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Mental Healthcare in the Texas Juvenile Justice System

The Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Committee) issued a report on Mental Health Care in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). The report was issued after a series of public hearings where the Committee heard from individuals, organizations, and professionals with specific knowledge of and experience with the conditions and challenges within TJJD.

What the Committee has learned through this investigation is deeply concerning, and for every day that it continues unchecked we feel is another day that the rights of those held in TJJD facilities are violated. Most youth in the Texas Juvenile Justice System have clear mental health needs. Not only are these needs not being adequately addressed, but being in state-run facilities may further traumatize the youth and exacerbate mental health needs.

Facility understaffing and under-resourcing has long been a challenge and was exacerbated by the pandemic. And while understaffing is improving, in part due to pay increases, it is still too low. We commend the Texas Legislature for taking steps to improve staffing and funding in the system, but it remains far short of what is needed to meet the needs.

Report Type
Advisory Committees Reports
Related Content
State or Territory