Beyond Scared Straight


Were your favorite episodes of “Maury” the ones where a drill sergeant came to straighten out some trouble making teens?  Do you think kids need more tough love? Try watching “Beyond Scared Straight,” an A & E show that stems from the original 1970s “Sacred Straight” documentary.

On the show, parents bring their wild, law-breaking teens to see what being locked-up is really like. The program hopes to reveal the harsh prison life and rehabilitate the unruly teens. Typically the teens see preliminary inmate housing, view the conditions in which inmates live, and even speak with inmates who try to stop the teens from following in their footsteps. At the end of the program, we receive an update on the teen participants and find out whether they have changed or have continued committing crimes.

Though there is controversy on whether or not the program is effective for the troubled teens, it certainly opens viewers’ eyes on the reality of life within the prison. I can’t help but rejoice when a 13-year-old that tries acting “hard” ends up crying and apologizing to his/her parents. While I do ponder the home life of many of the kids (how do you let your 15-year-old do hard drugs and steal cars??), I hope the show provides the wake-up message that the parents were unable to.

I give it 5 stars!


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