Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A&E: Beyond Scared Straight (2011)

Source:A&E Network- this is from a clip of Beyond Straight.

"Beyond Scared Straight, the Emmy-nominated series that profiles unique crime prevention programs aimed at deterring troubled teens from jail, returns for its ninth and final 11-episode season.

Inspired by “Scared Straight!,” the Academy Award and multiple Emmy-winning documentary film by Arnold Shapiro, Beyond Scared Straight follows teens who pride themselves on bad behavior ranging from theft, drugs, promiscuity, gang affiliation, violence and arson. These defiant teens are forced to spend a day (and sometimes a night) in jail, interacting with convicted felons who give them first-hand experience of life behind bars with the hope that they see where the path of destruction they are headed down could lead them. Since the series’ inception in 2009, Beyond Scared Straight has profiled 331 teens in crime prevention programs in 29 prisons and jails across the county.

“While it is sad when a successful series ends, I’ve decided that it’s time for Beyond Scared Straight to come to a close,” said series creator and executive producer Arnold Shapiro. “I am so proud of the teenage lives that have been changed and even saved over our 83 episodes and six years of production. It gave kids who were heading down the wrong path a preview of their future and a road map on how to change it. Happily, the majority of them made life-altering adjustments to their dangerous behavior.”

Beyond Scared Straight is produced by Arnold Shapiro Productions for A&E Network. Executive Producers are Arnold Shapiro and Paul J. Coyne. Executive producer for A&E is Laura Fleury." 

From A&E 

"A&E Network presents "Beyond Scared Straight," a new series executive produced by Arnold Shapiro and based on his Academy Award and multiple Emmy-Winning documentary "Scared Straight!," that will profile unique approaches to juvenile crime prevention in prisons around the U.S. The series premieres Thursday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT with a special 90-minute episode at a women's prison in central California. 
"Scared Straight!" has become an iconic name and a cultural phenomenon over the years. The film made a huge impact - showcasing the radical and effective juvenile intervention program that took place in a New Jersey prison. Since they were created, both the prison program and the film have turned countless kids away from drugs, violence and crime. The power of the original "Scared Straight!" program has inspired dozens of inmate-run intervention programs in men's and women's prisons across the country; and this series will showcase several of them.  Under the auspices of Arnold Shapiro, "Beyond Scared Straight" profiles the new approach to keeping today's kids from becoming tomorrow's convicts... 

Source:A&E Network- this is from a clip of this episode.

From A&E 

This is why I'm against warehousing our prison inmates:

There will always be prison inmates who are simply committed to being career criminals who believe that the laws in society don't apply to them and who believe they're above the law. And there will always be prison inmates who for whatever reasons never get with the program in prison and as a result end up doing a lot of their time in solitary confinement. Doesn't mean we should be giving up on people and accept the fact that their families have given up on them simply because they're not just in prison or serving long sentences, or even serving life without the possibility of parole. 

It's not so much that I care about the personal lives of our prison population, as I care about the lives of the people who live in the free world. If we want safer communities, then we need fewer criminals, especially career criminals, and people who go back to their criminal careers once they've finished their last prison sentence or got paroled. 

We also need to get to youth-at-risk before they become career criminals and longtime prison inmates. And showing them what life will be like for them as adults if they stay on the road their headed on and what life will be like for them in prison, especially in a maximum security prison and using the prison inmates there to give these juveniles those lessons is a great idea. 

Prison inmates, including lifers and people who are doing 25 to life, 40 to life, or life without the possibility of parole, shouldn't be treated like animals at a zoo. But instead given the opportunity to make their prison sentence a very productive one, not just for themselves, but for their families and even the opportunity to give back to society. 

We can do these things like education, not just high school, but vocational or even college, while they're in prison, as well as doing real work, like with these scared straight programs and other programs designed to prevent future career criminals and prison inmates.

Liberal Democrat

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