Texas’ juvenile correction agency has made major improvements in protecting youths within the past three years, with increases in staff training and installation of a video monitoring system, according to a new report.
The Washington-based Moss Group Inc. found that the once-troubled Texas Youth Commission has “excellent oversight in the medical and pharmacological programs.” Other noted improvements include the appointment of a new executive director and the creation of an office and hotline to which individuals can report incidents.
Still, the evaluating group, commissioned by the agency to assess each of its 10 juvenile detention centers and nine halfway houses, noted areas that could use improvement. The report recommended expanding access to mental health services, especially for vulnerable and sexually aggressive youths, and increasing staff training in mental health services.
In 2007, state lawmakers passed sweeping reforms targeting the commission after a physical-abuse and cover-up scandal broke out.