The authors of the 20 chapters in Juvenile Crime and Justice address various hotly debated topics along three loosely connected themes: prevention, prosecution, and corrections. Each author presents arguments both in favor of and opposed to various treatments, programs, and punishments, examining issues such as youth curfews, juveniles in adult courts, legal representation for juveniles, juvenile boot camps, group homes, out-of-home placement, and more. The chapters included cover the leading arguments pertaining to key topics in this field and point out where more research needs to be done–which, at present, includes many of the most controversial issues in juvenile justice policy.The SeriesThe five brief, issues-based books in SAGE Reference’s Key Issues in Crime & Punishment Series offer examinations of controversial programs, practices, problems or issues from varied perspectives. Volumes correspond to the five central subfields in the Criminal Justice curriculum: Crime & Criminal Behavior, Policing, The Courts, Corrections, and Juvenile Justice. Each volume consists of approximately 20 chapters offering succinct pro/con examinations, and Recommended Readings conclude each chapter, highlighting different approaches to or perspectives on the issue at hand. As a set, these volumes provide perfect reference support for students writing position papers in undergraduate courses spanning the Criminal Justice curriculum. Each title is approximately 350 pages in length.
Chapter 16: Scared Straight Programs
Scared Straight and other similar programs involve taking at-risk kids or juvenile delinquents on organized tours of prison facilities. The tours often end with speeches or “rap sessions” with inmates, which can contain abrasive language, intimidation, and stories of the violent or sexual atrocities that can occur while someone is incarcerated. The participating youths are supposed to be “scared straight” through these interactions with prisoners and observations of the harsh conditions in prisons. The goal of such programs is deterrence, as proponents argue that witnessing the oppressive environment in prison will prevent the participants from committing future delinquent or criminal acts. Although Scared Straight and various slight derivations have existed in numerous states and even other countries, the most famous ...