Perry Taps Key Aide to Deal with Violence at TX Juvenile Lockups


Jay Kimbrough, Gov. Rick Perry’s key fix-it man, was reassigned from a high-level post at the Texas Department of Public Safety to help restore order in state-run youth lockups after months of continuing violence, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Kimbrough served as conservator of the former Texas Youth Commission in 2007 when the agency was ensnared in a sex abuse and cover-up scandal. He will oversee the six secure lockups of the months-old Texas Juvenile Justice Department — including the troubled Giddings State School.

Sending Kimbrough to fix the agency again is the first public acknowledgment of a crisis at the agency by Perry, whose aides have been working behind the scenes for weeks to fix continuing problems at an agency that seems to defy a solution. Kimbrough will serve as a special assistant to Executive Director Cherie Townsend, who has been criticized by legislative leaders for not fixing the problems fast enough. Kimbrough, 64, an assistant director for homeland security at the Texas Department of Public Safety, will be on loan to the juvenile justice agency for at least a year — but will remain as long as necessary.

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