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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 64701 Find in a Library
Title: SCARED STRAIGHT - THE MYTH THAT ROARED
Journal: INSTITUTIONS ETC  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:SPECIAL REPORT (APRIL 1979)  Pages:1-9
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: National Ctr on Institutions and Alternatives
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr on Institutions and Alternatives
Alexandria, VA 22305
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A CRITIQUE OF THE TV DOCUMENTARY 'SCARED STRAIGHT' FILMED AT RAHWAY STATE PRISON IN NEW JERSEY IS OFFERED. THE CRITIQUE IS BASED ON INTERVIEWS AND RESEARCH DATA ON THE RAHWAY PROGRAM.
Abstract: THE FILM 'SCARED STRAIGHT' RECORDS A SESSION HELD BY THE 'LIFERS GROUP' AT RAHWAY FOR 17 TEENAGERS, DEPICTED IN TV REVIEWS AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL AS 'HARDCORE' LIFELONG DELINQUENTS. IN THE FILM, THE TEENAGERS ARE SUBJECTED TO 2 HOURS OF THREATS, INSULTS, AND VERBAL ABUSE, OSTENSIBLY TO 'SCARE' THE YOUNGSTERS 'STRAIGHT.' RESEARCH, HOWEVER, FOUND THAT 13 OF THE 17 YOUNGSTERS WERE FROM A NEW YORK SUBURBAN COMMUNITY AND HAD VOLUNTEERED TO BE IN THE FILM, WHILE MANY OF THE OTHERS, ACCORDING TO SELF-REPORTS AND REPORTS BY ACQUAINTANCES, HAD NOT COMMITTED JUVENILE CRIMES AS SERIOUS AS THOSE REPORTED IN THE FILM. INVESTIGATORS ALSO FOUND THAT SOME OF THE FIGURES MENTIONED IN THE FILM WERE MISLEADING. THE FILM REPORTS THAT, OF 10,000 JUVENILES TAKEN THROUGH THE PROGRAM, ONLY 10 PERCENT HAD LATER ARREST RECORDS. THIS FIGURE WAS BASED UPON A STUDY DONE BY THE LIFERS' GROUP AND A COUNTY JUDGE, WITH NO PROVISION FOR INDIVIDUAL FOLLOWUP OR RECORD OF NONREPLIES. RUTGERS UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS, WHO HAD HYPOTHESIZED THAT THE FILM HAD NO EFFECT ON THE ATTITUDES OF THE JUVENILES ATTENDING, FOUND THAT CONTROL GROUP MEMBERS WHO HAD NO PRIOR RECORD (21) HAD A SUCCESS RATE OF 95.2 PERCENT. HOWEVER, EXPERIMENTAL GROUP MEMBERS WITH NO PRIOR RECORD HAD A SUCCESS RATE OF 68.4 PERCENT. IN SUMMARY, MORE YOUNGSTERS WHO WENT THROUGH THE 'SCARED STRAIGHT' RAHWAY PROGRAM COMMITTED MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES AND MORE OF THEM AFTER COMPLETING THE PROGRAM THAN DID THOSE YOUNGSTERS WHO DID NOT ATTEND THE PROGRAM. (AOP)
Index Term(s): Films; Juvenile delinquency prevention; New York; School delinquency programs; Visual communications; Youthful offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64701

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