Controversy over official secrecy over the impending paroles of violent offenders from the Texas Youth Commission has intensified, reports the Austin American-Statesman. State prison officials confirmed that information about the offenders is listed in a database that they usually make public but are refusing to disclose the names. That means it is virtually impossible for anyone to get information about the offenders being released, including their crimes and their home counties, without knowing the youths’ names.
A growing chorus of prosecutors, victim advocates, and local officials demanded that the details of the releases be disclosed to ensure public safety. “This is sick, because it’s shielding the public and the decision makers from having information they should have,” Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley said. “If they’re adults, I get notice, and I get to participate in the (decision) process. I don’t get any of that with juveniles who are transferred (to the adult parole system), so once they’re out, it’s too late for me to do anything but shake my head when they commit a new crime. That’s just wrong.” The Texas Department of Criminal Justice confirmed that most, if not all, of the 130 violent offenders who Texas Youth Commission officials have ordered them to parole are listed in their offender information system.