Brazoria County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program
Motivating students to excellence since September, 1995.
BASICS OF JUVENILE JUSTICE ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAM (JJAEP)
The Texas Education Code requires the development of a "juvenile justice alternative education program" by the juvenile board of a county with a population of 125,000. In 1995, the Brazoria County Juvenile Board and the eight school districts throughout Brazoria County entered into an agreement establishing the Brazoria County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. The Brazoria County Juvenile Justice Department provides juvenile probation officers, advisors, support staff and the physical facility necessary to operate the program. The Angleton Independent School District provides the educational aspects.
Students are assigned to JJAEP for a minimum of 13 weeks and advance through three levels to be eligible for release. The advancement through the levels is based on a point system. Once this has been accomplished, the student will be advised of the recommendation regarding their release. If the student's term of expulsion has expired, the student will exit the program. If the student's term of expulsion has not expired, the student's home district must give permission for the student to return to public school. If the request is denied, the student will remain in JJAEP until the expulsion expires.
JJAEP presents students who have had behavior problems in the school or the community with the opportunity to continue their education while gaining self-discipline and respect of authority. However, it is up to the student whether appropriate choices will be made which will ultimately determine their length of stay and the benefits of the program. For those students who do exhibit a willingness to conform to the regiment of JJAEP, it is hoped that this ability to be successful will continue with them as they return to their home school district.
BEING ASSIGNED TO JJAEP
Students enrolled in any of the eight Brazoria County School districts between the ages of 10 and 16 are eligible to be placed in JJAEP. Students are placed in this program in one of two ways:
EXPULSION FOR SERIOUS OFFENSES:
Section 37.007 of the Texas Education Code lists those crimes which, if committed on campus, mandate that the student be expelled from school. They are:
* Possession of a firearm
* Possession of a prohibited weapon
* Aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault
* Indecency with a child
* Aggravated kidnapping
* Felony drug offenses
* Federal firearm charges
EXPULSION FOR SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOR
When a student misbehaves in the public school to such an extent that the local district exhausts all its discipline measures, a student can be expelled for serious or misbehavior. This is only done after a student has been placed in the school districts alternative placement and is unable to maintain discipline.
A DAY AT JJAEP
Students are bussed to JJAEP by their local school district. It is the student's responsibility to be at the designated bus stop at the appropriate time. These times vary from district to district and are as early as 5:30 a.m. The bus ride is silent and any acting out is not tolerated. Students are greeted at JJAEP by advisors that search each student as they exit the bus.
7:00 - 8:00 Arrival, Search, Sick Call, Exercises, Breakfast, & Restroom Break.
8:00 - 11:00 Classes
11:00 - 12:15 Lunch, Restroom Break and Team Building exercises
12:15 - 3:15 Classes resume
3:15 - 4:00 Dismissal, Tutorials and Discipline Class.
Parents are required by court order to pick up the students by 5:00 pm or be subject to a $50.00 fine.
EDUCATION AT JJAEP
JJAEP incorporates academic curriculum with strict classroom concepts. The mission of the educational component is to enable students to perform at grade level. The program focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Some electives are offered. A high school equivalency program is also offered. Special educational services are provided cooperatively by the home district and the Angleton Independent School District. The military component is utilized to assist the student in accepting and respecting authority. Strict classroom rules, marching and physical training help the students develop self-discipline.
Attendance at JJAEP is mandatory. This includes instructional and non-instructional days. For a student to be given an excused absence they must follow strict guidelines. Students must call by 8:00 a.m., and advise the JJAEP that they are not attending and why. Absences due to illness require a doctor's notice. Absences due to family emergencies or various appointments must be approved by the probation officer and confirmed by a note. Failure to comply with this attendance policy can result in the student being placed in detention.
When a juvenile is brought into detention, the Juvenile Supervision Officer will book the juvenile by doing the following things:
Obtain general information.
Inform the juvenile of the rules of the facility, and of their rights while they are there.
Search the juvenile to assure drugs or weapons do not enter the facility.
Shower the juvenile and get them dressed in a detention uniform.
Assign the juvenile a cell, where they will now begin to follow the daily schedule of the facility.
Contact the family to inform them that the juvenile has been detained.
Once the juvenile is detained they must be released or go before a judge by the second working day. If a juvenile is picked up after 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, it may be as late as Monday before they are released or taken before a judge. Parents may only visit their child during visitation, which is Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Only adults may be placed on the visitation list and generally only members of the immediate family.
The juvenile will be assigned to an intake officer who will review the seriousness of the charge, the family situation and the juvenile's history to determine if they will be released or taken before a judge at a detention hearing.
The purpose of a detention hearing is to determine if the juvenile should be detained for a period of time not to exceed ten (10) working days or released on orders by the court.
COMPONENTS AT JJAEP
DRILL AND CEREMONY:
When students arrive at JJAEP they are introduced to advisors who immediately begin to teach them basic commands, postures and how to move uniformly with the company. Drill and Ceremony is used by the JJAEP to move the students from one point to another, while maintaining control. Marching teaches the students to perform as a team and gives them a sense of pride.
Physical training is JJAEP's way of conditioning a student's mind and body. Each student comes to this program with different abilities and different levels of confidence. Through physical training, all students will leave here knowing they have been encouraged to stretch their abilities and work to their greatest potential. A feeling of success is found as they run the mile just a bit faster, become a part of the 100 club; (those who can do 100 or more sit-ups), or by facing the challenge of completing the obstacle course without error.
The key to JJAEP is discipline. While it is the goal of this program that each student become self-disciplined, it is often necessary to provide discipline for misbehavior. Students are informed of consequences of various behaviors when they arrive and find that discipline is quick and consistent. The final discipline used at JJAEP is being placed in Juvenile Detention.