TYC agrees to change pepper spray policy

Staff Report

The Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - The Texas Youth Commission has agreed to make pepper spray one of its last measures for dealing with unruly inmates.

Acting executive director Dimitria Pope sent a memo to staff members yesterday to clarify the agency's pepper spray policy.

An Austin judge had ordered the commission and two advocacy groups to forge an agreement over an appropriate policy for when to use the spray.

Texas Appleseed and Advocacy Inc. claimed the commission was ignoring a September settlement to restrain the spray's use.

The groups sued the commission in August over Pope's decision to expand pepper spray use. Pope argued that pepper spray limits injuries to inmates and staff by reducing physical contact.

The commission could revise its pepper spray policy again if it pushes forward with another proposed rule to expand its use.