The reasons for my rage?
Oh my God, so many!
Rick Perry’s Juvie Record
Why did the GOP presidential contender wait six years to clean up the culture of child rape at Texas youth detention centers?
For years, the Texas juvenile justice system was wracked by reports of rape, unsanitary conditions, and physical abuse. According to statistics submitted by the [Texas Youth Commission] in 2007, 83 percent of residents who requested counseling that year were ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. At one youth facility in central Texas, the mistreatment and squalid conditions (feces on the walls and bed-sheets, steel bars blocking fire escapes) were so bad they left no choice but for the agency to shut it down entirely.
Gov. Rick Perry did not take swift action to address the problem, which his office knew about for years. Allegations of systematic mistreatment at TYC facilities first came to the Governor’s desk in 2001, when then-Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas) forwarded along a complaint that his office had received. That was six years before media coverage of the conditions in juvenile detention centers launched a public scandal. And critics of Perry, who is now a frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination, point out that he received tens of thousands of dollars from lobbyists and executives for a firm tied to some of the worst abuses.
Far from the picture initially painted by Perry, of a shocking scandal that was dealt with swiftly and emphatically, his administration had sat on the concerns for years.
The TYC’s own numbers tell the tale. The commission officially reported 535 cases of abuse at its facilities in 2002, more than double the total from just four years earlier. Likewise, the number of residents diagnosed with mental illnesses skyrocketed during that same period, from 27 percent in 1995 to nearly half in 2002. And despite his office’s initial denials, top Perry staffers had been formally briefed on abuses at juvenile justice facilities as early as 2005. In 2006, President Bush’s Department of Justice even initiated a probe of the TYC conditions, but declined to intervene because it was not able to prove that any victims sustained “bodily injury.”
Child rape as a control method. Sure. Why the fuck not.
To read the rest in Mother Jones, click here.
And of course, also in the rage department you’ll find the Troy Davis case — please, please, if you haven’t done so yet, please act to save the life of a man who is almost certainly innocent of the crime for which he is slated to be killed next Wednesday. For details, petitions, etc click here.