The new acting Executive Director sent out an email threatening TYC staff he would review all of our employment and fire us if we do not meet his expectations. The threat was made after he told us how great he is! If the governor and legislature are not careful they will have to call out the National Guard to work TYC because most employees are very angry about the threatening email the new Executive Director sent to his employees. Once again the administration is corrupt and blames the lowly workers. TYC Administration is the cause of the sex scandals and the under staffing of TYC. The legislature carries some of the blame for the dangerous working conditions at TYC.Send me a copy, somebody, if you got one of these letters! I'll publish a de-identified version. (That means with your name and identifying information removed!)
I am ashamed to let people know I work for TYC. I am ashamed not because I have physically or sexually abuse any of the youth at TYC, but because the damage the TYC Administration has done to all of our reputations.
Calling out the National Guard to work at TYC units - now there's an image that hadn't yet come to mind! Given the effect of bad recent PR on recruiting, not to mention that TYC's annual staff turnover had already been reported as anywhere from 48% to 75%, maybe it should be part of the conversation.
One thing is for sure - the Sunset Review and legislative oversight process didn't do TYC justice. This agency should be 'Sunsetted' again before the 2009 session, and conceivably sunsetted out of existence.
UPDATE: Here's the letter. You tell me: Was this a veiled threat to employees or a needed tone of urgenccy:
To: All Texas Youth Commission StaffThe part about reviewing each staff person's resume does remind me of the Bexar County Probation Department squabble. It doesn't sound like ol' Ed's getting off on the right foot over there, does it?
From: Ed Owens, Acting Executive Director
Date: March 2, 2007
Governor Rick Perry asked me this week to serve as the Acting Executive Director of the Texas Youth Commission. When the TYC Board unanimously approved my selection for this position, I gladly accepted the challenge. It is my belief that I was appointed to serve in this position based on my 30+ years experience in corrections, for the practical knowledge that I have gained through the direct supervision of offenders, and for my proven track record in being an effective leader. It is my intention to use my knowledge and skills to assist TYC in becoming a national model for juvenile correctional practices.
As each of you are keenly aware, there are numerous challenges facing me, the Board, the agency, and each of you. With this in mind, I strongly encourage each of you to focus on the key reason for your current professional existence – the incarcerated youth whom we serve. It is also incumbent upon you to adhere to the values identified in the agency’s current mission statement: protection, productivity, rehabilitation, and prevention. I must impress upon you that these words are not to be taken lightly, but should be viewed as ‘value driven words’ that I expect each of you to embrace each and every day that you enter the workplace. Anything less is unacceptable.
I view the youth incarcerated in our facilities as both offenders and victims. They were sent to this agency for rehabilitation, not for punishment or victimization. It is my responsibility to ensure that this agency selects and hires mature, responsible individuals who can assist in making a positive impact on these youth’s troubled lives. To this end, one of my first tasks is to thoroughly review each staff member’s resume and to conduct interviews with individuals in management positions to determine your suitability for continued employment with this agency. It is my intention to have a solid management team who can infuse and effectuate change. I believe that the future successes of this organization are contingent upon the strength and dedication of the people selected to serve.
In closing, I am encouraging you to continue to do your jobs effectively. It is important for the agency to provide a safe and secure environment for the offenders and for you, while also protecting the communities where our facilities are located. During the next few weeks it is possible that we have to adjust our schedules to accommodate various entities collecting information on criminal and/or civil matters. During this process, your full cooperation is expected. Many of your may think that there is apermanent dark cloud hovering over this agency. However, I am an optimist and I truly believe that my vision to have this agency become a national model for juvenile correctional practices is attainable. Working together, we can make a difference.
Acting Executive Director