County probation chiefs want new authority to use pepper spray, saying proposed rules would provide more local control over how their facilities are operated. But some advocates worry greater use of pepper spray could be a dangerous step backward in efforts to reform the state’s juvenile justice system.Full Story
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) is responsible for overseeing all youth correctional facilities in the state of Texas. It suffered a major abuse scandal in 2007 from which it is still recovering.
Three percent of youth offenders referred to county juvenile probation departments each year are committed to TJJD institutions. A juvenile offense is committed when the offender is ...
Months after lawmakers cut millions of dollars in funding for the state juvenile justice department and ordered the closure of a detention facility, movement to shutter a Corsicana facility for mentally ill youths remains stalled as state leaders reconsider its demise.Full Story
In the Eagle Pass area, the number of juvenile felony cases referred to Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Bruce Ballou has fallen more than 40 percent since 2012. It's a sign, he says, that his rehabilitative approach is working.Full Story
At the Trib's August 19 symposium on mental health at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Brandi Grissom talked about the intersection of mental health and criminal justice with a distinguished panel.Full Story
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department is considering closing the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center and two halfway houses after a state budget rider cut funds for the agency's secure facilities.Full Story
A new law allowing Travis County to commit juvenile offenders to local detention facilities instead of large state institutions could set the stage for the next steps in reforming Texas’ juvenile justice system.Full Story
The Texas Legislature has moved closer to passing a bill that would solve constitutional problems that have left prosecutors without sentencing options for some juveniles convicted of capital murder.Full Story
Constitutional questions could plague the capital murder legislation under consideration in the current special legislative session, according to some juvenile justice advocates.
A Texas Criminal Justice Coalition report says girls in the juvenile justice system don't get adequate counseling for past trauma. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department, however, takes issue with some of the report's conclusions.Full Story
County juvenile probation agencies produce better results for less money than state youth lockups, according to a report by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. The report also says counties need more funds and oversight.Full Story
The incoming director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department on how his experience has prepared him for his new role and how he'll solve the problems that have long plagued the state's juvenile system.Full Story
For youths who are considered some of the most troubled in the juvenile justice system, the Phoenix Program is a last chance to straighten their paths. For the troubled juvenile system, it may be the road to reform.Full Story
The Texas Juvenile Justice Board on Friday voted to hire Michael Griffiths to be the next leader of the youth justice agency as it struggles to improve security and safety at its juvenile correctional facilities.Full Story
Instead of continuing to spend millions on problem-plagued secure facilities operated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, juvenile justice reform advocates say legislators should invest more in local probation departments.Full Story
Last month, inspectors conducted surprise safety and security reviews at the state's secure juvenile facilities. Among the findings: lax security procedures and problems with documentation.Full Story
For years they’ve been the Butch and Sundance of Texas criminal justice policy. Republican state Rep. Jerry Madden and Democrat state Sen. John Whitmire have helped lead a sea change in the adult and juvenile prison systems. But the team is breaking up.Full Story
After nearly fours years leading the state's juvenile justice agency, Cherie Townsend announced on Tuesday that she will retire next month, following reports of increasing violence at Texas' youth lockups.Full Story
Five years after Texas lawmakers overhauled the juvenile justice system, reports of violence, inappropriate staff behavior and poor mental health services at youth lockups are spurring calls for accountability and continued reform.Full Story
A report from the independent ombudsman's office raises concerns about a small group of youths who purchase control of weaker youths using drugs, cigarettes and money at the Giddings State School.Full Story
Aaronson and Tan interactively map women's health program providers in Texas, Galbraith talks to the state's climatologist about (what else?) the drought, Grissom with the latest on violence in youth prisons, Hamilton on why UTEP's low four-year graduation rate may not matter, Murphy's interactive comparing graduation rates and more at public universities in Texas, Ramsey on the redistricting end game (we think), Ramshaw on the state health commissioner's attack on Planned Parenthood and Root on the closing of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's storied Austin bureau: The best of our best content from February 27 to March 2, 2012.Full Story
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department's independent ombudsman in a letter said she took seriously advocates' request for an investigation and that she would conduct a thorough study. She expects to produce a report within six months.Full Story