Houston's Harris County probation department offers teenagers with troubled pasts, arrest records, and often-acrimonious school experiences the chance to sit in classrooms voluntarily for four hours a day, says the Houston Chronicle. They come after serving sentences or being placed on probation to wrestle with math and English and science, to study for the GED, a certificate that may make the difference between going back into lock-up or going forward to a better life.The kids who fall under the aegis of the Juvenile Probation department have committed crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to homicide. Some have robbed banks or stolen cars. Others have smoked weed or cut class too often. About two-thirds of juveniles in custody drop out of school after being released. Only 15 percent eventually earn a high school diploma or GED, according to the Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings.
TCR at a Glance
July 2, 2015
The Secret Service gives the criminal justice reformer an uncomfortable reminder of the barriers facing ex-prisoners
new & notable July 1, 2015
Federal prosecutors reject a "whopping" 87 percent of hate crime referrals, according to a Syracuse University report
June 30, 2015
An Illinois lawsuit claims “deliberate indifference’ to the needs of the state’s 11,000 mentally ill prisoners.
special report June 29, 2015
Is isolating troubled kids solitary confinement? A California debate draws national attention.
June 26, 2015
Sensenbrenner, Scott join forces in House with bill to overhaul drug sentences and curtail 'over-criminalization
new & notable June 25, 2015
The findings of a new study of domestic violence weapons confiscation finds inconclusive results
commentary June 24, 2015
Top criminologists Cynthia Lum and Daniel Nagin propose a “seven-point blueprint for the 21st Century"