Teen's Death at Juvenile Detention Center Prompts InvestigationPress Release
BROWNWOOD, TEXAS -- The death of a teenage inmate at the Ron Jackson Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood has prompted a criminal and administrative investigation.
The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) says a 13-year-old boy tied something around his neck on May 19, choking himself until he became unconscious in his cell.
The boy was initially taken to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, but later transferred to Midland, where he died May 31.
"It's affected our staff and children there," Jim Hurley, former TJJD spokesman, said. "They're with them all the time. It's very personal when something like this happens."
A staff member found the boy unconscious during a routine patrol. The facility's personnel do checks every 15 minutes, and the teen had never been placed on suicide watch.
"The investigation is not over, but there hasn't been any evidence, so far, of any issues with how the staff handled the situation," TJJD Director of External Communications Carolyn Beck said.
Beck added that no employees have been terminated or suspended at this time.
The teen, who was from Midland, had been at the facility since March 21.
The last death at Ron Jackson was in 1999. The cause of death was of a sudden cardiac event, said Beck.
There hadn't been a death at a Texas Juvenile Justice Facility since 2009 when a teen committed suicide at the Crockett State School, noted TJJD. The facility, located in Crockett, was shut down in 2011.