Abuse Reports in Texas Increase as Economy Falters

Judge Darlene Byrne sat on the bench one day in November hearing the 28th case of the day on her Child Protective Services docket. The young woman before her was pregnant with her ninth child and wanted to reunite with her other eight children who were scattered among various homes. 

The otherwise patient and soft-spoken judge raised her voice.

“These children did not make this mess; the adults in this room made this mess,” Byrne said to the mother, whose name has been withheld to protect her and her children’s identities. “Love does not feed or shelter or clothe ...

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