Even though the Texas Youth Commission’s incarcerated population has dropped by almost half in two years, the annual cost of locking up juvenile offenders has climbed to almost $99,000 per inmate – a 66 percent jump since 2006, says the Austin American-Statesman. With a tight state budget and a tough economy, legislative leaders say that is too costly, and they are moving to cut spending.
“It’s ridiculous,” said state Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and an author of the 2007 reforms that were prompted by a sexual-abuse scandal at the agency. “They’ve got twice as many correctional officers as they need. … They’ve got a big, expensive central office staff they don’t need.  And they’re just trying to protect their turf and bureaucracy.”