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Friday, June 13, 2008

ACLU files suit against Texas juvenile prison system, alleges inmate abuse
Deirdre Jurand at 3:32 PM ET

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Thursday against the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) [official website], alleging that five girls imprisoned at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex [official website] were subjected to punitive solitary confinement, physical abuse and invasive strip searches. The ACLU alleged that the treatment violated the girls' rights under the US Constitution and international law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child [text]. TYC officials responded [press release] that the agency is working to address the issues raised in the lawsuit. AP has more.

In May 2007, TYC announced it would release 226 inmates after an investigation [JURIST reports] revealed that their sentences had been improperly extended in retaliation for filing grievances. In June 2007, Congress passed a bill [implementation strategies] to reform the Texas juvenile prison system, creating the Office of Inspector General [official website] to internally police the system. The Ron Jackson girls' facility is estimated to hold about 190 inmates.






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