Skip to main content

Slideshow: The Giddings State School

About 40 former residents of the Giddings State School recently returned as part of a daylong program to thank staff for helping them turn their lives around, and offer help and hope to youths now in the facility. Read reporter Johnathan Silver's story here.

The Giddings State School is a high security juvenile correctional facility that houses, educates and vocationally trains male youths. The "Raised by the State" reunion Sept. 16, brought offenders who served at Giddings between 1990-2003 back to show appreciation to the staff that helped change their lives.
Youths with good behavior were allowed to attend the Helping Young People Excel (HYPE) Day of events, including the morning appreciation program, a barbecue and yard game lunch and an afternoon baseball game against the staff.
Jose Rodriguez shares his story, from his murder conviction at age 14, to his 22 years incarcerated, receiving forgiveness from his victim's family and landing a job at General Motors.
Current incarcerated youths watch the HYPE program from the elevated bleachers in the Giddings State School gym.
Charleston White, organizer of the HYPE event, listens to one of the speakers share their story of how they arrived at Giddings State School as a youth.
Thomas Ann Hines, center, dries tears during the presentation of the reformed offenders' redemption stories. Hines, whose son was murdered by a 17-year-old male, volunteers with outreach programs for both offenders and victims' families.
King Satterwhite, charged with attempted capital murder at age 15, learned about himself working through his childhood with Giddings staff before serving the remainder of his sentence in the adult prison system.
Charleston White, founder of Helping Young People Excel (HYPE), recalls playing basketball with former superintendent Sandy Burnam during his time at Giddings in the 1990s.
Karwin Archie attended the "Raised by the State" reunion for reformed youth offenders once housed at Giddings State School to show appreciation to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
Speaker Phillip Gunner, now a barber, styled "Alive N Free" into his hair.
John Hubner, author of "Last Chance in Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth," attended the HYPE program. His book told of the aggressively successful rehabilitation program of the 1990s Giddings State School.
Arthur, 18, speaks to guests after the morning appreciation program. Arthur, who will be released in February, has earned college hours while at Giddings.
A barbecue lunch was shared with reformed offenders, youth, current staff and retired Giddings employees.
Reformed youth offenders reunited pose for a group photo with Mrs. Francis, a retired Giddings State School assistant.

Texans need truth. Help us report it.

Support independent Texas news

Become a member. Join today.

Donate now

Explore related story topics