The letter is the latest in a series of negotiations between the state and federal governments as they try to settle the case.Obviously the reason TYC doesn't want conditions labeled as violations of civil rights is they don't want litigants alleging abuse at the Evins unit to be able to rely upon that determination later in court. They want to rewrite history through semantic games. That must not happen.
DOJ officials in March, following a months-long investigation, called conditions at Evins “chaotic and dangerous,” and said officials there failed to protect prisoners from youth and staff violence.
Specifically, they saw as problematic the high number of youth-on-youth assaults, inadequate staffing levels that left one guard in charge of 24 young people, insufficient programming, problems with youth placement, a dysfunctional grievance system and staff-on-youth violence.
TYC officials have agreed with DOJ about many of the problems and worked to solve them, but its administrators did not want the language in the settlement to say they violated civil rights, the letter said.
The feds should stick to their guns on the letter's language and on the lengthier period of monitoring (four years) they'd originally proposed. The reforms implemented this spring were at most a first step, not in any way a complete fix to TYC's many problems, as the letter to the feds claimed.
TYC needs to stop fighting federal oversight and take its medicine. And like so many kids under their care, IMO that oversight should consist of an indeterminate sentence - when they've proven their rehabilitated, as far as I'm concerned, then the feds can let the agency off the hook.