Milford Teen Featured on 'Beyond Scared Straight' Episode

A Milford teen was one of the youths featured on A&E's 'Beyond Scared Straight' Thursday. The series, now in its third season, follows "derailed, defiant and disrespectful teens" as they enter an immersion jail program.

A Milford teenager who had faced charges relating to graffiti and tagging, was among the youths featured Thursday on "Beyond Scared Straight," a TV show that puts troubled teens into jail, for an experience that is intended to turn them around.

The episode on A&E was filmed at Suffolk County jail in Boston, but featured some footage in Milford, where Jesse and his mother were interviewed. [The show does not identify people by complete names]

Jesse, who was a 15-year-old student at Milford High School when the episode was filmed last year, said in an introductory scene that he didn't like school, and didn't see the point in continuing. He has since dropped out, but his mother said she is making plans to home-school him. He is now working full-time, and the charges he faced have been continued without a finding, his mother said.

The experience at the Suffolk County jail — recounted in the hourlong episode — required Jesse and the other teens to dress in orange jail jumpsuits, get handcuffed together, and spend time both alone in cells and with older inmates. Some of the footage includes scenes in which teens are surrounded by older inmates, who initially tried to intimidate them.

"Two years from now you'll be here," one of the inmates taunted Jesse. "I'll still be here. Look out the window. You can look but you can't touch. It's the worst feeling in the world."

Later, in a meeting with some of the inmates, Jesse and other teens heard from them about what they did to get in jail. One inmate said he'd been dealing drugs since age 13, and by 18, had a conviction for armed robbery. The inmates were shown counseling the teens, explaining why they should try to turn themselves around.

When he had an opportunity to say something to the inmates, Jesse said:

"I can probably promise you all that I'm not going to be back here."

Caitlin Calahan February 01, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Also, why are you anonymous? Why are you afraid to post your name?
Dennis Wilson February 02, 2013 at 01:55 AM
I think it is unfortunate that both the Milford Daily News and Patch decided to publish this story and put this family in the local spotlight. I assume the producer, seeking publicity for himself, provided the story. Publishing this story just may have increased the pressure on this family who appear to be working thru some difficult issues. And Caitlin, I would suggest that the best thing to do with people on public blogs who have harsh attitudes and use screen names is to ignore them and not give them more of a platform. I think it is safe to say that reasonable people who watched this episode realize that there was/is much more to the story than the sound bites the producer choose to use. I hope Jesse realizes that life gets better and that both he & his mom have the support they need. Mary, you could just delete all these comments...and the whole story. And if she doesn't delete it, Anonymous, please refrain from adding any additional harsh comments on this story...please.
Caitlin Calahan February 02, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Dennis, you're absolutely right. I should never have given into the temptation to respond to such an ignorant person who can't see the bigger picture or understand that what the mom said were excerpts from whole conversations. It's people like that who try to rob you of the positive experience and growth that comes from participating in programs such as Beyond Scared Straight. Jesse has learned what his life would be like if he had continued on the path he was on. He has grown and matured immensely over the past year since the show was taped and I'm sure his moms support and influence played a part in that growth. Cudos to Jesse for having the guts to volunteer to participate. Thank you for your support.
Myd Nevins February 02, 2013 at 05:44 AM
While I don't necessary agree with deleting the story, I do agree that the general nature of the television business these days is to generate controversy and debate to gain and keep viewer's interest. Even if that means taking things out of context and creative editing.
Anonymous2 March 09, 2013 at 11:22 PM
True, there's always more than meets the eye on reality TV, but putting yourself in the spotlight by going on a nationally televised show will bring scrutiny and judgement. Caitlin, you are not the only one with opinions here and you should be a little more respectful of others opinions too. That doesn't make "Anonymous" ignorant to make his/her opinions known in a comments section.


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