Provide a Path to a Positive Future for Young Individuals Released From The Juvenile Justice System
In Dallas, of the over 6,000 youth referred to the juvenile justice system, poverty is the largest common denominator for incarcerated youth; 70% of youth were living with one or no parent at the time they entered custody; and 67% of youth in custody reported that they had “had something very bad or terrifying” happen to them in their lives, such as witnessing someone be severely injured or killed. To help create a redemptive and positive pathway for these young people, proactive actions are needed to rebuild future hope.
Inspired by a belief that every kid, if given the opportunity to learn and practice critical social, job and life skills, can succeed, Youth With Faces launched in 2001 and set up life-changing programs for kids coming out of the juvenile justice system. Their programs include Culinary Arts, Therapeutic Horticulture, Welding Technology and PREP Dog Training courses, as well as daily social skills training, work readiness and post-release services. Throughout all of its programs, Youth With Faces seeks to instill three C's: 1) Character: "making eye contact, dealing with frustration and disappointment, following through on your commitment," 2) Capabilities: skills that lead to regular employment, and 3) Connection: relationships that keep young people empowered and accountable throughout their growth journey.
Compared to the overall Texas juvenile justice system, in which over 50 percent of incarcerated individuals re-offend, Youth With Faces graduates have a less than 13 percent recidivism rate. After their vocational training at Youth With Faces, 75% of Youth With Faces students secure post-release employment. Furthermore, preventing just one youth from becoming a lifetime offender saves on average $2 million in costs to taxpayers and victims, and Youth With Faces has served approximately 200 youth a year since 2008.