It’s not your typical game show.
There are no real prizes to speak of and inmates and fugitives have the ability to make cameo appearances, or even co-host the program.
And that’s what Laramie County Sheriff Brian Kozak, the creator of "Catch A Fugitive," thinks is so great about it.
“Our inmates made mistakes, they made bad decisions, but they are paying for them now,” Kozak told Cowboy State Daily.
“If they can have a little fun and help other inmates, that’s great. That part of the rehabilitation process,” he said.
Kozak, who embraced social media in its infancy when he was Cheyenne’s police chief, has tailor-made "Catch A Fugitive" for the sheriff’s department Facebook page.
Similar to "The Price Is Right" game Plinko, Kozak’s game is called Clinko and is played the same way: Drop a ball or a chip through a series of pegs and it ends up in one of the slots at the bottom.
While on Plinko guests win something like a delightful olive green matching washer and dryer, the ball on the Clinko game merely ends up in one of four slots — each adorned with the mugshot of one of Laramie County’s Top 10 most wanted fugitives.
You're The Next Winner
Sheriff Kozak then features that fugitive in a short monologue much like one of Bob Barker’s models would showcase a burnt-orange refrigerator.
The contestant on Kozak’s show can’t win anything except for the thrill of dropping the ball on Clinko.
On Monday’s episode, the ball landed in the slot occupied by the photo of Victoria Hunt, who is on the run from a felony theft charge.
That part about not winning anything to speak of? Not exactly true. Depends on one's perspective if they really can be considered prizes.
When captured, Hunt can expect deluxe ground transportation to the Laramie County Detention Facility.
“The Laramie County Detention Facility is proud to be a zero star hotel,” said the off-camera announcer.
But, wait, there’s more!
Meals and lodging are included at no extra cost, plus all fugitives could qualify for the grand prize.
“Some may call it the trip of a lifetime," the bodiless voice said. "To the Department of Corrections in Rawlins, Wyoming.”
Hunt, however, if she won the grand prize, would likely go to the Wyoming Women's Center in Lusk.
Why Do It?
How does the game show affect anything?
Kozak is hoping that the "wackiness" of the program will cut through the boring posts on Facebook and entertain.
If people watch it, they become more aware of the top 10 fugitives in Laramie County with the hopes that someone recognizes them and turns them in or the extra pressure forces the inmates to give up.
One added bonus? The other inmates at the jail seem to like it.
Kozak said he was in the jail Tuesday and many of the inmates spoke to him about it.
Family members, Kozak said, told the inmates over the phone about the “most-wanted game show” and they liked it so much they now want to be a part of it.
The inmates want to be on the show because it's fun and their family members would get to see them.
“One guy said, 'Is there any way you could do the game show in here because I’d like to be on it,'” he said.
That’s Kozak’s plan for episode two. Get the inmates involved so they can have some fun. To feel accepted. To feel part of a caring community.
“These are people,” he said. “It’s our duty to help them rehabilitate.”
Kozak said "Catch A Fugitive" will air a new episode every month, and he's looking for other game show ideas too.
Jimmy Orr can be reached at email@example.com.