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Before going to work with youths, Wright worked with adult inmates as a corrections officer at the Ware prison unit in Colorado City from January through December 2013, according to a TDCJ spokesman.He resigned after he was caught on video leaving a pastry on an inmate's bunk.Decarceration of juvenile prisons in Texas has been a major success story of the last decade, and this news doesn't mitigate that.A 15 percent increase following a 80 percent reduction still amounts to perhaps 150 kids, so that doesn't explain a 0 million budget request, much of which likely stems from facility upgrades and other changes to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.Wright began working there in 2014, and investigators since the arrest have uncovered several allegations of abuse starting as early as December 2015, said Debbie Unruh, the independent ombudsman for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.Wright, a former corrections officer who oversaw adult prisoners at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, continued working at the agency even after officials there discovered he had a history of disciplinary infractions at his previous job, she said.By Texas Appleseed "Texas is one of only seven states in which 17-year olds accused of committing crimes are automatically shuffled into the adult criminal justice system rather than the juvenile justice system, regardless of the crime." Read Report Here: Grits experienced a terrible moment of deja vu upon seeing Brandi Grissom's report in the Dallas News that, "Officials at the state youth prison agency are investigating a suspected serial sexual predator among corrections officers at a juvenile lockup in Gainesville." For me, seeing the story brought me back to Nate Blakeslee's January 2007 investigative report in the Texas Observer about sexual abuse at what was then the Texas Youth Commission.His story set off a chain of events which led to the dismantling and renaming of the agency, which reemerged from a troubled conservatorship renamed the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
Agency officials are also investigating two suicide attempts at the Ron Jackson Unit, which houses young women.
Brandi attributed some recent problems to budget cuts and rising inmate numbers: As the agency's population and facilities shrunk, so did the budget that lawmakers approved.
But the population has begun to increase, and on Thursday the agency reported that it is housing 15.5 percent more youths than it has the budget to serve.
As the agency's population and facilities shrunk, so did the budget that lawmakers approved.
"They have beds, but they don't necessarily have the staff and all the other stuff that goes along with housing," Unruh said.