Posted: Feb 14, 2013 10:51 AM by Associated Press
Updated: Feb 14, 2013 10:55 AM
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A criminal justice expert has told lawmakers that rates of mental illness exceed gang affiliation among juveniles in Texas jails.
The 2013 figures presented on Thursday show that 56 percent of young offenders have a diagnosed mental illness, compared to 39 percent in 2007.
Michael Griffiths, the director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, says those rates now surpass the 54 percent rate of confirmed gang membership. The numbers reflect a shifting challenge for the agency, which admitted 1,073 youths into six secure facilities in 2012.
Lawmakers are reviewing the rise of mental illness in a juvenile justice system that has been overhauled to shift the burden of early intervention onto local officials. Juvenile offenders in local lockups rose from 20 percent in 2007 to 37 percent last year.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
Look at photos and videos and share them!
| Desktop Weather
Current forecast, hurricane info, and much more!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Website
Get KRISTV.com on your mobile or PDA!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Apps
Get our mobile apps on your mobile or PDA!
See the latest winning numbers!
|6 News Team
Read about your favorite KRIS-TV personalities!
|FCC Online Public File
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and more