History & Budget
In 1899 the 1st Juvenile Court in the United States was established in Illinois. The framework from which all juvenile departments are established in the state of Texas is via the Texas Juvenile Court Act of 1907.
Our present day system evolved from this Act which established the juvenile court system in the 4 most populated counties in Texas; Bexar, Dallas, El Paso and Harris. The 1st juvenile court was established on July 18, 1907 and the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department was established on March 5, 1908 when County Judge Phil Shook designated 10 citizens from the community to serve as officers for the juvenile court to "work mending the ways of erring children." It's worth noting that this initial staff worked without monetary compensation - reporting their activities directly to the County Judge.
As an official department with a budgeted staff, the earliest newspaper archives suggest that the Juvenile Probation Department may have evolved around 1910 and the 1st Chief Probation Officer was J. Ross Boles, who served from 1912 to 1919 and also served a 2nd term from 1937 to 1939.
Today, the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department operates under the direction of the Juvenile Board - a prototype in Texas providing services to children and their families through dedicated employees, modern facilities and advanced technologies. The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department proudly partners with agencies and citizen volunteers throughout the community to impact the lives of young adults and the families of Bexar County we serve.