juvenile justice

This week on "Texas Matters," we look at a major flaw in the way maternal mortality rates in Texas are tracked (00:25). Also, why are more women running for office in the state (7:53)? And, finally, we examine what's behind a new sex abuse scandal in the Texas juvenile justice system (17:39).

From Texas Standard.

Last month, the Dallas Morning News uncovered an internal email from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. It said that at least four staffers at the Gainesville State School, a lockup for juvenile offenders, could be sent to prison for sexual misconduct at the facility. The Juvenile Justice Department is no stranger to scandal. And to fix it, a set of advocacy groups have an idea – close all of its facilities and completely rethink how the state houses young offenders.


An average of five Texas juveniles a week were certified to be tried as adults in court from 1995 to 2015, according to data from a recent Texas Standard article. One of these kids was Miguel Navarro. At the age of 16 he was tried as an adult, found guilty of murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. 

From Texas Standard:

Miguel Navarro is 5’ 3’’ and small-framed. When reporters Alain Stephens and Hannah McBride speak to him, he’s in handcuffs and ankle restraints. He’s nervous and sweaty. His brown eyes well up with tears when they ask him about that night.

Paul Flahive

$800 million in juvenile justice funding is before congress, and the DC gridlock is threatening to hold it up. The Juvenile Justice Prevention and Delinquency Act has been around for 40 years, enjoys widespread bi-partisan support and orients the nation's juvenile justice workers.