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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The technicalities of the juvenile system

Jaden+EdisonBaseball+is+one+of+many+activities+Pegasus+staff+provide+boys.+Each+drawing+on+wood+was+done+by+boys+per+dorm%2C+each+with+a+different+theme.

Jaden EdisonBaseball is one of many activities Pegasus staff provide boys. Each drawing on wood was done by boys per dorm, each with a different theme.

Acting as an alternative to state-run juvenile detentions, Pegasus maintains about 75% of its population from juvenile probation and 25% from Child Protective Services. Private placements are rarely made by parents or guardians. According to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, the current daily rate contracted for fiscal year 2020 at Pegasus is $198.45, often too costly for anyone but the state. Youth’s residency and treatment are covered in the fee.
Ellis attributes the percentage differentiation to the criminal justice process boys go through via CPS and probation.
“Juvenile probation kids are just easier to deal with,” Ellis said. “They have a hammer over their head and have already been adjudicated, but CPS kids come here and have never been held responsible for their actions. They play the ‘treatment center hop’ because they just do not care the same.”
Boys are referred to the center with no charges, deferred charges or pending charges depending on the offense. Agencies look to how minors perform and behave at facilities like Pegasus before charging boys with sexual assault and crime.
Jerome Reese works within the juvenile probation department in Bastrop County and directly facilitates adolescent boys between programs like Pegasus and state-run juvenile detentions.
“Pegasus is not for high-risk juveniles,” Reese said. “There is no barbwire or guards. Aggressive kids that like to fight will not comply with Pegasus ideals. It is not institutionalized, meaning it is much more peaceful and soothing for non-aggressive kids.”
According to Reese, rehabilitation has shown to consistently roll out better results for juveniles in preventing them from offending as adults.
“Our whole goal and purpose is to prevent the cycle of offending,” Reese said.
Once picked up for their crimes, juvenile sex offenders undergo psychological exams to determine whether state-run detentions or residential treatment centers are better suited to fit their needs. Unlike the philosophy and purpose of Pegasus, detention facilities do not provide treatment.

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  • Bayley BogusInspirational quotes line the roads throughout the 105 acres of Pegasus.

  • A basketball court sits empty while residents enjoy lunchtime in the cafeteria.

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