Program Doesn’t Work

The Secretary of the Florida Dept of Juvenile Justice compiled a bunch of studies that were done on the behind bars programs.  All the studies found that the programs actually increased recidivism rates, decreased deterrence rates and did not effect the teens in any positive way.

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) which is a non-profit organization that works at the state and national levels to advise government officials during policy making, created a fact sheet on how the program does not work.  They state the program doesn’t deter a teen from being deviant, the program actually costs the tax payers a lot more money than what is let on and simply, the program is not effective.  In addition, the CJJ put out a position statement to advise and warn people that the program is actually harmful to our teens and our society as a whole.

In an article written in The Daily Beast, the author writes: “In addition to Maryland’s action, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation suspended its program as a direct result of one of three episodes filmed there, a spokesperson told The Washington Post, but Shapiro said that, like in Maryland, California’s programs are reviewed regularly and “are coming back” after making sure “the programs are in compliance.” He added, “What the media or critics or anybody has made out of this thing—the shows are airing and programs are getting shut down—it’s just not true.”   States are suspending their behind bars programs but Shapiro insists that the suspensions have nothing to do with the studies.  He argues that it is routine for programs to be evaluated and it is simply a matter of time before the programs are restarted again.

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) feel that the program definitely does more harm than good.  Arnold Shapiro reacts to the statement released by the NCJFCJ and argues that the program does in fact work because if youth counselors, teachers, parents and police officers didn’t believe in the program and they “saw no results they would stop doing it.”

There are even juvenile advocacy groups that are calling for the cancellation of the show.  They believe the show promotes child abuse and are appalled at the fact that these “graphic” images are used for entertainment purposes.  Such advocacy groups have created petitions for people to sign to push A&E into pulling the show off air.


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