The Cycle and Dynamics of Reform and Neglect in a State Juvenile Corrections Agency: The Texas Experience




Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This research examines the history of juvenile justice in Texas, from the creation of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) to its current iteration, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). The study is divided into several sections and begins with information on the history of juvenile justice in Texas, from the landmark Morales v. Turman ruling to the eventual dissolution of TYC. The research adopts an intrinsic, single case study design; its purpose is to contribute to future studies of juvenile corrections. The author’s personal experience with juvenile justice prompted interviews with directors and staffers of TYC institutions, members of the Texas Legislature and the juvenile justice department in Texas at large. The interviews and the methodology surrounding this study provide crucial insight into TYC and the institutional system; they also provide a framework for further single case study research of criminal and juvenile justice. This research concludes that the institution model is not sustainable or helpful for rehabilitating juveniles even when the institutions are focused on reform. It is argued that the cycle of juvenile justice is a revolving wheel ensuring reactionary legislation, and this study calls for a new model to ensure the safety of juveniles.



Texas Youth Commission, Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Juvenile corrections—Texas, Juvenile delinquents—Rehabilitation—Texas