Is This the Year America Wakes Up to Its Prison Disaster? Why Conservatives Are Finally Jumping on the Bandwagon


HAGERSTOWN, Md.—Maryland and California prison officials said Friday they have suspended youthful offender diversion programs featured on the television show “Beyond Scared Straight” after the U.S. Justice Department warned they could lose federal funding.

A prison agency spokesman in South Carolina, the only other state featured on the A&E Network series, said the diversion program there will be reviewed by the state’s incoming corrections chief.

The A&E series, which started Jan. 13, is produced by Arnold Shapiro, maker of the Emmy- and Oscar-winning 1979 television special, “Scared Straight.” Like that show, it documents visits by troubled teenagers to prisons where intimidating inmates deliver in-your-face lectures about the harshness of life behind bars.

The Justice Department says a study of nine such programs concluded they don’t deter teenagers from offending. In fact, the youths were more likely to offend in the future, according to Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson and Jeff Slowikowski, acting administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

“In light of this evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice discourages the funding of scared straight-type programs. States that operate such programs could have their federal funding reduced if shown not to have complied with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act,” the federal officials wrote in an op-ed piece published Monday in The Baltimore Sun.

Continue Reading….

Advertisements

One thought on “Is This the Year America Wakes Up to Its Prison Disaster? Why Conservatives Are Finally Jumping on the Bandwagon

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s