We are often asked, does Bridges To Life work with juveniles? Yes!
In Texas, more than 100,000 youth are arrested annually or referred to the juvenile probation system. The Justice Policy Institute reports that youth confinement costs taxpayers hundreds of dollars per day and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Yet research shows that incarceration is less effective than evidence-based juvenile programs, such as that offered by Bridges To Life. The BTL Juvenile Program takes caring adults into the juvenile facility to work directly with adjudicated youth in an effort to prevent them from committing further crimes.
BTL's juvenile curriculum material is a professionally illustrated graphic novel and companion study guide covering each topic of the program. Originally conceived by Restoring Peace author Kirk Blackard, Makin’ It, A Story of Hope, tells of the life of Tony, an adolescent going through problems and issues similar to those faced by juveniles who take the BTL program. The Makin' It study guide provides weekly homework to reinforce the lessons learned.
In 2009, the first BTL Juvenile Program piloted at the Harris County Leadership Academy in Katy, Texas, with 20 youth and 4 volunteers. Since then, the BTL Juvenile Program has graduated more than 700 youth from facilities in Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee and Utah.