SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County juvenile probation referral trends are troubling these in the juvenile court docket system like Judge Carlos Quezada. But some applications are serving to teenagers keep out of hassle.
“The trends are that violent crime is on the rise right now with juveniles,” Quezada stated.
In 2021, there have been 448 violent referrals in the system, up from 402 the year earlier than however nonetheless down from 575 in 2019. Twelve juveniles have been in the system for homicide/manslaughter in 2021, up from 9 the year earlier than. Sexual assault-related crimes additionally noticed a soar to 177 in 2021 from 127 in 2020, and 167 have been reported in 2019.
Quezada says there’s constructive information. The applications in place to maintain youngsters out of a lifetime of crime are working.
“What you will see is that the recidivism rate is down. That’s the truth. The intervention that we are doing is working,” he stated.
The program’s success may also be measured in the direct change Quezada stated he sees in youth.
A 17-year outdated who’s wrapping up his time in the gang court docket program says it’s modified his life and outlook on his future.
“It’s harder when you’re out there, you know? I know how it is, so you don’t think before you do something. You just do it. And then you think about it later when you’re sitting in the cell. That’s when it all just comes to you,” the teenager stated.
Growing up because the oldest of eight and not using a father determine, he says he acquired into the mistaken crowd who have been mentoring him in the mistaken course. But in gang court docket, it was totally different. Meeting with the judge and his probation officer each two weeks and setting targets gave him a drive.
“I never had a dad in my life, so I had someone like my [probation officer] in my life to help me motivate me and push me to do good,” the teenager stated. “I had my judge right here and always helped me, motivated me.”
The teen is just a few months away from ending his probation. But he’s acquired a job and hopes to do one thing higher along with his life, together with saving his money to take a position in actual property and cryptocurrency.
Quezada stated the success could be totally different for every child in gang court docket, however he actually believes that the change will impression total households.
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