March 02, 2007
TYC roundup

I have not paid close attention to the Texas Youth Commission scandal. I need to get myself up to speed on it, so here's what I'm going to be reading:

The Texas Observer story that got the ball rolling, written by the same gentleman (Nate Blakeslee) who broke the Tulia story.

The scandal expands from the West Texas State School in Pyote to the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Brownwood.

Details have been sanitized to cover someone's ass.

What did the Governor know, and when did he know it?

Gov. Rick Perry's staff learned last fall of a Texas Rangers investigation into allegations of sexual abuse in 2005 at a West Texas state juvenile facility, but the governor took no major action to reform the Texas Youth Commission until after the report became public last week.


Legislative committees held hearings last year in which former TYC employees and the parents of youth offenders testified that there was widespread physical and sexual abuse of those incarcerated in the system.

But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sens. John Whitmire, D-Houston, and Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, said they didn't find out until last week about the Texas Rangers' report on the possible sexual assault of boys by TYC administrators at the West Texas State School in Pyote.

They said there appeared to be a cover-up by high-ranking TYC officials.

"Two or three years ago a Ranger report went to the Youth Commission, and we're just finding out about it in the Legislature in the last few days," Dewhurst said. "Who was on the distribution? That Texas Ranger report, did it just go to the Youth Commission or did it go to other offices?"

Perry spokesman Ted Royer said the governor, the lieutenant governor and speaker were notified of the original investigation in 2005, but he said the results were given only to TYC.

Did Dewhurst and Craddick know what was happening in 2005? If not, why not? Whether they did or they didn't, why are the rest of us only hearing about it now? And what role has Attorney General Greg Abbott played in all this?

Whatever Governor Perry has or has not done as yet, it isn't enough.

There will be more to come, I'm sure.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 02, 2007 to Crime and Punishment