Monday, December 22, 2014

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Judge approves settlement in TYC civil rights case

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A judge has approved a settlement between the Texas Youth Commission and the Justice Department over inmate safety at a juvenile prison in Edinburg.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa signed the settlement Monday and it was announced by the TYC Wednesday.

Hinojosa previously rejected a settlement that lacked a specific timeline for suggested reforms at the Evins Regional Juvenile Center.

Prosecutors began their review in 2006 after numerous reports of alleged abuse.

A federal review released in 2007 described a "chaotic and dangerous" environment at Evins that violated inmate rights with high levels of violence and too few guards.

The settlement:

-- establishes parameters for safe living conditions to protect inmates from violence and staffing levels

-- restricts use of youth restraints

-- and guards against retaliation for reporting abuse and misconduct.

The Justice Department will review the lockup every six months.

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