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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kiddie Klink Kare: A Day at the Capitol

Posted By on Wed, Mar 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

keli The news team retreated to the foggy climes of the state Capitol today, to feed on the carcass of a news scandal that the Texas Observer felled last month, the Texas Youth Commission's sex-abuse and cover-up scandal. A joint committee on the TYC's operation and management discussed but a small failing of a state agency that turns a blind eye to law enforcement/juvenile offender love: its health-care procedures ... particularly the way it doles out psychotropic drugs to the 6,000 or so kids in its care. UTMB Correctional Managed Care CEO and pediatrician Benny Raimer testified that care in the kiddie clink in Corsicana involves only one primary care physician who visits four hours a week to look at medical charts, and up to 55 pills for some kids. The question, state Sen. Chris Harris, R-Arlington, asked, was who's held accountable for all the "zoned out" kids at the TYC? And in the heat of discussing all the reforms needed, Raimer said as the health care provider who oversees TYC, that his group wants out of the job. "I tried to get out two years ago because it does create a liability for my organization." "Aint that a mess," one senator responded.

The good news is the sex-abuse allegations broke when the legislature was in session, when they could address every screen door on the submarine, so to speak. The even better news is we're meeting up with our SXSW day-parties escort, "Congressman Al" Rindfuss, who couch surfed during his failed bid to win the Democratic nomination in 1998 for Henry Bonilla's District 23.

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