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State lawmakers implemented policies designed to keep youths closer to their homes and out of remote rural juvenile lockups.
The number of secure state facilities fell from 12 to five as the number of youths in custody dropped from more than 5,000 in 2007 to fewer than 1,000 in 2015.
But he said the officer was moved away from contact with youths as soon as allegations of sexual abuse surfaced.
Agency officials are also investigating two suicide attempts at the Ron Jackson Unit, which houses young women.
It'd be interesting to see a comparison of the post-'07 reforms and the details of this case to see where changes either a) helped identify and remove the wrongdoer or b) failed to prevent his alleged misconduct as was hoped.
Certainly hiring the guy after he left TDCJ under a cloud of accusations, which TJJD knew about, raises some red flags, which Brandi's story ably articulates.
John Whitmire passed legislation last year aimed at shifting more juvenile offenders into community supervision, though the final version was much neutered from what he originally proposed.
Still, this news runs counter to expectations set during the 2015 Lege session that more troubled youth would be supervised in the community.
A 15 percent increase following a 80 percent reduction still amounts to perhaps 150 kids, so that doesn't explain a 0 million budget request, much of which likely stems from facility upgrades and other changes to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.The suicide attempts and sexual abuse allegations come as the Texas Juvenile Justice Department is experiencing an unexpected rise in population.The number of youths in state custody had dropped precipitously after years of reforms prompted by a sexual abuse scandal that roiled the agency in 2007.To top it off, lawmakers have asked the juvenile department, along with most other state agencies, to trim the budget even more as they expect a significant drop in state revenue in the 2017 legislative session.While lawmakers told the agency to cut nearly million from its budget for the 2018-19 biennium, the agency has said it needs nearly 0 million more than it is allotted to keep up with the growing population and meet federal rape prevention requirements, among other needs.
Meanwhile, the investigation of abuse allegations and suicide attempts continues.