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By Tracy Agnew

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Published 11:08 afternoon Tuesday, December 27, 2011


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Scared Straight: The documentary series “Beyond scared Straight” filmed at western Tidewater local Jail previously this year. The episode will certainly air Thursday.

You are watching: Beyond scared straight western tidewater regional jail va


Teens from Suffolk and also Western tidewater recently obtained scared right — and also there’s a television present to prove it.

A&E’s “Beyond fear Straight” program recorded an episode at the west Tidewater local Jail in July, exposing the realities of a life that incarceration come the human being — and to a group of impressionable young world whose parents signed them up for the program. The routine airs Thursday night.


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A jail officer talks to the teenagers in the program.


“It’s one amazing, effective, powerful program,” said Arnold Shapiro, the producer and creator of the documentary series, and also its predecessor, “Scared Straight.”


The episode adheres to a team of neighborhood teens that have gained into problem such together disobedience and disrespect to your parents, shoplifting, alcohol and drug use and similar problems.

The teens’ parental signed castle up because that the right Talk routine at west Tidewater regional Jail. The program, which is hosted every various other week because that a different group the teens, is expected to put the young civilization on the best path, stated Capt. James Lewis, among several jail police officers who volunteer your Saturdays to operation the program.

“Our approaches are to gain their attention, to rest them down, then we develop them back up,” Lewis said. “We shot to get to the meat that the problems. When you gain them through the program, you start finding out there’s more issues than what was stated in the beginning.”


Lewis claimed the straight Talk program began under that name about two years ago, but they have been law jail tours for troubled teenagers for the critical 15 years. Parents uncover out around the regime through native of mouth and sign their youngsters up, Lewis said. The only necessity is the the kid cannot currently be associated in the juvenile justice system.

“We desire them to check out what’s real,” Lewis said. “It can sink in, so they won’t wind increase coming earlier in here.”

Even though Lewis claimed the jail’s regimen is effective, he was blown away as soon as he heard A&E wanted to ice “Beyond fear Straight” at the jail.

“My an initial reaction was, ‘How go they discover out around us?’” Lewis said. “I understand we’re good, however wow.”


The hour-long episode shows interviews with some of the teens and also their parental done prior to the directly Talk program. The teens easily admit to alcohol and drug use, shoplifting, causing problems at home and getting in fights in ~ school.

Once the teens gain to the jail, they space dressed in prison jumpsuits, handcuffed on your wrists and also shackled in ~ the ankles. Lock then view cell-blocks in the jail, come face-to-face v inmates at your cell doors and also have inmates come into a room to talk to them.

Finally, the teenagers write letter to your parents and also read them out loud in former of their peers and parents.

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A follow-up segment in ~ the finish of the program shows exactly how the teens’ lives have actually changed. Part straightened up your act, when others got into depth trouble.

“The routine itself is transforming lives,” Shapiro said. “All we’re law is chronicling it. We get a many letters and also emails informing us that just by their son watching that on TV, they’ve changed. That’s really gratifying.”