TJJD Weighs Closing Mental Health Unit, Halfway Houses


English: Harris County Juvenile Detention Center

English: Harris County Juvenile Detention Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TJJD Weighs Closing Mental Health Unit, Halfway Houses

  •       by Elizabeth Koh
  •                   July 24, 2013

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/24/tjjd-weighs-closing-mental-health-unit-halfway-hou/ . – See more at: http://myhighplains.com/fulltext?nxd_id=404372#sthash.DSUA2vy7.dpuf

Some Lines here, for the whole article, please read the O-link!
Despite the statewide decrease in staff-on-youth assaults at juvenile correctional facilities, the rate of youth-on-youth assaults has increased following the 2007 legislative reforms.

City leaders in Corsicana are worried about what the likely closure of a 124-year-old youth detention facility that houses mentally ill juvenile offenders will mean for the town’s economic future.

“It’s very difficult to find jobs with state benefits,” said Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan. The closure, he said, “is something we certainly don’t want.”

The Legislature this year approved a budget measure that requires the Texas Juvenile Justice Department to slash about $23 million from its budget and shutter one of its six secure facilities by Jan. 1. The agency staff has recommended closing the Corsicana unit and two halfway houses to meet the budget-cutting target. A final decision from the board is expected by the end of August, and TJJD officials said they are committed to helping displaced employees find other jobs in the agency. But city leaders are worried that the closure will cost local jobs, and juvenile justice advocates are concerned about where the 117 juveniles in those facilities will go. …. Read more …

Last sentence of this important article:

But Hurley said the legislation that calls for Corsicana’s closure is pretty unambiguous. “There’s not a whole lot of room to interpret [the rider],” Hurley said. “That’s pretty simple math.”

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