Scared Straight Analysis

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Scared Straight: Alive After Nearly 40 Years of Failure
Beginning in the late 1970’s Scared Straight style programs have been a popular method of rehabilitation for juvenile delinquents. The programs typically include a jail tour and presentations from inmates with the intention of frightening participants into turning their life around. The Scared Straight Program is a widely accepted, but rarely effective method of rehabilitating juvenile delinquents. The existence of the program has been perpetuated by its depiction on the A&E hit reality series Beyond Scared Straight. Though expensive, more effective and less harmful programs exist, such as Multisystemic Therapy. The outcome of juvenile crime prevention programs in general, not only Scared …show more content…

Finckenauer of the from Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice calls “vicarious deterrence,” or the concept of preventing someone from making a bad decision by observing another person who has made the same decision (Sullivan). Often, the presentations from the inmates during the jail tour include graphic stories about the horrors of prison life and the actions that led to their incarceration. The original pilot Scared Straight program was featured in a 1978 documentary entitled Scared Straight!, which was directed by Arnold Shapiro and narrated by Peter Falk. The documentary followed nineteen juvenile delinquents as they participated in the program at Rahway Prison (IMDb). Today, the A&E series Beyond Scared Straight follows participants through these programs all over the United States …show more content…

The show is centered on various Scared Straight style programs throughout the country (IMDb). It is intended to mimic the style of Arnold Shapiro's documentary Scared Straight!, from 1978, which documented the original pilot program (IMDb). Arnold Shapiro, the executive producer of this revival, was awarded the Banff Rocky Award for Best in Reality as well as the NAMIC Vision Award for his work on Beyond Scared Straight (IMDb). The show has 9 seasons and is advertised with the tagline "In prison for a day to stay out for life." The hit series from Disney’s A&E Network became the most-watched original series launch in the network’s history with an audience of 3.8 million people when it debuted

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