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Getting Back to Basics: Harris County Juvenile Probation Department 2011 Annual Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
24 pages
This 2011 Annual Report of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) provides data and information on the (HCJPD) mission, activities, programs, and achievements.
In 2011, the "Back to Basics" approach was evident throughout the HCJPD. "Back to Basics" refers to "getting back to the rudimentary." In juvenile justice, getting back to the basics means having a "hands-on approach and individualized case management; utilizing and exhausting all resources." In addition, it is important to be visible in neighborhoods and working with community stakeholders. HCJPD continued to use both evidenced-based programs and various programs designed to engage the youth while building self-confidence and teaching responsibility. Specialty courts have been expanded to include the Mental Health Court, Drug Court, Gang Court, and Girls Court. These courts use many community resources while partnering with collaborative agencies in providing services to meet the needs of youth offenders. Pre-adjudicated programs have been developed so that youth and their families are informed on the juvenile justice process. Programs in juvenile facilities have been expanded in their emphasis on education, behavior modification, empathy, self-confidence, behavior modification, empathy, self-confidence, and job readiness. As programming has improved, the number of youth involved with HCJPD continued to decline. For the fifth straight year, there was a decrease in the number of youth referred to the probation department; for the fourth straight year, fewer youth were detained in the juvenile detention center pending court processing. Commitments to the State school declined by 43.6 percent from the previous year, certifications declined by 36.8 percent from the previous year. These and other data indicate that the "Back to Basics" approach is having a significant effect on the youth and families of Harris County.