Saturday, March 10, 2007

Convicted Sex Offender Fired As Youth Prison Guard

The news about the Texas youth prison system keeps getting more appalling.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The state's probe into sexual abuse allegations in the Texas youth prison system has resulted in the firing of a correctional officer who is a convicted sex offender. David Andrew Lewis, 23, was fired Wednesday from the Texas Youth Commission's Coke County Juvenile Justice Center, an all-male facility, several newspapers reported.

State leaders on Tuesday dispatched law enforcement officials to all 22 youth facilities and the commission's headquarters to investigate claims of sexual abuse of inmates by employees. Ed Owens, the commission's acting executive director, said a facility employee had warned agency officials months ago that Lewis was a sex offender, but the officials didn't act on the matter.

Wow. I just don't have any words other than you don't lock people up under the supervision of a convicted sex offender.

But, wait, it gets worse.

A Texas Ranger told lawmakers he tried in vain for two years to get prosecutors to look into evidence that employees at a youth prison in West Texas had repeated sexual contact with the young inmates.

He took the results of his 2005 investigation of the West Texas State School in Pyote to federal, state and local prosecutors, but none would pursue the case, he said.

"I promised each one of those victims that I would do everything in my power to ensure that justice would not fail them, the Rangers would not fail them," Brian Burzynski told a legislative committee Thursday, his voice quivering. "I can only imagine what the students think about the Ranger who was unable to bring them justice."
It took discussions of the agency's budget for this investigation to be viewed by anyone who would take it seriously.

All those who heard about these abuses and who chose to do nothing should be officially reprimanded if not fired.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   0 comments links to this post


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