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Texas Lawmakers To Discuss Juvenile Justice System

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas lawmakers are to discuss ways of reducing the number of young people in the state’s juvenile justice system through early intervention programs and by providing greater access to mental health services.

Members of the House Committee on Corrections also may offer recommendations on certifying juveniles as adults during their Tuesday meeting in Austin.

Texas’ troubled youth corrections system has undergone major reforms since neglect and sexual abuse allegations surfaced several years ago.

The Legislature voted last year to create the new Texas Juvenile Justice Department by merging the Texas Youth and Juvenile Probation commissions.

The move was meant to shift more offenders to community-based supervision and treatment programs. It also was supposed to save the state about $3.3 billion.

Committee members will hear testimony on the merger’s progress.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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