Saturday, June 17, 2006

Observing Evins

State Rep. Aaron Peña points to a Texas Observer article on the abuse at Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg.

The story offers a detailed look at the Texas Youth Commission facility's many problems, which Freedom Valley Newspapers reporter Liz Pierson detailed earlier.

Peña, who's been scrutinizing the agency for some time, says the Observer article points out many TYC shortcomings that need to be fixed. One thing that stands out in the story: When staff members reported abuse to Hidalgo County authorities, nothing happened:
TYC investigators found evidence of abuse, unnecessary force, and other policy violations among 14 TYC staff. ... (Current Evins Supervisor Bart Caldwell says that when TYC investigators confirmed abuse, the agency turned the names of the alleged abusers over to Hidalgo County authorities. At the end of May, county records indicated none had been arrested or charged.)
Big surprise there. The article goes on to say that it's easy for TYC staff to cover up incidents of abuse, with reports or security videotapes disappearing.


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