Out of Mind, Out of Sight

For a growing number of Texas kids with mental illnesses, the only place to get help is behind bars.

Becky is a shy, quiet girl with freckles and jumbled teeth. She says she's out of the "suicide mode," but she still craves cocaine. Her mouth dry, her stomach knotted, she stares at the floor, picking up anything white.

She gets angry when she sees other Corsicana girls carving railroad tracks into their arms. She wants to get some cocoa butter to heal her scarred skin. Someday, she says, she wants to be a massage therapist.

The Corsicana Residential Treatment Center is one of two facilities for mentally ill kids run by the Texas Youth Commission.
Wendy Grossman
The Corsicana Residential Treatment Center is one of two facilities for mentally ill kids run by the Texas Youth Commission.

Details

Part of our three-part series "Make 'em Pay: Juvenile Justice in Texas"

Halfway through her resocialization plan, Becky has a couple of years left in TYC. When she gets out, as when she came in, there will be nowhere for her to get treatment--unless she gets into trouble again.

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