The cable network A&E has been running a popular series for six seasons called “Sacred Straight.” It purports to show a forceful way of handling juvenile offenders by taking them to a correctional facility and having inmates intimidate them with threats of what will happen if the kids end up in prison. And of course, the next episode features a sobbing or sobered delinquent declaring he or she will straighten up.
It’s a feel-good for the audience. Such a simple way to straighten out these young miscreants. Only problem, it’s Hollywood nonsense, as Del Elliott, the director of the program on Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development and the founding director of The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence in the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado recently pointed out.