Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teen drug court in Beaumont diverts youth from TYC

I was interested to learn that Jefferson County (Beaumont) is using a drug court model in juvenile court, according to KBMT-TV:
Jefferson County's new Teen Drug Court [is] sponsored by the judges who operate the county's family court program.

It pairs kids with mentors and checks on their progress on a weekly basis.

Judge Randy Shelton says; 'If we send them off to placement or the Texas Youth Commission it would cost 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year."

Juvenile probation authorities tell us between 300 and 500 each year go through the criminal justice system in Jefferson County with drug related problems.

If not for alternative programs like this these kids could end up behind locked doors.
Though juvenile courts already tend to use many of the strong probation tools utilized in drug courts, I'm not sure I'd seen the drug-court model specifically applied to teens elsewhere. Let me know in the comments if you're aware of other jurisdictions taking this approach.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grayson is starting a similar program as well!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

A reader from Hub City checks in by email to let me know there was a "Juvenile drug court established in Lubbock in January, 2005. Probably another dozen around the state presently."

Anonymous said...

McLennan County has a Drug Court for Juveniles. It has been sucessful.

RAS said...

This comment has nothing to do with the topic but no one checks on TYC - In The Trenches. A girl tries to strangle her teacher in Brownwood, A staff suffers spinal injuries in Gainsville, riots in Crockett with over $30,000 in damages and 8 staff injured, 12 hour shifts are common because staff are calling in sick because they are afraid to be on a Dorm or they are sick of trying to get a system to work that was designed for cub scouts. Why isn't any of this getting in the papers? Perhaps because the supporters of change don't want to highlite the effects of their unimpeded ignorance.

Rage Judicata said...

Their teen court and juvenile mediation program have been around for a little while, actually. Harris County would do well to start both programs here.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to sound negative, because this seems like a good intervention. However, there are going to always be youths that will ultimately need incarceration. TYC is living on borrowed time, but it will come back as something else, and not necessarily better.

RAS said...

For the people who like stats; assaults on staff; 3rd qtr 09 - 93,2nd qtr 09 - 61, 1st qtr 09 - 56, 4th qtr 08 - 21, 3rd qtr 08 - 33,2nd qtr 08 - 22. Two months of the 3rd qtr was after the rif, so the per capita jump in assaults was well over 50%. As for making the new education plan work; two teachers in Brownwood quit yesterday. I'm sure they'll have dozens of applicants wanting their cushy jobs.

Anonymous said...

If only they didn't have to be diverted and it was totally legal in the first place.

Anonymous said...

TYC is a failure, there have been no reform... it is a joke that we are discussing education, when the facilities are ticking time bombs. I think all juveniles should be diverted from TYC to private placements or the innovative programs like the one in Beaumont. The most heinous juvenile offenders should be certified per the current statutes and laws. TYC should be dismantled, and buried.

RAS said...

There has definitely been changes; now when a student assaults another student he can be given a Level II hearing and have his priveleges revoked for a whole month. They have to be given due process to take away their TV. GAP 95.3

Anonymous said...

Grits,
sorry, this is not directly related to the topic, but I thought it was funny.
http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/1360119007.html

amyn said...

If you or anyone you know is addicted to drugs
call Narconon today.

mediainc said...

I found a great place in Tucson AZ who specialize in teen drug rehab.

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