An Oneida County program designed to keep at-risk young people off the street and out of trouble is being profiled on national television tonight. The Oneida County Sheriff's office offers the "Scared Straight Program" to young people as an *alternative* to incarceration. It's being featured on A&E tonight at ten. Young people are referred to the program by a variety of places and people -- including teachers and parents. And participants are actually sent to jail for a brief period of time.
Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol says, "We can look at it in a couple of ways. We can look at it that, yeah here's a kid who we can show them what it's really like and hopefully they don't come. And it's also a cost savings for us because every time there's someone in here it costs money to house inmates."
Sheriff Maciol says the program is designed to prevent participants from being sentenced to actual jail time in the future.