustrated" swimsuit contest, model mia kang is running a provocative campaign for votes. much like the man who owns the modeling agency that represents her. donald trump. it's not well known but his vast business empire includes a modeling agency, trump model management.
including his wife melania who, while dating him, posed in various forms of unpress on trump's private jet for a british magazine. trump models are used to help promote the fashion line run by his daughter ivanka, once a model herself. trump makes more than $1 million a year from the modeling business. and as part of this mtv reality show he was personally involved in recruiting teenage talent. >> you just signed with at modeling agency today, which is great. >> i'm very excited. >> trump models, inc. >> reporter: more than 100 of trump's models have been brought into the u.s. from other countries under what's called the h1b visa program for seasonal or specialized workers. that is the very program that as a presidential candidate trump has criticized others for using, including the abc parent company
website it's used as a cheap labor program should be eliminated. >> we're going to be the people that create jobs for our country -- >> reporter: one of the foreign models donald trump's agency brought to the u.s. under the h1b program was alexia palmer, recruited from jamaica. >> i was excited. because all the girls in jamaica wanted to be signed with an agency here. >> reporter: in official documents filed by the agency for the visa and obtained by abc news, the agency said palm we're make at least $75,000 a year for three years as a full-time employee. >> i was going to get that. >> did that seem like a lot of money to you? >> yes. >> reporter: but she got nothing close to that. for more than 21 shoots, including this campaign for cosmetics. now she's taking trump's agency to court. according to palmer's lawsuit her total earnings for three
expenses and fees came to only $$3880 bus modest cash advances. >> is that vital ofolation of the law? >> that's a slam dunk. it's 100% violation of the law without any second thoughts. >> reporter: under her visa status she could not work anywhere else but the trump agency. >> i feel like i was a slave or something. >> a slave? >> a slave. because that's what slavery people do, just work and work and work and don't get no money. she says. >> i was discouraged and i thought my life was nothing. because i can't go to school, i can't do nothing. they left me -- >> reporter: the trump agency says it had a hard time finding work for palmer and that it was under no obligation to pay her $75,000 a year, despite what the immigration form said. trump general counsel, alan garton, said that was an estimate.
employer/employee relationship -- >> you checked the box that said full-time employee. >> that's what the form requires. >> it wasn't true? >> this is how it's done in the industry. >> reporter: an immigration law expert says companies don't have the option of ignoring the wage figure they cite in a u.s. visa form like the $75,000. >> it would be extraordinarily unusual for that to be legal. >> reporter: robert devine was a top u.s. immigration official in the bush administration. >> so if the box is checked full-time and the wage promised is $75,000 a year? that's what has to be paid? >> minus any very limited deductions under some very strict rules. >> reporter: while deducting expenses and charging a commission is considered normal in the modeling industry, the trump agency added a $4,000 administrative fee. >> that is fair? >> is it fair? yes, it's absolutely fair. because that was -- >> why is it fair?
>> reporter: but that $4,000 fee seemed out of the ordinary to an expert on fashion law. professor susan scathini offed for fordham unusual. >> the fee seems lie given that there's commission built in. >> like an extra added charge you don't usually see in. >> exactly. >> reporter: alexi palmer says other models like her are afraid to come forward against trump because their legal status ended when they left the trump agency. hers did too. now she's in hiding in new york, no longer modeling, awaiting the outcome of her lawsuit against the trump agency. >> so 22 reserve 22year-old alexa's going to take on donald trump. >> yes. i know i'm going to win because this is very fair. >> reporter: trump's lawyers say palmer's lawsuit is frivolous and they've asked the judge to dismiss it. for "nightline," brian ross, abc news, new york. next, this birthday bash
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finally tonight, most people imagine extravagant birthday affair like this only in their dreams. but for this teen, her wishes came true on her 15th birthday. once again, here's my "nightline" coanchor juju chang. >> reporter: the cake. the guests. that dress. no, it's not the royal wedding. it's a birthday party.
mia henry wowing with this lavish quintera, $6 million. the decadent affair worthy of a fairy tale. a 55,000 square foot venue. 600 guests. celebrity performances by pitbull and nick jonas. no doubt sparking jealousy in all her classmates. i still get jealous >> reporter: custom-made dresses by rolanda santana, reportly 20 gs each. no birthday party is complete without a song your father commissioned for your special day, right? performed by color red and clarisa serna. the lucky teen, an instagram sensation with 20,000 followers, is no stranger to the limelight. seen pictured with hillary clinton. katy perry.
>> you just ruined everything! i hate you! >> reporter: mtv's "my super sweet 16" has featured pampered teens and opulent occasions. for this texan princess, a night to remember. for her father, a credit card bill he won't soon forget. for "nightline" i'm juju chang in new york. >> really? call me old school, i guess. it was a scottish theologian william barkley who said, there are two great days in a person's life. the day we're born, and the day we discover why. thank you for watching. tune into gma in the morning. as always we're online 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page