Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Scared Straight Programs
James O. Finckenauer
The idea for dealing with youthful offending that became known as “Scared Straight” first came to light in 1976, when it was known as the Juvenile Awareness Project. It was then that a group of hardened prison inmates at New Jersey's Rahway State Prison, called the Lifers Group, began their project to make juveniles aware of what being in prison is like. Over several years in the mid-1970s, police departments, probation officers, youth groups, and high schools in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania brought over 7,000 boys and girls, most of them teenagers, into the maximum security prison for grueling two-hour sessions with the Lifers. Using well-practiced routines, the inmates berated, menaced, and tried to impress the youth with the sordid side of prison life: the loss of privacy and individualism, and the constant threat of assault and homosexual slavery. Following some newspaper and magazine articles, the Juvenile Awareness ...