BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT, A&E
Thursday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT
Most everyone has seen or at least heard reference to Arnold Shapiro’s 1978 film “Scared Straight!” Now, executive produced by Shapiro, comes BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT.
This new series, presented by A&E and based on Arnold Shapiro’s Academy Award and multiple Emmy-winning documentary “Scared Straight!,” 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 fact that it has been referenced on “Saturday Night Live” speaks volumes of its cultural status. The film made a huge impact by 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.
Produced by Arnold Shapiro, “Beyond Scared Straight” profiles the new approach to keeping today’s teens from becoming tomorrow’s prisoners. 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. In many dramatic ways, these 21st Century programs are very different, because today’s youth need a different approach – a combination of confrontation, information and communication to try to reach these at-risk kids. These youthful offender programs put boys and girls of all ethnicities and backgrounds, ranging in age from 11-18, into intensive one-day in-prison sessions that show them the realities of life behind bars.
In the special 90-minute premiere episode, five at-risk teenaged girls get a close-up look at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, CA. In addition to the grueling day that’s planned, the prison has arranged for an extended stay – a total of 72-hours in prison – for the teens if they can’t convince the inmates they’re going to make positive changes in their lives.
Each 60-minute episode of “Beyond Scared Straight” will focus on a different prison program in the U.S., following 4 -5 at-risk teens. Viewers will follow them as they attend the program, experience their intensive one-day in-prison session and then follow up with them one-month later to see the lasting impressions the program has left on them.