Juvenile Justice Advocates from Across U.S. Convene in Austin, Weigh Texas Reforms - Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For Immediate Release July 25, 2012 Contact: Christine Sinatra (512) 473-2274
Juvenile Justice Advocates from All Over Convene in Austin, Weigh Texas Reforms
Texas--From now through Friday, youth justice advocates from across the
country are meeting here and discussing Texas juvenile justice reform
and more, in conjunction with the 10th annual National Juvenile Justice
Network forum. The event, being held at the Texas State Capitol and the
Omni Hotel downtown, features national and state juvenile justice
officials and experts, a visit to a local juvenile justice facility and a
reception featuring photos from inside Texas youth lock-ups.
both current questions about safety in Texas facilities and past
legislative reforms are on the minds of many forum participants, Texans
Care for Children also released today Juvenile Justice in Texas: Where We've Been, Where We're Headed,
a summary of the state's youth justice reforms since 2007. The report
also provides context into why certain changes to the juvenile justice
system were made and offers insights about how to continue moving
forward, so that Texas can be a national leader in youth justice.
of research have shown what works in juvenile justice--and that Texas'
past, punitive approach fell short. Not only did what we were doing too
often fail to prevent delinquency but our corrections system at times
also severely endangered kids,"said Eileen Garcia, chief executive
officer of Texans Care for Children. "As this report makes clear, while
rebuilding our system provides an opportunity for meaningful reform, it
does not guarantee it. Texas needs to use this critical moment as an
opportunity to be sure that reform exists not only on the books, but
also in practice."
juvenile justice reform has been linked to lower crime rates among
youth, lower recidivism rates and reduced incarceration costs. This
year's forum is being hosted by Texans Care for Children, Texas
Appleseed and the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.
of the press are invited to join forum attendees for a viewing of art
by photographer Richard Ross, whose images come from within juvenile
justice facilities in Texas and across the country. The event begins
tonight at 5 p.m. at the Legislative Conference Center in the State
Capitol. Jason Wang, a formerly incarcerated Texas youth, will speak
about his experience, and national and state advocates will be available
to answer questions.
Texans Care for Children is a
nonpartisan, nonprofit policy organization that works to improve the lives of
all Texas children and youth by improving public policies. Based in Austin with members statewide, Texans Care does research, policy work and
grassroots outreach to improve the wellbeing of millions of children in