TYC Inmate Is A Free Man - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

04/05/07 - Crockett

TYC Inmate Is A Free Man

by Donna McCollum

The first of 550 juvenile inmates are home tonight with their families. The first inmates started to leave the Crockett State School  around eight o'clock Thursday morning. Many parents stand behind their children's allegations of sexual and physical abuse. Now the troubled TYC is undergoing  a major  overhaul.

Genger Galloway expected her son's release the day earlier, only to be told wait ten days more. Then she received an unexpected phone call directly from Austin. " They're letting him out at 1:00," Galloway said with a cell phone to her ear.

The Texas Youth Commission places a mother on an emotional roller coaster, that ended with a hugs and tears. Finally the door of juvenile prison could slam behind the Galloways. J.J. was out.  The 19 year old said with a grin, " I feel great, first time in four years I finally being released I earned my way out of this system with a lot of people's help. I feel great."

Now a mother who has fought for justice from the state capitol to national television has a son by her side.   Genger Galloway says she'll continue to fight for those behind the chain link fence. " They won't hear me shutting up," said Galloway. Her son joins in,  "Me either. I'm going to fight this tooth and nail. I want to expose TYC for everything that I've ever seen go on."

And what J.J. has to say won't be pleasant to hear.   He shared,  " Like staff forcing students to fight, staff bringing in contraband, bringing in bad things for the youth, staff allowing students to fight. Sexual abuse. "    

Joseph Galloway entered the TYC as a young boy. His mother agreed to send him there after he inappropriately touched his siblings. He was sentenced for several months, but continued to have his sentence extended. He's now 19. The family agrees he's been robbed of his childhood.   Joseph said, " I feel like I was robbed of my teenage life. I was forced to grow up in an environment with people who were criminals and people who were called staff. They were supposed to be here to help us but they only mistreat us and forced us to fight other students and nobody showed me how to grow up right."

J.J.'s father helped his son the best he could from the outside, but always felt helpless.   Joe Galloway said, " I want to be there to help protect him. Can't do it in here and the ones in here that are supposed to do it don't do it so they need to go."

The fight for justice will come in time, but this week Joseph is looking forward to catching up with his youth.    He shared,  " I want to go fishing. That's what I want to do. I want to spend Easter with my family like we used to. Hunting eggs in the yard at home."

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