Thank you for taking the time to visit our website! Our program was developed to provide at-risk youth with the second chance they deserve. This innovative approach to working with troubled youth has individual, group, and family components in order to reconnect the youth with the community.
Change is needed
According to the Texas Juveniles Justice Department (TJPC), a total of 86,548 formal referrals have been made to juvenile probation departments throughout the State of Texas in 2010. The data points out that 52% of that number had previous referrals to the department; to be specific, 46% of those had more than 3 prior referrals. Community resources and services, such as substance abuse counseling and mental health services, are provided to the youth, prior to them re-entering the community. Community resources and services exceed the capacity of in-and outpatient programs. The services available related to substance abuse, mental health, and other delinquent behaviors are limited or not available to the population, which is a contributing factor when analyzing the recidivism rate.
Community based prevention and intervention programs need to be strengthened and reinforced to better serve at risk youth and to lower the recidivism rate. Teaching youth how to become healthy self-sufficient contributing members of a community is an important aspect when trying to lower adolescent involvement in the justice system.
Run Free Texas focuses on helping at risk youth to reduce their involvement in risky health compromising behaviors, to teach them healthy life skills and to increase their overall sense of self and their surrounding community.
The mission of Run Free Texas is to utilize physical activity as a catalyst to encourage, restore, and unify the participating youth in a supportive yet challenging physical environment. Cognitive principles that teach life skills, healthy behavior and help participants recognize their potential are being utilized.