State Probe Into Juvenile Prisons Continues - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/09/07 - Crockett

State Probe Into Juvenile Prisons Continues

by Donna McCollum

Genger Galloway has always claimed her son, Joseph Galloway,  was physically and emotionally abused as a juvenile inmate. Now she's learning her 19 year old had a hidden secret concerning another kind of abuse. She recalled a conversation with her son on Saturday. She was updating him about progress in bringing justice to youth offenders. Galloway is working closely with a parents advocate group in Austin. Galloway said,  " He looked down at the floor and a mother just knows. I knew on his face something was wrong."

Joseph Galloway was haunted with events similar to the 750 complaints of sexual misconduct previously filed against guards at all 13 youth prisons. Galloway said, " He told me that when he was 15 in 2003 at Giddings State School there were two separate incidences. There was a 28 year old female staff that performed oral sex on him." The second accusation concerns another guard who knowingly put her son in a dangerous situation. Galloway said, " The officer locked my son in the cell with this huge 18 year old and listened to him beat my son and sodomize my son and he raped him."  I asked him why he didn't say something sooner and he said he was scared. He said he didn't think anybody would believe him." 

Last week the governor appointed a special investigative team to follow up on complaints. Some of them were made almost two years ago. Galloway's son, along with hundreds of other youth inmates are now whistle blowers from behind the tall fences at juvenile prisons.

After allegations of board cover ups the Texas Youth Commission is now encouraging reports of wrongdoing. The number to call is 1-866-477-8354. The first day more than 150 complaints were called in. The phones are answered 24 hours a day.  

Galloway is staying in close contact with state senators who are angry that the allegations weren't investigated sooner. They requested immediate action. After testifying in Austin a second time, Galloway said, " They wanted me to know that our son's story wasn't the only one and that the people he named were named repeatedly by numerous children."

All reasons why Texas Rangers and other law enforcement officers are at each TYC facility. Galloway is encouraged with the week's progress, even though it took more than two years for an investigation to get underway. " It's never happened like this. Usually, everything happens slowly. So far, the things to be happening in the way they are is pretty incredible. It's amazing. It's a mark in history."

Four law officers are stationed in a conference room at the Crockett State School. In a telephone conversation, CSS Director Don Freeman said a good program is run at this facility. He plans to cooperate fully and believes that what's happening statewide won't directly affect the Crockett State School. Yet a parent advocacy group lists CSS as the fourth most dangerous state juvenile prison.

Galloway is hopeful abuse and cover ups will go away.   The concerned mother said,  " I am definitely hopeful. I feel a sense of relief, but I won't feel a complete sense of relief until my son is released."  

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