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Part Two: The Child Prisons of Texas

Part Two: The Child Prisons of Texas

Thu, 27 Jan 2022 11:00

Robert is joined by Propaganda to discuss The Child Prisons of Texas.

Join us on 2/17 for a live digital experience of Behind the Bastards (plus Q&A) featuring Robert Evans, Propaganda, & Sophie Lichterman. If you can't make it, the show will be available for replay until 2/24!


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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV in iHeartRadio this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who's simply become known as. Lamaster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. Join your host, Josh and Chuck on the Super Popular podcast packed with fascinating discussions on science, history, pop culture and more episodes that ask, was the lost city of Atlantis Real? I don't know. Is birth order important? I don't know. How does pizza work? Well, I do know. Bit about that see? You can know even more, because stuff you should know has over 1500 immensely interesting episodes for your brain to feast on. So what do you say? I don't want to miss the stuff you should know. Podcast you're learning already. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. What's ******? My home state? Whoa, yeah. You caught me on that I would raise for that is behind the ******** podcast. Bad people tell you all about them. We have a an opening schema that I used in the last episode that dates back several years where I would I would essentially say what's exciting my Y, as it started with generic introduction, you know what's cracking my Peppers and stuff. And now it's become completely atomized from its origins and probably makes no sense to people who are just like hopping into an episode. But that's how we introduce shows sometimes. So yeah, hello. It's quite a joy, man. I'm not gonna lie. We've and we don't usually introduce ourselves and sometimes we forget to introduce our guests. Yep, our guest who is of course prop. I will not be saying your, your your government name again. I appreciate that. Yeah, yeah, prop. How do you feel about Texas? Uh, how truthful do you want me to answer this? It's fine. It's fine. Yeah. I can't stand this place. Yeah. Yeah. It's. I I couldn't. I, you know, there's things about it that are nice. Yeah. Now, as a caveat, there are plenty of lovely people that I yeah, adore that live in Texas, one of which is my grandmother, you know, was from Sulphur Springs and moved to Dallas, and my father was born in the Big D you know what I'm saying? And, like, so I got. I got some, some roots out there. That being said, I don't know nobody in my family that still lives there because pretty much strange from that side of the family. That being said, the ones that were from Texas that I do know all came to California in the 60s. So in my mind, they're Californians. So yeah, I mean, I moved from Texas to California. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, my father made. Like my great grandma, you know, I'm saying, yeah, let's see. Yeah, there's a thing that you get. I mean, I I say it's about half of the people that I love in the world still live in Texas. There's wonderful things about it. There's stuff that only Texas has. But like, there is a a feeling a lot of people get living in Texas that more or less I would sum up as who I got to get the **** out of here. Yeah, to this place. DJ, one of my DJ is from San Angelo that I work with and same thing he was just like, I'm a Texan, but I cannot wait to leave. Yeah, it is indelibly printed on my soul. There's all sorts of things about me that are very deeply Texan. But like, well, I just hit a point where I was like, I'm gone. Yeah, yeah. I gotta get out of here. And how what else? Coffee is great. Yeah. Davis and Dallas Martha. Great things I like. I like a lot of West. TX. Had some real good times in Hill. Country. There's kinds of freedom that you can have in Texas if you're a white person. I should I should say that if you are a white person, yeah. That you you don't often find other parts of this country, even as a white person. There's like things that you can get up to in Texas that are absolutely nuts, but it comes with a couple of caveats, one of them being the fact that Texas has probably the most nightmarish juvenile justice system in the entire United States, which, as we have discussed a number of times in this podcast, including earlier this week, has a pretty ****** history with juvenile justice. Texas is unquestionably the worst. Like the state that is the. As the zone worst history with juvenile justice. And that's Texas is winning in a contest that includes ******* Florida. It's crazy. Like, ****. Do you know how much Florida hates kids? Yes. Florida really, really hates kids. Texas. Whoo boy. Yeah, that's what we're about to talk about today. So in our last episode, I opened by giving a history of the term super predator, and while that specific term was the creation of a single man, he was simply the latest in a line of men who have spent generations building and reinforcing. Perative that some children are inherently dangerous and must be policed brutally for the safety of all. William S Bush is a PhD U.S. history professor from the University of Texas at Austin and he's a good guy. I introduced him after talking about the Super predator thing. No, he's he he he is a he knows his ****. He wrote a book that is one of the major sources for this episode with one of the most chilling titles for a book I've ever heard. It's called who gets a childhood? And it is about the criminal justice system in Texas. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, it's it is interesting, dude, because it's like one of the. The things among like black activism is the idea that, like black and brown, children are forced to be adults. Yeah, in the eyes of the law, way before we're ready to be it. So yeah, OK, this is crazy and bull boy, he does focus. A lot of it is about racism in the Texas criminal Justice, juvenile justice system. It's a good book I recommended. It's very readable. It is kind of an academic text, but it's a very readable 1. Now, Bush, Emmitt, folk, folk. It's this is a book about Texas. Specifically, Bush notes that historians of childhood claim that the OR tend to agree that the concept of, of what they call protected childhood started in the United States around the 1820s. Obviously, this is the thing happening in different parts of the world in different ways. But like, we now see, child is like, you have to not just that, like you have to protect children, which is a thing people have always done, but you have to protect children from certain things like understanding and interacting in the world the same way an adult does, right? Kids don't work. They shouldn't. We most people agree on that now. Like, yeah, like kids should not recent labor. Like adults labor. Kids should not be subject to some of the realities that adults are subject to. These are. We can always debate some of this stuff, like particularly hiding certain realities of the world from kids, but these are things society broadly agrees upon. Now. This is what a protected childhood is, right? The idea that you protect kids from some of the things that adults have to deal with and know. The movement towards this concept of a protected childhood. In the United States and again, we're talking in the US here. It happens other places, different ways. There's a lot of academics here. Please, I'm not trying to. This is this is a broad overview. This movement starts with the free school and Sunday school social movements, which again kind of the 1820s come down, as we've talked about actually a couple of recent episodes. These all start in like the Northeast and kind of spread to the rest of the country. These ideas that like schools should be free, every kid should get an education and it shouldn't cost them anything. And also the idea that like Sunday school is a is a thing, which is. Yeah, you know, tied to religion, but also also tied to this idea that, like, this very new idea that, like, education is a thing that every kid deserves. Yeah. So people died all the time back then for basically no reason, which also meant that, like, in this. There's a ton of orphans, you know? And so when people started this kind of long process of giving a **** about childhoods for children, it leads to a bunch of facilities getting opened, not just to deal with orphaned kids, but to deal with, like, kids who were delinquent, kids who have. Various kind of behavioral issues, they all kind of get shoved into the same place. These are generally called houses of refuge and it's a mix because obviously they are saying like, well, if you're homeless or or if you're a kid committing petty crimes, you belong in the same place, which is not great. But also it is, it is good in that it's kind of as a society, people being like, well, even though they're not my kid, I as a member of society, have some responsibility towards them. It's just a fund, this facility, which is not a bad development. Again, it's problematic, but yeah, but it's a communal understanding that, like, the children are ours. Yeah, like not just yours. They're hours and like we and if we want to, like, live in a community that we enjoy, like I should invest in. Yeah, the other games around me, you know, I'm saying, I think often when we talk about movements like this, it is easy to focus on, like the horrible negatives, which we'll be talking about. Everything today we're gonna talk about comes from this. But it's all. It's not one thing or the other entirely. It is. There's a lot that's ****** ** about this. It also is coming from this place of, like, oh, there's all these children on the streets. And, like, maybe we have a responsibility to them do something about it here, too. Where your mom at? Yeah. Yeah. What are you doing out there? What you doing on the court? Are you 3 years old? Why you on the court? Yeah, yeah, I I would even say this, man, like even just going through as a parent, like I'm saying this as like a now a parent is like even when going through just the history of the decisions other parents or societies have made for their kids that obviously that weren't preposterous, but ones that are like, the reality is like, there's no, there's a whole last human. Yeah, and you're like, there's nothing more terrifying than the idea of, like, their life is in my hands and I don't know what the **** I'm doing. Like that, that existential dread. I feel like if you're going to be a good parent, you have felt that fear where you're like, I don't know what I'm doing, Joe said. And you're like, where do what? Do I? I can't. I don't know what I'm. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't want to ****. This kid up, you know, I'm saying and you know, you're like, well, I'm ****** **. You know, I'm saying, like, I mean, I don't know, I just, I think, like, I think you're like, I don't know what I'm doing, but at least I know you should live on a damn streets, man. Like, there needs to be some sort of adult in your life, right? Like, you know, I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah. And that that that's kind of happening on a really broad scale here. And a lot of it's made possible because of industrialization. Both. There's a lot more people from industrialization, kind of. Sources and so like, yeah, these facilities kind of grow in size and pop up, start popping up all over the United States throughout like kind of the mid to late 1800s. Now at the same time, all this is happening and part of why it's happening is that the US is creating its middle class and in fact the very concept of a middle class. Parents start having fewer kids and devoting a lot more time and attention to the development of the kids that they do have. And the idea starts to spread as a result of all this that children not, not don't, don't just deserve, maybe to be housed, but deserve to. Learn and play and not to die in coal mines. They're like banging drums while adult shoot rifles at each other. Right. Like point we maybe shouldn't be doing some of the things we're doing with kids. Yeah. At some point you said to yourself, you know, my childhood was trash. Hmm. I you know, I didn't really get to that. Look, I wish I could have been able. You know what? When I have kids, I'm gonna let him play house side. You don't need to go to no coal mine and die. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so that that's happening in this. And the kind of the people who these. Early advocates of the concept of a childhood these early like people who are, are supporting the idea that there should be restrictions on like what we can make kids do. They're generally called child savers and most of them are middle class moms and it's from them and this advocacy and kind of the late 1800s that we get stuff like age of consent laws, child labour bans and compulsory education. That's all good stuff, broadly speaking, but these positive moves occur along more muddled developments too, because these women are also responsible. Activists are also responsible for the concept of youth curfews, the idea that like, well, we shouldn't let kids out at night sometimes and they should be punished if they are out at night, and the juvenile justice system which. Is a very mixed bag, William Bush writes. Many of these reforms were aimed at extending the protections of childhood to working class and poor children. Moreover, they sought to broaden the years of protection and semi dependence on adults upward into the adolescent years are reflection of the slowly spreading idea of adolescence itself. At the turn of the 20th century, one of its leading proponents, the Clark University psychiatrist and child Study movement leader Granville Stanley Hall, described the life stage of adolescence famously as a time of storm and stress, a time of risk taking. Rebellion, awkwardness, and self discovery. Adolescents he and other psychiatrists such as William Healy proposed, needed to be treated individually, especially when they ran afoul of rules, as seemed almost inevitable. Early juvenile court judges such as Denver's Ben Lindsay helped popularize the idea of the tough but fatherly juvenile justice official for whom understanding his wayward charges was a specialty. Meanwhile, courts for delinquent girls, headed by matronly figures such as Mary Ann Barthelme of Chicago, preoccupied themselves with curbing the precocious. Sexuality of working class girls whose families were often recent arrivals on American industrial cities. So again, lot going on here, you know? Yeah. Still products of your your time, of its time. But yeah, this is, this is kind of how this starts to look. Yeah. And it's it's important to note that, like, we're talking about how bad the juvenile justice system, the idea that we should have one came from a really good place, which is that, like, kids should be treated as adults when they commit crime, should be present with grown-ups. Yeah. You should be in prison with grownups. You shouldn't be. Judged by the same judges who judge grownups. Like, we should have a separate thing for you, in part because kids are gonna **** around and like, they're like, the finding out part of that shouldn't be as brutal as it is for adults. Yeah, Judge Lindsay even complained. Quote The This business of punishing infants as if they were adults and of maiming young lives by trying to make the gristle of their unformed characters carry the weight of our iron laws and heavy penalties. Yeah, it's a good place. Yeah. Yeah. There's there's some guy, some people who were saying really good ****. Now in Texas, Juvenile and adult offenders were first separated in 1886 after protests from the local women's Christian Temperance Union, which is right around the same time it starts happening in a bunch of other places. The next year, the legislature in Texas passed a bill approving a dedicated House of correction for children. Gatesville opened in January of 1889, and it was one of the first dedicated. Juvenile detention facilities anywhere in the United States. It was followed later that year by facilities from in Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama. Gatesville opened with 86 inmates. It was immediately popular with the locals, who saw, rightly, that it would bring a lot of jobs to their town. Local residents actually raised money, so the state can't pay. Like, their budget runs short and they can't pay for all the land they need to buy this facility. And people who live in the town nearby raise the money to buy it for the state because they're like, well, this is going to. Provide us with jobs forever if we have a child prison in town. Oh my God. Why is that? Their first thought was like, yeah, it's everybody's first thought. When this **** happens, it's like spoilers. That's where this is going for the next century. That's why I went. What? It's like, I thought they're gonna be like, oh, that's cool, man. You know? Yeah. Kids ain't gotta shouldn't have to go to jail. No, there's money in this ****. Oh, wait. We can make some money off this morning, you know? I'm saying, yeah. Yo, hit the leg, bro. Like what? Yeah. Yeah, it's great. So the boys who were interned in Gatesville were overwhelmingly. City dwellers and there's this idea at the time that Texas never gets past that kids who are juvenile delinquents, most of whom are urban kids, need to be put in prisons far away from their families and isolated rural communities. Basically all of these kids were poor, too. One survey of early Gatesville inmates found that 119 out of 195 listed their mother's occupation as housekeeper, while the leading descriptions of their fathers were unknown railroad men. Laborers and farmers unknown being up there is you should tell you something about what's going on. 2/3 of these boys had lost one of their parents, and slightly less than half of their parents had criminal records themselves. William Bush goes on to note that the racial disparity in who went to Gatesville was pretty blatant. African Americans comprised 46 of the first, forty of the 1st, 68 inmates, all of whom were transferred from the adult prison system, although Gatesville admitted inmates regardless of race or ethnicity. It's strictly segregated every aspect of their daily lives, housing, schooling, dining, and religious services. As a result, by 1917, about 250 black inmates crowded into Harris Hall, the Jim Crow congregate dormitory, built to house about half that number. By contrast, when the state opened its first and only training School for Girls before World War Two, it excluded black females altogether. Black girls charged with committing a crime in this. May have had their cases heard in local juvenile courts, but the available remedies were limited to the county jail or release. Back into the community. There is no nothing new. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Oh my gosh. Not exactly news that Texas in 1917 was pretty ******* racist, right? But it's good to have data. I always just. Yeah. Like, I'm still, like, trying to picture a juvenile hall in the 1800s. Ohh God right. Yeah. And I'm just like, spiral. Like, it just got me spiraling and think, like, I just don't know how anyone survived the 1800s. Yeah. And one of the worst things to think about is. The degree to which maybe it's it wasn't much worse than it is now, at least in a lot of these facilities in Texas. Yeah, but that's a that's something we can talk about. So the fact that Texas would go on to lead the nation in juvenile incarceration had a lot to do with the fact that Texas was the only southern state to see a net gain in its black population during the first half of the 20th century, right? That's part of why they're building these facilities is they have this huge influx of black and Hispanic citizens moving to the state. And so you've got, well, they Hispanics were already there but yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah. But yeah. No, I mean you do have more like coming in from Mexico and stuff. And you also have, you have a huge number of poor non white kids moving into Texas cities, a lot of whom don't have parents for a variety of horrible reasons. And this causes a backlash from White Jim Crow supporting citizens who don't like seeing all of these kids who are not white in the what they think of as their cities police do the thing that police do, which is response. To the demands of the middle class white people and they start sweeping Juke joints, which is generally how the places they sweep to to arrest black kids are described. I think it's like, you know, it's like a a dancehall. Yeah. I was like, that's just like the club a judge is like, yeah. You bought at the time the Juke joint. Yeah. Yeah. My great music came out of there. Yeah. Yeah. Now, the nation's first juvenile court was to was established in Chicago and the focus of this court was, at least on paper, supposed to be rehabilitating the kids that got interned in the system. Texas, though, and obviously Chicago like that system, you know? Yeah, a lot of flaws and a lot of things that they could be criticized, could probably do an episode about that. But it's worth noting that the first juvenile court in the nation is in Chicago, and it's supposed to be focused on rehabilitation from the start because Texas follows soon after. Their juvenile justice system from the start very openly is not about rehabilitation. They specifically say, like, that's not our goal here. We are here to punish kids. Gatesville became what? One activist group described as an instrument of torture. In 1912, a new Superintendent for the facility ordered the banning of several forms of corporal punishment that had started in the late 1800s, and these sound somewhat torture. I'm going to read a quote from who gets a childhood? If you want. This will give you some context on what it's like being in a juvenile prison in Texas in the late 1800s and start of the 1900s, Adams outlawed pulling toes in which boys were forced to stand, holding their toes with their hands indefinitely, and busting in which boys. Were made to stand with their arms held over their heads while the guard flogged them with a bat. I don't think that's flogging, that's just hitting the kid with a bat. That's not flogging. A flogging you something soft, right? It's pretty ugly too, but like, that's just hitting a kid with a bat. Like, no flogging, flogging, that's just beating a child with a heavy stick. Ohh, I was like this. The image is egregious, and the sentence for which you used to explain the image is egregious because that's not flogging. Now, so in 1912 this new Superintendent orders these things banned and the Guards revolt. They initially expressed their displeasure by allowing more than two dozen kids to escape over a three day. Right. So they just stopped doing their jobs. We'll show you. You want to be nice. These kids, put them on the streets, see, put them on the streets and then you'll see, you know. And yeah, they eventually they walk off the job just completely strike, which forces the Superintendent to recruit local citizens, most of whom supported the guards. Will serve in their place and obviously very little gets actually changed. Yeah, because in this will be a pattern. This is. These trends will continue through the rest of this story. Oh my God, why someone, in this case, the guy running it, like, recognizes a problem, tries to change it, and a mix of the guards working at the facility and the local citizens say absolutely not. You ain't improving **** and nothing gets done. Can you imagine that you're unionizing and somebody's like? Why y'all using unionizing? Because they won't let us beat the kids with bats. Yeah, imagine like, a couple of like, well, we're unionizing because we're all going to die from the black lung, and we'd like our pet families to get slightly more money and maybe have weekends off. Oh well, we're unionizing because people keep burning to death and garment fires. They won't let me hit kids with a bat anymore. Yeah, you like. Yo, your struggles are the same. Solidarity forever. Who's man's is this? Like, who invited these fools? Who has written? Gotta go. Yeah. It's very funny that right around the same time, like miners are fighting with machine guns and rifles for the right to have a life outside of the job and not be beaten by my by the bosses, guards, other guys are striking for the right to beat kids with baseball bats, with bats. Listen, that is the point. Essential, the absolute, the perfect example of yo, who's man's is this? Like, Yo, who, who's who, who let them in. That's not did we not the same fan? Yeah. Well, and probably a bleak story is how many of those other union men would see this as the same struggle. Cause a lot of racism. Yeah, struggle. So you know. But you know who's not in favor of flogging children with baseball bats? Let me tell you who not products and services that support this podcast. Unless it's the Washington State Highway Patrol. Oh no. Yeah, the FBI or. I gotta tell you, man. They look the island ain't no game. They're often called the Washington State Highway Patrol of the food box industry. Listen, I am team. That's right. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. 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And better help makes it very easy to get therapy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. A therapist can help you become a better problem solver, which can make it easier to accomplish your goals, no matter how big or small they happen to be. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try. Better help is a great option. It's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey. And if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at any time when you want to be a better problem solver therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better From behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ohh, we're back. So prop. Yeah, juvenile detention facilities spread across Texas throughout the first half of the 20th century. They came to be known as reform schools or training schools, even though neither of those things was ever much, either are happening. Yes, we will call it a school. School of Hard Knocks. This is cool in the sense that we got some deaths. Yeah, ******* dude walks in with a baseball bat, slams on the table. Who's ready to learn calculus? Carry the one Martinez hits the kid with a bat. Like, yeah, you get this one wrong and I'm gonna bunt you. Yeah. Yeah. Somebody OK yeah. Gatesville remained the most brutal of the juvenile prisons in Texas. It was so bad that it had to build a cemetery on its grounds because so many boys were dying in custody. Yeah. Yeah. When you check in prison needs to add a cemetery, maybe. Maybe we got a problem. I'm guessing the kids who end up there, like they don't have any parents left alive or something, right? Maybe their kids that are total wards of the state or whatever. And so it doesn't matter what happens to them in the eyes of the state. You can just throw them in an unmarked. One of the worst cases of this occurred in 1921 when a guard strangled a 15 year old named Dell Times to death in front of two other boys. So wow, not good places. 1921. Eventually all the stories of abuse led to enough outrage that in 1948 the state legislature appointed a special Commission to study these schools. So the state of Texas boy kids are 20 years later, kids get strangled to death, right? Like, yeah, it takes awhile. Stuff builds, there's other deaths. There's a lot of a lot of complaints. Eventually, the state of Texas is like, well, it's our duty. We got to get in there and really look at these, these facilities. One guy dies, you know? Yeah, two guys dies, hey, maybe they were together. Two guys die. Maybe we should go. We'll have a guy look into it, like 10 kids getting beaten to death is like, that's the equivalent of like when you're washing machine floods the house for the third time and you're like, alright, I gotta call ******* dude probably call somebody right now. So the Washington Post reports quote when experts and reformers visited the facilities, they recommended placing them entirely with within, with smaller facilities located near metropolitan areas. In addition to removing the stigma of prison, such facilities would place youths closer to their families and enable the state to bring in professionals from the fields of childcare, education, and mental health, a community based vision similar to today's group homes and halfway houses. So that's not that's pretty good advice given the state of things. That seems like an improvement, yeah. But the legislature rejected this advice. Absolutely not. Yeah. What is the most sensible, humane? Like? Could you probably be near their parents and experts and stuff? Who can help? Maybe we should get somebody to understand his kids around here. Ohh, that ****** people. Absolutely not there. There was riots when they tried to stop the baseball bat. Beatings. Of course they're not putting these kids in a different facility. The demand do, it's perfect, yeah. Heating the demands of the politically well connected leaders of the state's youth prisons, who used the spectre of black and Mexican American criminality to insist that young people required imprisonment, Texas instead expanded its construction of ever more sprawling prison like facilities, sometimes strategically located in the electoral districts of Kiev. Legislators abuse scandals continue to surface and television and newspaper reports. In 1952, a Houston lawyer filed an appeal on behalf of a 16 year old girl who had spent nearly 200 days in isolation. In the Gainesville State School, after being held down by male guards and forcibly sedated with barbiturates, another girl who escaped the same facility told a reporter for the Austin Statesman. I'll kill myself before returning and I'll let you know how it's going in there. Yep. So we've had two attempts to reform things, first in 1912, then in 1948, two big attempts so far. They both met with massive protests from the people who lived in and around, and also protests from lawmakers who know that if you put a child prison. In a town where maybe you don't have a great electoral edge, suddenly all the people who get jobs there, that's your voting base and you can, like, lock that **** down. It's like, I can't believe I'm saying this, but like, yeah, in Texas defense, they tried at some point to do some reasonable and it was like, well, well, Texas going Texas, there was Texas that stopped anything reasonable from happening. So I don't know about in there in the defense of the individuals who tried to reform. Yeah, the 15 people that flew in, yeah, those folks were at least on the right track because I well, never mind. Yeah. By 1964, things were bad enough that a mix of parents and former Gatesville employees wrote a letter to President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Governor of Texas. They described the kind of abuse we've discussed already in this episode at length and compared the training school to quote a concentration camp. And, man, statistically, at least one or two of those people had to have known what a concentration camp was, right? Some of them were World War Two vets or something. Like, I know we talked about Joe. Yeah, yeah. There was somebody in there who was like, I've seen a ******* concentration camp, and this place doesn't look good. I was there, bro. I was there. So this leads to the biggest flurry of investigations yet. The FBI and the Texas Rangers both launched investigations into these facilities, Gatesville in particular, but also the juvenile justice system and like the juvenile incarceration. System in Texas and also both houses of the Texas Legislature launch investigation. So you've got like 4 big investigations going on, right? One of them federal. And when the FBI starts investigating stuff like this, for all of the good tricks we have them, they always find **** right? Yeah. You're gonna figure most the most detailed documentation of a number of different law enforcement agencies crimes comes from FBI investigations. Now, here's another fun question. Does it ever lead to anything? No, no, no, no. I was like, no. They find a guy they find. Guy, nothing happens. Yeah, but they find him like in in Oregon right now. The Portland police are currently in contempt of the Justice Department for repeatedly refusing to reform their use of force policies and being unconscionably so brutal that these federal criminal justice system says you guys can't do this. And currently they've just said, yes we can, and we'll see if anything happens. Yeah, it's fine. Yeah, absolutely fine. And of course, in this case, nothing happens. All of these investigations start. And there's like, there's again, sweeping reports of abuse is horrible details about all the bad **** that's happening. The FBI is like, yeah, bad ****** happening. Texas Rangers are like, yeah, bad ***** happening. Both houses of legislature in Texas are like, yeah, bad ***** happening. No, very little reforms happen. Attempts to make serious reforms are shut down at every pass by. Again, local and state elected leaders who had training schools in their districts and didn't want to lose money by 1974. The reform movement was desperate enough that a bunch of former. Inmates, parents and activists launched a class action lawsuit in federal court. This case, Morales V Turman, brought another wave of psychologists, social workers and prison consultants to not just Gatesville, but other juvenile detention facilities. Now the guy who winds up in charge of this big investigation is a dude with the incredible name Judge William Wayne Justice. That's that boys name Judge Justice. That's right. Yeah. Judge William Wayne justice. Readable Texas judge name. Yeah. He only had one choice for his career. That's that. You will never convince me that's not the name of the judge in the best little ********** in Texas like there's no other. Yeah, that's what you call that guy. Like, retroactively put a judge in there. Make that his name. William Wayne justice. What an incredible name for a judge. Wayne, too. Yeah. Yeah, it's everything. Everything is in that name. So he he he takes this very seriously. He tours the Mountain View School for Boys and. Defines as he does a surprise inspection of this facility, that the children there were like this judge is walking around. He sees children caked in old blood, like, Oh my God, like just left all their bodies covered in bruises. And like whenever he tries to talk to them, they like skirt. They're terrified just if his presence, like they've been trained to just react with like unthinking terror to the the presence of an adult. Howard Ohmart was also there. He was an expert. He was from the LBJ administration. He was an expert at LB J, sent along. To, like, look at things while Judge Justice was there. And Howard Ohmart later said, quote, we have never seen anything quite as depressing. So deliberately designed to humiliate, to degrade and to debase. It is surely oppression in its simplest and most direct form. That is the worst, man. Yeah. Yeah. Designed to humiliate, degrade and debase. That's that's LBJ's man. And Judge Justice comes to the same conclusions. Yeah. And I mean, it's not like LBJ is like the greatest dude, but. Gonna be like, yo, this is wild. Yeah, I showed ** **** to a Secret Service agent this morning, but even I think this is beyond. Yeah, totally. Yeah, I passed on my own bodyguard. Yeah. You have any idea how many people I've killed? Yeah, I ordered the firebombing of a country. Yeah, but this isn't right. But that's wild Dog they're doing these kids place is ******. Yeah. So the extensive investigation sport spurred by the Morales Vetterman case revealed regular use of isolation in Texas juvenile criminal justice facilities, forced psychotropic drugs on children and also rare forms of torture. Among other things, investigators found that children were being punished physically for speaking Spanish. so-called punk dorms had been created for juveniles the guards decided were homosexual. By this point, the state had overcome its squeamishness had incarcerating women. And in one facility, guards were found to have forced abortions on pregnant inmates. Yeah, Oh my God, dude. A boy at Gatesville told a judge about a hazing ritual. Told the Judge Judge Justice about a hazing ritual he'd been forced to undergo, where a group of boys beat him unconscious while guards watched, to his credit, judge justice. I don't know about the rest of his career. Judge in Texas in the 70s. Maybe he got up to some ****** ** ****. But in this case, he is as good as his name, and he issues a sweeping ruling that outlaws all of the ****** ** **** found at the facilities and requires medical, psychological, and educational services to be made available for any children in a Texas juvenile justice facility or juvenile detention facility. The entire leadership of the state agency that oversaw these facilities was forced to resign. Texas put money into probation and other preventative measures, and the juvenile inmate population declined rapidly. So this is, this is. The first time to like real **** does happen. The right thing? Yeah, this, this is a this makes these situation better. Judge Justice gets credit in this. He's a big part of like, why less kids are in this system. However, as the Washington Post reports quote, the impact of Morales and other important federal court rulings was blunted by the persistence of structural racial disparities and renewed fears of violent juvenile crime and while the federal juvenile Justice and delinquency Prevention, Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 provided. Even more funding for state and local reforms, these kind of like prevention measures and whatnot. Historian Elizabeth Hinton has noted that it also labeled, quote, economically vulnerable youths, most of whom are black or Latino, as potentially criminal. That's the term used. Potentially criminal. Criminal, yeah, while removing white middle class offenders from the formal justice system. And that's why the juvenile inmate system declines, right? It's because they put less white kids there. Like that's the big, the big, which is good, right? It's like no kid deserves to be in a lot of lesser. In there, but it doesn't fix anything, you know? Nah, you don't want nobody in that system. No, like nobody should be in that. Just played the numbers and that is that is the main thing, is that the criminalization of white and mainly white middle class, because I think some white poor kids still white up in these places. Yeah, yeah, they saw. But the criminalization of like white middle class kids stops to a large degree. Good. Yeah. Yeah, there's yeah. You know, it's boys being boys. Yeah. Mischievous. It's like a racist firefighter who only rescues the white kids. And it's like, well, it's good that less kids died in the fire, but you shouldn't be a firefighter. Hey, bro, like. You know, your patch, you on the back for that? I mean, I guess, yeah. Yeah. That kid's happy, you know, I'm saying. Yeah, like, I still feel like you shouldn't be doing this job. I still feel. You should get a plaque or anything. Yeah. Yeah. So in the late 70s and early 80s things were though trending in a better direction. And again the the decline in the prison because it is I, I should be fair. There is a reduction in the number of of of black Hispanic kids who are sent to these files that does go down like it's not complete, but it is largely the number. The kids who don't who stop going, these facilities are largely white, right. It is largely based on race not to because again, I don't want to. I also don't want to be like. Completely ******** on the people who achieved this because it's good. Yeah. Yeah. And the idea that, like, you can't beat me with a bad no, more like the fact that a judge was like, well, look, proper Ohba judge did say that it does not stop. No, God. But I'm just saying, like, let me at least give him that. That you. Yeah. No, that they do not get him. Beat him. No. They put less kids in these facilities. No, they keep beating them. They keep right the hell on. Beat them. They was like, no, we worried about volume. Yeah, like, yeah. Quality is different. We want like a more boutique experience where we really give each kid the beating they deserve. You know what? Our guards were just hitting too many kids. They were losing their passion for it, you know? You do you did you watch, did you watch the Dave Chappelle show when it was on? Ohh yeah, absolutely. OK do you remember the the gay Klansman? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. You were just like, we're like the clan. We're just a little nicer. Yeah. So we'll just, we'll just ask you to leave, preferably back to Africa. Yeah. Yeah, it's like, got it. Yeah. That's kind of what we've done here now in the late yeah. So again, things are getting a little bit better in the late 70s and early 1980s. Like, there are improvements, but then, like we talked about in our first episode, that's when crime really starts to rock it upwards, right, and all crime. But that doesn't include juvenile crime. And the panic over super predators hits the media. Between 1990 and 1996, forty states expanded the number of juvenile cases that could be tried in adult. Report and give an adult punishments and no state went harder than Texas. When he ran for governor in 1994, George W Bush campaigned with a promise to lock up more children. In 1995, after he won, the state legislature passed an omnibus juvenile justice reform bill which brought even tougher sentencing for kids accused of crimes. The state budgeted another $200 million for facilities which was enough to triple their capacity to incarcerate children. So, like Texas is like, we got to have at least three times as many kids locked up in this. Second state yeah that'll thanks George W my job. It is worth noting we forget sometimes cause the crimes against humanity he committed his president were so extreme he did some of that while he was governor too. Gotta his mixtapes were pretty crazy like yeah yeah yeah. Only looking at his major albums I'm like his mixtapes were pretty crazy. Yeah. It's also important to remember like how all this is tied to like crack. Oh yes. I mean that's that's too much to delve but yes that is a big part of like. Let's not, let's not forget how we got crack. So let's just, we'll put that on the side. So, like, yeah, it's funny how crime went up. Well, you know, I mean, well, there's. Well, there's. Yes. Well, you like, with every evil thing in American history, the CIA is involved, just not directly in this part of it. Got games cracked, though. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And that that is a big part of, like, why there's all of this, like, terror over juvenile offenders and a big thing that like Bush and other Republicans campaign on. Absolutely. Yeah. So. We'll do, we'll talk. We'll do a crack episode at some point. We really gotta do it with me too. It's. Yeah, yeah, it's there's we need to do the whole thing. I ran conscious scandal like cracking the streets, Nicaragua, everything. Anyway. Yes, all the other thing. I'm saying it right now. So do that with me. Yes, we'll get a couple of parts in there. Yeah. So this. The, the, the 90s, kind of the, the mid 90s when Bush gets elected and you've got like this omnibus juvenile justice reform bill. It's noteworthy in Texas. Because it's when they really, everyone stops it kind of been trending this way, but they this is when people really stop calling these places, training schools and reform schools, those terms die. The idea of like, trying to hide what these places are dies because the people who want more of them just call them youth prisons and they're proud of that. They love the idea that they're making youth crisis, like they don't want to hide that **** because like, you get elected for being like, oh hell yeah, we're going to throw a bunch of ******* kids and lock them up. You think we got youth prisons now when I'm governor, way more youth. Prisons. I'm gonna put all your kids. Wait a minute. I'm gonna put all their kids. And while they tripled their capacity to lock kids up, Texas also doubled the number of kids they were executing. Now, in the United States. Prop. From 1985 to 2523, children were executed. 13 of those were in Texas. Are you serious? Yeah. I didn't know. Texas ******* loves executing children. Oh my gosh. Oh yeah, we are. Look, the United States has an executing. Children problem. But it's also largely a Texas problem. You know, that is. That's a lot. Yeah. There's a bunch of other states. I don't know if you're aware. There's like 49 of them. Yeah. I did not know that. Yeah, in shock and awe. Yeah, we are huge fans of executing children. Yeah. Yeah. Can't get enough of it really. Now, this all continued swimmingly until February 16th, 2007, when the Texas Observer published an article about a horrific sex abuse scandal in a juvenile correction facility near Odessa in West, TX. And I'm going to quote again from who gets a childhood news reports revealed that the school's assistant Superintendent, Ray Brookins. And its principal, John Paul Hernandez, had coerced sexual favors from several juvenile inmates over a period of at least two years. Compounding the alleged crime was an inexplicably slow response from authorities. Between December 2003 and February 2005, staff complaints about Brookins and Hernandez's suspicious behavior had fallen on deaf ears in the upper echelons of the Texas Youth Commission TYC, the agency charged with administering the state's juvenile facilities. Finally, in February of 2005, Mark Slattery, a volunteer math tutor. In nearby Midland was approached by two students who wanted to confess something icky, as Slattery later told reporter. I knew it must have been something bad if they had no word for it. Slattery soon discovered that boys were being LED into the administration building each night for forced encounters with Brookins, who had used his power to unilaterally lengthen or shorten youth sentences to exact sex from inmates. He can make you stay longer if you don't **** him. And that's what he does. Oh, this just yeah. Oh my God. Yeah, yeah that's bad. As bad as it gets right there. Ohh man, yeah. Shout out though to Mark Slattery. Yeah it is important to note that like this guy clearly cares about these kids. Is volunteering to teach like not getting paid, volunteering to teach math to incarcerated kids? Because it's important for them to learn and they clearly it says a lot about him that these kids know. We can trust Mr we can tell him this and he'll he'll do something about it. By God he does so *******. Give this guy something. Yeah, house, whatever. Yeah, this mug is this is a mixed bag, this episode where there's like, some dudes are dope, some dudes are like, yeah, actual ********. Yeah, you do have to like, this is an overwhelmingly bleak story, but whenever you get those, those little heroes, you gotta like, yeah, acknowledge that ****. Because most people clearly didn't do what Mark did. So it's pretty bad. It's pretty bad. And again, the Texas Rangers get involved, and this time they were a little more effective. Than they had been last time. Brookins and Hernandez are charged with a bunch of crimes. Both men are forced to resign, but the criminal cases against them grind to a halt in the local county prosecutor's office, and the US Attorney's Office in San Antonio refuses to get involved. What is like, again, why do you like this is this is bad for business. It's bad for everybody if this becomes a bigger thing than it needs to be, and this is thankfully where journalists come in. So obviously this gets out. This is a **** as everyone's reactions. This is a ****** ** story. Ohh, Dallas Morning News is is like, alright, well let's do a journalism here. We. Because if if this is happening, there's probably some other **** that's going on. If there's one, there's four. Yeah. Yeah. So they carry out a huge investigation which concludes that the Texas juvenile justice system had created, quote, a culture in which prison officials were free to abuse their power and punish children who tried to complain about them. So this story goes viral. National news starts to get on the trail. The Dallas Morning News coverage gets pretty big paper. The big guys, the really big guys start to get in there. Follow-up investigations would eventually find more than 2000 confirmed allegations of staff on inmate violence between 2003 and 2006, including more than more than 60 cases of kids with suspicious broken bones. To try and quiet up outrage, Texas launched an abuse hotline for their child prisons, which racked up 1100 complaints in its first month. So, God, dog, you know it. It gets big. It reveals a bunch of the the tip of the iceberg is revealed. Obviously. Yeah. I'm gonna guess more than 2000 times staff beat kids in a three-year period in all the Texas prisons. Probably a couple times. I'm gonna guess more than 60 kids had broken bones. More than 60. Because, you know, these are also kids. They're teens. There's a lot of oppositional defiance. I'm sure there's some kids who get bones broken and don't want to tell anyone because, like, I don't want you to know you. I don't want you to know you hurt me, you know? Yeah. Or I don't want anyone like, you know. And obviously **** gets covered up, it gets hidden. I'm sure it's a lot higher the actual number. They started releasing child prisoners Texas did, and in March of 2007, a Department of Justice investigation concluded and found that conditions in the Evans EVINS Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg, TX, were bad enough that they had violated the constitutional rights of imprisoned youth to be protected from harm while in state custody. Evans had an assault rate five times the national average. Once this news broke, there were more stories about the horrific conditions in the facility, William Bush writes. One of the most watched cases was that of shaquanda cotton, a 15 year old African American girl from the East Texas town of Paris who received an indeterminate terminate sentence, an indeterminate sentence up to age 21, for shoving a hall monitor in school. Portrayed in the net? Yeah, she shoves a hall monitor and she gets an open-ended sentence. We can keep you up until you're 21 if we want to. Ended its sentence. Yeah. I've never this happens a lot. So because of the way the Texas juvenile justice system gets, a lot of these are for like up to five years again. That's why those that's what we talked about like those people, those are the superintendents of those facilities of that facility being like, hey, if you don't **** me, I'll keep you here longer. That's why they can keep them here longer. They have they get to decide how long the sentence is. It's an up to this long in prison. That's the difference. OK now I'm seeing like difference between California and because I'm like. At 18, you like, it gets your record sealed. Like when you're a juvenile. Yeah, it's. I mean, it's it's ****** **. I mean, you could get transferred to the, like, the adult prison, but like, Dang, for them to be like, and I will keep you until 21 because Dang, that's crazy. So, shaquanda cotton, this story goes really viral. People are horrified. The national press covers it. It gets looked at as a victim, as like, racially motivated. And she gets her release in March 2007. She becomes. Kind of A cause celeb for how like racist the Texas juvenile justice system is. Yeah. She subsequently described conditions at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile correction complex in Brownwood during an interview in 17 magazine quote. Seeing the barbed wire fences and guards terrified me. I was given an orange jumpsuit and socks and taken to my quarters a tiny room that had only a bed, a bookshelf, and a desk. Some of the other inmates had committed serious crimes like murder. This was wait, you said 17 magazine? Yeah, she does an interview for seven for 17. That's kind of wow. But yeah. Good for 17. Yeah. I don't know. 17 was doing that. Some Teen Vogue **** right there. Yeah. Or I guess Teen Vogue is doing some 17 ****. I don't know. That's really because I'm like, 17 predates them. I remember, I remember 17 magazine running around the hood and it was just the stuff that, like, for the for the little girls and the like. Dang, I didn't know they was about it like that. What year was this? God, this is like 2007, 2008. It's a little more. Since then, yeah. My bad. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So like the Internet kind of, yeah. At this point they, I mean, they still body shaming girls, but at least they're doing these articles about girls. Yeah, they did this. Yeah. So people start to care again about abuses in Texas State facilities whistleblowers come forward, Randall Chance, a former inspector for the state's juvenile correction facilities, says in an interview that quote, and this is him. Randall Chance, like, works for the the state Juvenile correction agency. And he's an he inspects facilities. He gives an interview. Where he says staff are being paid your tax money to rape your children. Oh my God. Yeah. Ohh my. Not very, very good. Straight shot, no chaser, homie. Yeah, he cut it very clean for you. That's what's happening. Yeah. He describes TYC, the agency he works for, as a dynasty of corruption that condones the mistreatment of youth in its care. So again, reforms are demanded. The TYC Governing Board is overhauled. They throw out the old guys running it, bring in new ones. A state investigation is ordered and as you'd expect, it found a lot of evidence of individual wrongdoing. The blame was placed on the culture of the agency, which was described as having somehow become uniquely toxic. Little discussion focused around the fact that Texas had been this bad for 2/3 of a century. So again this keeps this is what happens every time when there when something gets done, it's we're going to arrest and charge these individual guys who committed crimes. And we've got to you know there's a problem with the culture. You have to fire these dudes at the top and we have to reform the agency to fix the culture because it's a culture problem. And I I think at this point in the story it should be clear it's not a culture problem, it's a child prison problem. This is what happens when you have them. They keep trying to reform the culture and the exact same thing happens over and over again. Reforms are fought by the people who live there because there's money in there, and by local politicians because that's where they get voters and and ******* campaign donations from. And the abuse continues because the kind of people who are going to work, the kind of jobs that are available at these facilities in the middle of nowhere, which don't pay well, are people who get are willing to take a pay cut to get to hit kids or molest them. Like, it's not a culture problem, it's a child prison problem, they're bad things to have. Is that the culture of this toxic planet? Yeah, it's the fact that you're on a toxic planet. It's a culture in that, like if you design A gun that can only shoot 7 year olds. And and the people who buy them. Yeah, there's a culture problem among the people who buy the guns that can only shoot 7 year olds. Yeah, like, but I guess, yeah, they're probably all very unpleasant people. But that's not really the problem, is it? It's that we built a gun to shoot 7 year olds. Yes. Yeah. The issue is is is not the the people buying these are bad. Like they are. Sure. But that's really not where the problem started. Is it both in situation here, guys, do we need these things? Yeah, it's not an either or feel like it's a both end. Yeah yeah, but you know who doesn't shoot 7 year olds prop unless it's the Washington state yeah Highway Patrol again. In which case they do, but probably not unless it's also unless. Then potentially, yes. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. Anything, particularly young children out into nature so that they can experience it and take time off from this virtual world of being always on your cell phones and so on. And get the feel of nature so that you come to be fascinated, then you come to want to understand it, and then you come to love it, and at that point you want to protect it. And then we'll come to the sort of healthy world that I envision as a good future for us. And the rest of life on this planet. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Ah, we're back. So if you were an optimistic type, you could be forgiven for looking at the fallout from the 2007 revelations of horrific abuse in Texas facilities and thinking like **** things are headed in the right direction again. Like, this might yeah, we might. We might fix a lot of stuff, and a lot of good stuff does happen. I should say that Texas closes more than half of their youth prisons. They gut the juvenile justice system. They dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated. Kids and resources are diverted from incarcerating kids to programs to try and prevent youth crime. This is great. Like, again, this is a big deal, but it's a big deal because it removes kids from the system. Journalists and politicians who demanded change and brought out this information improve material conditions for the kids who get released and the kids who don't go to juvenile prison because that becomes less common. That is undeniable, but it is not a reform of these facilities. Because if it was a reform, it would mean that the facilities themselves are getting better. And that's not what happens. The facilities continue to be a ******* nightmare. There's less kids in them. Again, that's huge, really big deal. But for those inside it, a lot of basically my, I don't have a way of claiming this in any objective sense because, again, our data is always imperfect here. But like, the same problems continue to persist. Yeah. So it's like the the statistics go down because there's just less. Humans. Yeah. The reform is we gotta take kids out of this thing, which might suggest that, like, if we really wanted to reform it, we would not let any kids be in these places. Allows it. Yeah. We can close it forever. Yeah. I mean, then there'd be no kids in it. That might work. That would be my argument. Yeah. And again, obviously the people who succeed in this, it's not abolition, but it's a lot less kids in prison. That's great. But again, the facilities stay exactly the same as they've been for a century. So Fast forward 10 years, 2017. The Dallas Morning News publishes a blockbuster investigation into abuses at the Gainesville State School, which, despite its name, is a child prison. It just happens to have some desks. Here's how that article opened. Prop youth set the Gainesville State School say staff paid them with drugs and cash to assault one another. A psychologist at the campus gave *********** to a boy there to encourage the young man to masturbate in front of him. A youth attacked a guard and stole his radio so he couldn't call for help. By the time he the help arrived, the officer had a broken nose and needed four stitches. Over his eye. So Wild West in there. Yeah, it's the Wild West in there. And, like, the same abuses are happening. And like the that staff paying kids with drugs and cash to assault each other, that's bounties. That's like there's this whole system where the guards, when kids will like, **** with them. Sometimes it's cases like this where they beat up a guard, but oftentimes it's just a kid they find annoying. They will pay other kids with drugs. They'll like, give kids cocaine and heroin to beat the **** out of kids who annoy them. That's an endemic problem in this facility. That's unfortunately. Well, yeah, rant not, not common. Normal. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's everywhere. But it's usually not kids. Like it's usually not children. This is yeah too. But again, Texas doesn't really see the need to treat them as children. Now that article had a lot of really good stuff in it, very important piece of journalism, but it still contains some of the same problems we've seen over and over again. Here's one line I found particularly frustrating. It's a bad culture, said Debbie. FINRA an independent watchdog charged with ensuring the safety of youths in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department's custody. It's a dangerous culture. And again, that's true. It's a bad culture. The culture of like guys who wear guards and child prisons is bad. But that's not the central problem. It it the claim that, like, it's a problem with the culture at this prison might hold water if we didn't have a century of documentation that this happens in every one of these facilities the state of Texas operates. It's constant, and it's for generations. The article quoted juvenile justice advocates who once again complained that part of the problem was locking kids in remote rural facilities far from home. Which is absolute absolutely true, right? If you are looking at ways to minimize harm, don't put them so far away where there's no services. Yeah. And like the frequency of your family visiting. Yeah. It's gonna be here. It is water. It is. Yeah. Yeah. Now, that article also contains more detail about the staff psychologist who gave a child *********** so that he could watch that child masturbate. And I'm going to read a quote about that now. Vincent Rager, now 31, began working at Gainesville in 2015. His online resume indicates he provided individual psychotherapy to boys at the school. Rager resigned during the investigation. Officials said records show he resigned in lieu of valve involuntary separation, so he resigns in order to avoid being fired, of course. Reached by phone earlier this week, Rager said he resigned because he wanted to move to California. Rager now works as a clinical psychologist treating male prisoners at Kern Valley State Prison in Bakersfield, CA. Now they're adults. Well, they're grown-ups, so, so that's better. Ohh my ohhh my God, I might say you should never get to work as a clinical psychologist to get. If you do that like that might that might disqualify you for doing that. Ever feel like you should? You should not have a license to do any of this. Yeah, yeah yeah yeah. So again, we should consider perhaps the possibility that, like this is not just a problem with like, Texas, it is also an American problem right there. He goes right away and gets a job. ******* California, you like, are we that hard pressed for people to? Yeah, like, we're that hard pressed for like, employee employment? Yeah. These facilities are in the middle of nowhere. They pay for ****. It's not enjoyable work. It's not very well respected, respected work. So, like, I'm there. I know there are good people doing that job in in the system, but like, a lot of bad people get that because it's like you're not getting the very best generally. Yeah, you have to be mission driven. Yeah, if you're gonna stay in the that work because the work is trash. Yeah, it's it's like you. Obviously, you get great teachers in these juvenile facilities sometimes. Like the guy we already talked Slattery, the guy we talked about. That's what I'm saying. Like, that's where I started teaching. I started teaching in juvenile facilities. I was like, but also you're going to get a bunch of basket cases who this is the gig they could get because they did something. Yeah. And it's not if it's easy to. Not like you're as this whole episode is. It's easy to not care and still get away with it because yeah, you're just from a teacher perspective. It's just some couple packets. It's like continuation school. If anybody ever been to that, it's like it's packets. You just fill out the packets and I just make sure you guys don't hurt each other. And the way that I'm sitting right now, y'all can't see this listeners, but like my feet are like leaned up against the wall. I'm leaning back with the mic in my I don't have to care about. I can sit like this for the 30 minutes of class. And just make sure you don't stab each other. And if you do, all gotta do is call the PO and he comes in. Yeah. And then you'll have then you'll go, you know, to a worse place potentially. Yeah, basically like, I don't have to. So you have to, you have to care if you're going to be in it. Yeah. And you get in these places. Special Ed isn't all that different. You get this mix of, like, the most dedicated, wonderful, caring people imaginable and like people who are either just waiting out a clock. And then a tiny number of people who are ******* monsters and know that that's where the least lies are. Eyes are on them, you know, and perhaps more could be done to make more caring and wonderful people able to do that job. And fewer, Sir, at least fewer monsters. I'm not going to say like, look, you're always going to have some people waiting out the clock, but you don't have to have the monsters exactly. We can avoid having, we can avoid. Like, let's set that as a goal. Higher, fewer monsters and as much as you. Can yeah. You know, because some people get through the cracks. Like, yeah, I go lie. No personal information about that. But, like, some people get through the cracks. Sure. You know, somebody's obviously a monster. Maybe, like that's maybe don't hire him. Yeah, maybe. Maybe don't hire monsters. Speaking of monsters, that somebody hired Governor Greg Abbott in 2017. There's this, all these. Well, this is. I mean, he's not the bad guy or the good guy here. He does the thing that everyone else does. Every time something like this happens, there's this big investigation. And all of this press about how bad Texas is, juvenile justice system is, and he fires the person in charge, right? How many times does that happen, this ******* story? Yeah, there's a bunch of talk of reform and yadda yadda yadda that nothing significant changes. Or at least the changes do not fix all of the problems that we have been talking about all episode. Here's the New York Times reporting in 2019. Quote in October 2019, a prison officer who worked at a juvenile detention facility in Central TX was charged with sexual assault and accused of forcing a boy. Custody to perform oral sex on him in his cell. The incident came to light the day after the alleged crime, when the boy tried to kill himself. Two months before that, at another detention facility in Texas, a corrections officer was fired after a teenage girl said she was pregnant with his child. He was later charged in connection with that case, and in May of last year another prison worker was arrested on charges that he had carried on a relationship with the teenager, who was on parole at 5 state juvenile detention centers. The day-to-day conditions are relentlessly violent and oppressive, with guards often. Resorting to force, according to a complaint filed to the Justice Department in 2019, prison staff used force on incarcerated children almost 7000 times, equivalent to six times per child who was confined there. Oh my God, yeah. This it just feels so personal. Hmm. Like, Oh my God dude. Yeah yeah. So these findings came courtesy of yet another Justice Department investigation. How many of those have we seen this episode? Right. The DOJ investigated who are hurray this is too and like like yeah I hope we hear in the date like this is 2019. Yeah yeah I know. With COVID and make it that feels like a you know 1919 because of COVID. But. That's three years ago, guys. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now that Justice Department investigation had started in 2018, when two Texas advocacy groups begged the federal government to intervene, arguing that Governor Abbott's promise to personally monitor the juvenile justice system would not be sufficient. It wasn't. Which is why everything I read, you know, was found. And obviously it's good that the Justice Department documented this, but at the same time, I think this is kind of a perfect example of the actual logic behind acab. I think that's Logan's a lot less useful politically than it than it ever has been. But the sentiment behind it applies because these investigators, these Justice Department people documenting this, this is important work. It's important to document this. It's critical. And I think these, I'm sure these people care. I'm sure they see horrific abuse, they want to stop it, they document it, and I'm sure they go to bed each night. Exhausted and sad, but certain that they're doing work that needs to be done. But as we've seen over and over again in this story, all of these investigations are part of how this system perpetuates itself. Guards rape and beat children. Whistleblowers and watchdogs complain government investigation leads to reform, and then guards keep ****** and beating children. These investigations, and the media cycle that follows them, are a necessary part of the cathartic loop that Texas has been stuck in for more than 100 years. This is a part of the loop. This is how people. How it gets perpetuated again and again. Not that, like, they're bad people for investigating this **** but it also is like that when I say, like, you know, all, whatever, whatever are ******** or whatnot in the system. That's what we mean. The system. The system. Eliminates the possibility of being good because the system cannot be reformed. So even if you're working for something that looks like reform in the system, a lot of what you're going to be doing is keeping the loop going. And it's not that simple because obviously some of these investigations are part of why there's a massive reduction in the number of kids who are incarcerated, and that's huge. So it's not. I don't want to be painting it as that simple, but like it does, it's just doesn't get better. The actual prisons themselves don't get better that there are less kids in them, and that's good. But the the things keep happening because we just can't have these places and those things not happen. Yeah, that's the like, the argument about, like, abolition is just like, we just have to start over. Like, yeah, cause reforms. You're just it's just duct tape and it's not and it's not stopping. It's not fixing the problem. You'll just keep adding duct tape and it's. And sometimes the duct tape muffles the sound from inside. Yeah. Ooh. You know, edit, bro, makes people think that we fixed it. Yes. That's pretty poetic there, Robert. I did every now and then. So, nick. Yeah, yeah. There's a part of me that questions the value of continuing to loop through all of these stories, all of these details of abuse, all of these statistics over and over again every cycle that this happens. And because, again, I, I think the only real thing to do is empty these facilities out, burn them down and throw any person who suggests rebuilding them into the Gulf of Mexico. But that said, I also don't want to ignore the work that these, these journalists and these Department of Justice people do in in documenting this because the stories of these invited these victims. Are important, and so to close this out, I'm going to read one more quote from that article that I just cited from about Christy Dennis. Her son was 15 when he was sent to the McLennan County State Juvenile correction facility and marked Texas quote. Miss Dennis was horrified when she called one day in 2019 and learned that her son had been beaten and taunted as guards apparently stood by. Her son was sent to the jail's doctors on one occasion, she said, and she was later told that many guards did not intervene because they were afraid of the youth themselves. Miss Dennis said her son ended up at the center after taking her car without permission several times and money from her purse. After talking to the authorities, she was advised that if she wanted to teach her son a lesson, he needed to go to a juvenile facility, a decision Miss Dennis said, a decision she ended up regretting. The attacks against her son escalated to the point where he begged guards to keep him in solitary confinement. Released in July 2020, months before his 17th birthday, he now works at a fast food restaurant and has earning his GED with plans to pursue. Building, but he is not the same as he was before his detention, she said. He has PTSD, he hears a noise, and he panics. And that's another important when we talk about the complicity in the system and the degree to which maybe some of these people documenting these abuses, or even complicit, another person or group of people who are complicit are parents in these communities, parents who turn in their kids, parents who support these laws, parents who who support funding these places. I think it's probably fair to say that 100% of the adults I knew as a child were to that degree complicit in this system because they supported keep opening more places, the politicians who supported these places, and they were convinced that it was the right thing to do and the result of a lot of people being convinced that this is the right thing to do. It's not just the rapists and the murderers and the pedophiles or the venal politicians who make this possible. It's the people who think they're doing the best thing for society. And the result of everything of both the actions of these horrible rapists and whatnot and pedophiles and the actions of what I'm sure are loving parents and dedicated employees in the Justice Department, not the result of all of that is a system that rapes, beats and murders children on an industrial scale. That's why I opened this episode with, like, I am a parent, and the part of me that understands. At least can empathize what it what it feels like to have a child that you don't know what to do with. Like, I deeply understand that, you know, and the part of you that like the reality that you're still unpacking your own trauma, like just from just the time of age of civilization we're in, it was like, like you said we were old enough to where we could get spanked at school, like, that's. That's like, we're like, it's not that long ago that we actually realized that that was barbaric. You know? I'm saying so. So you're, you're you're processing your own upbringing, realizing and then the parts of you that feels like, like, even with me where I'm like, well, there's been times that I've been like, well, I kind of earned that spanking, you know? I'm saying, like, I probably should have got spanked for that, you know? I'm saying that now. I can't. I look at both my children and I'm like, ain't no way in the damn world. I will put my hands on my kids. You know, I'm saying, like, it just seems so, like, unthinkable like that. I don't. I just don't think I could. I could never do it. You know what I'm saying? But when I got married again, I'm black. Like, black people spank their kids. When I got married, southern people, they spank their kids. It's so normal. And so I'm like that, no doubt in my mind. And my parents love me like I'm not. I would never take that for my parents loved me. I have a great relationship with my parents, with my mom at least, you know, I'm saying, but like, you know, you know, and then. A better one with my father now. But like, that being said, I'm like the part of me that understands that you're just like, I don't. And I'm from the city. So I'm just sometimes we be like, Nah. And how we need to go to jail, you know, I'm saying, and then but then you get there. Which is why I feel like sometimes for me and my wife like us, who've been advocates, who have like, you know, been to the Congress, like stood to our, our front of our, our Councilman. Have been like, you know, our our senators and been like this. You got to stop, you know, I'm saying have like done the work, done the therapy for ourselves. We've made enough money to be able to do therapy for ourselves, to be able to be like. To come to the conclusions that we're at now, to be like, this **** isn't working, you know, I'm saying, and having the experience of, like, having friends that been through the system, you know, ourselves somehow, you know, having our own interactions with the system, to be able to look at our own children and everybody else's children and be like, listen, this is not the answer, you know? I'm saying, and it's not, it's it's not doing what you think it's doing. Sometimes I feel like that's a privilege of mine. Even coming from poverty, coming from the hood is having a privilege of understanding that like, yo, this system you think is going to rehabilitate your children have has no, that was never in their purview, Joe said. That was never, that was never on the table, was rehabilitating them, you know I'm saying. So I raised my children in a different, like, even just looking at like my own, like, like friends, being like, yeah, we don't spank our kids and being like friends, being like what? Like, you know, I was like, no, like we, you know saying we it's a, we're in a. It's all that says I'm. I'm stuttering now because I feel so passionate about this to where it's like the complicit. Because you talked about the complacency and that's the complacency that like sits as a parent to where you're like. But I'm also terrified for my child, and I don't want them to make bad decisions. And I feel like they're not listening to me and I know what scared me straight was being scared. So I'm like, well, maybe that's going to. But then you realize it's like, no, you're creating a criminal. You're traumatizing your child and not understanding how you're traumatizing your child because you think they know you love them. But like, all of that put together and then and then like you said. Like coming out of the other in and being like, I'm trying to do my best. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm saying a lot here because like, again, it's so important to me. I just, like, I just went through a situation on the other, on a nonprofit. I'm on the board of that. Like, you know, we had to go through a moment to where it was like when you sit at the. I never been in a situation where I'm actually at the part of the table where I have the reins. Like, I can actually make change here. You know, I'm saying where I'm like, I'm actually the one in power now. Like, I'm usually the one outside of the door now I'm actually in it. But then once you're sitting at that and you're like, oh, man, there's like, there's really a lot at stake here when I, if I make this decision that seems so easy when I was outside, you know, I'm saying. But now that I'm in and you're like, that's like, you like how you keep trying to, like, balance your understanding of like, these journalists and these, like, justice workers that were like, yo, like we're doing. What is obviously the right thing, just saying, but like. At the end of the day, you still laying your head like, but. Well, **** dude. Like, I mean, I can't. I I mean, what we really need to do, you know, say like you say what you really need to do is close them all. Yeah. But you're like, but **** like, I I don't have the. I mean, this is the best I could do, you know? I'm saying it's just like, I understand so much more now at this stage of my life and my career and my parents being like, all of those nuances, you know? I just wish I could just rap about it. I wish I could just rap about it. Do podcast yo saying well. Yeah. I mean, you do. I I you do have a podcast. I do have a podcast. And I do talk about the ****. Yeah. Yeah. Yo, this is. Yeah. I I wish I had some cathartic way to deal with it. Yeah. Wrapping sounds actually extremely cathartic. It really is, bro. But I still think. I think I said that one first time I was on the show. Like, yo, let me write a rap for you, man. Like, yeah, yeah. I hear your rhythm, though. I don't know your rhythm. Like, if you have, if I could write it, but if you ain't got rhythm, like. You know, absolutely not. Yeah, that's that, that, that, that, that that will always just be something I have to admire from afar. But I I don't know what do you you got anything to plug prop at the end at the end of this very bleak day of talking about child prisms you think that prop should write that for you and then we should perform it at the live show. OK thank you. I do have something to play and it's I'm happy with prop performing at the live show. I don't think any you to perform no that's that's not what they're paying for. So I bet you right now if I were to throw on because you mentioned it already on our self how to throw on like a most def like a black on both sides. Record. Put it. You could probably wrap along. Yeah. Yeah. There are songs out there, some Dessa, some of them like the doom tree stuff. Yeah. I bet you have thrown up for a few of them tracks, few of them atmosphere songs you already know that you could probably rap a little. Yeah. I'm. I may have listened to an asop rock or two in my time. Yes. And that's and and listen, that's some complex rapid, like, you know, I'm saying that ain't that ain't some easy, that ain't some that ain't some easy bars. Like, that's some complex rapping. Well, anyway, yes, probably We'll see how drunk I get during the live stream. But that's one more reason to check out the live stream. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And it had hit me on Twitter. I'm trying to come up with a game for us to play during the live stream that might involve how drunk. What are that? I feel like all the ones are like the boy howies. And like the Hitler calls, I'll be like, man, luckily, nobody calls me out on my like, you know what I'm saying? Because I feel like you. Wasted, wasted immediately. 1st 10 minutes. Yeah, bro. Anyways, yeah, probably. I got some new coffee content coming out. Like, got some, got some, you know, music and hood politics. Pod Man, we're getting got renewed. Thank you. Cool zone. So there's more shows coming, you know, I'm saying yeah. Yeah. So we'll be up in here. Check it out. Check out. Prop check out. Props book. Check out. Yeah. Check out. Come check us out for our live stream on. Check out our live stream on February 17th. Woman outside com slash behind the pastor. Yeah, check that out. And also I have a fiction book that is on presale right now. If you order during the pre sale for the next couple of months, you will get a signed copy when it comes out in May. Google AK Press after the revolution and that's where my book will be. AK Press after the revolution. Buy a copy of my novel about a skull ****** Mike. Skull ****** Mike. Alright, yo, that's a great book, man. Like, fiction's hard to write. It really is what it is. Boy howdy, it's really one thing that you're like, well, I'm making up a story. Like, we've been making up stories since we've been sneaking out in front of our parents. Like, we're making up stories, but like, it's really hard. So, like, yo, kudos, way easier to just be a judge, apparently. He said kids jail. Great boy howdy. Alright boy howdy indeed I am Texan. Alright, that's the episode. Bam. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. 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