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Not So Scared Straight Essay

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Not So Scared Straight
Sarah Schnitzler
English 101, Composition
Professor O’Connor
January 13, 2014

Since 2011 there have been more than 1.3 million juvenile delinquency cases. Shock incarceration programs such as the Scared Straight program are extremely out dated and ineffective. There have been numerous studies showing that programs that use tactics such as bullying and threatening do not work with juveniles. These programs are designed to deter at-risk youths from a life of crime but instead only increase re-offender rates. The programs that show tremendous promise are programs such as mentoring, counseling, and interventions.

Not So Scared Straight

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention the number of juvenile arrests in 2013 is up by 15%. “Scared Straight” is a program that is designed to deter young people from a life of criminal activity. The concept of this program is to take juveniles and show them what life is like in prison behind the bars. These kinds of programs are aimed to teach kids that their bad behavior and criminal mischief have serious consequences. The “scared straight” tactic does little to deter juveniles from a life of crime. There is a law in Illinois that requires the Chicago Public Schools to take at-risk youth on tours of adult prison facilities. This law was designed to give these children a firsthand look as to what their future could be like by interacting with correction officers and inmates alike. One reason that this program is ineffective is because these at risk kids can identify with the inmates and they actually feel as though prison is place that they can fit in. Social worker, Becky Blanton, states that “The allure of being around men who seemed to model confidence, attitude, caring (since the prisoners ...

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