As Easter weekend approaches, many families in Tarrant County, Texas are preparing for their second weekend of the pandemic. With the political landscape leaning towards purple and the recent report from Bennie Medlin, director of juvenile probation, stating that around 50 children were being held for misdemeanors or technical violations of probation, it is important to understand the average age of churches in the area. Carey Cockerell, former director of Tarrant County Juvenile Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, conducted an analysis which revealed that new policies and practices used by prosecutors and judges are driving an increase in detention and prison sentences. This is due to a surprising increase in teen gang violence in the county.
Roy Charles Brooks, a Democrat county commissioner, criticized Kim's courts at a recent meeting, saying that they tended to “pile up the bodies of minors in the juvenile detention center instead of looking at previous policies of including those children in alternative crime referral plans so that they could be managed in a community setting.” Kim was also accused of racism after telling the mother of a black teenager that it was predictable that her son would be trapped in a stolen car with a gun if he raps, instead of singing in a church choir. In the case of low-risk offenders, detention can make them worse and more likely to engage in criminal behavior in the future. The team included local officials who spoke with the victims, forensic financial analysts who collected and reviewed spreadsheets, an expert judicial administrator appointed by the Texas Department of Insurance, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, the State Securities Board and its team of investigators, the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney's Office (including ACDA Alexis Goldate) and the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office. Sharen Wilson, criminal district attorney who created the Tarrant County Elder Fraud Unit, was present when Judge Elizabeth Beach read “life” three times. Gallup published a study that shows that the number of church members, in general, is lower than it has been in almost a decade.
While not ideal for any, larger churches that were already broadcasting their services online were better able to make the transition to fully virtual services during the pandemic. He and his associate judges chose to keep 81% of children in jail in this year's detention hearings, according to data from Tarrant County Juvenile Services. So what is the average age of churches in Tarrant County? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as it varies greatly depending on location and denomination. However, it is safe to say that many churches have been around for decades and some even centuries. It is important to understand how churches have been affected by recent events such as COVID-19 and gang violence. It is also important to recognize how policies and practices used by prosecutors and judges have impacted incarceration rates for minors.
Finally, it is essential to recognize how larger churches have been able to transition to virtual services during this time.