Scared Straight and other juvenile awareness programs bring juvenile delinquents or youth at risk of delinquency on organized group visits to prisons that include observations of prison life and interactions with adult inmates. Such programs also include presentations from inmates that describe the effects of violence and life in prison.
Evidence of Effectiveness
There is strong evidence that Scared Straight and other juvenile awareness programs increase juvenile crime and recidivism (Campbell-Petrosino 2013, NIJ-CrimeSolutions). Youth who participate in such programs are approximately 1.7 times as likely as non-participating peers to have juvenile offenses such as arrests, convictions, and contacts with police (Campbell-Petrosino 2013).
Impact on Disparities
Likely to increase disparities
Citations - Evidence
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NIJ-CrimeSolutions - National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-CrimeSolutions. All programs and practices.
Campbell-Petrosino 2013 - Petrosino A, Buehler J, Turpin-Petrosino C. Scared Straight and other juvenile awareness programs for preventing juvenile delinquency: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews. 2013: 9.