In collaboration with the local Masonic Lodge, law enforcement agencies and Van Zandt County ISD’s, the Van Zandt County Juvenile Probation Department developed and maintains an outreach program for youth in the 5th and 6th grades. Additionally, the department performs these services for concerned parents and their children in crisis situations. The program educates youth and exposes them to the consequences of delinquent behavior in an attempt to deter them from future criminal activities. Realizing that experience is the best teacher, the Probation and Correctional Officers attempt to educate the students and dispel any misconceptions about the easy life of crime in a secure detention facility.

The young people are provided a tour by the Correctional Officers and Probation Officers within the secure facility. The daily routine of the residents is vividly and realistically explained. Group discussions, demonstrations, as well as actually experiencing the reality of being locked up in a secure facility are utilized.