Sacramento County Restricts Filming After Netflix’s Jailbirds


Sacramento County elected officials unanimously approved tougher rules against filming at county facilities this week, a policy they crafted after the sheriff’s office allowed filmmakers to tape inmates at the Inside the Sacramento County Jail for a Netflix Series.

Under the new rules, county departments must receive written approval from the county public information officer before filming or entering into a deal with a production company.

“Filming will not be permitted if it disrupts regular operations and will only be permitted in approved areas,” the policy reads. “Film crews will be escorted and observed on location by county personnel and all facilities and/or assets used will be restored to original or better condition upon completion.”

The policy also states that liability release forms must be obtained prior to filming.

The stricter rules are in response to a 2019 Netflix reality series Jailbirds, which filmed inmates at the main Sacramento County Jail without their lawyers present.

Attorneys for the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office said at the time that they were alarmed that the tapes could compromise their clients’ records, raising fundamental questions about fairness to inmates who had no still been sentenced at trial.

Inmates who appeared on the show said in interviews with The Sacramento Bee that they were told they would not be disciplined for violations caught on camera.

The policy states that once filming is complete, staff appointed by the county executive must review the footage “to ensure that the content is appropriate, not harmful to the county, staff and/or others being filmed. “.

The resolution passed by the board on Tuesday that future amendments to the policy should be delegated to the County Executive’s Office.

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Molly Sullivan covers Folsom, Roseville and Placer County, as well as police liability, for The Bee. She grew up in Northern California and is a Chico State alumnus.


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