University of Houston’s Holiday Candy and Book Drive for the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center

The University of Houston’s Association of Women in Law, the Center for Children, Law, and Policy, and the Criminal Law Association are teaming up to collect books and small wrapped candy on behalf of the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center.

ALL books and ALL (individually wrapped) candy are helpful and welcomed! Every contribution means one more child with something to look forward to during the holidays.

The book drive/ candy drop-off is in the commons and will be available from Friday, November 15th until Friday, December 13th.

If you are interested in donating to the drive or if you have any questions, please feel free to email kmsheeha@central.uh.edu!

Weekly Roundup (October 29, 2019)

FEDERAL GRANT OF $230K TO PROVIDE COUNSELING FOR GANG-INVOLVED TEENS AND FAMILIES 

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday an award of $230,000 to Bexar County Juvenile Probation to help alleviate gang activity and to provide specialized treatment for gang-involved teens and their families.

Read more… 

DESPITE VICTORIES, JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM STILL NEEDS WORK IN CONNECTICUT, ADVOCATES SAY 

Keeping kids off the streets and out of the system. Connecticut has made many juvenile justice reforms, but still has a lot of work to do, according to advocates and the outgoing Chief State’s Attorney.

Right now, all aspect of Connecticut’s juvenile justice system are under review by the Council of State Governments Justice Center. At the same time, the Improving Outcomes for Youth Statewide task force is analyzing data and will issue a report with best practices and policy ideas that is expected out sometime in January.

Read more… 

WOULD MORE SUPPORT KEEP SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS OUT OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM?

On a tour of the Juvenile Services Center in Cheyenne, Sgt. Jay Stewart explains that juvenile offenders stay here for an average of 49 days. But whether they’re here for a week or a year, kids are required to go to school.

“Education for us is huge,” said Stewart. “If they are not getting their education, they continue down that same path.” The path Stewart is referring to leads to prison. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, adults without high school diplomas are more likely to be incarcerated.

Read more…

Harris County’s Innovative Approach to Juvenile Justice

Starting in August, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office implemented a diversion program for children found in possession of marijuana. Under the program, children will be able to simply take one Saturday class to avoid incarceration. The program’s purpose—to avoid childhood detention for minor drug offenses—is in line with the goals of Harris County’s newly elected judges and District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Additionally, the Harris County District Attorney’s office has funded another juvenile diversion program for those in Houston’s Fifth Ward. The program is designed to help the area’s teenagers who have been a part of the juvenile justice system. The hope is that the services, mentorship, and volunteer opportunities offered will help the teenagers stay out of the justice system and uplift the community as a whole.

You can read more about the Fifth Ward Juvenile Justice Program here.