Raises to TX Juvenile Justice Officials Called Outrageous, Stupid


While other Texas agencies were freezing positions and downsizing because of the tight economy, the state’s juvenile corrections department handed out pay raises in March to 13 top officials — even as the agency was mired in controversy over its inability to curb violence and gang activity at its lockups, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Angry legislative leaders said that some of the pay hikes, which ranged from $3,500 a year to $14,700, appear to violate Texas law.

“It’s unbelievable, irresponsible, arrogant and outrageous,” said Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire. “This is an agency where staff and students were endangered because of the violence, and they gave raises to some of the same people who weren’t doing their job to stop it.” He added, “We have more than 200 state agencies, and not one of them has ever come even close to doing something this stupid.” A year ago, the Youth Commission was merged with the state’s juvenile probation agency to form a new Texas Juvenile Justice Department, which has faced controversy and investigations for months over the violence and injuries at its six lockups.

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