Justice Department to investigate Texas juvenile detention centers

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The Justice Department announced Wednesday That it would begin an investigation into the conditions of five juvenile correctional facilities in Texas, citing reports of physical and sexual abuse.

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running news: Kristen Clark, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said the department has conducted several state investigations into their treatment of juveniles because “protecting children’s rights is a top priority in the juvenile justice system.”

description: The DOJ is launching an investigation under a law that allows them to investigate “systematic violations of young people’s rights in juvenile correctional facilities.” According to Clark:

  • At least 11 staff members have been arrested for sexually abusing children at the facilities.
  • There have been reports of physical abuse “including kicking, body tossing, and unconsciousness of children.”
  • “We will also investigate whether there is a pattern or practice of harm resulting from excessive use of chemical sanctions, excessive use of isolation or lack of adequate mental health services,” Clark said.
  • “The Department of Justice stands ready to protect the rights of children who end up in juvenile facilities and our investigation will ensure that these children are treated in accordance with constitutional standards,” Clark said.
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