Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


New home for juveniles recruited to drug trade

Aug 10, 2012

from the article by Julian Aguilar in the New York Times:

Freddie knows he is lucky. If he were six months older, he could be in a state prison.

Or he could have been labeled a snitch and treated as such by Mexican cartel operatives.

Or he could be dead. Instead, Freddie will be free in December after finishing a year of court-ordered juvenile probation in his drug smuggling case. And he owes his good fortune to Bruce Ballou, the chief juvenile probation officer for Maverick, Zavala and Dimmit Counties.

Mr. Ballou, who has held his position for a year, focuses on a “restorative justice” approach to rehabilitation. He has helped Freddie and other teenagers who have gotten caught up in the drug trade that flourishes on the Texas-Mexico border, but who are willing to turn their lives around.

“It is a forgiving piece, not necessarily a judicial hammer, but a piece where we put the victims back whole and we put back into the system instead of take away from the system,” Mr. Ballou said of his approach, which includes teaching the teenagers skills like construction, electrical work and carpentry at detention centers. “The benefit to the kids is that they are learning a trade.”

Read the whole article.

Document Actions

Add comment

You can add a comment by filling out the form below. Plain text formatting. Comments are moderated.

RJOB Archive
View all

About RJOB




Eric Assur portlet image