Texas Officials Dispute New Report Criticizing Youth Prison Agency


With an alarming report that appears to be based on faulty databases, and confusion over what should be basic information, several Texas lawmakers are still frustrated by the Texas youth prison system, reports the Associated Press. They questioned whether it will ever regain the public trust. “I don’t have confidence in anything the agency is doing,” said Sen. John Whitmire, who co-chairs a joint committee charged with oversight of the Texas Youth Commission.

Last week, commission ombudsman Will Harrell said scores of allegations of mistreatment of youth may have been closed without proper investigation over the past 14 months. Yesterday, officials asserted that the report was based on an old and incomplete database. Lawmakers have been closely watching the agency since allegations of sexual abuse of inmates and a cover-up by agency officials erupted in early 2007. Whitmire and other lawmakers criticized Harrell for releasing the report when they said it was clear the database was likely to provide unreliable information. “Don’t jump to conclusions. We shouldn’t alarm people,” Whitmire said.

Link: http://www.statesman.com/news/content/gen/ap/TX_Juvenile_Prisons.html

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