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Last Chance In Texas Essay

1837 words - 8 pages

Last Chance in Texas, which was written by John Hubner, is definitely a must read for anyone involved in the criminal justice system, parents, students studying criminal justice, and anyone concerned with the future of the Juvenile Justice System in their community and in this country. If you are not familiar with the Juvenile Justice System, it is a System which is constantly being debated about on its purpose and effectiveness and this book gives us hope of a way of positively effecting juvenile’s lives to reduce criminal activity of young people. There are many sides to what people think may be the correct way of treating and punishing, and in his book, Hubner does a great job of ...view middle of the document...

What makes the State School so enticing to hear about is that it deals with “the worst of the worst”, a few hundred teenage lawbreakers, boys and girls convicted of crimes ranging from murder, aggravated assault and robbery just to name a few, and even with having to handle, treat and release, there is much success that is getting nationwide recognition (Hubner, 2008). It is gaining this popularity because it is producing positive results and lessening the chances of re-offending and who doesn’t want that statistic.
Hubner opens the book with an introduction describing the State School and were it is located which is in Giddings Texas, a small town in the middle of Texas with a population of just over five thousand. The town was settled in the mid 1800’s and the facility that is making a name for the town wasn’t opened until 1972 (Hubner, 2008). The State School was originally intended for judges to be able to send kids from not so perfect homes so they could earn a high school diploma/GED. In the 70’s the facility had no fences and the community kept having to deal with the run-aways. In 1978, the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) installed fencing around the facility making it a high-security institution which ten began to house juveniles with violent criminal histories (Hubner, 2008). Hubner then goes into detail about the crime problems involving juveniles and their punishment/rehabilitation in the country. The schools programs itself and discipline and staff members are then introduced to explain the great amount of effort and resources are put into the school for the development and treatment and housing of the kids who attend the school. The Facility looks like a college campus and is well kept up and is quite large. Hubner then explains a small building on campus that is the center point to the schools success where Hubner observed the group therapy sessions that are so impactful on the development and rehabilitation of the kids. It’s in these groups he gets to know the kids and learns about their past and that their past is why they are there in the first place, not just because they committed the crimes but why they committed the crimes. He gets to see and these kids break down and really explain what’s deep inside and it moves Hubner. The kids in the book that Hubner gets to observe are seventeen boys and seven girls with troubled pasts and he learns who they are and why they are there and how much progress they make while there. (Hubner, 2008) Hubner observed the process of treatment of several groups of juveniles which are called a Capital Offenders Groups (COG), through a one-way mirror in the centrally located small building where the group sessions take place. He gives a thorough background of the purposes and existence of the State School, which has been called “the flagship of TYC” (Hubner, 2008). Hubner learns that the Capital Offenders Program leads the nation and the world in its success with reforming young offenders that come...

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