A Texas state senator is blasting the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for failing to improve detention facilities and operations in the state.
Houston Democrat John Whitmire said the state agency was broken since it is spending $129,000 a year per detainee, while having a 77 percent re-arrest rate.
Whitmire is the chair of the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee.
The outgoing executive director of the agency, Mike Griffiths, said workers are improving the system, but that they handle the toughest juvenile offenders.
Earlier another legislative committee heard testimony on ending the policy of treating 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system.
Texas has worked to move juvenile offenders out of facilities and into community programs.
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