Working as intended, two state laws passed in 2013 have fueled a larger-than-anticipated 83 percent decline in the number of Texas schoolchildren prosecuted in adult court for infractions such as disrupting a classroom, court figures show.See additional coverage from KWBU radio and written testimony presented to the committee from TCJC's Jennifer Carreon.
Including other misdemeanor school-based offenses, almost 90,000 juvenile cases were kept out of adult court by the new laws, which were written to encourage schools to handle most behavior problems internally instead of relying on police or the courts, two Texas House committees were told Wednesday.
“We were expecting a drop. I don’t think we were expecting that significant a drop in the first year,” said David Slayton, director of the state Office of Court Administration.
The sharp decline in the number of juvenile prosecutions, publicized for the first time at Wednesday’s joint hearing of the House Corrections and Public Education committees, offered early evidence that the laws were working to reduce the number of children saddled with criminal records for relatively minor school offenses, legislators and criminal justice advocates said.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
New laws aimed at reducing tickets in school worked: 83% fewer last year
New laws aimed at reducing tickets given to students for in-school misbehavior resulted in a whopping 83 percent year-to-year drop in the number of tickets written, according to data revealed at yesterday's joint hearing of the Corrections and Public Education Committees. Here's how Chuck Lindell's coverage in the Austin Statesman (Oct. 8) opened: