Harris County launches Youth Reinvestment Fund to prevent crime

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the new initiative at Change Happens on May 5. (Courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the new initiative at Change Happens on May 5. (Courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced the new initiative at Change Happens on May 5. (Courtesy Harris County Judge's Office)

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and other county leaders announced a new $4 million initiative May 5 to help reduce crime and address racial disparities in juvenile detention. According to a news release, the program will prioritize investment in communities with high rates of juvenile justice referrals.

In April, county commissioners approved the Youth Justice Community Reinvestment Fund—a program officials said will prevent crime before it happens by supporting local organizations that engage at-risk youth.



This initiative is funded by dollars initially earmarked for juvenile probation as well as the county’s general fund, officials said.

Change Happens, a local nonprofit that serves at-risk youth, will be the fund’s administrator. This group will partner with other community organizations to work with the county to invest in programming, according to a news release.

“Addressing the root causes associated with juvenile justice involvement is necessary to ensure that the young people in our communities grow into productive young adults, free from system involvement,” said Henry Gonzales, executive director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, in a statement. “When possible, young people should remain in their community, maintain a connection with their family, and be supported by local, community-based services.”




By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.