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Top Stories: Dallas County Juvenile Detainees Get Little Fresh Air

Jennifer Whitney
The Texas Tribune

The top local stories this morning from KERA News: Dallas County teen inmates went months, sometimes more than a year, with very little time outdoors.

A Dallas Morning Newsinvestigation found a state-funded watchdog agency repeatedly warned the head of the Dallas County Juvenile Department about the lack of outdoor time.

But Terry Smith said she didn't read the agency reports - and she couldn't guarantee teens get outside even "four to six times a month."

Widely-accepted standards say incarcerated youth should be allowed outdoors daily. Texas regulations require juvenile facilities to provide an outdoor area. But they don't explicitly say state youth have to participate in outdoor recreational activities.

Federal judges have ruled adult prisoners should be permitted outdoors regularly and that failing to do so may constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

Other stories this morning:

  • School districts said the Texas Department of Agriculture gave them little additional information after they were notified of a security breach due to a ransomware attack.
  • Our Big Screen team talks about their favorite films of the year.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM. 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.