Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

At ‘Wit’s End’: Scared Straight Programs Remain Popular Among Parents Despite Warnings
by Elly Yu, May 9, 2014

… Despite evidence that scared straight-type programs are ineffective and can even be harmful in the long run, many parents continue to turn to local jails for help when it comes to behavioral issues with their children….

Scared straight programs also fall in line with “tough on crime” mentality in the justice system, said Jeffrey Butts, director of research and evaluation at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and expert on criminal behavior. … “It’s a strong thing in America that we believe that being tough on people, punishing people, coercing them – basically forcing them to behave the way we want them to behave – it will somehow work,” he said.

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