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."