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'Unlocked' Netflix Doc Star John 'Eastside' McAllister Dead at 29 — Found 'Unresponsive' in Prison Cell One Month Before Release

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Source: Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 Netflix, Inc.

John 'Eastside' McAllister, an inmate who appeared in Netflix's recent docuseries 'Unlocked: A Jail Experiment,' was found dead in his cell at 29.

Jun. 5 2024, Published 12:29 p.m. ET

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John "Eastside" McAllister, an inmate at the Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas who was featured in Netflix's recent docuseries Unlocked: A Jail Experiment filmed inside the Pulaski County Jail, died Sunday morning at the age of 29, RadarOnline.com has learned.

McAllister was found unresponsive in his bunk and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Although no cause of death has been revealed, authorities do not suspect foul play and suicide has also been ruled out, THV11 reports.

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eastside
Source: Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 Netflix, Inc.

McAllister had been serving a three year-sentence after being convicted of 10 felony counts related to drugs, breaking and entering, theft of property, and firearms possession.

McAllister had been serving a three year-sentence after being convicted of 10 felony counts related to drugs, breaking and entering, theft of property, and firearms possession. According to his family, he only had 30 days left before he was due to be released.

"His sudden passing has left our family devastated," McAllister's aunt, Melissa Regan, wrote in a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover the costs of memorial services and transportation. "The cause of his death is under investigation."

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eastside
Source: Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 Netflix, Inc.

In the show, McAllister was seen running a tattoo parlor out of his cell.

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McCallister, who was transferred to the Williams Correctional Facility in October 2023, was one of 46 Pulaski County Jail inmates featured in Netflix's controversial Unlocked: A Jail Experiment, which was filmed last year and premiered on Netflix in April.

The series documented a six-week social experiment proposed by local sheriff Eric Higgins in which inmates in one prison block had their cell doors left unlocked and were granted greater independence within the facility. In the show, McAllister was seen running a tattoo parlor out of his cell.

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eastside
Source: Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 Netflix, Inc.

The series documented a six-week social experiment proposed by local sheriff Eric Higgins in which inmates in one prison block had their cell doors left unlocked and were granted greater independence.

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The docuseries was greeted with backlash from some local officials, with Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde claiming he never signed off on the project and only found out about it when he saw a trailer online.

"This is a reckless decision by the Pulaski County Sheriff and highlights the need for our new state prison to keep repeat violent offenders off our streets and our communities safe," Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement back in March.

Higgins defended the experiment in a conference in May. "We can do things differently," he said. "We can create a community that's a safer community, not only for the deputies, but for the detainees."

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