Justice Department to investigate abuse in Texas juvenile prisons

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Justice Department to investigate abuse in Texas juvenile prisons

“We all share the same goals for the youth in our care: protecting them, their effective rehabilitation, and providing the best chance for them to lead productive, fulfilling lives,” said Camille Cain, executive director of the Texas Department of Education. a statement.

While the US Department of Justice and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, have opposed each other on a number of high-profile issues, including the state’s new law banning nearly all abortions, both have closed the state’s juvenile prisons. sought to solve problems with. .

In July, Mr. Abbott asked the Texas Rangers, a division of the state’s Department of Public Security, to investigate Juvenile Justice Department staff members on charges of illegal conduct with incarcerated children.

“Child welfare is a bipartisan issue, and that makes it possible to see improvement in a politically divided state,” said Brett M., director of youth justice at Texas Appleseed. Merfish, a criminal justice and legal support group.

Texas Appleseed worked with another group, Disability Rights Texas, on a complaint that detailed staff-on-youth sexual assault, physical abuse and gang activity at facilities, as well as chronic understudies and inadequate mental health care.

Advocacy groups sent their complaint to the Justice Department one last time, and Ms Murfish said she was encouraged by the investigation and hoped it signaled the beginning of real change.

“This is not a new problem in Texas,” Ms Murfish said.

Acting U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham for the Northern District of Texas said that many children are already victims when they enter the Texas criminal justice system.

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