David Marcus

David L. Marcus, the author of What It Takes to Pull Me Through: Why Teenagers Get in Trouble -- and How Four of Them Got Out, is a former foreign correspondent and education reporter for The Dallas Morning News, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald and U.S. News & World Report.

Recent Articles

Communities Helping Kids

With the temperature creeping above 97 degrees in Austin, Texas, Melissa Barlow hurtles along Interstate 35 in a Toyota Corolla, the air conditioner blasting. It's a Thursday in June, and she has a tight schedule. Barlow supervises caseworkers in an innovative program that helps youthful offenders stay at home -- instead of prison -- while attending school, undergoing drug treatment, getting career training, and finding jobs. All these kids are referred, either by courts or by probation officers, as an alternative to incarceration. Although it's still morning, it has already been one of those days. A caseworker Barlow oversees is out of town; a second called in sick at 6 a.m. Now Barlow has less than an hour to arrive at the other end of Austin in order to prepare a teenager named Elena for a job interview and get her there on time. In the 21st-century tech-and-tourism boomtown of Austin, traffic can be fierce. Barlow won't have time to dally with Elena; she needs to visit nine other...