The sexual abuse scandal in Texas’s juvenile corrections system could point to similar problems elsewhere, says Youth Today. “Texas, quite frankly, is a microcosm of what's going on all over the country,” says Earl Dunlap of the Richmond, Ky.-based National Partnership for Juvenile Services, a 1,000-member organization representing juvenile detention and correctional agencies. Advocates say the misconduct against and among youth that does take place happens largely because of insufficient attention from administrators and policymakers and lack of independent oversight.
Scott Friedman, director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission's field services division, hopes the scandal serves as a “swift kick in the pants” for the entire state. For some juvenile justice advocates, the Texas case illustrates a more fundamental problem. Dan Macallair of the San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, says the juvenile detention systems in “two of the largest states are completely broken,” referring to Texas and California. “These old training schools have got to go.”