Going through the criminal process because your child is charged with a crime can be a terrible experience for Texas parents.
When your child is convicted of a crime, they may be sent to a Texas Juvenile Justice Department secure facility. It is understandable to worry about how long they will be gone and what type of experience they will have.
Rehabilitation is the goal when in a facility
The goal of the Texas juvenile justice system is to place juveniles who have committed crimes into a secure facility where they can receive treatment and be rehabilitated.
The length of your child’s stay in a juvenile justice facility on various factors, including the type of crime your child committed and any prior criminal history.
Your child’s sentence will be an indeterminate sentence or a determinate sentence.
An indeterminate sentence means there is no set release date. However, your child will be given a minimum length of stay.
Additionally, they will be required to complete a treatment program. Unless they have completed all steps in their treatment program, they will not automatically be released when their minimum length of stay is complete.
A determinate sentence is given in cases involving major felonies and can be up to 40 years long. Your child is still required to complete a treatment program, and once completed, may receive parole rather than being sent to adult prison.
The juvenile justice system cannot hold children after they reach age 19. After that, they must be released. Those with determinate sentences can be transferred to adult parole or adult prison.
Your child has rights
When your child is released, they can hopefully move on with their life and learn from the experience.
The juvenile justice system can be complex and confusing, especially if this is your first experience with it. Your child has rights that must be protected, and you have a right to ask questions and know what is going on and when your child will be released.