Texas juvenile prison sentences to be reviewed after misconduct allegations

[JURIST] The individual records of approximately 90 percent of juvenile inmates in Texas will be examined following allegations by families and community activists that prison officials arbitrarily extended sentences or in retaliation for inmates filing grievances. Commission Special Master Jay Kimbrough, appointed [press release] early this month by Texas Gov. Rick Perry [official profile] to investigate the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) [official website], announced Friday that "[he] had no confidence in the integrity of [the] entire system," and that the comprehensive review will be conducted by a panel composed of community activists, prosecutors and juvenile prison officials. The investigations, which began when allegations of sexual abuse of juvenile inmates by prison officials emerged, found that TYC commission officials failed to intervene despite being aware of the abuse. All members of the commission have since resigned.

On March 16, the TYC approved a Rehabilitation Plan [backgrounder], which includes 24 specific recommendations by Acting Executive Director Ed Owens [official profile], who was voted on by the TYC Board on March 1 following the emergence of the allegations. The TYC currently holds approximately 4,700 inmates from ages 10 to 21. AP has more.



 

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