Richland County program to be featured on A&E show

dprice@thestate.comDecember 18, 2012 

— A Richland County Sheriff’s Department youth program will get some time in the spotlight Thursday night.

The department’ R.E.A.D.Y. program will be featured on the A&E program “Beyond Scared Straight” Thursday night at 10 p.m. for the show’s 90-minute season finale. “Beyond Scared Straight” is a documentary series that profiles programs around the country focusing on keeping kids out of jail.

The program, which stands for Richland County Educating and Deterring Youth, lets parents put their children in a Main Street jail cell overnight.

Kids ages 12-16 participate in the program and start the night hearing from former inmates. After spending the night in lockup, they talk to members of the sheriff’s department’s gang unit before going home. 86 percent of the children who go through the program avoid going to jail, according to the department.

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