• There are 254 counties in the state of Texas.
  • There are 119 county and state facilities for juveniles.
  • On average, there are ~80,000 juveniles (ages 8-16) arrested each year.
  • 71% of juveniles arrested in Texas will be arrested again in a three-year period.

Meet John.

  • John was first arrested when he was 15 years old. He spent one week in a short-term unit of the juvenile detention center where he met a Nineveh volunteer. He moved units and met another Nineveh volunteer and attended a bible study
  • He was released after three months on probation, John was arrested again.
  • John was sentenced to 9 months in the same juvenile detention center, but placed in a long-term unit. He meets another Nineveh volunteer and attends bible study regularly.
  • While in the long-term unit, John asked to be mentored by Nineveh.
  • After being released and while on probation, John’s Nineveh mentor continued to work with him.
  • Nineveh then hired John as a peer outreach worker.
  • When John was 19, he attempted to sell drugs and was arrested.
  • Since John was an adult, he was sent to the county jail and then a drug treatment facility for three months. During this entire time, John’s Nineveh mentor stayed in contact with him.
  • After being released and off probation for time served, John was given his job back by Nineveh. He and his mentor continued to work on character development and job training.

John now has a full-time job and is gainfully employed.

John’s story is not the exception. It is the norm. The odds are that a juvenile offender will be a repeat offender, but after arrest, will more than likely not be in the same facility or unit within that facility.

What this story exposes to those of us who have never interacted with the juvenile system is that there are multiple layers to the system. And each layer creates a “gap” where contact with a juvenile can be lost. Here’s just a sample of the layers that exist:

  • A juvenile might be arrested first in one county but then re-arrested in another county with each having their own juvenile process and system
  • A Juvenile can land in County or State detention centers based off of the charge.
  • A typical section of a juvenile detention center has multiple units; each unit contains ~ 10 juveniles.
  • A juvenile might be on probation or they might be off probation
  • The first arrest might be as a juvenile but if get re-arrested after turning of age, they are put in adult jail
  • Units within a juvenile detention center are divided based on offense – drugs, violent crimes, sex offender
  • Units are also divided based on length of sentence – short-term, long-term, half-way house, non-secure, etc.

For any relationship to be established, you must understand this complexity and be able to navigate between every layer and gap. Otherwise, communication is lost and puts the relationship and even the juvenile in jeopardy.

Knowing this but more importantly, understanding how to navigate the web that is the juvenile system is what makes Nineveh Ministries different. We have taken the time to identify every gap to ensure we do not lose contact with a juvenile. It is fundamental to addressing our homies holistically and being a consistent force in our life.

No one will get lost in the system. Not on our watch.