Last Chance in Texas Essay

1052 Words Dec 1st, 2012 5 Pages
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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Family fighting, drug use, poor parental guidance ultimately led to a life of anger and violence. As a child, his mother would often leave Ronnie and his brother Kenny alone while she went out to use drugs. On occasion, his aunt would look after the two boys while their mother was away. Not only did their aunt physically abuse them, but later on their mother’s boyfriend introduced them to using and selling drugs, stealing, and guns. Re-living these memories was as agonizing and traumatic as one could imagine but it was paramount in learning how and why he became the person he did. Many boys at Giddings were convinced that no one loved them, and Ronnie was no exception. Giddings therapists used these sessions to break through the wall he put up thinking that no one loved them or cared what happened to them. More often than not, they were successful reaching students this way.
One unique approach to developing self worth for the students at Giddings was the organization of a football program where they actually played surrounding schools. Hubner saw that this not only was a great release of aggression but also created a sense of trust and camaraderie among students based on mutual respect. Ironically, it was on the football field where they learned that there are alternatives to the violence they usually used to resolve differences. Unlike many football teams with teenage boys, winning was not the ultimate goal for the players at Giddings. In fact, they
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