Beyond Scared Straight

Follow-up: Hampton Roads, VA

Premiere Date: January 19, 2012

In Hampton Roads, VA, teenage pyromaniac Robert discovered that he wouldn't survive behind bars, even though his mother was one of the deputies at the jail.



Latest Update: February 2013
Having joined the church choir and Navy ROTC, Robert no longer starts fires or steals. His mom reports that he is doing "absolutely wonderful."

Latest Update: February 2013:
Even though Robert participated in a program that took place in the same violent jail where his mother works as a deputy, he didn't get any special treatment. His mother could have ended his participation if the tour got too rough, but she allowed him to experience every intimidating and frightening minute, causing Robert even to pray out loud while locked in a cell alone. He says now that, "It took about 25-30 minutes to make me think, man, this could be me in a couple years. I gotta stop what I'm doing right now and straighten up."

After the tour, he was a changed person. He now goes to churches and participates in mentoring programs where he speaks to other children, including his little brother, about the consequences of bad choices.

Since the tour, he and his mother have become closer. Robert says that he realized that he had been treating his mother badly after inmates convinced him that they would kill to have a mother like his. He has now learned to listen to her and trust her judgement.

He participates in ROTC and looks forward to becoming an officer.