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
special report May 29, 2015
Intervention programs claim to stop domestic abuse, but the data is far from conclusive.
May 28, 2015
The MacArthur Foundation selects 20 jurisdictions to spur a $75 million nationwide experiment in jail reform.
special report May 26, 2015
A New York State Commission today proposes a major overhaul of the state’s approach to sentencing.
q & a May 25, 2015
A unique encyclopedia documents the painful and often tragic history of African Americans and the law since the colonial era.
new & notable May 22, 2015
A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds rampant instances of both incapacitated and forcible rape on campus
May 21, 2015
Despite the state’s achievements in juvenile justice reform, a study reveals racial bias when kids run afoul of the law.
new & notable May 20, 2015
The federal Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 260,000 reports of online fraud in 2014