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'They broke his jaw, busted his eye'

Mother describes attacks on son in Texas Youth Commission custody

Jerome R. Corsi, WorldNetDaily.com, April 3, 2007

Outraged parents are telling the Texas Legislature and others about abuses their children suffered within the Texas Youth Commission system, and Genger Galloway is leading the charge, telling how her son was forced to perform oral sex by female prison staff, sodomized by an older inmate in an incident arranged by a guard and suffered a broken jaw and concussions in physical attacks.

Galloway's story is about her son Joseph, now 19, who has been in the system for more than four years. He had been raped by a friend's older brother when he was eight, but his parents did not learn of the attack until he was 15, after he had started touching his siblings inappropriately, and they called for help.

"I reported this to the authorities thinking that they were going to get us some help," Galloway told WND.

As WND reported earlier, authorities including U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton and the Criminal Section of the civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice apparently were aware of the attacks going on with the Texas state juvenile prison system - but declined to get involved. A spokesman for the Texas Gov. Rick Perry now says the tragic situations are prompting a top-to-bottom review of the agency.

Galloway said authorities first responded to her family's plea for help by dispatching a sheriff's deputy to the Galloway home to take statements, and then the next day the children were interviewed at a safe house.

"The interviewers gave the children the little dolls and coached the children as to what to say," Galloway told WND. "When the interviews were over, they told us they were taking Joseph to jail and we took the children home. There was no judge at that time. Joseph was taken to the police department and booked him. They took him to Anderson County where there is a TYC detention center."

That began a trek through the Texas state system, Galloway told WND, that left her son with the experience of being forced to perform oral sex for female prison staff and being sodomized by an 18-year-old inmate in an attack arranged by a prison guard, in addition to the beatings, a concussion, multiple bruises and a broken jaw.

His initial stay was in the Anderson County detention center and lasted a month.

"It was a filthy, cold, dark, concrete place - just terrible," Galloway told WND. "We felt that a month in there was more than enough punishment. Then in March we went to Family Court. The assistant DA tried to make it look like we knew what was going on and we allowed it to happen. The judge looked at the assistant DA like he was crazy, like he had lost his mind. The judge knew we had done everything his whole life to get him help, to try to take care of him and take care of all of our children."

The family court judge placed Joseph on probation and released him to his parents.

"On our way out of court," Galloway told WND, "the assistant DA punched the wall and told us that he would take care of that."

"Within five minutes of getting home," Galloway recounted, "the Texas Child Protective Service was on the phone and told us that we had ten minutes to get Joseph out of the house, or they were going to come and take the twins away."

The Galloways panicked and returned back to family court. "So an hour after Joseph was released to us by family court, we were right back there once again," Galloway continued. "We were told that because we didn't have enough money to send Joseph to a private treatment facility and we couldn't get a loan, the court sentenced Joseph to TYC under a violation of probation, because he didn't have anywhere to stay where he could get treatment."

The judge added to the ruling that TYC and the Juvenile Probation Service were to monitor county funding to see if the county could get funding to remove Joseph from TYC and put him into a treatment facility.

"Of course, that never happened," Galloway explained. "They told us on the stand that 'you realize Joseph will only be at TYC for nine months.' That's what we were told. But the next day when he got to TYC, Joseph called us and panicked, and he told us, "No, Mom, I'll be here until I'm 21 years old."

"Evidently when Joseph entered the TYC door they labeled him a VO-A not a VO-B," Galloway told WND. "VO-A is a classification for a seriously 'violent offender' and some pencil pusher when Joseph walked into the gate looked at the chart and decided to classify him as a VO-A. They didn't bother looking to see that Joseph had never before had any trouble with the law, or that he had gone into TYC for what was being called a probation violation. But he was charged with aggravated sexual assault, and the minimal stay for a VO-A is two years."

"In the first week Joseph was in this facility at Marlin, Texas, his nose was broken by TYC staff," Galloway explained to WND. "They locked Joseph up in a cell by himself because he was upset after they told him he would be there for a minimum of two years, after Joseph had just signed papers saying he would be in TYC for nine months."

"Joseph was freaking out, he was screaming and upset, so they lock him up in security. He wanted to call his momma, and they wouldn't let him call his momma. So I think what he was basically was doing was screaming and cursing and kicking the walls and hitting his head on the walls, trying to get their attention. Trying to get them to come and get him, so he could talk to somebody."

Galloway continued, "So what they do is slam the door open and use their 'star team.' They mace Joseph and knock him down with a big shield. This involves a whole bunch of big men. We're talking about a little 15 year-old. They rush in and knock him down. They broke his nose. Joseph said he lost consciousness. When he woke up he was laying there and he had blood all over his shirt."

At the time of the incident, Joseph had been diagnosed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as well as Tourette's Syndrome, and he was being medicated for both conditions. But those prescriptions were not made available to him in custody, she said.

In one other facility, Joseph suffered his first act of sexual abuse. "The facility had all these little, old dorms and Joseph was in the washroom area of the kitchen," Galloway told WND, "where there was no camera. A female member of the staff came in the room and approached him. She said, 'It's my turn.' She got down and performed oral sex on Joseph. She told him not to say anything. Joseph didn't think anyone would believe him, so he decided not to say anything about the incident."

A short time after this, Joseph suffered another incident of sexual abuse.

"He was referred to security," Galloway explained to WND, "which is sort of like jail within jail for something he had done or said. But security was full and there weren't any open cells. A kid at the end said, 'Put him in here with me. I want some white 'A.'"

"So the officer pushed Joseph in the cell with this inmate and closed the door. The officer could hear my son screaming as he was being beaten. Joseph was fighting for his life as this big 18 year-old raped him, sodomized him. Joseph didn't report this and the officer who locked him in that cell, an officer 'Henry,' committed suicide a few weeks later."

At another facility in Evans, Texas, the staff allowed Joseph and the other inmates to dress as gang members. The staff then photographed the inmates in gang dress, making gang gestures and hand signs.

The next morning, Joseph was assaulted by six gang members.

"They beat him and they kicked him," Galloway told WND. "They broke his jaw. They busted his eye. His orbital bone was bruised. He had bruises and contusions all over his body. He had a second-degree contusion. He had to be rushed to the hospital and his mouth was wired shut."

"All the TYC officials told me that it was nothing. There was a fight that evening and Joseph had a black eye. Then they called and said he had been taken him to the hospital in an ambulance, and his mouth was wired shut because his jaw had been fractured. I was furious and I called the newspaper. The newspaper ran it on the front page and TYC transferred Joseph up to Crockett, close to where we live."

"The very first day Joseph was at Crockett State School," continued relating events to WND. "The superintendent, Don Freeman, was not happy that Joseph was pushed on him. Freeman was not happy that he had a kid from Crockett, Texas. He was not happy because I had worked at the Crockett State School four years before. Everybody knows everybody in a small town like Crockett."

"The first night there, Joseph got nauseated. His jaw was still wired shut and wire cutters were kept nearby in case of an emergency. The staff called the medical department and the medical department told them that if Joseph vomited, they should let him lean forward and let the vomit run through the cracks in his teeth."

Galloway told WND that when Joseph was transferred to Crockett State School, she did not know that Joseph had been sexually abused while at TYC. Galloway told WND that she did not know about these incidents until about a month ago.

This year, when Galloway decided to go public against TYC, the Crockett State School increased Joseph's harassment.

"From the first I started speaking out, Joseph was labeled. The staff started pushing him away and caused problems for him. Every single day it was another complaint. When they found out I was testifying before the Senate and the House and staying in the media, the staff redoubled their efforts to make our lives miserable."

WND asked Galloway specifically what actions the Crockett State School staff took in retaliation.

"The medical staff tried to create false memories for Joseph," Galloway answered. "Joseph told them that his problems started when he was raped when he was 8 years old, but that wasn't good enough. The staff started asking Joseph if it was true that his mother had molested him. Somebody told us that your mom touched you inappropriately."

How did Joseph react?

"Joseph asked them, 'Are you out of your mind. That never happened.' But the staff pushed him and pushed him to say this. They tried to get him to sign a paper that would cut off our ability to communicate. The staff said, 'You're an adult now, you don't need your mom to communicate.' But Joseph refused to sign. He wanted to remain in contact with us. But this is what happens. When a child or a parent speaks out, TYC retaliates by trying to ruin your character. They attack you with paperwork."

WND asked Galloway if she regretted calling authorities in Feb. 2003.

"I regret it every single day," Galloway answered. "I am so sick of dealing with this evil system. TYC is holding our kids hostage and the ransom is the re-socialization process."

WND asked Galloway to explain the re-socialization process.

"They have phases, zero through four," Galloway answered. "You have to be at Phase Four to get out of there. The TYC decides whether the kid completes their program, or not. You don't get out of TYC until TYC decides you have completed their program."

"If you get into trouble in TYC, they give you a '225.' A '225' is like getting your name on the board. You're only allowed so many of those. The severity of the '225s' decides whether you are at 'Category 1' or 'Cat 2.' At 'Cat 1' you have to go through a Level 2 hearing for due process, which is a joke because you never have anyone represent you. They don't call your parents and usually the person who's giving you the Level 2 hearing is the person you filed a grievance on or the person who gave you the 225 in the first place."

"The 225s are what keep the kids from getting out of TYC and a 225, in short, is whatever the person wants to give you a 225 for. There are no set rules which define what a 225 is or how you can get them. If they want to write you up for sneezing or burping, they can. One time Joseph got written up for inappropriate sexual conduct and all he was doing was eating a banana. The TYC staff can write you up for anything they want to. That's how they keep the kids in there and that's how they keep making their money."

WND asked Galloway if her son would every have a chance of getting out of TYC if she hadn't gone public.

"No," she answered. "I think they would have kept Joseph in TYC until he was 21 years old, and then they would have sent him to the adult prison system."

WND asked Galloway what the TYC experience has done to her son.

"I'm afraid to think about it," she answered. "I think that Joseph speaking out now has broken the mold for him. I think that it is beginning of the healing process. Just that Joseph has been able to talk about his experience and tell what happened has made all the difference in the world. There are so kids right now who are scared to talk about TYC."

Galloway told WND that Jay Kimbrough, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's former staff chief who Perry has appointed "special master" to investigate the TYC scandal, has told her that Joseph will be released from TYC shortly.

"The probations people have been over here looking at the house," Galloway told WND. "But they've done that before and nothing has happened. They say they have lost the papers from their previous looks at our house. We'll just have to wait and see what happens this time."

Galloway and her husband have been married 20 years. Her husband is a construction worker and Genger Galloway is planning to go back to work as a nurse in the Texas prison system. For the past 14 years, she has been "in and out" of the Texas criminal justice system, working as a nurse or as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician).

WND asked Galloway if the TYC was as scandal-ridden when she worked there.

"Yes," she responded. "It was."

WND asked Galloway why she didn't take steps as an employee to expose the TYC scandal.

"I was a brand new nurse," she explained, "and I was only there a few months. I saw how bad it was and I about had a nervous breakdown working there. So, I quit. The employees covered up for each other. At Crockett State School they even had a kid who died when I was there."

WND asked how the kid died.

"They said he died from aspiration. I wasn't present when it happened, but I think he was probably held down too long. He probably fought the staff when they attempted to do a PRT (Proper Restraint Technique). But what upset me the most was that the DON (Director of Nurses) and the Director of Security tried immediately to hide things. They shredded his chart and made up a new chart. That bothered me a lot."

WND asked Galloway if she saw incidents of sexual abuse while at TYC.

"That thought never went through my mind," Galloway explained. "I never would have thought that sexual abuse was happening. I knew there were inappropriate comments, with people saying 'I'll take care of him.' But I thought it meant that if a kid was at Phase Four, they would make sure he got put back down, so he couldn't get out."

On March 27, 2007, Galloway testified before the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.

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