A group of Detroit students got a different perspective Wednesday when their lessons took place in the Wayne County Jail. Thirty sixth-graders from Davison Elementary visited the jail as part of the “Dose of Reality Tour,” presented by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
The tour is aimed at steering young people away from gangs, weapons and violence.
Joyce Pearson has been leading the tours for 16 years. She said she hopes the lessons can save young visitors their freedom, and maybe even their lives.
“I’m just tired of seeing so many young people come up to the county jail, tired of seeing them go to prison and taking life as a joke,” Pearson said.
With parental permission, the 11-year-olds were shown graphic pictures of violence from the Wayne County Morgue and walked through the halls of the jail.
“For everybody that you all see up here on these slides, there was once somebody in this Wayne County for their murder,” Person told the students.
Bars separated the students from the prisoners, except for when two were allowed out to share their story.
“There’s a lot of bad people in here that do a lot of bad things to kids like you,” said inmate Archie Broom.
Pearson said she hopes the students’ one-time front seat to the reality of consequences from bad behavior is enough to keep them from coming back.
“Seeing it will help you, like if you want to do bad stuff. She told me not to do it, and if you did, it would be hard on you,” said 11-year-old student Alexis Blanding.
Dose of Reality Tour – Intro
The Wayne County Dose of Reality Tour was created to educate individuals who have gotten into trouble with drugs, alcohol or other criminal activity, to the potential consequences of their actions. It also serves as an excellent deterrent for youth that are beginning to head down that path.
The tour features blunt, often shocking, presentations from jail inmates, as well as from victims of crime or drunk driving and their families. The ultimate goal of the program is to open the eyes of people to the reality that may await them if they do not change their ways.
The tour operates Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week. Each day features a slightly different program, which may include presentations from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the anti-violence group Save Our Sons And Daughters or the crime victim group True Life Crusaders.
Participants also may have the opportunity to see people who have been convicted of crimes be handed their sentence by a judge.
The Dose of Reality Tour welcomes groups from schools, or people referred on an individual basis, perhaps by a parent or concerned friend.