Texas Juvenile Halfway House Called Dangerous

A corrections officer at a juvenile halfway house in San Antonio has come forward with allegations he thinks people will find shocking.


SAN ANTONIO --

A corrections officer at a juvenile halfway house in San Antonio has come forward with allegations he thinks people will find shocking.

The corrections officer, who did not want to identified, said a local school, neighborhoods and nearby shopping centers are in danger because of what is going on at Ayres House, a juvenile halfway house on Nacogdoches Road, north of Loop 1604.

Ayres House was built two years ago. It holds two dozen kids in a dorm type setting. But the corrections officer said there is much more to the story.

"We have drugs that come into the place," the officer said. "In the past we've had four kids in a week run out the door," the officer said.

He added these kids are the violent type and not just shoplifters. Derrick Wayne Hunt, a teen who's been accused in the murder of cab driver John Dexter last month, spent time at the house.

"We've had arsonists, sexual assaults, aggravated assaults with a deadly weapon," the officer said.

He said officers are not allowed to do proper searches and the area is in danger.

Rolling Meadows Elementary School is right across the street and a neighborhood is just a few hundred yards away.

The Texas Youth Commission runs Ayres House and spokesman Jim Hurley said the commission has investigated these complaints. Hurley said this all adds up to a personnel dispute with an employee.

"In many cases some of what they're saying is just flat out wrong," Hurley said.

Hurley said halfway houses are minimum security for rehabilitation, not incarceration, and that kids who take off are reported and crimes are investigated.

"The Office of Inspector General, which is a law enforcement entity, has investigated and in every case it looks like the management of the Ayres House is taking the proper procedures," Hurley said.

Hurley said no crimes associated with Ayres kids have been reported in this area, and that was no surprise to nearby resident Jack Houser.

"I've never seen a problem over there and never heard about a problem," Houser said.

When residents walk out of unlocked doors at Ayres House the state does not classify them as escapes but rather absconds. So far, there have been 14 of them this year.

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