Senate Panel Approves TYC Overhaul Bill

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The state's juvenile justice system would undergo a sweeping overhaul under a bill approved by a Texas Senate panel.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee endorsed the bill to limit who gets sent to the Texas Youth Commission, how they're housed and to expand the rights of inmates and their families.

Lawmakers have been grappling with changing the system since February, amid media reports of juvenile inmate sex abuse at the West Texas State School in Pyote.

Two now-former staffers have been indicted this week.

The Senate bill would separate youth offenders by age and offense.

TYC staffers would review each inmate's case every six months.

Once youths reached their minimum length of sentence, only "clear and convincing evidence" could allow officials to keep them locked up.

Once inmates reach 19, they would be released or sent to the adult prison system, two years earlier than the current system.