Charlie - posted on 02/09/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )
My daughter, Alex, volunteered to participate in her high school's drinking and driving mock accident demonstration. In case anyone is unfamiliar with these types of programs, they are very realistic and elaborate in which students, parents, as well as local police and rescue teams participate in what the scene of a fatal dui accident and its aftermath is like. The entire demonstration is filmed, and parents of the injured/killed go to the hospital and are shown grieving, etc. They asked Alex to play the part of the uninjured drunk driver who caused the accident, and who would be arrested and booked into the county jail. Alex would have to spend the night there, and then interviewed for the school's newspaper describing what it was like to be incarcerated. The officers told Alex that she would be treated just like any other inmate, and that it would seem real, and possibly unpleasant at times, but, nevertheless, Alex still wanted to do it. She talked to me and her friends about what would it would be like, and I could tell that Alex was excited, but a little nervous about it all at the same time. However, once at the jail, Alex had to completely undress and change into only a paper gown. She had expected that she would probably have to undress and change into a jumpsuit, or something like that, but not be told to strip naked and given only a tiny and flimsy paper gown to wear (no underwear or bra) for the entire time that she was there. It was done as a suicide precaution as is sometimes taken for those who are intoxicated and have been responsible for injuring or killing someone - esp. a close friend. The idea being that once the person sobers up to the reality/magnitude of their situation, they may begin to have suicidal thoughts. Of course I understand the logic, but don’t feel that it was necessary for them to have done this to Alex. She was not told of this detail beforehand, and I feel the 'harshness of jail' point would have been made just as effectively with the regular inmate clothing. When I went to visit Alex at the jail (part of the filmed documentary) I was shocked to see her wearing it. She had to tug at it to try and keep herself covered when she walked and sat down, and she was embarrassed to have to wear it around everyone at the jail. In the cell that Alex spent the afternoon, night, and part of the next day in, she didn’t really have any privacy, or anything to cover up with. I don't have any problem with the program overall, and I'm grateful and appreciative of all the time and effort put into it. It's just my daughter being naked with only paper gown that upsets me.