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Behind the Scenes: Scared Straight Behind Prison Bars

BELLEVILLE ( KTVI)- If all you know about prison is from what Hollywood portrays, then
you’ll be really surprised . FOX2 News crews go behind the scenes as news anchor Mandy Murphey and news photographer Dave Sharp take you on a journey behind bars at the St. Clair County Jail for the Scared Straight Program. Beyond Scared Straight is a powerful documentary series currently  airing on A&E. One of the it’s thrilling episodes  was shot at  the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville Illinois.

The Scared straight program  was based off the famous 1978 documentary, Scared Straight!  Prisoners talk down and scream and terrify at -risk teens into prison to get a glimpse of what their lives will be like if they continue down the paths they’re currently on.

KTVI news crews wanted to take you behind the scenes as.  Murphey and Sharp will show you first hand the Scared Straight Program in full action.   Once Mandy was patted down and search by police ,it was time to go behind bars. As Dave Sharp’s camera started rolling, some unpredictable things happen.

The  Scared Straight session  with the  troubled  teens is  far more extreme than most things you ever seen on TV. Murphey  heard the  horrific stories  from inmates about life in prison.   Mandy talked  one-on-one with a  man  charged with first degree murder and heard  from  a inmate  that’s been in and out of jail twenty-one times.

The convicted felons wanted to scared the teens straight. By the end of the program Mandy says she thinks the program works . ” I was really surprised by how in your face it really was . I knew that these prisoners were going to really try and have an impact on these kids, but they were loud and angry and really in their face.  I was amazed at their care factor how they  really wanted to have  an influence on these kids and not have them end up  in jail were they are ,” said Mandy.

It’s a story you don’t want to miss! You can catch Mandy’s story Thursday, February 14, 2013 on KTVI FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.