Report issued after disturbances at Texas lockup

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

AUSTIN, TX -- Following two violent disturbances at a Texas juvenile lockup last month that included fighting and breaking windows, an investigative report by the state found that staffing shortages and agency policies contributed to the incidents.

The report from independent ombudsman Debbie Unruh was obtained Friday by the Houston Chronicle. The report criticizes top officials at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department for allowing key vacancies to go unfilled for months.

In the disturbances at the Giddings State School last month, groups of youths fought, climbed on roofs and broke windows. Giddings is located about 50 miles east of Austin.

Juvenile Justice Department spokesman Jim Hurley says psychologists and case managers have been augmenting Giddings' staff for several months and more than 90 percent of the jobs at Giddings are now filled.