TAVARES — An upcoming episode of “Beyond Scared Straight” to be aired on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 10 p.m. on A&E, will feature two teen court youths as they tour the Lake County Jail.
According to A&E’s website, the Emmy®-nominated series follows “at-risk teens who have been in trouble for everything from fighting, theft, and drugs to promiscuity, gambling and gang-relations.”
“Lake County Detention Deputies conduct this educational tour for Teen Court participants, with parent consent, on a monthly basis,” said Stephanie Glass, Program Specialist with the Teen Court Program. “The purpose is to show first-time offenders the realistic consequences of continued criminal activity. “
The Lake County Jail tour program being featured in the episode is unlike the controversial 1978 “Scared Straight” documentary directed by Arnold Shapiro, which uses intimidation and other means to frighten youth offenders in an effort to “scare them straight.”
“Through the program, Lake County Deputies hope to show the youth that adults care about them and their future and don’t want to see them behind bars,” said Glass. “They emphasize improved decision-making and good behavior choices. Inmates share their stories and encourage the youth to set goals for themselves.”
Lake County’s Teen Court Program gives first-time offenders between the ages of 10 and 17 a second chance, yet holds them accountable for their actions. The program is based on the philosophy that a youthful law violator is less likely to continue to be an offender when a jury of their peers decides the punishment.
It is anticipated that Teen Court will interrupt developing patterns of criminal behavior by promoting feelings of self-esteem, motivation for self-improvement, and a healthy attitude toward authority.
For more information about the Lake County Teen Court Program, call Stephanie Glass at 352-742-6511 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.