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In cold bureaucratic language, the official reports describe lurid acts: High-ranking officials at an isolated state juvenile prison were molesting young male inmates. The top official at the Pyote facility for much of the time under investigation was Lemuel "Chip" Harrison, the superintendent. He said that he had not seen the TYC report, but, "I don't know of anybody who ever covered up anything."
Many prison staffers at the West Texas State School complained about the abuse to their immediate bosses and to officials in Austin, the reports say. But, for more than a year, no one in charge did anything to stop it. Evidence was ignored or covered up. Two years after a Texas Rangers investigation concluded, no one has been prosecuted.
Some former employees say similar problems afflict many prisons run by the Texas Youth Commission, whose official mission is to "fix broken children."
"In hindsight, we should have fired Ray Brookins when they first found pornography on his computer," said TYC spokesman Savoy.
Instead, he was promoted to the West Texas State School in 2003. TYC executive director Harris said agency officials failed to check Mr. Brookins' personnel records when he was hired in Pyote.
The agency has since changed its promotions procedures to include the checking of personnel records, Mr. Harris said.