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Scared straight program?

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  • Scared straight program?

    Many years ago there was a program called scared straight where they would bring juviniles into the jail or prison after being in some trouble. The inmates were allowed to hollar and yell obsenities at them, but couldn't touch them. The point was to let the juvees know this ain't the place to be. This program was on the news for a while and always portrayed in a positive light, seemed to be a good thing. Then it just vanished, does anybody know why?

  • #2
    Here's a bit more information on the shows:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scared_Straight!


    The Surgeon General's website has some information on their failure:

    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/librar...ter5/sec6.html


    And for some more research:

    http://www.djj.state.fl.us/Research/...et_Version.pdf


    I remember watching those shows, too, sometime in the 90s. The problem, I think, is that while it might work on the average person, it has little lasting effect on a criminal mind, and, for some, was a stimulus of attitude toward further offense.
    Last edited by HokieBird; 12-18-2007, 01:21 PM.
    CBPO - Nirgendwo in Amerika

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    • #3
      These programs most often were successful only at giving juvenile delinquents thuggy role models to look up to and emulate. They saw these big, bad dudes who appeared to be running something, and wanted to be just like them when they grew up.

      What should have happened was to take the delinquents to the Hole and show some ******* chained down, ****ing & ****ting on himself in a display of complete powerlessness; rather than some glamorous thug who appeared to have all the answers and whom the prison staff treated with deference & respect.
      "Keep up the good fight, pass the word, and teach others to fight back when unjustly assaulted--be it on the street or in the courtroom. Self-defense is a normal, moral act. So teach your family, friends, and students practical defense against both physical and legal marauders." by Jerry VanCook www.PrisonOfficer.Org

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      • #4
        A good deal of research data supports the notion that these approaches are ineffective.

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        • #5
          I can only speculate, but I feel that the mindset that makes a criminal is set at a very young age (probably prior to age 6). By the time they take these kids through a jail, it's too late.

          The criminal-oriented mind revolves around people who are not good at understanding cause and effect. They think in the short term and seem to have major problems understanding long term effects of anything they do. You can't "scare" that personality trait out of a person. It's just hard-wired into them.

          The way there brain works is that they only think of the short term pleasure an action will bring them ("I'm getting high") and not of the long term consequences ("I'm going to go to jail.") They also seem to have problems internalizing lessons people try to teach them. This is why they always seem to think they can "get away with it THIS time."

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          • #6
            I have to comment on this subject. I am a juvenile corrections officer. I don't think this program would work on a juvenile who is already criminal minded, maybe on a first time offender, someone who made a stupid mistake and is scared of the consequences.

            The Dept. that I work at doesn't really punish these kids enough. They aren't scared of the consequences that they receive. They have no respect for staff. I have to tell them something twenty times and they still don't listen. The staff doesn't do their job, they let these kids do anything they want. There is a lot of staff that doesn't need to be working there, in my opinion anyway.

            We need to toughen up on these kids and make their lives a living hell. We need to make these places horrible so they don't want to come back. They are given so many privileges it's not even funny.
            Last edited by alienbow; 04-20-2008, 03:32 AM.
            www.amyandwandasrants.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              when I worked for KY DOC we had the scared straight program at eastern ky correctional complex they were housed in seg and treated just like a inmate if they broke a sprinkler head or anything that a regular inmate would do to get put in hobbles the scared straight people would have it done to them they were treated no different than the inmates.

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              • #8
                Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California, which is maximum security, runs a program called the ROCK Program (Reaching Out Convicts to Kids). I have not seen it firsthand, but have done some research on it. It is not a scared straight type of approach, but rather an educational approach. They have been doing it since 1997, for boys only. It's an 8-hour day where they meet inmates in general pop who describe their crimes and reasons for participating in the Program. They watch videos of prison incidents, including fights and stabbings, tour the rec yard, housing units, eat prison food for lunch, etc. In short, they educate, they don't intimidate. Research has definitely shown that the intimidation never worked to well, and I believe it works even less well nowadays.
                He who feels punctured must once have been a bubble. --Lao Tzu

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                • #9
                  You guys have it all wrong. This type of thing only works on all those talk shows. They always come out to be a wonderful part of society.

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                  • #10
                    In the Juvenile detention center i work at, the imates are treated better than the CO's by the administration. However, the most of the staff does not take any crap, and the imates follow directions or face harsh punishment. I feel like this program does not work do to the fact that most of our kids want to be in county anyway...
                    Hired !!!!!

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