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Scared Straight Doesn't Work, Let's Stop Pretending it Does

If you grew up in the 1980s and 90s you will remember the JUST SAY NO campaign spearheaded by then First Lady, Nancy Reagan.  Televisions commercial were laughable, in one someone held up an egg and said "This is your brains", cracks it and lets the contents hit a hot frying pan saying "This is your brain on drugs, any questions?" This like the push a generation earlier when it came the health risks of smoking, tried to get kids to see the long-term consequences of their short-term enjoyment. Maybe one of the most of the most celebrated attempts at scaring kids was  Scared Straight, a program that brought young people into prisons to basically be abused verbally by members of the prison community both guards and inmates. This became a TV show and the program spread around the country like wildfire.  Often the inmates got considerations for trying to put fear into the hearts of the young people.  The main groups brought in were already petty offenders but there wer…

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