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Is a Texas County Judge to Blame for Spike in Juvenile Detentions?

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Although juvenile arrests in Texas have dropped sharply in recent years, with the state trying to keep as few youths locked up as possible and instead focusing on drug treatment, family counseling and other support services, Tarrant County has made incarcerating youths the norm, reports WFAA. In 2019 and 2021, the county sentenced more children to the state youth prison system than any other, with at least a quarter sent to prison for nonviolent crimes.

The shift toward increased incarceration has in large part been pinned on the juvenile courts, led since 2019 by controversial State District Judge Alex Kim. He blames the overall rise in detention and prison sentences on a startling increase in teen gang violence in the county.

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