Friday, January 30, 2009

Juvenile Crime

Interesting article on the front page of yesterday's Houston Chronicle (by Liz Austin Peterson) regarding juvenile boot camps. Seems like there's a push for a more holistic approach to dealing with juvenile offenders. The current system has not been very effective in dealing with chronic young offenders and the problems at the Texas Youth Commission are well documented. The article points out that recidivism rates have not improved, which does not bode well for our communities. Juvenile crime is one of the issues I am focusing on during this campaign. Our youth are getting wrapped up in gangs and dropping out of school in high numbers. In turn, our communities feel the effects with increases in crime and a failure to develop a skilled workforce for the future. I am currently serving on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative committee, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Harris County, that is actively working to develop a more effective juvenile justice system and seeking alternatives to incarceration.

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