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
January 22, 2015
Electronic license plate readers are a new surveillance tool for law enforcement. Privacy advocates say the public deserves access to the...
new & notable January 21, 2015
New York saw a 35 percent increase in the number of defendants diverted to treatment after 2009 reforms, according to the Vera Institute ...
new & notable January 20, 2015
New York is one of just two states that tries 16- and 17-year-old defendants as adults
new & notable January 19, 2015
A parole system that better supervises low-level offenders could save the state hundreds of millions, according to the non-profit Council...
new & notable January 16, 2015
Legislation targeting prescription drug abuse may have been effective, but users may be switching to heroin, researchers write in the New...
January 15, 2015
Lawmakers quietly axed anti-terror training for law enforcement three weeks before Paris attacks
new & notable January 14, 2015
Researchers interviewed more than 100 youths about jails and prisons; many described them as "violent (places) where offenders are not safe"