Beyond Scared Straight

Follow-up: Mecklenberg County, NC

Premiere Date: August 18, 2011

In Charlotte, NC, a group of at-risk teens, including a wannabe gangster and a drug dealer, spent the day at Mecklenburg County Jail. Jose, the most defiant teen, went head-to-head with one of the toughest female jail deputies Beyond Scared Straight has come across, Sgt. Garrett.



At the Conclusion of Production
Jose has quit using drugs, drinking alcohol and hanging out with gang members. He plays guitar and is starting a band.

Latest Update: February 2013:
Before the jail tour, Jose was getting in trouble for fighting, stealing, and hanging out with a bad crowd. He wanted to be just like his father, who spent seven years in prison and used to take Jose with him to rough neighborhoods to pick up weed.

During the jail tour, Jose went head-to-head with Sgt. Nina Garrett, who took him on as a special project. As Sgt. Garrett says, "I guarantee the parents that, if your child comes here for five hours, I'm going to get them to break."

Sgt. Garrett's attention did the trick. In the sixteen months since Jose went on the jail tour, he has stopped fighting and participating in gang activities. Jose now spends his free time working out and staying healthy. He plans on becoming a school counselor in the future in hopes of changing the lives of teens the way his own life was changed by the jail program.

Jose also has a job, courtesy of his friend, Sgt. Garrett. He was surprised to run into Sgt. Garrett working at a mall restaurant. Her response? "I told you you'll never know where you may see me at!" She then hired him, and has continued to be a positive influence in his life.



At the Conclusion of Production
Jeiza is earning money babysitting and hopes to attend culinary school after graduation. Instead of arguing, she now talks things over with her mother.

Latest Update: December 2011:
Before her jail tour, Jeiza was frequently in trouble for fighting. During the tour, she revealed that her anger stemmed from seeing her mother attacked by her stepfather. In jail, she was confronted by inmates who taunted her and encouraged her to fight. She held back, and now says, "I wanted to hit her, because that's what I'm used to. But then I had to realize you can't always hit people. Right then and there I learned to control myself."

In the sixteen months that have passed since visiting the jail, Jeiza'a relationship with her mother has greatly improved. She loves cooking and plans on attending culinary school with hopes of opening her own restaurant.

Jeiza also says that she would like to start a foundation for kids of domestic violence to help them overcome the anger she once felt.