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New juvenile correctional facility being built in Grayson Co.

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

GRAYSON CO., TEXAS -- A new kind of juvenile correctional facility is being built in Grayson County.

Its doors will remain unlocked and residents will be able to come and go as they please, taking part in community programs and even getting jobs.

Center administrators say this unrestricted environment should prevent these kids from pursuing a life of crime.

"The goal of it is to get these kids to behave and be productive in society," Brian Jones said.

Jones runs a boot camp at Grayson County's all-male Juvenile Detention Center.

He took us into their brainstorming room, where they are drafting a new 24-bed, unlocked transitional living facility to be completed in 2014.

Residents, ages 16 to 18, will have to pay rent, get a job, do their laundry, cook and further their education.

"So that when they're released, you know, we can get them set up with, you know, if they're interested in religious services, get them set up with that. Get them set up with employment," Jones said.

Jones says many state juvenile judges and probation officers have requested this type of correctional facility because it teaches residents life skills and acclimates them back into society, whereas the current system lacks that transitional support.

"They know these kids are going back into a home that is not going to benefit them, make them better people, so they're looking for places like this," Jones said.

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department is continuing to implement more community-oriented programs for juvenile offenders, like the Positive Parenting Program here in Grayson County, that "provides tools to parents who are dealing with at-risk kids."

"They all need to learn the basic life skills of how to live on a day to day basis," Jones said.

This new facility will employ 24 people, from counselors, to teachers, to officers.

Residents won't just come from Grayson County -- kids from 50 counties in Texas can be sent to this transitional facility, but they will go through psychological testing before being admitted to the facility.


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