Film Review : ' Scared Straight Programs ' Essay

966 WordsMay 1, 20164 Pages
Despite the show’s wild popularity, it has received much criticism from experts in the juvenile justice community. “Scared Straight programs are developed by adults for kids, but kids don’t react the same way as adults, that’s why the television series is popular with adults, but unsuccessful with kids.” says James Finckenauer, Beyond Scared Straight has also diverted public support from programs that actually work in the areas of prevention. The heavily dramatized nature of the A&E series could be the reason parents desperately reach out to the Scared Straight programs despite its ineffectiveness, and the nature of the program has attracted public and political attention and praise (Klenowski, Bell, and Dodson). According to Dr. Finckenauer, kids do not respond to the extreme nature presented in Scared Straight programs because they do not see beaten down losers, rather, they see strong, muscular adults. Irene Sullivan, a retired judge from Florida and writer for The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, explains "That’s why the television series is popular with adults, but unsuccessful with kids." Sullivan also criticizes Disney for, despite financial success with Beyond Scared Straight, having not donated a portion of its profits to one of the foundations that actually reach out to at-risk kids such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Eckerd Family Foundation, or the Henry and Ryla White Foundation. Scholars and writers for the Journal of Offender

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