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In Texas: Reaching Out to Help Troubled Youths

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 52 Issue: 6 Dated: (October 1990) Pages: 90,92,94-95
J C Briscoe
Date Published
4 pages
The Texas Juvenile Probation Commission provides funds, technical assistance, and training to local juvenile probation departments and sets standards for juvenile probation and detention services.
The commission realizes that local departments know what is best for their communities so it encourages them to be innovative. The "Don't Choose Crime" program in Williamson County teaches children to avoid drugs and delinquency. Children from pre-kindergarten through third grade are given a coloring book to teach them the consequences of criminal behavior. Children from 4th through 12th grades attend an audiovisual presentation about a juvenile center and receive a bookmark with a long list of crimes and penalties. More than 23,000 students have participated in the program since its inception in 1988. The program has received strong support from teachers, school administrators, parents, and law enforcement agencies. The foster grandparent program in Jefferson County, founded in 1989, targets high-risk juveniles with emotional problems and those who may have been physically abused or neglected. Foster grandparents work with children in detention on schoolwork and/or art and recreation projects. The one-on-one tutoring creates an emotional attachment, since foster grandparents talk with children about their lies. The Juvenile Court Conference Committee Volunteer Program, began in Hidalgo County in 1985, uses local citizens who work with children headed for serious involvement with the criminal justice system. Local citizen committees work with parents and their children to resolve the child's problems, and conferences are held in the child's community or neighborhood. From September 1987 to December 1988, only 14 to 478 juveniles originally referred to the program went through it twice.