March 16, 2007
TYC: The feds may get involved

Have I mentioned that the TYC scandal is not going away? It's still expanding in scope.

A South Texas juvenile corrections facility run by the Texas Youth Commission is so "chaotic and dangerous" that it violates the constitutional rights of the youth incarcerated there, the U.S. Justice Department told state officials Thursday.

Youth-on-youth assaults at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg are five times the national average, the report said, and in one instance last year a corrections officer tried to subdue an unruly youth by pushing his eyes "back into his face."

A 14-page letter from Justice officials to Gov. Rick Perry detailed repeated patterns of violence that injured both youths and corrections officers at Evins. The report said the facility is poorly designed, insufficiently staffed and has corrections officers who are poorly trained.

The letter said if the problems are not fixed within 49 days, the department's Civil Rights Division may file suit against Texas to bring the facility into compliance.

As much as anything, this scandal is about indifference. We didn't care about these kids, we didn't care what happened to them, and we didn't care to look too closely when we started hearing about problems. (Well, okay, some people cared.) And this is what happened as a result. Grits has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 16, 2007 to Scandalized!