Blended Sentencing, Second Chances, and the Texas Youth Commission
220 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sales Date: March 15, 2016
What should be done with minors who kill, maim, defile, and destroy the lives of others? The state of Texas deals with some of its most serious and violent youthful offenders through “determinate sentencing,” a unique sentencing structure that blends parts of the juvenile and adult justice systems. Once adjudicated via determinate sentencing, offenders are first incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC). As they approach age eighteen, they are either transferred to the Texas prison system to serve the remainder of their original determinate sentence or released from TYC into Texas’s communities.
The first long-term study of determinate sentencing in Texas, Lost Causes examines the social and delinquent histories, institutionalization experiences, and release and recidivism outcomes of more than 3,000 serious and violent juvenile offenders who received such sentences between 1987 and 2011. The authors seek to understand the process, outcomes, and consequences of determinate sentencing, which gave serious and violent juvenile offenders one more chance to redeem themselves or to solidify their place as the next generation of adult prisoners in Texas. The book’s findings—that about 70 percent of offenders are released to the community during their most crime-prone years instead of being transferred to the Texas prison system and that about half of those released continue to reoffend for serious crimes—make Lost Causes crucial reading for all students and practitioners of juvenile and criminal justice.
"A major contribution to the scholarly field of juvenile justice. I am simply unaware of any other book that combines sound empirical analyses with rich scholarship on juvenile justice."~Michael G. Vaughn, Professor, School of Social Work, Saint Louis University, and author of Conducting Research in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Settings and Human Behavior: A Cell to Society Approach
"This book will make a timely and important contribution to an ongoing statewide and national conversation about juvenile justice. It provides the first in-depth study of determinate sentencing (DS) outcomes in the juvenile court in one of the states that has made the greatest use of DS, Texas."~William S. Bush, Associate Professor of History, Texas A&M University–San Antonio, and author of Who Gets a Childhood? Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas
Determinate Sentencing and the Texas Youth Commission: A Timeline
1. Origins and Discoveries
2. The Determinate Sentencing Act in Texas
3. The Sheep That Got Lost
4. Doing Time in the Texas Youth Commission
5. Another Second Chance
6. The Burden of Second Chances
7. Three Decades Later
8. The Last Word