SAN ANTONIO – On Monday, State District Court Judge Jefferson Moore, a member of the Bexar County Juvenile Board, toured the county’s four juvenile facilities.
It has been 14 years since allegations of sexual and physical abuse surfaced within the Texas Youth Commission. Since then, the agency, tasked with handling juvenile offenders’ cases, has been renamed the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, and the Texas legislature ordered that local governments make annual inspections of juvenile facilities.
“All of us have an interest to make sure that everything here is done as good as possible,” Moore said.
Though this was an annual scheduled tour, other unannounced visits are conducted by judges throughout the year.
“We’re really totally separate from the juvenile system, and to put us as the oversight board for them, I think, makes a good difference,” Moore said.
Moore noted that the adult criminal courts also benefit from an effectively operating juvenile justice system.
“If we can make sure that we have a healthy system for folks that are juveniles who are getting out of line, so to speak, then it cuts down on what we have to do in the adult criminal system,” he said.