1. In the months following revelations of sexual abuse at Texas Youth Commission facilities, why did officials hire at least ten people with experience in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), the adult side of the Texas prison system?
2. Wouldn’t it have been smarter to hire people with experience working with juvenile offenders, who understand the particular needs of this population?
3. Why was one of these hires Ed Owens, who, officials knew, had covered up incidents of sexual abuse during his time as a top executive at the TDCJ?
4. Even if the TYC wasn’t bothered by Owens’s involvement in the sex-abuse cover-up, shouldn’t officials have known before bringing him on that he was on the cusp of retirement?
5. Why did the TYC think that expanded use of pepper spray in its facilities was an appropriate or acceptable alternative to physical restraint?
6. If TYC guards were trying to protect a mentally disabled 15-year-old inmate from harming himself, why would they spray him three times, causing serious burns?
7. Why did the TYC, after asking a panel of experts to develop a comprehensive plan for fixing its broken system, reject the panel’s proposals?
8. What will it take to persuade the TYC to get its house in order?