Kay County Kids Participate In 'Beyond Scared Straight' Program

Tuesday, September 16th 2014, 11:51 pm
By: News 9

'Beyond Scared Straight' is the program shaped to throw juveniles into the harsh reality of life behind bars. Oklahoma County has offered the experience for years. Now another county is doing the same.

Change isn't easy and for some it seems near impossible. Which is why a group of girls were put into shackles. Their parents beg and hope for change. The girls were not willing to change, just yet.

"Our whole goal is getting them to change their perspective and what they're doing so they don't ever want to come back to jail again," said Sgt. Kevin Main, director of Kay County's ARK Program.

Their ages are eight, ten and eleven. All three are in for bullying and being disrespectful.

The Kay County Detention Center plans to change that with its brand new program for at risk kids, known as the ARK program.

Once inside, there's no escaping this flood of emotional warfare.

"A lot of them when they first come in they have a real tough exterior we can't get through to them and this breaks that barrier,” said Sgt. Main.

First, a full exercise routine the physical demands as high as the ones being shouted in their face.

Cries echo off the cold recreation room walls.

The next reality check-point was a slow walk through the holding cells to where the girls meet men who didn't change in time, so now they're serving time, facing charges of burglary or drug possession.

Later, the girls will meet a man facing charges for 1st degree murder.

At lunch the inmates are let out to show these girls who's at the bottom of this food chain.

Two hours pass of this inmate welcome party, the juveniles emotions now shattered like their lunch. But possibly the hardest part of it all coming face-to-face with family.

"If I change one child's mind and he or she changes his or her life, then our program works," said Sgt. Main.

And with one final threat of reentry.

The girls are released after an apology and a promise to change,

Kay County also offers a follow-up program, where officers will show up anywhere at any time at the request of the parents, and without the knowledge of the juveniles.