Netflix Documentary Series Star Found Dead At 29

By Charlene Badasie | Published


John “Eastside” McAllister, a 29-year-old inmate who participated in the Netflix documentary series Unlocked: A Jail Experiment, was found dead in his cell at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, just 30 days before his release. The cause of his death remains undetermined, with authorities ruling out suicide and foul play.

John “Eastside” McAllister

McAllister was one of the 46 inmates featured in Netflix’s Unlocked: A Jail Experiment, which premiered in April 2024. Known by the nickname “Eastside,” he became a fan favorite for his ability to find humor in tough situations. He even started a tattoo parlor during the show, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit even while behind bars.

McAllister had a long history with the law, being incarcerated 14 times over the past decade. At the time of his death, he was serving a three-year sentence for multiple offenses, including 10 drug-related felonies, breaking and entering, theft, and illegal gun possession. Throughout the series, McAllister expressed a strong desire to take responsibility for his actions and turn his life around.

Netflix’ Unlocked: A Jail Experiment

Netflix’s Unlocked: A Jail Experiment chronicled a social experiment at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Sheriff Eric Higgins implemented a radical approach to incarceration. The experiment aimed to grant inmates more autonomy and agency within the facility, with the goal of creating a community-driven atmosphere and reducing recidivism rates.

The series featured inmates who were given increased freedom within their unit, with open cell doors and minimal supervision from deputies. The inmates were organized into a tier-based structure, with those demonstrating good behavior earning more privileges. The experiment was designed to test whether this approach could lead to a safer and more accountable environment within the facility.

A Controversial Experiment

Netflix’s Unlocked: A Jail Experiment received mixed reviews from viewers. While some praised the unique approach to jail time, others criticized the lack of background information on the inmates and the outcome of the experiment. The series has sparked controversy over the extent to which the inmates were truly given “no locks” and “no officers.”

Other Inmates And Their Stories

Along with the deceased McAllister, the cast of Netflix’s Unlocked: A Jail Experiment included Randy Randall, who was arrested for domestic assault and drug possession and remains in jail, where he continues to work as a mentor for other inmates. Daniel Thorr Gatlin, a repeat offender who was arrested in January 2024 for attempting to sell cocaine to undercover police officers, was also featured.

A few of the inmates featured in the series have since been released, such as Krishna Piro Clarke, who finished serving his sentence and is now living as a free man, taking care of his son. Jordan Parkinson was released from prison after cooperating with police to charge the actual perpetrator of the murder he was charged with and has returned to live at home with his parents.

John McAllister’s Funeral

Meanwhile, to help cover the costs of McAllister’s funeral and the transportation of his remains to his family, his aunt Melissa Regan established a GoFundMe page. The sudden passing of the young man has left his family devastated.

Source: The Mirror