- Austin Statesman: Texas confronts broken juvenile justice system, again
- Texas Tribune: TJJD doing blanket review of youths in facilities
- Texas Tribune: Juvie detention center seen as model for reform
See a new report (pdf) from TJJD assessing Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs at Texas school districts.
See also, via CrimProf Blog, a new academic paper, Juvenile Justice on Appeal, assessing juvenile appellate procedures, including in Texas. The Lone Star State gets high marks for disallowing waivers of the right to counsel when juveniles are charged as adults. However, juveniles in Texas do not have access to habeas corpus, the article notes (footnote 82) because they're considered civil instead of criminal cases. (See correction/clarification below.) Nationally and in Texas, juvenile appeals are rare. In 2010, said the article, just 52 Texas juvenile cases - only .26% of total juvie adjudications - resulted in some sort of appeal. Florida had the highest rate of juvenile appeals, with appellate proceedings in roughly 2% of cases.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: A commenter rightly pointed out that, "The statement that juvenile defendants do not have access to habeas corpus relief is incorrect. Although a juvenile defendant cannot seek habeas relief through Chapter 11 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure since juvenile adjudications are deemed civil, a juvenile defendant can seek habeas corpus relief through a writ under article V section 8 of the Texas Constitution. A denied article V section 8 writ can be appealed to the intermediate court of appeals." A quick Google check confirmed that and I apologize for the error. The law review article linked above said the habeas statutes in the Code of Criminal Procedure did not cover juveniles, but did not mention they retain habeas rights under Art. 5 Sec. 8 of the Texas Constitution.