Brownwood juvenile officer arrested, suspended for reportedly assaulting inmate
BROWNWOOD, Texas —
A juvenile correctional officer that works at a Brownwood facility was arrested on Thursday for reportedly assaulting an inmate at the facility.
According to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, Gavin James Middleton, 31, was suspended without pay from his employment at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex immediately after his arrest.
Middleton was indicted in May by the 35th Judicial District grand jury's hearing with official oppression for applying pressure to the neck and throat of an inmate in July of 2016, according to court documents.
"We can say, unequivocally, that bad behavior by any of our employees at TJJD will not be tolerated," said TJJD Communications Director Brian Sweany.
Middleton bonded out of the Brown County Jail on the same day as his arrest, according to jail records.
According to Sweany, Middleton began working at Ron Jackson in November of 2012 and up until his suspension, Middleton had spent more than five years at the youth correctional facility working his way up to a more tenured position.
Ron Jackson is one of five youth detention centers in Texas, and besides housing male inmates, is the only youth detention center in Texas that also incarcerates female inmates.
If he is convicted of official oppression, Middleton faces up to a year in prison and a fine of $4,000.
"It was an investigation conducted by our Office of Inspector General and it had presented the case to the Special Prosecutions Unit last year," Sweany said.
This marks the second arrest of a juvenile correctional officer from Ron Jackson within the last six months.
In February, Morsello Hooker was arrested by the Texas Rangers after he was reportedly caught on surveillance footage picking up and body slamming a youth to the floor.
Documents obtained by KTXS News through an open records request showed that 34 employees at Ron Jackson have been fired from working at the facility since 2013.
"Our absolute priority to the people of Texas is to provide a safe and effective environment for the rehabilitation of these young boys and girls," Sweany said.
On Friday, TJJD Executive Director Camille Cain sent a letter to Governor of Texas Greg Abbott with her short-term and long-term plans for reforming the state's five youth correctional facilities, including Ron Jackson.