In Texas, more than 100,000 youth are arrested annually or referred to the juvenile justice probation department. The goal of the Darius Pettway Life Skool Probation Support Program is to reduce delinquency, increase offender accountability and rehabilitate offenders through a comprehensive community-based leadership program to significantly reduce the likelihood of adult criminalization. Furthermore, it costs an estimated $441.92 daily per youth to house juveniles in state-operated facilities run by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) yet research shows that incarceration is less effective than evidence-based juvenile programs.
Texas Center for Justice & Equality reports, on average, over 10,000 youthful offenders were on probation in 2019. Sadly, 6 out of every 10-youth placed on probation following an adjudication in 2015 were rearrested within three years of their supervision start date, and about a quarter of the same youth were reconvicted in the juvenile system or convicted as an adult within the same time frame.
In part, this may be due to lacking support for youth probationers in their communities, or probation being the wrong response to some youths’ behavior. Research suggests that youth who pose little risk of reoffending may be harmed, rather than helped, by being placed on probation.