LULAC BLASTS DALLAS COUNTY JUVENILE SYSTEM OVER REPORTS OF MISTREATMENT AND CALLS FOR FEDERAL PROBE
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Demands Giving Investigators Immediate Unhampered Access to Speak with Minor Wards in Dallas County Custody
July 3, 2023
For more information, contact David Cruz at (818) 689-9991
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) expresses profound concern and outrage over disturbing reports of alleged mistreatment of minor wards within the Dallas County Juvenile program at the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center. LULAC firmly believes that even youths who find themselves within the juvenile system due to their offenses deserve humane treatment and protection while under the custody of county authorities.
"We are appalled by what we are hearing," declares Domingo Garcia, National President of LULAC. "Our youths, regardless of their status in the juvenile system, should be treated with dignity and respect. LULAC is committed to taking all necessary legal measures to ensure their safety and well-being while in the custody of county officials."
In light of the disturbing allegations, LULAC will seek immediate assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a thorough investigation into the mistreatment of Latino wards and others for whom they are responsible. The organization will actively pursue the prosecution of any official or officer found guilty of violating the civil rights of these young individuals. LULAC will not tolerate any abuse or the exceeding of powers by those in law enforcement who believe they can treat individuals as less than human.
A published news report further exacerbates these concerns, highlighting an alarming disparity within the Dallas County Juvenile program. The report indicates that Dallas County is imposing "more punitive and longer sentences" on juveniles compared to other counties in Texas. This revelation raises serious questions about the fairness and integrity of the juvenile justice system in Dallas County.
In addition to the punitive sentencing, LULAC has reviewed the numerous distressing accounts from families of wards about the conditions within the Henry Wade Juvenile Justice Center. Families have reported that minors are kept in constant lockup for most of the day, with minimal opportunities to leave their cells or go outside. Furthermore, there have been alarming allegations of insufficient food and a lack of access to proper healthcare for these young individuals. If proven true, these claims represent a flagrant violation of their civil rights.
LULAC urgently demands an immediate review of these charges by independent investigators who can objectively assess the situation. Furthermore, the organization insists on unhindered access to the facility, allowing representatives to enter and speak directly with the wards. These young individuals must be able to provide their statements without fear of retaliation from guards or the administration.
"Let me be unequivocal," states Garcia. "We have long moved past the days of inmate farms and the night-box style domination depicted in movies like Cool Hand Luke. Paul Newman was an actor, but these are our youths, and we will never tolerate any form of dehumanization in Dallas County again!"
LULAC calls upon Dallas County officials to promptly acknowledge and address these serious allegations. Our youths' well-being and fair treatment should always be a top priority within any justice system. LULAC remains unwavering in its commitment to advocating for the rights and protection of Latino wards and will hold accountable those responsible for their care. The organization urges the community to stand together in demanding justice and fairness for these young individuals. LULAC will continue to fight tirelessly until the mistreatment of minors within the Dallas County Juvenile system is thoroughly investigated and rectified. No child should endure such treatment, and it is the responsibility of society as a whole to protect and uplift our youth.