"The essence of the show is to highlight people who have been convicted of non-violent crimes and misdemeanors," Schleiff said about "Talent Behind Bars." "Maybe there's somebody in a part of the country where they've never had a real chance to have a proper education, but they have a talent. Maybe it's singing, for example.
"So if we can give somebody like that, because of the use of the medium of our series, a break, they [might] get seen. And [if] someone sees that they have an extraordinary ability, it's a chance for maybe a little bit of a redemption."
According to Broadcasting & Cable, prizes for the reality series are still being determined but could potentially go towards supporting prisoner rehabilitation.
But Will Marling, head of the National Organization for Victims Assistance, told ABCNews.com that these shows fail to take into consideration an important segment of the population: the victims.
"Even with non-violent criminals, the question is: how is justice served in this, how are victims served in this?" Marling asked. "Restitution in this country is abysmally low. The network is benefiting from people who are incarcerated and the prisoners may in some way be benefiting. That doesn't seem just to me."
Marling said he also wonders if the network will contact the victims of the offender-contestants to let them know the person who wronged them will be on television and "he's going to become a celebrity."
"These shows are potentially rife with pain," he said. "The network could run right over victims and not realize the suffering it's creating just by not involving victims in the conversation."
Some other shows on Investigation Discovery's lineup may also cause a stir. They include "Call 911," featuring emergency calls from the scenes of crimes; "Most Evil and Deranged," about crazed killers; and "Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?"