Texas legislators outraged by allegations of sexual abuse of juvenile inmates and a coverup in the Texas Youth Commission say they will hold officials accountable and might try to take over the troubled agency, the Associated Press reports. “We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” said Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. “There are no untouchables. We will not rest until this agency is shaken up from top to bottom.” Lawmakers held an emotional hearing yesterday to question the agency about investigations that found high-ranking officials at the West Texas State School had repeated sexual contact with inmates. The Texas Youth Commission houses offenders ages 10 to 21 who are considered the most dangerous, incorrigible, or chronic.
An internal investigation found that prison staff members had complained about the abuse to supervisors for more than a year, but no one did anything to stop it. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called the allegations “awful.” “We can’t have criminals and predators manning our prisons,” he said.