Juvenile Justice

Texas Appleseed continues to push for high quality, community-based treatment of youth in the legal system — with a focus on supporting strong educational programs in county facilities. We support staff training and implementation of evidence-based rehabilitative strategies, over isolation and confinement in state secure juvenile facilities, and strongly oppose incarcerating youth in prison as counterproductive to rehabilitating lives and promoting public safety.


  • Is Texas' Juvenile Justice System Imploding? In this February 2018 blog post, find out more about Texas' youth facilities, what's causing the dysfunction within the system and the reforms needed. 
  • Corsicana Detention Facility. Texas Appleseed and other youth advocacy groups advocated for the prompt closure of the troubled Corsicana detention facility for young offenders with mental illness. Though facility is not completely closed, all youth are removed and relocated. Oct. 2013
  • State Secure Facilities. Texas Appleseed and other youth advocates call for a probe of state secure facilities after media accounts highlight safety problems. An independent state ombudsman opened an investigation and changes were made to improve conditions in the facilities. April 2012
  • Juvenile Justice Agency. Legislation was enacted restructuring Texas’ juvenile justice system by merging the functions of the Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission into one new juvenile justice agency, Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Texas Appleseed took a leadership role in advocating for the restructuring to emphasize community-based youth rehabilitation services as opposed to incarceration. May 2011


  • Over the last several years, there has been a more than 70% reduction in the number of youth in state secure lock-ups following Appleseed’s work to improve conditions in the Texas Youth Commission and then restructure the juvenile justice system.
  • Took a leadership role in helping pass statewide restructuring of Texas juvenile justice system to place greater emphasis on community services for court-involved youth and reduce the number of remote state secure lock-ups.
  • Developed and distributed reports for Texas judges and tens of thousands of handbooks for attorneys, advocates, defendants and their families on issues critical to protecting the legal rights of juvenile defendants.

Read more here »


Read personal stories about our work »