"Pepper spray used more liberally on kids," Mike Ward, Austin Statesman, Nov. 20
"Incarcerated teenagers in the Texas Youth Commission system are getting pepper-sprayed by guards when they refuse to follow routine orders and while on suicide watch, not just when they pose a threat, a Travis County court was told Monday.""Suit says TYC breaking pepper spray rules," Lisa Sandberg, Houston Chronicle, Nov. 20
"pepper spray is being used a lot more than just a few months ago. So far this year, just over 1,200 reports of spraying have been logged, compared with only 196 last year. In June, a month before Youth Commission officials allowed broader use of pepper spray to control misbehaving or noncompliant youths, 66 cases were reported. In October, 207 spray reports were logged."
"'Pepper spray is the high-tech equivalent of old-fashioned corporal punishment,' Steve Martin, a longtime expert on corrections who has been hired by the advocacy groups, said outside the Travis County courtroom. He said it was ludicrous for the agency to suggest that pepper spray did not cause injuries. 'It causes intense burning and pain and panic,' he said.Regrettably, it doesn't sound like the court discussion got too deep into the who, what, when and why of TYC's non-compliance with the agreed order. That's too bad, but advocates may still get their chance to go back to court if TYC won't agree to a reasonable policy that they'll stick to, and by reasonable I don't mean the "Spray First" policy they recently proposed in the Texas Register.