Crime Prevention Research Review: Scared Straight and Other Juvenile Awareness Programs for Preventing Juvenile Delinquency

Programs like "Scared Straight" involve organized visits to prison facilities by juvenile delinquents or children at risk for becoming delinquent. The programs are meant to deter participants from future offending by providing first-hand observations of prison life and interaction with adult inmates. Results of this review indicate that these programs not only fail to deter crime but also actually lead to more offending behavior. Government officials permitting this program need to adopt rigorous evaluation to ensure they are not causing more harm to the very citizens they pledge to protect.


Author: Anthony Petrosino, Carolyn Turpin-Petrosino, Meghan E. Hollis-Peel, Julia G. Lavenberg, and Alexis Stern

Federal Sponsor Agency: COPS

Provider: The Campbell Collaboration Crime and Justice Group

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Publication Date: 2014

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