Monday, March 26, 2007

Texas Youth Commission Scandal Grows and Grows

I'm still incredibly busy, but I couldn't go any longer without at least blogging about the growing scandal surrounding the Texas Youth Commission. The Texas Youth Commission runs all the state facilities for juvenile offenders. It's like the Board of Prisons or Department of Corrections for kids. Apparently, the conditions at the facilities are terrible, with numerous investigations underway, and the most serious charges being that adult guards were routinely coercing teenage inmates to have sex, and that those children who refused were given extended sentences. Last week, the entire board of TYC was forced to resign. In addition to coverage in Texas, the New York Times has been covering the story extensively. I haven't seen a single thing about this on the cable or network news, though. I guess they're too busy looking for lost boy scouts and speculating about what caused the death of a known drug addict to care about the systematic sexual abuse of troubled children.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Has There Been a Full Moon All Month?

It sure the hell feels like it. All month, we've been overloaded with kids who have no parents or family willing or able to care for them, who have no place to live, or who have been seriously abused at home and just can't go home. I can't remember a time since I started this job when we had so many of these cases all at once. I certainly can't remember a time we were all so busy. I apologize for not blogging in so long, but I simply haven't had any time. I barely feel like I have time to deal with what needs to be done by the next hour. Thankfully, our juvenile section is really working together well, or I don't know how we'd have been able to handle it all. One thing these past few weeks have done for me, though, is reinforce how important this job is. There truly are kids falling through the cracks of the system all the time, and sometimes, sadly, getting charged with a crime, is the only way they come to the attention of the state agencies that are supposed to be looking out for their welfare.

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