texas juvenile justice department

Abbott Asks Texas Rangers to Investigate Juvenile Justice Department

Abbott said the TJJD had reported multiple allegations of potentially illegal behavior

Texas Department of Public Safety

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is directing the Texas Rangers to investigate allegations of "potentially illegal behavior" by Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) staff members.

In a letter to the Texas Department of Public Safety Monday, Abbott said the TJJD's Inspector General's Office and the TJJD Independent Ombudsmen have reported multiple allegations of potentially illegal behavior from certain staff members.

"I am directing you to have the Texas Rangers immediately investigate these allegations and provide me with a report so that appropriate remedial action can be taken," Abbott wrote to Col. Steven McCraw of Texas DPS in the letter.

On June 30, a youth development coach at a Rio Grande Valley juvenile center named Todd Hanks was arrested on charges of improper sexual activity with a person in custody and indecency with a child.

Abbott did not directly reference that Edinburg arrest in his letter, and it's unclear if the allegations referenced by Abbott include the charges against Hanks.

The TJJD maintains five secure facilities and six halfway houses in Texas, according to its website.

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