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Governor asks Texas Rangers to investigate reports of misconduct at Juvenile Justice Dept

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (SBG San Antonio)

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has asked the Texas Rangers to investigate reports of misconduct at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Governor Abbott sent a letter to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw Wednesday. The request concerns "reports of sexual misconduct and inappropriate relationships by state employees at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD)."

The Governor called the allegations "reprehensible" and said that additional action is needed to guarantee the protection of the youth in the care and custody of the state of Texas.

“Recent reports of sexual misconduct and inappropriate relationships by state employees at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department are reprehensible and necessitate an appropriate response,” said Governor Abbott. “Action is needed to guarantee the protection of the youth in the care and custody of the State of Texas. I am requesting that our esteemed Texas Rangers immediately open a detailed investigation to determine the extent of the alleged misconduct at TJJD.”

A news release states Governor Abbott also sent a letter to newly-named TJJD Executive Director Camille Cain, urging her to "work with his office to ensure that the youth in the state’s care and custody are protected, and carry out the agency’s mission to transform young lives and create safer communities."

State Senator Jose Menendez commends Governor Abbot.

“Just because these young people may have made a mistake in their life does not mean that they can’t be treated with dignity and respect,” said Senator Menendez.

He recommends body cameras be worn by on-duty officers or guards.

“A body cam that cannot be turned on or off by the officer. One that is controlled by the time that they are on duty. If you clock in at this time it stays on until you clock out, until you are out of the facility and the actual video feed is headquartered or housed separately and it’s not accessible by anybody at the correctional facility,” Senator Menendez said.

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