Teen Challenge, Courts and Prison Programs
Not surprisingly, Teen Challenge relies heavily on recruitment from the court system and directly from jails. Teens who ended up in the Teen Challenge programs did not really “volunteer.” Teen Challenge gets the vast majority of its residents either directly from the jails or from courts which sentence them to a live-in program in lieu of jail. This usually happens after the judge gives the individual a choice to go to a correctional facility or Teen Challenge for year. Any student leaving Teen Challenge without completion of the 12 month program can be court ordered to a correctional facility for non-completion of the courts requirements. Teen Challenge also actively recruits right from the jails. So the combination of Teen Challenge jail recruitment strategies and extensive funding supplied by the Faith-based and Community Initiative grants along with an exemption from having to demonstrate compliance with existing standards, faith based facilities were flourishing.