Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gov. Perry Knew About TYC Scandal Two Years Ago

A spokesman for Texas Governor Rick Perry has confirmed that, contrary to his previous claim that he learned about the sex abuse at Texas Youth Commission (TYC) facilities when the story broke in the newspapers two months ago, the governor actually has known about it for two years. Supposedly, Perry was unable to do anything about the matter. He only occupies the highest office in the state, so I guess that is perfectly understandable. (LINK)

Meanwhile, the National Prison Rape Commission yesterday heard testimony from TYC victims’ families. The mother of one young inmate described how he was repeatedly beaten and sexually molested at three different TYC facilities. His nose was broken at the Marlin State School. At the Giddings State School a female staffer performed oral sex on him. Then, later the same staffer arranged for him to be raped by an 18-year-old male inmate--an incident that was witnessed by a guard who committed suicide two weeks later. Finally, at the Evins State School two months ago, he received another beating in which his jaw was broken. When his mother complained about all these beatings and molestations, she was rebuked by a TYC caseworker who said, "We'll handle this, internally, in our own way."

What makes this even more outrageous is that the boy should not have been in the TYC system in the first place. The boy, who suffers from bipolar disorder, originally got into trouble for “inappropriately touching” his twin siblings. The family reported his behavior to authorities, in hopes he would receive mental health treatment. Instead, he was tried for sexual assault and given probation. Probation was then revoked to keep Child Protective Services (CPS) from taking custody of his two siblings. (LINK)

What a fine job CPS has done helping this family. What an extraordinarily humane and effective way for TYC to rehabilitate the boy. Throw him into a prison run by pedophiles. That’ll teach him.

It is emerging that, in many cases, the types of crime that are causing children to be sent to TYC prisons are quite trivial. For instance, a 15-year-old black girl has been confined for the past year in the Ron Jackson Correctional Complex in Brownwood, and may remain there for six more years, because she shoved a teacher’s aide at high school. She shoved someone. Oh my god. Fortunately, the teacher’s aide was not hurt by the terrible shove, but it is a felony to shove a public servant, therefore the full weight of the law was brought to bear on the matter. To their small credit, prosecutors offered a plea agreement that would have reduced the felony to a misdemeanor and given the girl two years probation, but the plea was refused by the girl’s mother, acting on her behalf. As a result, she was tried on the felony charge and sentenced by Lamar County Judge Chuck Summerville to serve time in a TYC prison. It should be noted that previously Summerville gave a 14-year-old white arsonist probation. But of course race had nothing at all to do with this disparity in sentencing. Oh no, nothing at all. The reason for the girl’s harsher sentence, says Summerville, was to prevent her being placed back in her mother’s care. He thought she would be better off spending the rest of her adolescence in the loving care of the TYC. (LINK)

So that’s today’s news from Texas, folks. Nothing much going on here, just the usual bigotry, corruption, and depravity that makes this state so admired throughout the world.