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Juvenile Boot Camp Suspended

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Washington County is apparently having so much success with its juvenile boot camp program, it doesn't need it anymore.

Donna Richardson, Juvenile Probation Director for Washington County says, "We hate to see it end, but its ending for all the right reasons."

Effective immediately, the boot camp program is suspended due to lack of offenders.

Judge Matt Reue, from Washington County asked commissioners to shelve the program until they felt the need to bring it back.

"Once they got a taste of it, their behavior improved in school. Which tended to help a lot of other things. In other words, most kids that are doing well in school are not gonna get out and skip school. If they're not skipping school, they're not out wandering the streets."

There hasn't been a candidate for the boot camp for the past six months, making it difficult for the program to continue.

Before the boot camp, the county was sending on average, 8 juveniles a year to the Texas Youth Commission. Since the program began in 1999...that's number has been cut in half.

School age children...ages 10 to 17 who've committed a class B misdemeanor or up to a felony took part in the boot camp. The program allows a military type setting with counselors who work with the kids and their parents.

"I have talked to some law enforcement officers in the community who dealt with some kids that were getting into trouble who have seen them after their stint in the boot camp and their back in the community and doing what they need to. There are success stories," says Richardson.

It’s done an outstanding job in achieving what its set out to do.