Sacred Straight and Similar Programs and How They Prevent Juvenile Delinquency 

There have been multiple researches that revealed that different solutions need to be employed long term if juvenile delinquency is going to be realized. One finds that the appropriate strategy for the improvement of social values in one’s character would be to eradicate anti-social tendencies. Therefore, the prevention of delinquency can be argued to be the most effective technique for addressing juvenile delinquency. While there are strategies that can be employed with the intention of eradicating developed negative behavior, such strategies are often not very effective. Therefore, this paper will delve into preventative programs such as scared straight and other early intervention programs.

Scared Straight

Scared straight is the most popular program for the treatment of juvenile delinquency. However, other programs have been applied over the years with the intention of addressing issues arising from misconduct. However, one also finds that the approach towards the application of solutions that do not take into consideration the individual needs of the Juvenile could often be rendered useless. Therefore, many of the Juvenile awareness programs have been developed with the intention of identifying the subject’s strengths and weaknesses and thus serving to improve their ability for improved behavior. This paper delves into the different issues that such programs could take into consideration before developing an understanding of the actual solutions required.

Most Juvenile awareness programs were found to take an approach that serves to avoid re-occurrence of misconduct. However, Scared Straight is a program that helps to prevent the occurrence of delinquency by introducing measures that deter adolescents from even starting any delinquent behavior. The fear element is introduced with the intention of eliminating any capacity for intent on the part of the adolescent (Tamara, 2000). The program depends on the ability of the program to present the realities of prison as well as other harsh realities of delinquent behavior. The hypothesis for this program was that kids exposed to such harsh life realities would be scared into avoiding any conduct that would otherwise result in the development of delinquency. Whenever a delinquent is allowed to tour an adult prison and allowed exposure to convicted felons, it was observed that many of the adolescents would eliminate delinquent behavior and improve their practice.

Delinquent behavior has been found to be a product of an earlier tendency for misconduct. Adolescents have often been related to a tendency for applying learned behavior on a level that eventually becomes part of their personality. Therefore, once an adolescent develops certain tendencies for specific behavior, it is observed that the ability of the individual to break the chain becomes next to impossible. This program tracks adolescents on a path of their chosen life paths. Adolescents are given points in association with the Child & Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) thus allowing for a better understanding of the child’s tendency for delinquency (Petrosino, Turpinpetrosino, Hollispeel, & Lavenberg, 2002). Elements such as school work and community interaction are given key attention. The subject’s behavior and mood are also gauged. One also finds that the subject’s thinking and the tendency for substance abuse is observed thus allowing for a more effective prediction.

Restorative Justice is a program that incorporates both punishment and educative techniques that allow for the restoration of the subjective. Restorative Justice relates with the ability of this program to eradicate delinquent behavior and thus allow for the inclusion of justice for the community that was negatively affected by the child’s criminal tendencies; this is only considered to be useful once the subject has taken responsibility for their actions (Klenowski, Bell, & Dodson, 2010). One also finds that the appropriate approach towards the treatment and improvement of the moods and attitudes of subjects also allowed their community to feel at ease. However, one also finds that the restorative justice program is not valid if the issue is not tracked long term. When the application is applied, long-term one finds that the subject in question stands a higher chance of improving and becoming a better person.

One of the behaviors that are handled through the Stop Now Act Later program is one’s tendency for extreme anger. It has been observed that the most appropriate strategies where this program is concerned are group therapy and personal interaction. Individuals aged between six and eleven are going to work together to identify which character traits are difficult (Petrosino, Turpinpetrosino, Hollispeel, & Lavenberg, 2002). However, the cumulative result has often been found to be the identification of anger as a cause for specific behavior that could be considered to be repetitive. However, this program has also been found to be detrimental in that it might encourage delinquent behavior even more. Group therapy often increases the tendency of individuals to act in ways that are negative. Specific strategies as employed by different children may result in the domination of the group therapy sessions and thus cause even more pain for those involved.

The multi-systemic therapy approach has often been found to be very useful in handling issues associated with juvenile offenders that could be considered to be very serious. This program could intervene with restorative justice where recidivism is detected. The program could also take into consideration an individual plan that would provide the subject with an approach to the treatment process (Feinstein, 2005). One also finds that the program also serves to minimize interaction between delinquents. The program increases the quality of communication between the delinquent and their family. An approach towards enhancing the subject’s ability for familial interaction has been found to improve the ability for the subject to realize appreciation for the solutions provided regarding living standards. However, one also finds that the treatment plans that are employed will depend on the habits of the subject as well as their commitment.

The most effective program for preventing Juvenile delinquency is the prevention of it in the first place. Avoiding chaos before it happens has often been the predictor of future success with regards to the development of life skills and effective problem resolution capacities. It is highly beneficial for everyone involved to take into consideration how a given subject could behave in the future and thus allow for the development of measures that prevent the development of delinquent behavior. Antisocial behavior is specifically corrected with the intention of letting the subject to be inclusive of their tendency for improved provision of services with regards to the development of the ability of personal interaction. The Perry Preschool Program is one such early intervention program that serves to improve the child’s capacity for developing positive character traits. This program is especially beneficial for low-income people as it requires minimal financial input.

In conclusion, on finds that Juvenile awareness program takes into consideration the different issues facing a given subject and thus allow for a reduction of the tendencies for the questions to wreak havoc in their societies. However, the prevention of individual behavior has often been argued to be the most effective way of addressing issues facing juvenile delinquents. Therefore, identifying and preventing juvenile delinquency has been closely related to the development of skills and measures that would, in turn, result in the improvement of the subject’s ability to increase their proficiency in life skills. However, one also finds that the programs could cause an increase in delinquency as is the case with group therapy. Therefore, it is highly essential for the plans to take into consideration the results of the program long term.


  1. Feinstein, S. (2005). Another Look at Scared Straight. Journal of Correctional Education, 56(1), 40-44
  2. Klenowski, P.M. ., Bell, K. J. ., & Dodson, K.D. . (2010). An Empirical Evaluation of Juvenile Awareness Programs in the United States: Can Juveniles be “Scared Straight”? Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 49(4), 254-272.
  3. Petrosino, A., Turpinpetrosino, C., Hollispeel, M., & Lavenberg, J. (2002). ‘Scared Straight’ and other juvenile awareness programs for preventing juvenile delinquency. Cochrane Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group, 4(2), CD002796
  4. Tamara, T.W. (2000). The “stay alive from education” (SAFE) program: Description and preliminary pilot testing. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 45(2), 1. Windell, J., & Allen, J. (2005). An Application of Fear Appeal Messages to Enhance the Benefits of a Jail Encounter Program for Youthful Offenders. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 3(4), 388-395.