Last Chance in Texas
Hubner, John. (2005) Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth. New York, NY. Random House Inc.
Last Chance in Texas is an eye opening look into the efforts of the juvenile justice system to rehabilitate youth offenders and integrate them back into society. The book chronicles the research of author John Hubner who heard about a facility in Texas that ran an aggressive and one of the most successful, treatment programs in America for violent young offenders. He was particularly curious how a state like Texas, known for its hardcore attitude toward crime, could be a leader in rehabilitating violent and troubled youths. Through a span of over nine months at The Giddings School in Texas, Hubner discovered that making
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The girls at Giddings, on the other hand, were treated somewhat different than their male counterparts. They had different ways of expressing their emotional pain that led to the crimes they committed. Surprisingly, one hundred percent of them had been sexually or physically assaulted. With females, therapist had to dig even deeper than they normally would have with boys. This could be somewhat dangerous since the girls were much more emotional and measurably more violent during therapy sessions. Oddly enough, female fights were more unexpected, viscous, and ended more painfully than those of the boys. One interesting approach in therapy was when parents of murdered children visited the program and told their stories. The idea was to appeal to the inner hearts of the emotionally withdrawn young female offenders. It was thought that females would better identify with the stories of these families and be able to tell their own story. It proved effective as many made great emotional progress and were able to tell their own stories in therapy. One by one all the young women opened up, pouring out their feelings they had been holding inside for so long. It was an incredible experience to witness for everyone in attendance. Upon graduation from The Giddings School, each student goes their separate way. For many, going back to institutions and detention centers was their next stop in their journey. Others went back to their respective