Scared Straight, 1978

Classic television documentary featuring real convicts warning troubled teens about the horrors of prison life.

MIXEDMADNESS –The original scared straight from 1978 with follow ups on the youths and “lifers” 20 years later.


Scared Straight is airing on Thursday night at 9pm on KTAR, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix, with a viewer discretion advisory in the print ad, warning that “explicit and crude street language and graphic descriptions” will be present.   The aforementioned always-reliable Wikipedia notes that it was the first time words such as “f**k” and “sh*t” were broadcast on non-cable television […]
Scared Straight! is a 1978 documentary directed by Arnold Shapiro. Narrated by Peter Falk, the subject of the documentary is a group of juvenile delinquents and their three-hour session with actual convicts. Filmed at Rahway State Prison, a group of inmates known as the “lifers” berate, scream at, and terrify the young offenders in an attempt to “scare them straight” (hence the film’s title), so that those teenagers will avoid prison life.
The documentary aired on television in the late 1970s, uncensored; it marked the first time that the profane words “fuck” and “shit” were broadcast on many networks. Some broadcasters (an example being CFQC, a CTV Network affiliate in Canada) added locally produced segments in which experts discussed both the content of the documentary, and the rationale behind airing it uncensored.
The cast includes a drug dealer and counterfeit document manufacturer from Westchester County, New York (Mikie C), a gang member from Jersey City, New Jersey (Jerome Watts), an arsonist and bomb builder from Bridgeport, Connecticut (Jon Shipiro), the son of a Mafia informant (Carlo Gallo), and a 17-year-old chop shop parts dealer and car thief from The Bronx, New York (Jesus Rodriguez).


 Scared Straight! Another Story



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