Toothbrushes banned

When many young people break the law, they end up in the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center. While in custody, those detainees are expected to be given the basics like food, soap and even toothbrushes.

The Factor has obtained an internal memo that questions that. It reads, “Due to poor supervision and residents continuing to use toothbrushes to cause harm to themselves, we are changing the procedure for residents that are placed on Close Observation and Constant Watch. Effective immediately any resident that is placed on Close Observation or Constant Watch will not be given a toothbrush or toothpaste package. Staff should place the toothpaste on the resident’s finger and they will need to use their finger to brush their teeth.”

Take a look at this memo placed in the facility for employees. It reads, “Please break the soap in half for youth showers. There is a shortage in inventory.” We obtained a photo of those travel-size soap bars broken in half and placed in a container.

There could be a shortage of soap because our sources say the facility is over capacity – fluctuating from 220 to 235 juveniles. Insiders say some are left sleeping on the floor.

State Representative Jarvis Johnson and Steven Manley are both advocates for juvenile detainees and they are on the Factor to talk about the conditions.