Juvenile Justice Services (JJS) works directly with the local education system to provide case management, advocacy and support to juveniles who are diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability ages 11-17 who are involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
These students are often victims of peer pressure and bullying. Their behaviors and actions are often misunderstood due to their disability. They may not understand that stealing is wrong, or that hitting hurts. They may be attracted to gangs, who offer them a peer group they have never experienced. When left to continue these actions, they are at-risk of getting involved in more severe behavior that can eventually lead to arrest.
The Arc believes that a community-based prevention program, which meets the needs of Austin’s at-risk youth with developmental disabilities, is essential. The goal of the program is to reduce or prevent recidivism in criminal matters and to provide necessary supports for at-risk youth, to remain in school, reach graduation and gain successful employment. We take action by providing education within the home and helping in locating community supports.
For those who have already become involved in the system, we help them meet the terms of their probation and avoid any further criminal activities. In addition, The Arc provides advocacy by accompanying families to court to ensure that the families understand the proceedings and to educate the court on how the child's disability may have played a part in the behavior relating to the charges.
Our goal is to reduce the number of troubled youth in the Central Texas juvenile justice system, as well as to reduce the extremely high drop-out rate for teenagers with developmental disabilities.
Intake at 512-476-7044 ext. 204