Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Texas Youth Commission, a model for America

The number one responsibility of a prison is to protect the inmates. By taking away their freedoms we take away their ability to protect themselves so the government has a greater responsibility to provide protection to inmates than it does to citizens in general.

Serving time in a prison isn't supposed to be just a period of torture and it's not supposed to be a death sentence. You aren't supposed to be raped by employees of the state either.

What's been going on at the Texas Youth Commission is really, really unacceptable to any civilized society.

This is an ongoing story that I haven't really talked about. Here's a recent Austin newspaper story on it.
Two former administrators at a Texas Youth Commission lockup were indicted on felony sex charges Tuesday, almost two months after allegations that they had preyed on incarcerated teenage boys ignited a statewide corruption scandal.

It's not just guards. It's administrators, wardens. The bosses.

It was ignored for two years.
The development came as the West Texas prosecutor who did not file charges after learning of the accusations in 2005 was named in two ouster petitions and he filed one against his chief local critic, the county attorney.

The story isn't over.
Tuesday's indictments did not mention a third case of sexual-assault allegations investigated by Texas Ranger Sgt. Brian Burzynski: a female correctional officer accused of having an improper relationship with a male youth. Declining to discuss any further details, an Abbott spokeswoman in Austin said the investigation was continuing.


UPDATE

NPR has picked up the story.

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