A total of five Texas juvenile detention centers are being investigated for allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) stated on Wednesday that it has opened an inquiry into allegations of child maltreatment at five Texas juvenile detention centers.
The investigation will focus on whether Texas minors are adequately safeguarded from “physical and sexual abuse by personnel and other residents,” “excessive use of chemical restraints,” and “excessive isolation.” The Department of Justice will also look into whether the youngsters received adequate mental health care.
Children are frequently vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment while in juvenile facilities, according to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
In a press statement, Clarke stated, “State officials have a constitutional obligation to provide adequate safety for children in these institutions.” “The Department of Justice is ready to protect the rights of children who find themselves in juvenile facilities, and our inquiry will guarantee that their treatment meets constitutional requirements.” U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff for the Western District of Texas said her office is committed to safeguarding everyone’s constitutional rights, including those held in Texas’ five juvenile prisons.
In a statement, Hoff stated, “We look forward to working with the Civil Rights Division and other US Attorney’s Offices in our state to conduct a fair and full examination of these accusations.”
The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act will be used to conduct the inquiry. Both bills give the Department of Justice the authority to conduct detailed investigations into different abuses of the rights of persons confined in juvenile detention facilities.
“Our state’s students deserve safe settings,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham of the Northern District of Texas in a press statement.
“We cannot expect young criminals to succeed later in life if they are scarred by sexual abuse, excessive force, or indefinite isolation while incarcerated,” Meacham added.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, juvenile detention facilities around the United States have come under fire for suspected maltreatment of youngsters. A youth organization in Illinois pushed to close a youth correctional institution that had been in operation for 127 years in August.
The Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles, Illinois, became the organization’s principal emphasis. This is a condensed version of the information.