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Texas teens embark on an idealistic quest to shut down the state’s last five youth prisons

Spurred by reports of inhumane conditions at Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, Austin-area teenagers are lobbying the Legislature to reform the system.

Members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 in Austin, TX. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the 5 remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)
Members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Austin. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the Capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the five remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)
Members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Austin. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the Capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the five remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)
Members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Austin. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the Capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the five remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)
Elle Johnson speaks at the outdoor rotunda as members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Austin. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the Capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the five remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)
Members of the Finish the 5 Coalition visit the office of James Talarico at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Austin. The members gathered at the south gate and spoke before entering the Capitol to try and meet with lawmakers to discuss closing the five remaining youth prisons in the state. (Sergio Flores for The Texas Tribune)

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