Hidalgo County works to rehabilitate youth

Investigator Jose Rojas has worked with juveniles for the last year and a half.

He told Action 4 News that it is a calling"because working with juveniles is a different ballgame.

"I have to constantly keep up with the juvenile laws because they do change," Rojas explained.

While many of the crimes he investigates deal with graffiti and minor offenses"the more serious crimes do creep in and are the most disturbing.

"I've seen some sexual assault and some aggravated assaults. It's difficult to see juveniles committing these types of crimes."

As difficult as it might be, the crime has to be investigated and then child accused brought before a judge.

Recently, a Mercedes teen was charged with aggravated sexual assault"after he allegedly held two children at knife point and assaulted them.

There is very little be released in this case---because of the ages of the victims and the suspect.

The teen did go before a judge on Friday"these types cases are becoming more frequent in the juvenile system.

Every three weeks or so we get kids with these types of allegations TM against them, 449th District Judge Jesse Contreras told Action 4 News. It's been a steady increase."

It is not their job to punish these kids, Contreras said, but to try and rehabilitate them|give them another chance and figure out why they are doing what they are accused of.

We try and make them understand what they did wrong and introduce psychologist. Some are going through emotional and mental problems."

It is a balancing act, Contreras said, but one they will continue to juggle in hopes of getting through to troubled youth.