In the criminal justice reform community, Texas has long been considered the “how-to” leader for other red states seeking to implement smart crime reforms. This includes measures that save taxpayers money, protect public safety and improve fairness for those caught in the justice system. Yet in recent weeks, a correctional travesty has been exposed in the Lone Star State’s juvenile justice system that demands immediate action.
According to recent reports, minors at the five detention centers of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, or TJJD, face inhumane conditions. Some of the most terrible stories tell of minors locked up for 23 hours in often windowless cells using bottled water to go to the toilet. Many miners injure themselves and are placed on suicide watch.