State Criminal Justice System Group: "Texas Failing Traumatized Girls"

The state's juvenile justice system is failing the girls in its custody, according to a new report from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition.

The findings of a one-day survey of approximately 100 girls at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex suggest that the residents, most of whom suffered past traumatic events, are not given the support and tools they need to cope with emotional problems.

The group's executive director, Ana-Yanez Correa, stated in a press release that "the worst part is the girls who said the juvenile justice system is actually making their trauma worse. Texas needs to take a hard look at its policies so we stop re-traumatizing these youth."

According to the report, 46 percent "of the surveyed girls report that the staff, programs, and treatment in county juvenile facilities did not help them deal with past trauma in their lives; an additional four percent said their time in the county facilities did more harm than good in dealing with past trauma."

The group recommended that county and state juvenile facilities implement "trauma-informed programs" and "review and revise all policies and procedures to respond better to the vulnerabilities and triggers of traumatized youth."

The group also called for expanded staff training "to build positive, respectful relationships between youth and staff."

We're not entirely sure how appropriate it is to extrapolate the experiences of girls in one facility to facilities statewide. But at least it's a start, and hopefully the girls at the Brownsville facility will get the help they need. Check out the full report for more.

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