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People Left Feeling Physically Sick After Watching Stacey Dooley's Prison Doc

People Left Feeling Physically Sick After Watching Stacey Dooley's Prison Doc

Last night, Stacey Dooley's latest documentary Locked Up With The Lifers aired on BBC Two - and while viewers praised the presenter for her "brilliant" work, they were left feeling "physically sick" over one segment.

The new doc saw 33-year-old Stacey visit a controversial women's prison in Iowa, which seeks to build a more humane environment for its inmates serving life sentences.

During her time at the Iowa Correctional Institution, Stacey meets a number of inmates, some of whom have been convicted for harrowing crimes.

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One such prisoner, Cheyanne Harris, was found guilty of murdering her child following a period of neglect. There is tension between Cheyanne and the other prisoners and she has found herself in a segregation unit after attacking another inmate.

While chatting to Cheyanne, viewers heard a little about her story. She told Stacey: "If I hadn't been high on meth, it never would have happened. I was not a good person when I was on meth and trying to be a mum. I wasn't. He was extremely neglected."

The 22-year-old went on to tell Stacey that her baby son had been left alone "for days".

Viewers were upset about Cheyanne's story (Credit: BBC)
Viewers were upset about Cheyanne's story (Credit: BBC)
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But viewers of the documentary wanted to know more about the case and some decided to look up the crime - which took place in 2017 - to see what happened.

Reports indicate that Cheyanne's son, four-month old Sterling Koehn, was found in his swing in a bedroom, where he had died from malnutrition, dehydration and an E. coli infection. A forensic entomologist said Sterling had likely been sitting in the swing for 9 to 14 days.

The baby's father, Zachary Koehn, 29, is also serving a life prison sentence for the same charges. Cheyanne is reported to have been suffering from postpartum depression at the time.

Stacey speaks to a number of different prisoners (Credit: BBC)
Stacey speaks to a number of different prisoners (Credit: BBC)
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Viewers were horrified at the details surrounding the case, with one person saying they felt "physically sick".

"That story about the baby was horrible but made the mistake of looking it up. The baby was left in the swing for 14 days and was 4 months old. I feel physically sick, she deserves everything she gets!" they wrote.

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Another tweeted: "Made the mistake of googling Cheyenne Harris's crime. Shocking. It's hard to feel any sympathy for the struggle she's facing in prison. That poor poor baby."

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Another who Googled the case explained: "Have to say I had to Google Cheyenne Harris and her story and as a mother I cannot begin to comprehend her situation back then and the horrid death her son endured."

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One mum said: "Really interesting documentary from @StaceyDooley and shows that another approach to prisons and rehabilitation can work for some prisoners. But I just looked up Cheyanne Harris's case and now I want to wake up my babies just to cuddle them."

Another tweeted directly at Stacey, asking: "How you kept your hands off the woman who killed her child I will never know."


The prison, which houses women serving life sentences without parole, has been criticised for its controversial approach by those who think the inmates should be treated more harshly.

For example, inmates are allowed pets, they can make phone calls whenever they like and relationships are allowed. Some of the women have been in relationships with each other for over 30 years.

You can watch Locked Up With Lifers on BBC iPlayer now.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Entertainment News, BBC, Stacey Dooley, TV News, TV Entertainment

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Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]