A&E network show produced inside South GA jail airs Thursday - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

A&E network show produced inside South GA jail airs Thursday

Sheriff Kevin Sproul and Lieutenant Terron Hayes, who currently runs the youth intervention program Sheriff Kevin Sproul and Lieutenant Terron Hayes, who currently runs the youth intervention program
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

"Beyond Scared Straight" taped the Dougherty County Sheriff's youth intervention program in June....as the jail staff and inmates counseled six boys between the ages of 12 to 15.

"We have been doing a program similar to this for 16 to 18 years now," said Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul

Sproul said his years of leading that program attracted the producers.

"They were intrigued in our program because myself, the Sheriff, actually was involved in it," said Sproul.

"They told us that they had gone all over the country and never seen something of that magnitude with the Sheriff actually involved in it."

Officials say Dougherty County and Albany, with it's high poverty and drop out rate, needs programs like scared straight.

Lt. Terron Hayes"We have a lot of youth in this community that are lost," said Lt. Terron Hayes. "We have a lot of parents in this community that have come to their wit's end with their kids."

The Scared Straight program takes kids behind bars, talking with real inmates and jail staff, warning them their path could end up there. And deputies say they did not spice it up for the cameras.

"The time that is spent, the energy that is put into saving a child's life is not an act," said Hayes. Everything that we have done and we are doing is heart felt."

Sheriff Sproul said the reason they decided to do the show, is because after looking at other Scared Straight programs from around the country, they feel theirs is better.

"We need to put this out there and let other people see this so maybe it'll help them in starting a program in their community," said Sproul

Sheriff Sproul said another big difference in their program, is that they follow up with the kids and their parents to make sure they are getting the message, offering hope for their future.

The Sheriff says working with kids to turn their lives around is much cheaper for taxpayers than paying to lock them up for crimes.

Currently, the program is run by Lieutenant Terron Hayes, who said, "There are a lot of lost kids out there. A lot of parents are at their wits' end. We are here to help."

Sproul invited citizens to watch the episode which was shot at the Dougherty County jail, when it airs on the A&E network Thursday night at 10:00.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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