Jailbirds New Orleans season 1 review – an up close and personal look at New Orleans inmates

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 24, 2021
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Netflix reality series Jailbirds New Orleans season 1


A series about incarcerated women isn’t going to be full of love and joy. Depending on your outlook towards those who find themselves in prison, it might be challenging to relate to their situation(s).

This review of the Netflix reality series Jailbirds New Orleans season 1 does not contain any spoilers.

Jailbirds New Orleans is slated to be an up-close, personal, and scandalous look at the inmates in this gritty Orleans Justice Center for incarcerated women. So is that the case?

It’s sure to be scandalous. Even just listening to the stories of how some of these women found themselves in prison is shocking. In particular, Harley’s story in episode 1 is enough to turn viewers away through her repulsive nature. Her lack of shame or remorse as she speaks to the camera is what sticks out.

As the show progresses, Jailbirds New Orleans provides insight into the friendships the incarcerated women have in prison. As expected, there’s conflict between the women trying to pass the time until they’re released. Even more interesting is how female inmates are able to communicate with male inmates in the toilets. On paper, that’s sure means disaster. But whether it is or not, you’ll have to watch to find out!

Even before Jailbirds New Orleans aired, there were intense levels of controversy. Groups that include the Orleans Public Defender’s Office stated that the show is a disgraceful use of time. But who knows, maybe there will be some good in filming women at their lowest as it could help prevent possible criminals from landing themselves in prison. That’s if what they see on screen horrifies them enough. (Fingers crossed it does).

In total, Jailbirds New Orleans has 3 episodes each around the 40-minute mark, so this could easily get watched in one big binge. One aspect that should get noted is that from the beginning, there are high levels of NSFW language throughout, so this show is something you won’t want younger eyes watching. But that language won’t be shocking for anyone who watched the original Jailbirds series that was based in Sacramento County Jail. Jailbirds New Orleans is pretty much in the same vein, so you should know exactly what to expect.

One of the inmates states that; “You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can change where you’re going”. And for anyone that falls into the situation that these incarcerated women are in, it’s all you could really say. In the final episode, one of the inmates speculates whether they can change at all and no matter your opinion towards the inmates, you will be sure to feel some emotion.

What did you think of Netflix’s Jailbirds New Orleans season 1? Comment below. 

Netflix, TV Reviews
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