ERIC Number: EJ881707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
An Empirical Evaluation of Juvenile Awareness Programs in the United States: Can Juveniles Be "Scared Straight"?
Klenowski, Paul M.; Bell, Keith J.; Dodson, Kimberly D.
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, v49 n4 p254-272 2010
Juvenile awareness programs like Scared Straight became popular crime prevention strategies during the 1970s. Juvenile offenders and at-risk youth who participate in these programs are taken to prisons where inmates use confrontational methods to recount stories about violence, sex, and abuse perpetrated by fellow inmates while living a life behind bars. These "get tough" policies have wide public and political appeal. Empirically speaking it is unclear whether juvenile awareness programs help to reduce recidivism or prevent criminal behavior. The purpose of this article is to use an evidence-based approach to determine if there is sufficient empirical evidence to suggest that these programs are effective crime prevention tools. This investigation includes a comprehensive review of the studies that have examined juvenile awareness programs. The studies are evaluated using the most widely accepted tool for assessing scholarly works in criminology, the Maryland Scientific Methods Scale. The results of this study indicate that juvenile awareness programs that use confrontational techniques do not work. However, their nonconfrontational counterparts may show some promise. (Contains 1 table.)
Descriptors: Crime, Crime Prevention, Correctional Institutions, At Risk Students, Juvenile Justice, Program Effectiveness, Program Descriptions, Violence, Sexual Abuse, Recidivism, Evaluation Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A