Feds Open Probe of Abuse at Texas Juvenile Detention Facilities

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The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into juvenile detention facilities in Texas after receiving reports of physical and sexual abuse by staff members against children, reports Reuters. The probe will focus on five secure juvenile facilities across the entire state after an extensive review of public information yielded concerning evidence including that at least 11 staff members of Texas facilities have been arrested for sexually abusing children in their care and reports of staff members allegedly paying children with drugs or cash to assault other children.

“Our investigation will focus on whether there is a pattern or practice of physical or sexual abuse of children in Texas’s secure facilities,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke told a news conference. “We will also investigate whether there is a pattern or practice of harm as a result of the excessive use of chemical restraints, excessive use of isolation, or lack of adequate mental health services,” she said.

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