Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center Creates Pathway to PVAMU for Haverstock Hills Families

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (October 24, 2019) – In August 2018, Terrence Allen, Ph.D., left The University of Texas at Austin and joined Prairie View A&M University’s College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology as a research scientist in the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center (TJCPC). He arrived from the capital city intending to work with a low-income community to improve its quality of life.

“One of the things I wanted to do when I came here was to identify a community that was inundated with social problems,” Allen explained. “I wanted it to be a very-defined community, like a housing project. And Haverstock, although it’s not a public housing project, is still a defined area.”

Terrence Allen, Ph.D.

Haverstock Hills is a 700-unit apartment complex in northeast Houston on Aldine Bender Road near the intersection of North Interstate 69 and Texas Beltway 8 East. Since being built in 1972, the low-income complex has had a history involving crime and drugs

“It really doesn’t get any positive attention. So, nobody is going there to help anyone. If anything, people are going there to make arrests or somehow disparage the community,” Allen said.

To remedy the problem, the TJCPC created a partnership with Haverstock Hills called the Prairie View-Haverstock Venture (PV-HV). Residents recently completed questionnaires, which would help formulate plans for services and training the TJCPC would provide.

“We’ve already shared with the administrative staff for Haverstock some of the programs that might work, and they were ecstatic,” said Allen. “Our goal is crisis intervention. We’re thinking of ways to give the residents hope and demonstrate how we can breathe life back into the community, with an appreciation for research.”

Grady Paris

Associate Director of the TJCPC Grady Paris said, “We know there are a great number of children and adults who live in Haverstock who are on probation and have been convicted, or adjudicated if they are juveniles. And developing programs that address juvenile delinquency, health awareness, academic achievement, including college preparatory programs and services, will strengthen families and address social-related problems.”

Officials with the company that owns Haverstock are excited about the change.

“My initial hope is that as many residents as possible are introduced or reintroduced to the greatness that is PVAMU, and the life-changing institution is only 45 minutes away,” Program Director and Public Relations Coordinator Rodney Waites said about the partnership. “My long-term goal is that these middle and high school students will know that, ‘Hey! We’re on a plan.  We have a relationship with the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center at Prairie View A&M University.’”

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By Michael Douglas

>Photos below are from the PV-HV kickoff event on Oct. 26.