Prison Question #1 (#2 is in General Questions)

“Scared Straight” Programs: Do they work or not?

From what I’ve read, results have been mixed. However, IMHO, if one juvenille reprobate is turned around by such a program, then it’s worth it.


I’m willing to try anything, and on a significant scale. However, I disagree with the logic that ‘whatever the cost to save this one, its worth it.’ The debate is not whether any given program can save one child, its what program is most efficient.

These programs don’t cost much money at all- basically the cost of a field trip. Opposition to these programs isn’t based on their cost; it’s based on their methodology.

I saw a bit of a “Scared Straight” show on cable. I was terrified of these prisoners and they were safely in my TV. If I were a kid I’d be straight as hell after that.

On the other hand, I do question the methodology. Criminal activity has been associated with bad family situations including child abuse. These kids have been hollered at and threatened by adults all their lives. So I don’t know what good a couple more threats are going to do.

Back to the first hand again, the threats are coming from people arguably more real than whatever ineffectual parents the kids had. First, they’re strangers; second, they’re convicts. So maybe the reality of being in a prison environment, faced with their potential cellmates, is quite potent.

I haven’t read the statistics, so I don’t know.

Sort of off the subject, but did anyone see the HBO thing on women who marry guys like the Nightstalker or other hideous murderers? What the heck are THEY smokin’? I don’t think any of them denied the fact that these dudes did the crimes, but they were totally devoted to them. And they weren’t sub-species types, either. They were lawyers, shrinks, a Playboy bunny, and the like. People with lives. It was creepy. Really creepy. And really sad. The prison scene was anything BUT a deterrent for these chicks. They were getting off on it!

Go figure.

GirlFace, you think shrinks and lawyers have lives?

After seeing that prison special on HBO, I would make it a point to NEVER put myself in a position (make your own joke here) that would put me in jail. The only salad I’m gonna toss is going to be in a bowl with lettuce and tomatoes and absolutely NO ASS!!

In response to the OP, I really don’t know what recidivism rates are for Scared Straight versus other programs. I do know that if I were placed in SS, I would do my damndest not to go to jail. Only place I want syrup is on my pancakes.

GirlFace, I saw that HBO special too and my jaw is still sore from the constant dropping. I think that, in order to get the women to open up, they didn’t ask tough questions like “what the fuck were you thinking writing letters to Lyle Menendez?”.

The bride of Nightstalker scared me the most.

There was a special on TV about a year ago called, “Scared Straight: 20 Years Later.”

And yep, the program works. They interviewed some of the kids that were in the program two decades ago. Of course now, they’re not kids anymore. At any rate, more than half of that group never got in trouble again and they credit the program for that.

It’s true that these kids had been threatened by parents, teachers and police, but this time they were threatened by killers. Killers who told them that they would get fucked in the ass their first day or would get a knife in the throat if they resisted. Killers who told them that every day behind the walls would be a nightmare.

A fifty percent success rate is far and away better than any other program out there.

Wish we had it here in Canada.

Well then, why doesn’t the government put it under more control? Hire actors to not shave, to dress in overalls, and to threaten juvenille offenders with rape and murder if they ever go to prison. I think it would work. Imagine: You’re 15 years old, in a small room, alone with a dirty looking man, who is threatening to do all sorts of horrible things to you if you ever do bad things. What would you do?