The season two premiere of A&E’s popular series “60 Days In” aired on Thursday, Aug. 18, and the new season once again features a familiar face. Centre College’s Kevin Chapman ’00, a clinical psychologist from Louisville, has been tapped to monitor the mental health of the incarcerated volunteers participating in the docuseries.
For the uninitiated, “60 Days In” follows the day-to-day lives of a group of men and women who have volunteered to go undercover as inmates in the Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, Ind. Clark County Sheriff Jamey Noel is the originator of the program, hoping to use the volunteers to ferret out illegal activity inside the facility. Chapman routinely visits with the undercover participants in an effort to oversee their mental state.
Chapman was pegged for the role due to his expertise and substantial experience with media psychology and working with populations that may experience various types of distress.
“I was quite intrigued and excited to be considered for the documentary since I thoroughly enjoy media psychology,” Chapman says.
Media psychology, according to Chapman, refers to public education to the masses through the media and is a component of the profession that sets Chapman apart from many of his colleagues in the field.
“Disseminating psychological science to the public through various media avenues explains it in a nutshell,” Chapman explains, “whether it be a talk show, radio program or documentary, such as ’60 Days In.’ In fact, I will be on a panel in a few months in New York with other psychologists talking about how to expand one’s practice through the utilization of social media.”
Chapman was introduced in season one when the jailer, Captain Scottie Maples, brought him into the facility to evaluate a volunteer inmate named Robert, who had been remanded to solitary confinement due to an infraction. The jailer was concerned about Robert’s fitness to return to the general population. Later, Chapman meets with each of the show’s cast of prisoners.
“I believe viewers will find it fascinating that I was able to spend some time touching base with each participant and observe how their personality dynamics interacted with the content of the show,” Chapman says. “Getting to know the various producers in the field and interacting with the camera crew is always fascinating and rewarding.
“Perhaps the most fascinating aspect is having the opportunity to interact with participants, then anticipating how they appear on each episode,” he continues. “It’s also interesting to see how my role is manifested on camera and whether my input corroborates that of the viewers.”
Many followers of the show may wonder how the first group of seven volunteers fared during their 60 days of incarceration in season one.
“Though I can’t comment on the nature of their psychological well-being, I am sure that there have been profound changes in many of the volunteers,” Chapman says.
Chapman has enjoyed his experience with “60 Days In,” and looks forward to season two.
“The best part has been having the privilege to demonstrate the role of clinical psychologists on a global scale,” he explains. “The suspense associated with each new episode and when I may appear on the show has been the worst.”
Centre College is well represented at Chapman’s Louisville practice, which includes Brian Briscoe ’00 and Kristi Shelby Briscoe ’01. Therapist Samantha Bottom Griffitts ’09 shares office space in the practice, and Christoper Croley ’10 is the operations manager.
by Cindy Long
August 19, 2016