via press release:
A&E NETWORK PRESENTS THE NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
“BEYOND SCARED STRAIGHT”
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY ARNOLD SHAPIRO AND BASED ON HIS
ACADEMY AWARD AND MULTIPLE EMMY-WINNING DOCUMENTARY “SCARED STRAIGHT!”
SERIES WILL PROFILE UNIQUE JUVENILE INTERVENTION PROGRAMS INSIDE PRISONS AROUND THE COUNTRY
PREMIERES THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 AT 10PM ET/PT WITH A SPECIAL 90-MINUTE EPISODE INSIDE AN ALL WOMEN’S PRISON
NEW YORK, NY – December 13, 2010– A&E Network presents “Beyond Scared Straight,” a new series executive produced by Arnold Shapiro and based on his Academy Award and multiple Emmy-Winning documentary “Scared Straight!,” that will profile unique approaches to juvenile crime prevention in prisons around the U.S. The series premieres Thursday, January 13 at 10PM ET/PT with a special 90-minute episode at a women’s prison in central California.
“Scared Straight!” has become an iconic name and a cultural phenomenon over the years. The film made a huge impact – showcasing the radical and effective juvenile intervention program that took place in a New Jersey prison. Since they were created, both the prison program and the film have turned countless kids away from drugs, violence and crime. The power of the original “Scared Straight!” program has inspired dozens of inmate-run intervention programs in men’s and women’s prisons across the country; and this series will showcase several of them. Under the auspices of Arnold Shapiro, “Beyond Scared Straight” profiles the new approach to keeping today’s kids from becoming tomorrow’s convicts.
Much like the original version of “Scared Straight!,” these youthful offender programs put boys and girls of all ethnicities, ranging in age from 13-18, into intensive one-day in-prison sessions that show them the realities of life behind bars. However, in many dramatic ways, these 21st Century programs are very different from the original because today’s youth needs a different approach. For current teens, city streets can be as dangerous as the life they believe exists behind bars. TV, film and music have glorified the gang and prison experience and the task of “scaring” teens is more complicated now than ever. As a result, inmates have had to adapt their methods – making them more a combination of intimidation, information and communication – and the results for the new program have proven to be equally effective.
Each 60-minute episode of “Beyond Scared Straight” will focus on a different prison program in the U.S., following 4 -5 at-risk teens. Viewers will follow them as they attend the program, experience their intensive one-day in-prison session and then follow up with them one-month later to see the lasting impressions the program has left on them.
In the special 90-minute premiere episode, five at-risk teenaged girls get a close-up look at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, CA. In addition to the grueling day that’s planned, the prison has arranged for an extended stay – a total of 72-hours in prison – for the teens if they can’t convince the inmates they’re going to make positive changes in their lives. The girls range in age from 12 – 17: Leanna, 13, is a preacher’s daughter who loves shoplifting, drugs and alcohol. Pricilla, 15, boasts of having had more than 20 fights and was expelled for threatening to burn her school down. Cecilia, 12, smokes marijuana, drinks regularly and talks proudly about her association with a gang. Her mother happens to be in this prison, and she’s never seen the way her mom lives on the inside until now. Cecilia’s best friend, Desirey, smokes, drinks, shoplifts and associates with gangs. Emily, 17, who is abusive toward her mother, has an explosive attitude that she fuels with excessive drinking and drugs. Seeing for the first time that their lives are out of control, the girls have a chance to make a change or continue on the road to prison.
“Beyond Scared Straight” is produced by Arnold Shapiro Productions for A&E Network. Executive Producer is Arnold Shapiro. Co-Executive Producer is Paul J. Coyne. A&E Executive Producers are Robert Sharenow, Laura Fleury and Jordana Hochman.
About A&E Network
A&E is “Real Life. Drama.” Now reaching more than 99 million homes, A&E is television that you can’t turn away from; where unscripted shows are dramatic and scripted dramas are authentic. A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment ranging from the network’s original scripted series to signature non-fiction franchises, including the Emmy-winning “Intervention,” “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” “Hoarders,” “Paranormal State” and “Criss Angel Mindfreak,” and the most successful justice shows on cable, including “The First 48” and “Manhunters.” The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com. For more press information and photography please visit us on the web at www.aetvpress.com.