A Doc About Texas' Juvenile Prison

Justin, who was physically abused before trying to escape from TYC in January, is one of four young men to be profiled in the forthcoming documentary.

Via Grits for Breakfast, we learn today that investigative reporter Emily Pyle -- who wrote an oft-cited piece about former Dallas school board president Sandy Kress for the Texas Observer in 2005 -- is making a documentary about four young men "currently or formerly incarcerated in Texas’ juvenile prison system." At the moment, it's titled TYC Documentary Project, and Pyle's working on it with editor Nevie Owens, an assistant editor on Richard Linklater's Before Sunset.

Aside from focusing on the four young men, the film will also deal with the larger issues raised by the Texas Youth Commission scandal and its aftermath. Write the filmmakers, "Critics of the Texas system argue for doing away with the giant, high-security facilities that have been the flagships of the system for nearly a hundred years, but the question remains -- what will we do with our children when they do wrong?" Pyle and Owens have their work cut out for them: They hope to have the doc ready early in 2009. --Robert Wilonsky


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