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Dallas County Juvenile Department in the News

'Somebody cares': John Wiley Price spends Christmas Eve with locked-up youths’
December 2016, Dallas Morning News
The last time these kids entered a roomful of adults, it was probably a criminal court and they were being scolded.

But on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, the boys and girls at Dallas County's juvenile lockup filed into a basketball gym and were met with dozens of adults — this time, smiling and clapping wildly...

Sometimes, locking kids up makes matters worse
February 22, 2017, Dallas Morning News
In an ideal world, correctional institutions should aim to rehabilitate young offenders. When this works, youths make gains in social capital that will reduce the likelihood that they will return to crime when they re-enter society. But as a new study shows, sometimes, these environments can do the opposite and function as schools for crime that facilitate "criminal capital" and encourage future offending…
National Prison Summit Video
October 28, 2016, DISD EdTech
The Dallas ISD Communications Team did an outstanding job with this recap video and story…
Cafe Momentum: Serving Second Chances
November 02, 2016, Chris Peak, syndicated from Nationswell.com
In the far southern outskirts of Dallas County, Chad Houser pulled off the I-45 highway, drove onto a dead-end road leading to several shooting ranges and made a quick right turn to his final destination: the Dallas County Youth Village...
Keep Young offenders in Dallas offered a second chance
Septemeber 10, 2016, WFAA
Dallas – Some young people who have been in legal trouble in the past are getting a second chance.
Keep Preteens Out of Juvenile System, Texas House Panel Told
Septemeber 7, 2016, The Texas Tribune
Dallas – Already facing calls to limit when teenager are treated as adults in the criminal justice system, Texas lawmaker next year may also see legislation trying to keep preteens from being shunted into the juvenile justice system.
Dallas County Juvenile Diversion Courts
Volume 40 Number 1 - Spotlight Winter/Spring 2016, The Journal Of The American Probation and Parole Association Perspectives
Please find the article recently published in the American Probation and Parole Association’s Winter 2016 issue of Perspectives, highlighting the Dallas County Juvenile Department’s diversion programs.
Volunteers fix girls’ hair, work on future at Dallas detention center
September 13, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Volunteers help female residents at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center regain their confidence before court.
Texas study may aid juvenile justice reforms
June 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas County had the lowest re-arrest rate for Juvenile Probationers, 27%, but remain high on other areas of re-arrest rates leading to focus on steering prior offenders from re-offending with future reforms.
New Dallas County juvenile court will try to help break cycle of escalating crime
June 16, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Dr. Terry Smith announces the opening of the Youthful Offender Diversion Court for offenders ages 10 to 13, designed to keep these children from further involvement with the criminal justice system.
Dallas shelter for teen trafficking victims to open in July
June 08, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Ted Poe speak at an anti-trafficking event held at the Letot Girl's Residential Treatment Center, the first long-term facility in Dallas for exploited girls.
Dallas nonprofit expands fine arts program for at risk-youths, celebrates 20th anniversary
June 03, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Potential is how Dallas County Juvenile Department Executive Director Dr. Smith describes troubled teens and the Dallas nonprofit director Lisa Schmidt sees potential with their programs by expanding its services to Dallas middle school students.
Editorial: When the juvenile justice system helps youth blossom
May 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Through art the Creative Solutions program, a partnership between the Dallas County Juvenile department and the nonprofit Big Thought, has given troubled youths the opportunity to grow and build transformative lives.
Panel discussion focuses on relationship between police, young minorities
March 20, 2015, KDFW (Fox DFW)
A panel of Dallas area law enforcement, clergy and community leaders including Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and District Attorney Susan Hawk gather to discuss how to improve the relationship with minorities and law enforcement.
Unique Dallas County juvenile court teaches minority boys to be men
March 20, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
The Diversion Male Court works with minority youth to end the cycle of disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system.
Letot Center in northwest Dallas aims to make abused girls ‘whole again’
March 4, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
The Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center opens its doors for girls with histories of abuse, abandonment or sexual exploitation.
Helping kids creatively
March 3, 2015, THINK, KERA Radio
Dr. Terry Smith discusses opportunities with the art-based program Creative Solutions from Big Thought  for youth on probation.
Dallas County juvenile offenders face regimented daily routine
February 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Daily life for residents at the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center is highlighted.
Legislators poised to make changes in juvenile justice system
February 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
Dallas County Juvenile Department prepares for potential reforms to the juvenile justice system that will be addressed this legislative session.
Key terms used in the juvenile justice system
February 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
A guide to terms commonly used in the juvenile justice system.
Dallas County leads progress in juvenile justice
January 30, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
According to a new report from the Council of State Governments, the Dallas County Juvenile Department posted the lowest recidivism rate in Texas.
States see marked drop in juvenile prison populations as reforms take hold
January 29, 2015, The Washington Post
A report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center studies legislative efforts in Texas to keep juvenile offenders closer to home.
Chad Houser cooked up a café to give young offenders a second chance
November 21, 2014, The Christian Science Monitor
At Café Momentum in Dallas former juvenile offenders learn valuable life skills.
Meet a chef who’s using food to change lives
October 30, 2014, The Rachel Ray Show
The work of Café Momentum is featured on The Rachel Ray Show.
Dishing out life lessons to troubled youth
October 22, 2014, Associated Press
The unconventional youth program is changing lives one plate at a time.
Dallas County Juvenile Department Completed the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!"
August 26, 2014
The Dallas County Juvenile Department challenges the Harris County and Tarrant County Juvenile Probation Departments to the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!"
Teens who expect to die young are more likely to commit crime
May 11, 2014, Dallas Morning News
A teen enrolled in the Dallas County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program now looks forward to future success with his college education.
County’s juvenile justice alternative education program opens food pantry to serve students, families
March 17, 2014, Dallas Morning News
The Dallas County Juvenile Department partnered with the North Texas Food Bank to create a food pantry to students and families the department serves.
Mother-daughter duo helps spark clothing drive for Dallas County juvenile facility
December 24, 2013, Dallas Morning News
Clothing donations are needed for youth leaving the Letot Center.
Letot Center starts building a new home for girls 13-17
September 19, 2013, Dallas Morning News
The Letot Center Capital Foundation reached its campaign goal and construction has started on the new residential treatment center for girls.
Prism Awards winners pull for people with mental illness
September 10, 2013, Dallas Morning News
Diane Boyd, Special Needs Unit Supervisor to receive Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Award from Mental Health America of Greater Dallas.
California 9-year-old has set up her lemonade stand in Dallas to raise funds for Letot Center
April 5, 2013, Dallas Morning News
Make a Stand Lemon-aid founder donates Dallas lemonade stand proceeds to the Letot Center to help end human trafficking.
Dallas County commits up to $5 million toward treatment center for exploited girls
February 28, 2013, Dallas Morning News
The Dallas County Juvenile Department will operate the new girls’ residential treatment center that addresses abuse, prostitution, and abandonment in girls ages 13-17.
On the menu at Café Momentum: Hope and maybe a job for juvenile offenders
January 11, 2013, KERA News Radio (NPR)
Youth Village Residents learn culinary skills and more with Café Momentum.
How Cafe Momentum saves juvenile offenders
December 2012, D Magazine
Youth Village residents find hope and inspiration for their future in the Café Momentum program.
Leaders discuss mental health funding
January 3, 2013, KDFW (Fox DFW)
Dallas County leaders advocate for increased mental health services funding.
Helping kids deal with shooting emotions
December 15, 2012, KTVT (CBS DFW)
Dr. John Pita, Chief Psychologist, offers tips for parents to help their children cope with the Newtown school shootings.
Groundbreaking Wednesday on Dallas center for sex-trafficking victims
September 4, 2012, Dallas Morning News
The new girls’ residential treatment center allows girls that have been exploited to get treatment in their own communities.
New court gives hope to juvenile offenders
January 5, 2012, KERA News Radio (NPR)
The first Mental Health Court graduates receive the skills they need to remain out of the justice system.
Dallas County juvenile offender program teaches leadership, commitment with shelter dog training
August 6, 2011, Dallas Morning News
Youth Village residents learn patience and leadership by training shelter dogs to be ready for adoption.
It’s time for a juvenile mental health court in Dallas
April 11, 2011, Dallas Morning News
Community leaders, including Dr. Terry Smith, advocate for the establishment of a juvenile mental health court in Dallas.