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Observing programs for troubled teens in which inmates reveal the realities of prison life in the hope of deterring them from a life of crime.
Inmates at the Valley State Prison for Women use a combination of confrontation, information, and communication to try to keep five young girls from becoming convicts.
Five teens learn the harsh realities of prison life at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup, where dozens of menacing inmates, including convicted murderers, surround the kids and taunt them. The teens include Steve, 17, who likes the "outlaw" life; Brandon, 17, who's been arrested five times; Dion, who admits to selling drugs; and Sahn, 13, who steals polo shirts because he's got a "passion for fashion.
Hardened criminals at the California prison that is home to Charles Manson give teens a taste of life on the yard, where any prisoner can approach the kids and give them a feel for the dangers of prison life. The teens include Stephen, 16, a violent youth who threatens his teachers; Josh and Armando, 16, twin brothers and gang members; Elijha, 15, a car thief; and Abraham, 16, who thinks that going to jail is no big deal.
Six at-risk teens experience Lieber Correctional Facility in Ridgeville, SC, to get a first-hand look and feel at life on the inside. The inmate-run "Operation Behind Bars" program locks up the teens in tiny cells, gives them a taste prison food and offers a glimpse into "Lock-Up," a prison within the prison for the worst of the inmate population. Shaming the teens with a stern tone, the program coordinator, civilian Nell Westbury, adds a unique voice to the inmate's onslaught.
Four at-risk teens are brought to one of the nation's most infamous prisons to participate in the S.Q.U.I.R.E.S. program? the oldest inmate-run youth diversion program in the nation. The program, short for San Quentin's Utilization of Inmate Resources, Experiences & Studies, shows these kids the realities of prison life. They see the state's only male Death Row, are paraded past the heckles of the prisoners in the overcrowded cells and discuss how the constant fear of violence and physical harm is around every corner.
Maryland inmates give a group of five at-risk teens a taste of prison when they are forced to eat "Lock-up Loaf," a brick of baked mush served to unruly prisoners. The teens include, Shane, 17, a redneck who is surprised he hasn't killed anyone, Garrett, 13, who HAS been kicked out of eight schools already, Brandy, 16, who skips school to smoke pot, her brother Shawn, 15, who protects Brandy at any cost and Richard, 18, a towering jock who drinks, blacks out and awakens bloodied from brawling.
Five at-risk girls are subjected to a terrifying simulation of the degrading process of entering a female prison. Four friends, busted together for shoplifting, have a unique opportunity to jointly discover the horror of prison life. The prison tour reaches its greatest emotional impact when teens open up to the inmates, causing one girl to reveal a tragic secret.
In Charlotte, NC, teen troublemaker Jose goes head-to-head with terrifying inmates and Sgt. Garrett, one of the toughest female jail deputies Beyond Scared Straight has come across. When Jose refuses to follow an order, Sgt. Garrett makes it her mission to break him down.
Oakland County, Michigan is a stone's throw from Detroit's infamous 8-Mile and the streets here are just as tough - but the deputies and inmates who run Oakland County Jail's "Turn-Around" program are even tougher.
The at-risk teens of Portsmouth County, Virginia aren't afraid to fight back when confronted with a loud cellblock at Portsmouth County Jail. For one teen, a day is not enough and he is shocked when deputies show up at his home and return him to the
Oklahoma County is in the midst of an epidemic of gangs and street crime. Angry, impressionable teens are being pulled into the gangster lifestyle. For two pairs of at-risk girls, jail seems to be no scarier than the streets. They defy deputies and threaten inmates. When one girl is finally pushed to the breaking point, she lashes out, physically assaulting a deputy and finding out what it really means to be arrested.
In the second-season finale, San Bernardino County Jail in California is visited by four teens who are also taken to the morgue to witness the consequences of gang violence.
At the Richland County Jail in South Carolina, troubled teens learn firsthand what jail is like when they are locked in cells for a terrifying all-night stay. Sleep is the last thing they will find though, as deputies and inmates rouse them repeatedly from their bunks during the physically grueling sleepover.
A prison in St. Clair, Ill., is visited by teens who are threatened by screaming inmates
Teen girls visit a prison in San Bernardino County, Cal., where one of the teens gets into a confrontation that turns physical.
Siblings visit the Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Virginia.
At the Queen Anne's County Jail "Reset" program in Maryland, six at-risk teens endure a four-day intervention program depicting the terrors of jail, a drunk driving fatality in a hospital trauma center and a glimpse of their own funeral. Eighteen year-old partiers Daria and Christopher, who are girlfriend and boyfriend, will find their relationship tested when they are forced to testify against each other in court.
Outside Detroit, a teen trio of female troublemakers who call themselves The Three Musketeers, discover their bond is not tight enough to survive even a day in the Oakland County women's lockup. Courtney, Tia and Renee love to party, but when they are forced by inmates and deputies to scrub a jail cellblock and bathroom, the party is over. Meanwhile Taylor, a 16-year old thief, is swarmed by screaming female inmates who learn that she stole $2,000 from her grandparents, and one teen makes an unexpected friend behind bars.
In the third-season finale, a teenage pyromaniac visits Virginia's Hampton Roads Regional Jail, where his mom works as a deputy.
In a city where your neighborhood defines your gang, four at-risk teen girls endure a day in a female jail and learn where their lives are headed. Though they walk into the jail together, the teens will turn on one of their own. Thalia, 15, is a frightening street brawler (she s even hit her own grandmother) who takes her fight to the inmates and deputies. When she refuses to taste jail food, the other teens force her. Jahmiya, 15, incurs the wrath of female inmates with thick Boston accents, when she uses a derogatory hand gesture. But it is Jahmiya, the scrappy thief, who leads the other female delinquents to gang up on Thalia, forcing her to take in parts of jail life no one should have to stomach. Pot-smoking Tina, 16, is shocked when deputies chain all the teens together.
In Jacksonville, Florida, four at-risk teens attend a three-part "scared straight" tour. Towering over nearly everyone, KeShawn, 15, is intimidated by no one. But when KeShawn witnesses his pint-sized little brother, Kevon, suffering the terrifying consequences of trying to imitate his big bro, KeShawn breaks down, and gets a glimpse of what the future holds for both of them. Also, Johnny, a white, self-proclaimed racist, endures the wrath of the black inmate population.
The Return of "Ice Mike" Troubled teens that attend the St. Clair County Jail diversion program take a lie detector test that reveals some shocking secrets. Inmates "Ice Mike" and "Hustle Man" return (from last season) to confront a BMX-riding stoner, a fearless gangster, a terrorizing bully, and Summer--a promiscuous under age girl who just doesn t say no to older boys--and her paralyzed mom can't stop her. Summer experiences the humiliation of jailhouse make-up and the surprising reaction Ice Mike has to her shameful behavior. Summer freaks out when she sees an inmate strapped into a restraint chair, and going wild. Pot-smoking Austin, 15, discovers an inmate who dipped his hands into boiling oil while high on drugs. Jeremy, 17, is tormented by inmates when they learn he assaulted his grandmother. An entire cell block descends on the four teens--and they have nowhere to hide.
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The Return of "Tiny"
Authorities hope a tour of prison will knock some much-needed sense into some troublesome teens from Southern California's San Bernardino County.
Swampland troublemakers who receive an attitude adjustment include a 17-year-old who uses her looks to her advantage and a young thug who meets a family member behind bars.
A young drug dealer, a child model and twin bullies enter a Georgia jail for a personal experience of the criminal-justice system.
A visiting teenage drug dealer fearlessly takes on the taunting residents of a Virginia jail; inmate Nasty Nard greets the newcomers with aggression.
A Texas mother sends her three troublesome daughters to an overnight jail program in Richland County, South Carolina.
A teen visitor to the Oneida County Correctional Facility in central New York takes a seat in a restraint chair, while another young hoodlum gets handcuffed before he even enters the joint.
Hardened criminals in the Oklahoma County Detention Center teach a spoiled drama queen a valuable lesson.
A man suffering from cancer hopes that a stint in Georgia's Floyd County Jail will teach his angry teenage son an important lesson.
Inmates at the Portsmouth County Jail lay some hard truths on a would-be rap star; pugnacious siblings are confronted with difficult choices; officers threaten to extend a disrespectful teen's visit.
A promiscuous teenage troublemaker shares a cell with a relative in Virginia's Western Tidewater Regional Jail, only to learn that family bonds aren't strengthened behind bars.
New visitors to the clink include a light-fingered football prodigy, a pot-smoking teen from the suburbs, and an aspiring rap star who thinks that hard time will improve his rhymes.
Teens featured in earlier episodes of the series are revisited to see if their jailhouse experiences had any meaningful impact on their lives.
Four troubled girls get a true taste of prison life during a stay at the Oneida County Correctional Facility.
A colorful deputy attempts to change the lives of four teenage troublemakers spending time at his Georgia jail.
A 14-year-old street brawler's defiant attitude surprises the deputies at a Virginia jail.
A 12-year-old girl is reduced to tears during a frightening stay in Florida's Lake County Detention Center.
A large 14-year-old who attacks his adoptive parents meets the hardened inmates and officers of a Michigan jail.
Ferocious killer Hustle Man attacks an at-risk teen who refuses to comb another prison inmate's chest hair.
Two defiant teenage sisters foolishly believe they can survive in jail; a car-stealing bully discovers jail is full of bigger, tougher individuals than himself.
Four troubled youngsters with bad attitudes take a trip to jail, only to learn their street reputations make them targets on the inside.
During a physically exhausting all-night jail stay in Richland County, SC, Aaron, 12, a habitual liar, confounds deputies by excelling at every exercise--despite having a broken arm.
A stoner gets violent when inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque, N.M., sully his girlfriend's honor; a 14-year-old "chick magnet" draws unwanted comparisons to a teen idol.
A once-violent, now submissive inmate hopes to make a difference in the lives of the new young offenders in his facility.
A young Oklahoma offender tries to escape during a jail visit; preteen toughs are forced to display their loyalty to their respective rival gangs; a teen arsonist gets burned by his actions.
A jail inmate tosses chairs at a young troublemaker; a 16-year-old boozer has a sobering experience at a funeral home; a surprise witness in the courtroom threatens a teen's freedom.
Small crimes threaten the light bond between two brothers; the teens visit an "alternative lifestyle" ward.
A teenage football star's drug use and violent ways threaten his dreams of a career in law enforcement; a police officer's son believes that he is above the law; a hulking teen troublemaker meets his match.
Young brothers are separated soon after entering the St. Clair County Jail in Illinois; a stoner learns the pursuit of weed could land him among hardened criminals; a tough teen meets a meaner gang member behind bars.
A cocky thief, a pint-sized stoner, a violent ne'er-do-well and a serial shoplifter are placed in Georgia's Dougherty County Jail to experience the reality of life behind bars.
In Virginia, chaos takes over and officers spring into action when aggressive sisters Quaja and Quona and their cousin Tay-Tay are told they will be staying in jail overnight.
Following the jail tour, the streets sadly takes the life of of a teen trying to head down a better path.
A 15-year-old's world shatters when he sees his tough older brother wearing prison garb; a stoner takes a second tour of jail; deputies put the pressure on a baby-faced bully and a 19-year-old thief.
A 19-year-old high-school sophomore breaks into home and hustles on the street; two teenage drug users join the residents of the St. Clair County Jail in Illinois.
A 14-year-old girl and her younger half-sister act out violently in the slammer; two teenage brothers make different choices during their stint in a Virginia jail.
Two brothers and a sister on a rampage of crime and violence are separated after being admitted to an Oklahoma jail.
A 12-year-old genius learns he isn't as smart as he imagines after he enters Georgia's Dougherty County Jail.
A remorseless 17-year-old car thief finds his world crashing down when he learns his stepfather is in a Georgia jail.
A stint in jail tests the loyalty of two close-knit sisters; a teenage thief follows in the footsteps of his younger brother.
A larcenous teen uses a Taser on her enemies; cameras capture a young brawler's humiliating defeat; a loudmouth threatens to kill her teacher; a spoiled brat shoplifts and plays hooky.
A 14-year-old from San Bernardino, Calif., who hangs out with hang members spends a memorable day behind bars.
A violent 15-year-old fighter gets socked by reality after an unexpected jailhouse encounter with a relative.
A combative Georgia teenager lies to a judge and is ordered to spend some time in the Douglas County Jail.
A 13-year-old arsonist schemes to assault members of a rival gang, but his criminal plans change after he squeals on a larcenous convict.
Violent sisters from Oklahoma City visit a prison in the Season 8 premiere.
A 14-year-old girl visits a prison in Virginia, where her mother is incarcerated.
An abusive 16-year-old rapper visits a prison in South Carolina.
A violent 15-year-old boy visits a prison in Georgia.
A 16-year-old South Carolina rapper challenges the power of prison deputies, who then team up to teach the disrespectful teen a new tune.
A woman is forced to use pepper spray and a stun device on her aggressive 15-year-old son, who then gets an up-close look at life in Georgia's Fulton County Jail.
An unpredictable deputy at the Floyd County Sheriff's Office in Georgia bullies, coaxes and comforts to help create new futures for a carjacker, a shoplifting party girl, a violent fighter and a granny-robbing thief.
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A 14-year-old bully who was caught on camera violently attacking his mother gets a taste of his own medicine during a long overnight stay in South Carolina's Richland Jail.
Angry sisters Precious, 14, and Keying, 17, think they're tough enough for jail, until they are startled to discover a family member serving time at the Oklahoma County jail.
When a spoiled, 15-year-old gang member is confronted by a swarm of angry inmates in jail, she fights back physically.
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