7 thoughts on “The Many Things that are Wrong with A&E’s “Beyond Scared Straight” Program


  2. Oh that’s wonderful!! More professional people giving their professional opinion about how to deal with situations they may know nothing about. The problem is everyone is in everyone’s business trying to raise their kids and telling the parents what they can and can’t do. These kids need to be held accountable for their actions!!! Kids know what to say to who they need to say it to. If we don’t change the way things are going it’s going to be a dangerous dangerous world. They know how may times they can break the law, they know how to say the right thing to get the parents in trouble. The court systems these days give the kids a slap on the wrist. It sad really sad.

    • I would agree with you Sandy. We no longer can correct our children but by god we are held responsible if they get into trouble, now tell me how this makes sense. I believe the scared straight programs can work if the name of the program is changes and a few more things were spelled out for the ones who know it all. I am a parent and wish to god something like this was around with my kid it would of impacted him for sure. It is time to help children and quit treating them like they are idiots. They know how to play the games you legal eagles and do whatever they want,
      yes, concerned parent

  3. The program is a disaster. They take the kids shoes. Theft is ok. They intimidate..Force someone to bend to your will. These kids will take all this force into real life.

  4. @Randy

    Did you not understand the article? The premise of bringing these kids into a situation like this is to show them plainly, “this is it, you continue to act the way you do and you’ll end up like us… or worse”. But it doesn’t work because kids don’t think long term as they said, if the message is: Do this and get THAT life then yes the program will be a failure.

    You are absolutely right that there needs to be something out there to help these kids before they turn to crime; a job, career help, sports programs, an after-school program, counseling and other work can be done. No one is disputing the worst thing to do is to neglect these youth… the common saying and theme being that ‘no one looked out for them’. But it is literally insane to do something that invests time and money into something that we know won’t help them and is equally as damaging or more then neglect, and all just to satisfy our appeal with little delinquent Jonny getting “his” from some beat-down loser (and they are losers). I’m not against showing them the reality of prison life but I question the effect it will have on them and the resouces it would take from something we know is effective today. Having someone scream in their face and push them around for a few days will not likely be a change from their home life anyways.

  5. Judge, you and the Professor are so breathtakingly ignorant that it is ludicrous. What the professor fails to recognize is that the concept of deterrance works when people that he so graciously calls “beat up losers” talk to these kids. Why? Because that is all they know, especially in families where the older family members are all inmates. Gang members, murderers, etc. are what these kids know. Yes, it is sad and pathetic. These kids don’t have the luxury of going to listen to an egghead professor who will go home to the luxury of his suburban home-it means NOTHING to them. They want to see someone that means something in the community for whatever reason tell them the truth about incarceration. And you see it every week in the older convicts who tell heartbreaking stories about how no one bothered with them. Jobs mean nothing-family counseling means nothing. That is just nonsense. When they see these older cons, the ones that have no hope, they know…why cuz that was me.

  6. Judge,

    I appreciate you bringing this to the attention of others. Hopefully having someone of your stature will help counter-balance the message of this programming.