Texas Juvenile Justice Department has high turnover rates, claims of abuse, and the executive director resigned
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rerouted $30 million from the Juvenile Justice Department and put it toward Operation Lone Star. Camille Cain, executive director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department resigned that same day.
Historically, the Texas juvenile detention centers have problems with physical and sexual abuse. In October of 2021, the Department of Justice announced that they would be investigating the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for these claims.
Earlier this month, TJJD announced in an email that they were not accepting any new children into the detention centers. This came after a hearing that addressed the lack of staff and a high turnover rate.
What is next for TJJD? What problems do juvenile detention centers still face? What solutions are necessary to improve the TJJD and the lives of juvenile offenders? Will the state department rectify its staffing shortage?
- Brett Merfish, director of youth justice at Texas Appleseed
- Paul Flahive, Texas Public Radio's accountability reporter
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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, July 28.