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Comment count is 12
Rangoon - 2016-03-28

Strange this wasn't up here before.

Old_Zircon - 2016-03-28

Yeah, we've got MTV's Scared Straight and Beyond Scared Straight, but we didn't have this one.

Anaxagoras - 2016-03-28

I love this movie so very, very much.

It's entertaining & fascinating in its own right: you get to see what appear to be the honest internal workings of various people who most of us rarely get to meet: convicts and convicts-to-be. And it all has the veneer of providing a solution to the portrayed problems. ("You just gotta scare those kids away from crime! Education will fix everything!")

But if you do a bit of research, this movie becomes awesome for almost the exact opposite reasons. Several studies have repeatedly shown that you can't scare people away from crime. The approach just doesn't work at all. Our little ape minds don't work that way. Oh sure, the people in this movie *say* all the right things, and your testimony after testimony about how each one has seen the light. Hallelujah! But the statistics clearly demonstrate that this program didn't help at all. Kids who went through this program offended at the same rate as similar at-risk kids who didn't go through the program. (I vaguely remember reading that graduates of this program offended at slightly higher rates, but I don't know if those analyses were reliably & correctly done.)

Put simply, we evolved apes need to strive *for* things. Striving *away* from things isn't really how we operate. So these kids may not want to go to jail, but if they aren't shown a different lifestyle, taught different skills, or acquire different goals, they'll eventually return to whatever illicit activities that put them "at-risk" in the first place.

So the narrative of this movie is complete bullshit. And rewatching this film with that knowledge makes it even more compelling. You're thinking to yourself "A large number of the so-called reformed kids in this movie are going to end up in jail anyways. All the well-meaning efforts of the convicts & program administrators accomplished nothing." And that somehow makes this thing even more interesting.

Anaxagoras - 2016-03-28

Hooray. I just wrote a novella by this site's standards. God damnit.

duck&cover - 2016-03-28

I enjoyed reading your post, Anaxagoras. Well put.

Bort - 2016-03-28

Nobody has ever committed a crime with the expectation that they will get caught. And especially when you're a kid, you're terrible at foreseeing negative consequences or at least having a proper appreciation of what is at risk. "Sure all these guys got caught, but what are the chances it'll happen to me? I haven't been arrested yet and I see no reason to expect that to change."

The Mothership - 2016-03-28

What Bort and Anaxagoras said.

chumbucket - 2016-03-29

At least it gave the convicts something better to do with their time than shankin', dealin', usin' and screwin'.

Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2016-03-29

We must have had an abridged version in 2008

Because I remarked there was a penis visible at 5:24 and I'm not seeing on this one. Anyone see the penis?

crasspm - 2016-03-30

I looked really hard, no penis.

crasspm - 2016-03-30

Sacred straight since 1978, that's why we live in a Gene Rottenberry utopian paradise.

crasspm - 2016-03-30

*scared. fucks sake, poetv get an edit option, feels like posting in 1998 around here.

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