Juvenile Justice Reform

The goal of the juvenile justice system is to support prosocial development of the juveniles who have become a part of the system and ensure the safety of the communities. The juvenile’s courts and government agencies aim to hold juvenile’s accountable for their wrongdoing, work to prevent further offending, and treat each juvenile fairly. The evidence is summarized below and guidance for implementing and developing a new approach to juvenile justice reform.

In 2007 when the Texas Gainesville State School was new, a sex scandal between juvenile inmates and the employees broke out. Governor Greg Abbott sent Texas Rangers into the school to investigate all of the five large juvenile facilities in Texas. The investigations led to an arrest of an employee who choked a youth inmate until he was unconscious and discovered another employee at Brownwood’s facility that was arrested for excessive force on another juvenile who was in custody. It was clear that the housing for juveniles were unsafe in these facilities, Governor Abbott has stepped in and offered support to make the youth safe. Governor Abbott wanted to start making changes to reform the juvenile justice system. He has been on the forefront by investigating more closely the treatment and monitoring of facilities to help deter maltreatment of juveniles in the system. These steps are vital in helping juvenile offenders in reform.

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For years there has been abuse reported and even after Governor Abbott took a vital role in trying to make right the injustice these juveniles have suffered there are still individuals that believe they can harm and take advantage of them and get away with it. Sexual abuse is not the only type of abuse reported, however the sex scandal in 2007 is what brought to light many other forms of abuse. These include, but are not limited to, physical abuse by staff, drug abuse and drug availability offered by staff as some form of control, physical abuse among peers, neglect due to low staff to juvenile ratio, etc. These are not new incidences they are just some that have come to light over the years. The difficulties in reform are clearly outlined when the lines of trust and authority are crossed. Teaching them to make good choices is impossible when the ones placed there to guide them are as misguided as the youth they are to oversee.

The goal of the juvenile justice system is to support prosocial development of the juveniles who have become a part of the system and ensure the safety of the communities. The juvenile’s courts and government agencies aim to hold juvenile’s accountable for their wrongdoing, work to prevent further offending, and treat each juvenile fairly. The evidence is summarized below and guidance for implementing and developing a new approach to juvenile justice reform.

In 2007 when the Texas Gainesville State School was new, a sex scandal between juvenile inmates and the employees broke out. Governor Greg Abbott sent Texas Rangers into the school to investigate all of the five large juvenile facilities in Texas. The investigations led to an arrest of an employee who choked a youth inmate until he was unconscious and discovered another employee at Brownwood’s facility that was arrested for excessive force on another juvenile who was in custody. It was clear that the housing for juveniles were unsafe in these facilities, Governor Abbott has stepped in and offered support to make the youth safe. Governor Abbott wanted to start making changes to reform the juvenile justice system. He has been on the forefront by investigating more closely the treatment and monitoring of facilities to help deter maltreatment of juveniles in the system. These steps are vital in helping juvenile offenders in reform.

For years there has been abuse reported and even after Governor Abbott took a vital role in trying to make right the injustice these juveniles have suffered there are still individuals that believe they can harm and take advantage of them and get away with it. Sexual abuse is not the only type of abuse reported, however the sex scandal in 2007 is what brought to light many other forms of abuse. These include, but are not limited to, physical abuse by staff, drug abuse and drug availability offered by staff as some form of control, physical abuse among peers, neglect due to low staff to juvenile ratio, etc. These are not new incidences they are just some that have come to light over the years. The difficulties in reform are clearly outlined when the lines of trust and authority are crossed. Teaching them to make good choices is impossible when the ones placed there to guide them are as misguided as the youth they are to oversee.

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