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Juvenile Services Takes Program to Classrooms

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Brazos County is trying to stop crime before it happens

The Juvenile Detention Center is starting a new program designed to keep kids out of the system, by taking the harsh reality of breaking the law into the classroom.

The statistics are staggering.

9 out of 10 Texas inmates don't have a high school diploma when they arrive at prison.

Brazos County is putting those statistics to the test by starting a new program that would teach fourth graders to stay in school and out of trouble.

"It's important to catch them at an early age statistically. It shows that the younger you educate them the longer long-term they understand the consequences for their offenses or actions and what can actually happen within the juvenile system and also as they become an adult," says Prevention Specialist Wayland Van Nest.

Van Nest and Matt Provasek have created a presentation to show kids the ins and outs of detention, alternative school and what it all means.

Bryan elementary schools have already expressed interest in the program for its fourth and fifth graders.

But Provazek says parents are also a target group.

"It's really geared up to younger children but most adults are getting a lot out of it," says Provazek.

Similar programs are used in other Texas counties, but there is no data proving its effectiveness.

For the Brazos County Juvenile System, one child is proof enough.

"Even if you catch that one, you've been successful. If you touch one you'll reach others," says Van Nest.

The program won't cost the county any additional money.

The first presentation will be at Snook ISD on Friday, but if your school or organization is interested, call 823-3544.