Thursday, January 29, 2015

Report: Juvie deincarceraton in Texas coincided with large crime declines

A brief note from AP previewed a report on the Texas juvenile justice system coming out today:
A new study concludes that the Texas juvenile justice system's shift away from housing youths in state-run detention facilities has coincided with a sharp drop in crime committed by young people.

The report commissioned by Texas and compiled by the Justice Center at the nonpartisan Council of State Governments is being unveiled Thursday in Austin. It tracked 1.3 million case records between 2007 and 2011.

In 2008, lawmakers overhauled the system after pervasive reports of physical and sexual abuse.
That helped the number of youths confined to state facilities fall by 65 percent between 2007 and 2012. Many were shifted to community-based, county programs.

But the study found that, over the same period, crimes committed by youths declined 33 percent.
It also says smaller state-facility populations saved Texas $150 million.
The report's already available on the Council of State Governments Justice Center website (see a 16-page executive summary), which will stream a two-hour event surrounding its release beginning at 10 a.m..

MORE: From Reid Wilson at the Washington Post. AND MORE: See coverage from the Texas Tribune, AP, the Dallas Morning News, the Austin Statesman, and the Texas Observer.

Read more here:


Anonymous said...

After reading this report and listening to Senator Whitmire I can see the legislature shutting the state facility side completely down. There will always need to be a small agency such as the former TJPC in their early stages, but mainly for money pass through and technical assistance/monitoring. If this scenario indeed does pass then the local departments would need to be provided the adequate funding to adequately provide services for these youth. A comment made was "Closer to home", as is the title of the report, but that is not always feasible when areas such as rural East Texas, West Texas and South Texas do not have residential treatment services "close to home". This entire thing has been a cluster since 2007 and if the legislature keeps jacking with it there will be no stability. over the past 3 sessions it's headed to closure of the state facilities so stop slowly picking it apart and jump in feet first. Close them down. GH

Anonymous said...

Page 70 of the report.
How is it that Cameron and Lubbock County can do a better job for far less money than Travis and Tarrant county? Do they manage their budgets better? Do they not fund as many programs? Lubbock spends the least per capita yet "Met expectations" while Travis spent the most and fell below expectations. MAybe cost of doing business is so much greater in Austin? Cameron shows the highest % of felony referrals yet managed to exceed expectations??
Page 76:
Why did counties place such a low % of kids into substance use treatment when they needed it? 0% for El Paso? You know they have a drug issue. 16% in Lubbock? Is there a greater need there or do they just have the programs available?
I have to wonder if this study is accurate and why other departments were not involved? Did the researches purposely choose these counties just to make sure their end results matched what they desired.??

Anonymous said...

Alot of publicity over this report but where does it leave the state of Texas going forward? 7:07 AM probably hit the nail on the head. Say goodbye to state secure facilities and 90% of the administrative offices.

Jerry Wyrosdick said...

This was an excellent decision by Texan lawmakers to move youths from the state detention facilities, as they got not only exposed to sexual attacks but also in the company of hardened criminals, there would be a little chance to reform and start afresh.

Anonymous said...

This report proclaims what the county departments across Texas have stated for many years so now maybe someone will listen and disband the Texas Juvenile Justice Department taking it back to the SMALL administrative agency that it needs to be and provide funding for alternative treatment modalities.