Monday, January 10, 2011

Beyond Stupid

"Beyond Scared Straight":

Sigh. It was only a matter of time before this kind of chest-thumping, get tough stupidity from decades past resurfaced in the form of another "hard-hitting" documentary, designed to "teach them kids a lesson."

First it was the Shapiro film from 1978, then "Ten Years Later" in '88 on syndication, then MTV did a version in '98, and now A&E (who should really know better).

Of course, as has been shown in the academic research for years now, these kinds of "shock incarceration" programs do nothing to curb or prevent recidivism, the inmates are often coached off camera to appear tougher than they are, the kids are shown to be "badder" before the program and scripted to appear "contrite" afterward.

Worse, some research has shown the kids even come to actually identify with the "bad ass" inmates and that these programs actually encourage criminal behavior.

Watch it at your own risk. I'm sure we'll be discussing this in 3070 this coming semester.


Rachel said...

Sweeeet!! I knew that'd get you going! :)

Amanda said...

You were the first person I thought of when I saw this..

I just don't understand why A&E would encourage such a ridiculous show. There are plenty of statistics confirming the inefficiency of these programs. And more so, knowing (statistically) that the youth of these programs often end up back in the system, has me very upset about this show.

By the way I love the "Little Devil Lady," haha, how hard was she coached?