Monday, April 16, 2007

Internal TYC staff disputes aired in Dallas News

The ongoing backlash at TYC against high-handed actions by the new conservator and executive director finally bubbled into the view of MSM readers this morning, when a Dallas Morning News article described internal feuds at the Texas Youth Commission between new management and long-time staff that will be familiar to those who've read comments from TYC staff on Grits in recent weeks ("New team, changes spark clash at TYC," April 16). Reported the News:
The new leaders feel they must move quickly to ensure justice is served, and any resistance from TYC employees imperils that work. But longtime agency administrators say that their experience in juvenile justice could prevent mistakes. Inmates who aren't ready to be released back to their communities may be freed too soon, they say. They think new policies are being crafted far too fast and could eventually create new problems at the TYC.

The longtime bureaucrats, ever cognizant that many of their colleagues have been investigated, fired or forced to resign, are frightened of making a false move.

"We're all horribly demoralized," said one veteran TYC employee at headquarters, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. "They're just disregarding everything, with no respect to the people who've spent years developing this stuff."

See the rest here, and also Waco Herald Tribune columnist John Young's argument that "isolation" of youth is among the agency's biggest failings, as well as the Lufkin Daily News' assertion that misdemeananor offenders should not be placed in youth prisons.

78 comments:

Bill said...

John Young's column overlooks the fact that Texas counties have a youth detention facility. Most youth committed to TYC have "done time" in the county system or some similar facility.

TYC is the "last resort" for most troubled youth. 75% of commitments to TYC have a record of one or more "out of home placement[s]" prior to TYC placement.

Anonymous said...

Senator Whitmire is taking TYC from a state agency to a contract care agency. Most of the current legislation clearly sets forth the contracting out of the state jobs held by close to 5000 Texas citizens. The abuse of students by administrative staff at West Texas needed to be stopped. If you listen to Senator John Whitmire you think there are thousands of confirmed cases of abuse in TYC. It is simply not true! The outside investigators have cleared over 1000 cases and found less than ½ percent yielded any wrong doing. Considering the low percentage of confirmed abuse it does not look like the TYC employees are the real problem.

The sex crimes at West Texas were carried out by TYC administration and covered up by administration. There have been sex crimes committed by staff in the past but they have generally been dealt with in contrast to the TYC administration being allowed to continue their disgusting behavior.

Distortions and outright lies have been used to inflame the public to justify doing away with thousands of state jobs. The contract worker is usually paid less and has no benefits. Contracting out the care of TYC youth will not make the youth safer or produce better results. What will happen is that corporate pockets will be filled with your tax dollars and the delivery of service will decline. When the great contract experiment goes bad, and it will, the tax payers will have to fund the payouts due to law suits.

State law and TYC policy needed a few changes not total destruction of the Texas Youth Commission. TYC needs regional residential treatment centers for youth with mental health issues. TYC also needs regional facilities for the criminal offenders. The loss of 5000 state jobs will not save the tax payers money it will only enrich a few select corporations. The fallout from the destruction of TYC will be devastating for thousands of families and communities.

Governor Perry put Ed Owens in place knowing he covered up serious sexual assaults and sexual harassment at TDCJ. Mr. Owens has no experience in Juvenile Justice or treatment. Jay Kimbrough is an attorney who also has no experience in Juvenile Justice or treatment. Why you ask did Governor Perry put these two men in charge of changing TYC; because he needed people close to him to cover up the fact he did nothing to stop the sexual assault of children in TYC when he knew it was going on! Jay Kimbrough and Ed Owens are political operatives tied directly to Governor Perry. This is a two for one deal; protect the Governor and create contract business for some of your political friends regardless of how many lives are shattered.

Any was you cut it; this is immorality and official misconduct at its highest.

Anonymous said...

To 9:31 am-
Ok, we got it. You're pissed because you're somehow involved with keeping the agency together and don't want money going to contract care. Got it. You want someone else's pockets filled and not theirs, got it.
What's wrong with contract care if it works? Everyone wants to cling to the sinking ship. Everyone is screaming apparently afraid of change. If it's change for the better- WHO CARES if it's contract care? You have yet to state (other than money and political ties) why smaller contract care facilities wouldn't serve the kids better. And someone has to work at those contract places so TYC people could be hired. All it sounds like in your argument is just who gets the money.

But, your comment:
"If you listen to Senator John Whitmire you think there are thousands of confirmed cases of abuse in TYC. It is simply not true! The outside investigators have cleared over 1000 cases and found less than ½ percent yielded any wrong doing. Considering the low percentage of confirmed abuse it does not look like the TYC employees are the real problem".

Uh.. where did you get this data and are you on crack? Did you forget about all the cases changed and covered up from past TYC employees and many who are still there? Don't even try and come back and say that isn't true. IT IS. And who did that stuff- TYC employees (all the ones who participated in covering up and changing findings). The corruption goes from the top down. So, those TYC employees WOULD seem to be the real problem. And many are still there.

Anonymous said...

Let's don't toss the baby with the bath. There ARE success stories out of TYC; I have seen kids come back into the community with their lives turned around for the better. Some of them were sent on misdemeanors because there was no other choice.

Yes, there are problems and no child should be abused. Time has proven that "bad facts make bad law" If we follow the recommendations being made for TYC and juvenile justice, we are passing laws in a knee jerk reaction to a bad situation.

Why can't we take action to protect, then take the TIME to discover what is really happening, for good as well as bad?

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 10:14am...here's the problem with moving to contract care...staff at contract programs get paid less and get less benefits than state employees. If one of the reasons TYC has problems fiding enough good JCO staff is because the job pays lousy...what on earth makes you think we'd get enough good staff at even lower pay if we seriously increase the number of contract beds?

Anonymous said...

To 10:18 - The more "time" you spend in a think tank, drinking coffee and chatting about what will better the world- meanwhile the corrupt people still there are still covering up, shredding, protecting themselves and their friends and doing all the necessary things to try and save themselves.
That number of investigations still out there pending (over 1,000) PLUS the criminal investigations happening outside of those- there is A LOT more to uncover. Time is crucial in investigations, the quicker the better. Time is crucial in rehabilitating kids. Every day spent in doing it the wrong way sends these kids two steps back. No, the whole system is not broken. Some parts of it do work and work well- IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT PEOPLE DOING IT. No one in TYC should be unfamiliar with the "shotgun" affect or the famous saying of how the pendulum swings (from corrections to rehabilitation). The goal is to get it back in the middle, take the damn thing off the swing post and have consistency. This has to happen somehow. Systems have to be swept clean (like getting the dirt out of gears) if you want it to run. Right now the corrupt people are the dirt. The systems in place or anywhere will always produce some success- regardless of the corruption. There's always a bell curve somewhere. But, that success is more found in the people and kids making the effort to succeed, not in the system itself. You can find success in Harlem. It's not a good, safe place to raise kids either, but there are success stories there too and only by the will and strength of those who want it despite their surroundings. TYC needs to be cleaned out so the whole system can claim success. Not "despite" its surroundings, but because of it.

Anonymous said...

10:23
Which would you rather have; no job or a job at contract care? Last I checked they are closing facilities and downsizing the rest.
And to answer your question- I would take less money if it meant better results for the kids. I guess your focus is more on money.

Anonymous said...

"Uh.. where did you get this data and are you on crack? Did you forget about all the cases changed and covered up from past TYC employees and many who are still there?" said Anon 10:14

The data presented is from the current investigative agencies. We can not know how many of the past claims are valid all we can go on is what we have now.

No I don't smoke crack. It does tell me a great deal about you that you made the comment!

It is not what you feel, it is what is real! The numbers don't lie.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm - who was it that said "figures don't lie, but liars figure?" Seems to me that legislators and their committees tend to use numbers to prove what they already believe, or what they think the public wants.

When the dust settles after witch hunts like this, there are normally a whole lot of sheepish, unpublicised, apologies...

Anonymous said...

10:41 Sounds like you are one of the ones in Central Office that should have been thrown out on your butt like the rest of them but you haven't been caught yet. Keep lurking around over the shoulders of the investigators there to see your name comes up (if it hasn't already). I'll be watching for you digging through the trash can and taping things back together from the shredder to see if you're found out.

"We can not know how many of the past claims are valid all we can go on is what we have now".
Uh- gee, if not found, then they must be valid. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! That's the point of this whole thing- to look. Abuse is not just current, it goes back years and years and years. And yes, The past is being looked at. There ARE people concerned about the past things that have gone on, unlike you who appear to be willing to just overlook it all and say it never happened.

"It is not what you feel, it is what is real! The numbers don't lie".
I think that was in a gangster rap song having to do with money and drugs that Don Imus compared his words to?
The numbers don't lie? The numbers arent' even close to being done yet. Stick with your claims of 1%. Those with any sense or are in the middle of it know better.

Anonymous said...

I find the negative feed back very disheartening. Many jump to the conclusion I have not been an advocate for the TYC youth. For your information I was in a key position to protect smaller and younger youth at my TYC unit. I have had to fight for several years to keep the little boys separated from the larger youth.

I have worked for way too many years in the most horrible conditions because I stood up for the kids and would not tolerate the bad things administrators were doing. I have been on the front line; where have you been for the past 10 to 15 years? I have sure not been at TYC for the money! I have had much better job offers.

You can disagree with me but don’t be disrespectful! It reflects badly on you because you don’t really know me. I am a professional in juvenile justice and treatment who has been trying for years to help kids have a better life.


anon 9:31

Anonymous said...

Time is crucial in investigations, I agree. Time is not crucial in the legislative process. What they pass is what we live with; if they don't take the time to consider the effects on all concerned - kids, employees, the communities that sent the kids, the schools there and the families of the kids - then we will have more serious problems.

This does not call for a "band aid" fix; it needs rational thought and planning.

Anonymous said...

Then 9:31- with all your experience in the system, you should know better than to say there is little abuse (past or present). You just stated yourself there was. Instead of IN ANY WAY defending the system that existed, you should be welcoming the change.
Regarding my being "disrespectful"-don't forget, you attacked as well. Before you call the kettle black, you need to evaluate your words also.
My anger comes from those who know very well what has been going on (you admitted you did) and then turn around and try to minimize the abuse or the people involved. The abuse exists in much greater numbers than 1%- saying that is an accurate number is just wrong. You don't have the numbers from the past cases, the ones never reported, the ones not investigated yet and the outside criminal charges. If you want to talk about how to better the system, fine. But, don't try and convince people who know better that the abuse isn't as bad as what has been stated. It is. Don't say the number of abuse cases found true is almost non-existant (1%) when you don't have all the resources and information. Especially when you just stated that for YEARS you have been fighting this same system just to do things right yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ok 11:18- what is your solution? What do you do with all the people still there that were part of the problem? How long do you wait to make changes to protect the students? As Grits posted- there's only around 40 days left for the sessions. Everyone is under a time frame. If you have any better options then let the people who are about to make the changes know. Send letter, send emails, do whatever you have to do to make the changes you want. You can't just complain and say, "I don't know, but I don't like what's happening and it isn't fair". Things have to be dealt with and fast. What is your solution?

Anonymous said...

anon at 10:37 - what in the world makes you think contract care would necessarily end up better for the youth? With less pay do you really think they're getting the cream of the crop in terms of staffing? If so, then you're the one on crack. There have been plenty of incicents of abuse and neglect in cotnract facilities for TYC and other state agency's that use contract beds to house kids. The profit motive isn't the best means of ensuring that kids get treated well...in fact the desire to make money usually means cutting corners anywhere they think they can get away with it. Not to mentio that contractors being paid per youth have even less incentive to let youth out.

Anonymous said...

If a problem is serious enough, it doesn't have to be solved in 40 days. Special sessions have been called for less weighty considerations.

I have been involved with the legal field for over 20 years; I have yet to see a knee jerk reaction that does not cause more serious trouble later.

Take the time now to have an impartial, thorough investigation done on several levels - records, employees, and the abuse allegations, to name a few. Take action to stop abuse, but don't open the doors and send kids to homes and communities that aren't ready for them.

Contract care has the same problems that TYC has, in some cases worse. THey are trying to make a profit off the kids, so are likely to cut corners whenever possible. These were really popular about 8-12 years ago. Most have closed because they couldn't pass inspections AND please share holders.

If this session follows the direction it seems to be taking, we will see ourselves in two years facing some of the most brutal juvenile justice proposals in years. It will be the backlash from turning these kids loose, and not being able to commit the new offenders.

Anonymous said...

11:40- TYC is paid per youth as well.
I'm not advocating Contract Care over anything. However, I'm not going to dismiss it either just because someone is mad at a legislator who they think is behind trying to close TYC to benefit financially though contract care affiliations.
There are negatives to every program. My support will go to any program that is going to get the focus of attention, the needed support and funding and a good oversight system in place to review suspected abuses or corruptions. I don't care where that takes place- TYC, contract care or on the moon.
If wanting a better system that protects kids and is a safer (and not retaliatory) place for staff to do their jobs makes me "on crack" then so be it.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:48 a.m. , you hit the jackpot man. You are so right on the money.

Oh, and I can tell Mr. "First Hand Knowledge" is back. By the way, so is Curtis Simmons.

Anonymous said...

Why are we still stating shred and cover up, this is laughable and anyone who would post these comments has an agenda. One person was caught shredding at the onset of this, none since. Who is covering up, are you referring to the elected officials who had knowledge of this and have done their best to window dress this whole situation with nothing more than smoke and mirrors. If things are as bad as some of these post suggest every facility would be vacant right now based upon the potential for coming lawsuits. This is a circus and anyone with any common sense could have figured this out by now, except the uniformed.

Anonymous said...

Hey all of ya'll shut the hell up. None of you know anything and are sitting here trying to out do each other. You all sound like a bunch of idiots. Get a life and get back to work.

Anonymous said...

I second that 1:13!
My God this world is nuts. I just saw the Virginia shooting news. 21 people dead at a college. My gosh.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

uh, no, don't shut the hell up. Play nice, and I'd prefer it if you don't go after each other personally, but frankly there's a lot to talk about. That's what blogs are for.

I just heard about the VT shooting news, too. OMG! I can hardly imagine such a tragedy at a college. Doc Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy already has a post up wondering what will be the sentencing and public policy implications of the event. Just awful.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the number of dead at 31? I wonder if the guy left a note somewhere.

Mr. Simmons is back at West Texas? Is he on probation or anything? Has anyone asked him what happened?

Anonymous said...

Man that's between Curtis and Mr. Kimbrough. But like I said in previous posts where Curtis was attacked, get your first hand knowledge straight before you slander anyone like that ever again. He was cleared pretty quickly. That should tell you something.

Now can we focus on the issues at hand? Like, why we have the huge division between this new management team and the rest of us who feel the obligation to protect the public? The lawyer at 11:48 posting anonymously has merit. This person needs to be lobbying against what the new management team is proposing. I agree with the fact that we need to let General Offenders go who have over extended their stay with us because they just don't get it but pose little threat to the communities, but for those of you who work inside the fence, know that those who are capable and glorify a lifestyle in TDCJ are the ones you need to worry about.

Contract care? I worked in one. We held on to kids that I thought should have been gone long ago so they (the corporation) could meet their goals ($$$). Come on.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 7:16 - I am lobbying to the best of my ability. Unfortunately, public opinion is so high right now that the entire TYC issue has a resemblance to early Salem and the witch hunts. No one is brave enough to be the voice of reason, or to stand in the way of the locomotive of change. I fear that there has been enough "noise" that we will have to live with what we get, do the best we can, and get ready for the session in two years.

Anonymous said...

You’re absolutely right. This is Salem all over again. You know what is so outlandish to me is that this pit bulldog Kimbrough had the nerve to say no human being has ever expressed any concern regarding these policy changes. Eh-hem….uh, Mr. Kimbrough, you’re the one holding the matches in Salem buddy. Who wants to get burned?

I’ll tell you this though…. Many of us wishing to leave “Salem” will land somewhere eventually, and I can promise you this, once that happens, we’ll ridicule Kimbrough and his cohorts for their lack of knowledge in this juvenile justice system. If you thought the “Free Ricky” campaign in front of Central Office was funny, wait until you see this response.

Anonymous said...

This has been a very interesting topic! I agree the situation is out of control and decisions are being made for political reasons. The move to contract care has been tried in the past and failed. I predict in 2 years the legislature will slam the pendulum back toward corrections after a few juveniles commit serious crimes the majority of society will not tolerate. There could easily be a few new faces in the Texas House and Senate due to being on the wrong side of this issue. Once again the State of Texas tries the same thing (contract care) expecting a different outcome.

Anonymous said...

TJDO just reported something intresting about one of our famous releases... go read it. It realy fits well with the DMN article about the clash upstairs in TYC...

Anonymous said...

You know what, I'm done reading this stuff. The last 4 posts until 10:33 are just the same dude or woman posting over and over again. Come on! Next time try and change your words around at least. It really gave it away when you came back in one of the posts supporting yourself saying you were a lawyer and you had merit. Are you schizophrenic or something and having a conversation back and forth with yourself? Hope you found support and gave yourself a big group hug. I'm done. I'm going somewhere people actually have to post who they are so you can at least see the self love fest when they do it.
Thanks Grits, sorry dude. Enough's enough.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@anon11:07: Sorry you feel that way. Come back if you just want to check the posts sans comments. best,

Anonymous said...

3:03- Simmons was put on probation. He gave info on others in TYC to keep his job.

Anonymous said...

12:08
I don't know how you got that information. That stuff is supposed to be private. Unless Mr. Simmons told you himself, maybe he did I don't know, but thats kind of personal. How do we know thats even true?

Anonymous said...

I give up. For the record, I posted at 10:18, 10:54, 11:18, 11:48 and 6:58. To the best of my knowledge, and that of my constituents, I do not have a mental health issue, nor am I in the habit of holding conversations with myself.

My sincere appreciation to the other posters who are interested in trying to find a solution to a serious problem.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

You know, folks, you can register with a pseudonym. Nobody could identify you and at least you could tell who you're talking to - that might help with the obvious problem of too many anonymous's. Most posts on Grits don't get as many comments as these TYC strings so it hasn't really been a problem before, but I hate to see anonymity contribute to every thread degenerating into accusation-fest.

What do folks think about regular TYC posters voluntarily using pseudonyms? I hesitate to make it mandatory for a number of reasons, particularly encouraging lurkers to speak up, but for regulars I think it would help. Whaddya think? best,

Anonymous said...

OK I'm in there. Lets all commit to this. I just gotta figure it out. I'll be, humm "Whitsfoe." Hows that?

Anonymous said...

"What they pass is what we live with; if they don't take the time to consider the effects on all concerned" ...-
"Seems to me that legislators and their committees tend to use numbers to prove what they already believe, or what they think the public wants"....

Why did you use speech like "they" if you are one of the legislative people like a Senator or Representative- that inference made saying you had constituents?
("To the best of my knowledge, and that of my constituents…") and why later switch to using "we" in stating opinions and objectives.

If not a Legislator- who else are you? Perry? Judge? DA? What are you lobbying for and on behalf of whom?

Anyone can claim certain posts on here. Unless Grits wants to come out and tell us who is posting or make it mandatory to reveal ourselves (which he said he doesn't want to do), we're not going to know. It's very easy to disclaim one if it wasn't popular.
Grits- as far as posting with cover names, can't you create as many as you want and it be just as easy to post back and forth to yourself?

Whitsfoe said...

This is a test to see if my "handle" works

Whitsfoe said...

It worked! Man, I haven't felt so good since I saw my name in the phonebook! From here on out, I am "Whitsfoe!" Wahoo!!

Anonymous said...

"CHUY" would like to know why this great team from TDCJ who is suppose to be doing such a great job "Helping" TYC could botch the following and still point fingers at Ex-TYC Officials, this was posted in the Abilene Reported News-

Brownwood DA reviewing surveillance tapes in TYC abuse case

By Associated Press
April 17, 2007

Posted 2:29 p.m. HOUSTON — Surveillance tapes that allegedly show a former youth prison guard entering a supply closet with a teenage inmate weren't shown to grand jurors who declined to indict him on abuse charges, but authorities are reviewing the tapes to determine if they can make a stronger case.

The tapes were discovered at Texas Youth Commission headquarters in Austin on Friday, nine days after a grand jury decided not to indict the former guard accused of abusing three teenage girls at the Ron Jackson facility in Brownwood.

"The tapes will enable us to review the case to see if they makes for a more compelling presentation," Brown County District Attorney Michael Murray said. "Then we can evaluate and decide whether to present it again to the grand jury or leave it as it is."

Murray said he had been aware of the existence of the tapes, but TYC officials did not turn them over to investigators.

The tapes turned up after Richard Steptoe, an investigator with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inspector General's office, asked TYC officials to show him the collected evidence. He had the three or four tapes within minutes. The inspector's office has been called to assist the investigation of sexual and physical abuse cases at TYC.

Steptoe's boss, John Moriarty, said his office was still trying to determine why the tapes had not been turned over earlier. The tapes may have been left behind in the offices of TYC officials who resigned or had been terminated, Moriarty said.

In 2005, the TYC said it confirmed the guard had sexually abused at least three girls at the Brownwood facility. The official report stated that the footage supported details given by each of the three girls.

The girls told investigators the guard used the supply closet to have sex with them. The tapes allegedly show the seven-year-veteran, over a number of days in 2004, entering and exiting the supply closet with at least one of the girls.

"Several times that day (the alleged victim) went into the closet followed by (the guard) a few minutes later," the report stated.

The guard was allowed to resign. The case was forwarded to the local district attorney after the more publicized sex abuse scandal at the West Texas TYC facility broke in February.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:07 you are wrong, I was one of the posts you noted as being from the same person. Another good theory goes down in flames, better luck next time. Maybe we are all PO at the same crap and thus sound the same. Hang around and put your 2 cents worth in!

I know Curtis Simmons and he would give up his mother to save his own ass. Still having everything painted blue to calm everyone Curtis? Curtis you still seeing the JCO V on 8 dorm when you are in the area or does your wife make you come home?

Mr. Simmons is a perfect example of the people who can't keep their pants zipped up at TYC. I will say in his defense he only screwed the female staff and not the kids far as I know.

Whitsfoe said...

It's pretty chicken shit to slam Curtis like that in the shadows.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gritsforbreakfast said...

FYI, I removed a comment about Mr. Simmons that I considered libelous because the allegations in it of criminal or tortuous liability on his part were ad hominem and unproven. I didn't do it to squelch debate, but please stick to saying things you can demonstrate, and if you're going to talk trash about somebody, put your evidence on the table with links and sources. Allegations with no proof in this environment are harmful to everyone. Thanks,

Whitsfoe said...

RIGHT ON GRITS!!!! Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

For the record- I'm the one someone labeled "Mr. First Hand Knowledge" and thought was Anthony Mikulastic. I want it completely understood that I DID NOT post the blasting comment on Mr. Simmons. Anything I know I do not post for reasons I have already stated. I only respond to people when they speak fondly of or defend those I know have done things that are not known to most within TYC and the mass public. Who ever posted that information, whether it's true or not, I hope you are prepared to withstand the same withering blows should someone say something about you and I hope you didn't just jeopardize something being looked into. Be mad all you want, but please consider what ramifications your words may have. And, from this point on, I will post under "Pinpoint".

Anonymous said...

You are right about Mr. Simmons, I just handed over my information to the AG invstigator and Texas Rangers with names, places, and dates. Also included other wittnesses while I was at it. I thought he was gone, but read he was back. Thanks for letting me know he was allowed back. It let me know I needed to turn him in because he has not been held accountable for his wrong doing.

Whitsfoe said...

You know, I thought the original topic on this blog was dealing with the rift between the new management team and the long time TYC Central Office staffers. Do you all think we can get back there as opposed to flinging more dirt?

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe-
How is what everyone is saying here not part of that topic heading? Mr. Simmons is part of the old administration. Apparently there are people who feel he needs to be held accountable for things.
This whole TYC section from Grits can be considered as "dirt"- either on the agency or on one person or another. Do we stop all discussion because someone's name might come up? I don't agree with some of the things said, but people make up this whole dilemma going on, sooner or later names are going to be mentioned.
Pinpoint

"Chuy" said...

If we are going to blame or point fingers why not at the folks running Austin right now. How can a Grand Jury in Brownwood Texas "No-bill" a correctional officer because the DA does not have evidence. The evidence was video footage of the officer going into a closet with young girls. But when asked the current leaders state, it is not our fault the Ex-TYC staff who are no longer with us must have misplaced this evidence, it was in the report, it was in the office, they have been on the job for nearly two months. But, it is always so much easier to point out others rather than except responsibility. While we are on this why cant the MSM do a open records act and see how many of these so called 2500 new cases at TYC are relevant, they will be surprised to find out 99% are bogus but this is not good news for those that crave the headlines and are in charge of cleaning up the agency.

Anonymous said...

"Chuy"- You may feel the "new" cases being reported are bogus, but you just stated a past case that wasn't. With a thousand or more "new" cases still out there, don't you think we should wait and see what "new" things come up? And, as I stated in a prior post, there are A LOT of things from the past years of TYC that are still yet uncovered or completed. Those are the "old" cases. This whole change started due to an "old" case. Correct?
Regarding your statement that it is the fault of the new people in charge that the tapes were not handed over to the Brownwood D.A.- did you see the D.A.'s response that he didn't think the tapes would matter due to the changing stories of the female students involved? I didn't care for that comment myself- who is he to know what the jurors would or would not have considered? Also, if it was Mr. Steptoe or Mr. Toney's fault the tapes were not initially turned over; do you think the tapes would have ever been found? If they were a part of some conspiracy to hide evidence or cover things up, those tapes would have never surfaced. Both also know that a new grand jury can be called with new evidence. If it had been them who wanted the tapes hidden, they would have never been found. I'm more concerned with why Mr. Worsham had them in his office apart from the original case information. How many other tapes are missing that could show first hand evidence to corroborate allegations?
Pinpoint

Whitsfoe said...

Pinpoint,

"if you're going to talk trash about somebody, put your evidence on the table with links and sources. Allegations with no proof in this environment are harmful to everyone." Enough said. I'm not going to debate someone’s guilt or innocence without knowing the facts.

Anonymous said...

Whitfoe- "Enough said. I'm not going to debate someone’s guilt or innocence without knowing the facts".

Which thing are you talking about?
There have been several different things discussed.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

"For the record- I'm the one someone labeled "Mr. First Hand Knowledge" and thought was Anthony Mikulastic. I want it completely understood that I DID NOT post the blasting comment on Mr. Simmons."

See what you miss when you are tied up in a meeting. For the record, I am not "Mr. First Hand Knowledge" but I am Anthony Mikulastik. I do write articles and blog comments. Google may name and you will find several of them with my name included.

Please don't attribute my name to some post when you have no way of knowing who writes what on this blog.

If I knew Curtis "Paradise Blue" Simmons had broken the law, I would file a report of such activity with the proper authorities. Yes I have heard stories about Mr. Simmons and the ladies. Probably just jealous guys talking. Curtis can't help it if he is a "Chick Magnet"!

If Curtis is clean then I hope he has a long and successful career with TYC. If he has been a bad boy it will most likely come out and it will be up to others to set the penalty.

Comment for Chuy - The evidence was not there for the grand jury. Now that the evidence is available and it can be re-presented. Double Jeopardy does not attach in a grand jury proceeding. Chuy I have a feeling justice will still be served.

Wow everybody at TYC is ON EDGE! Many of us are starting to display signs of PTSD. TYC has free counseling available if you think you are starting have problems. Don't let TYC destroy your family or life in general. Get some help!

Speaking of help! If you do not support the firing of TYC employees due to criminal history email your Representative and Senator to ask for their support for HB 3521. It bars only people convicted of a crime against a child from working at TYC. Grits turned me on to this House Bill by Bolton. I am emailing all 150 members of the House and all 30 members of the Senate about it. This is my second round of emails and calls. Some of the elected officials responded to my emails in a very positive way so the emails do make a difference. Calling is also a good idea.

Many people have been deeply hurt at TYC and it may never be the same again for years due to the human damage factor. I am very afraid TYC will not be a good place to work for years to come. I do hope the people responsible for bringing TYC to this place are held accountable for their wrong doing and those who did no wrong survive this difficult ordeal.

I have also read 99% of the hot line calls are found not true. I am glad to hear so many good people at TYC have been doing a good job. I will probably get blasted for saying this. Some folks don’t want to hear anything good about TYC regardless of the truth.

Anthony Mikulastik

Anonymous said...

Good Lord Anthony, did you have to throw in the "chick magnet" part?? That makes me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

Anthony- Thanks for helping me clear that up (that I am not you). For whatever reason you have, you always post your name. I choose not to, but more power to you. Thank you for providing the info. on the alternative bill.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I had to go earlier before I was able to speak to something that keeps being repeated. It is regarding the number of "new cases" or new hotline/internet complaints that have been received since this started. It keeps being stated by a couple of people that 99% of these "new cases" are bogus. As many here have pointed out several times- where is the data you use to support this? Please provide the article, link, paper, source or whatever it is that supports this 1% number. I will agree with you that (most likely)there are a large number of cases that do not involve what would be called serious things (like not having shoe laces) and many may not even be relevant to TYC (complaints about detention centers and contract care not within TYC control). However, let's say that you are spot on or absolutely right- that only 1% of these 2,500 cases have real merit and are really worth looking into. That's 25 cases. That's 25 cases that were never reported because people either feared retaliation, more abuse or felt nothing would be done due to the corruption in place. That 1% could be 25 more sexual abuse cases, 25 assaults or broken bones, 25 more medical neglect cases, etc. That's 25 different cases of things done to someone or groups of people. Is that number ok? That's just assuming that 1% number is accurate. If it is, are you saying those 25 new cases and the people involved in them don't deserve to be heard? And, if this big investigation and change had not taken place- are you saying you would be ok with those 25 cases never seeing the light of day? I am just curious why or how you let that number, even if you consider it small, discredit the changes that have been proven to be needed within TYC (regarding how things are investigated and removing individuals who covered things up). I don't agree with all the changes being made (firing employee's with old records or non-violent or non-child related misdems., making changes to programs that work, etc.). I support change, but I want to see it come with checks, balances and integrity.
Pinpoint

Whitsfoe said...

We have one that's about to explode at Marlin... stay tuned... don't ask, I'm not going to drag the accused through the mud because he/she could very well be innocent (but I have my doubts)... and you're right pinpoint, any incident of abuse is one too many. Absolutely.

"Chuy" said...

Pinpoint, the reason you will not read this in the papers is because this info will ever make the papers. If it did it would be hard to justify what is taking place today at every TYC facility. For those of us who work at a facility and speak with the investigators (AG office, TDCJ, Ranger) they are the ones making these statements, I for one asked for the MSM to do an open records act to show this to be the case, those would be my facts. Do you really believe this will ever come out (the actual cases) unless it is forced from their grimy little fingers. Secondly the papers stated Hinojosa's aide requested the info on the tapes, what would ahve happened if she did not. The point I am making is why blame a TYC staff who is no longer able to defend themselves, it must be convenient to have this crutch to fall back on. Lets say if this same scenario would have occurred and the person responsible for not producing the video was a TYC staff, would they be walked out in handcuffs for trying to cover up??

Whitsfoe said...

Hey grits, I bet we keep this thing entertaining huh? You know what we should do? We should say "OK TYC staff, you're getting pretty vocal now and the opinions are of interest. So let's debate the issues live, here in Austin. Town Hall meeting. Scott Henson will be the moderator. Please bring your $10.00 admission fee to join the debate. Time and place TBA." We can have it in a parking lot somewhere. The Salvation Army might be available for food, but the easels for the “parking lot issues” will need to be purchased. But for Heavens sake, don’t bring in the police. Or, for that matter, The National Guard.

Make sure it's an open keg event because when these guys get to debating, it'll go on forever. We might even make you enough money to get you a ham and eggs breakfast instead of those grits you've been eating! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Chuy-
"Pinpoint, the reason you will not read this in the papers is because this info will ever make the papers. If it did it would be hard to justify what is taking place today at every TYC facility".

I will have to disagree with you on this. Just one case hit the news (West Texas) and has turned the agency over on its head. One case was enough to justify what has happened to many people within the agency (who participated in it). We have yet to see what the additional cases can or will do. Again, with your request of the MSM to do an open records request to prove your 1%, are you saying that 1% (25 or more cases) are not worth investigating considering what has been found that led to all of this? Is it not worth looking to see if more has occurred? I would rather error on the side of looking rather than not.

Assumptions are being made everywhere regarding the tapes. The person responsible may have very well been walked out already (Worsham), but unless someone saw who separated the tapes from the case file, we'll never know. The fact that Hinajosa's aid is the one that requested the tapes does not make the staff in place at TYC liable unless they already knew the tapes were missing and made no effort to look or purposely failed to provide them. From the way the information appears, when they were notified of the missing evidence, they looked, found it and provided it. I am also wondering why it took a legislative aid to realize there were tapes available when the D.A. had a copy of the same report that mentioned the tapes. Where was his effort to secure all the evidence in his case and review it before prosecution and presentation to the Grand Jury? I think I would want all evidence available to see if my witnesses were credible. He may have requested "all information", but after reading the report, shouldn't the missing videos have been pretty apparent? Video is one of the most convincing things a jury can see, I think I would have made a pretty earnest effort to have them or sure have raised hell that I never received them before the case was even presented to the Grand Jury. I believe if the current people doing the investigations within TYC had been attempting to hide anything the tapes would have never surfaced again.
I don't know what would have happened if Hinajosa's aid had not requested the tapes. Unless you can state that the current people within TYC had knowledge that the D.A. didn't have the tapes and were purposely sitting on that information, I don't see how anyone could have known the D.A. did not have what he needed (since the case and tapes were separated).
Regarding your statement that the former staff have no way to defend themselves- they have just as much access to the media as anyone else. If they choose not to speak on their own behalf (for personal reasons or at the advice of their attorney), they certainly could have their attorney or a representative make a statement for them. Even then it would be up to each person to decide what to believe or not.
Pinpoint

"Chuy" said...

I am not saying the 1% (if this is the case) is not relevant, one again the point I am trying to make and it is not taking hold is the sensationalism that is being portrayed to justify the hunt. If we applied this same type of scrutiny to any State agency you will find 1% error. Lets apply this to our elected officials who are on this band wagon who cannot tell the difference between Family Law and the Penal Code when trying to resolve Juvenile issues.

Anonymous said...

If Curtis is guilty of anything it is of trying to lay low and stay out of the line of fire by keeping his mouth shut.

Heck with that, what about Crockett and Don Freeman. Curtis is small potatoes when it comes to a ladies man compared to Mr. Freeman, if rumors are to be believed.

But how about the stuff that is not rumor and could be uncovered by looking at investigations of Crockett going back to Fall of 2002. Mr. Freeman had mid-level employees giving him expensive gifts (artwork , rifle scope), restrained a youth without writing an incident report, told staff to throw a "f#$%ing kid of the roof"
appeared to have sanctioned along with his Assist. Supt. Blu Nicholson staff using excessive force against problem students. Heck, a PA II (a former Associate Clinical Psychologist) was caught on video tape slapping and choking a youth...and she still works at the facility. There were many cases of confirmed abuse at the facility. Yet, Don Freeman and Blu Nicholson still work at the facility.

In addition, many students were suddenly cured of their "emotional disturbance" and transferred to other campuses. He systematically fired older and/or overweight staff and replaced them with his cronies from Mart or with young persons, many attractive young women. Guess he was telling the truth when he claimed that he was a close to Dwight Harris and Chester Clay and could do what ever he pleased.

Dwight, Chester, and Lydia needed to go because they often protected their friends and often threw every one else to the wolves. AKA John Hopkins, Marian Michael Deans, and others.

Curtis Simmons and Jerome Parsee are not Saints but in comparison to a superintendent like Don Freeman they "walk on water."

Anonymous said...

"I am not saying the 1% (if this is the case) is not relevant, one again the point I am trying to make and it is not taking hold is the sensationalism that is being portrayed to justify the hunt. If we applied this same type of scrutiny to any State agency you will find 1% error".

Chuy- "the sensationalism...to justify the hunt"- Can you name something more important than sexually molested and abused children that would justify the hunt? How about the death of a child? Let's not forget those issues are still being looked at as well.
You are correct; if you applied that 1% to other state agencies you would find the same error rate. And, when that error rate has occurred that cost the lives of youth, puts them at risk of sexual abuse, etc, they made news too and huge agency changes and legislative input has happened (for example CPS). Throwing every state agency in this 1% error ratio would not be (in most cases) a fair comparison as most state agencies are not responsible for the direct care, lives and safety of children.
I agree with you that there should be absolute, eagle eye scrutiny on the elected officials who are making the changes right now. They are just as accountable as everyone else. They made the move to become part of this; they have the responsibility to make changes that actually address the issues. It is in their hands and on their shoulders to better the system and do it with procedures that are fundable, workable, legal, and progresses the agency in a direction that ensures this abuse either never happens again or at least never has a safe haven within it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry- forgot to sign that one (10:45)
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

Lydia Barnard is gone?

Anonymous said...

To 10:29-
Are you speaking on behalf of Curtis Simmons as to what he is or is not doing (stating he was trying to lay low and out of the line of fire)?
Unless you are Curtis Simmons or have his permission to speak of what he is doing, how about we let him speak for himself (should he so choose). Saying there are others out there worse than he is isn't exactly a shining defense.

You appear to have some pretty detailed information about Mr. Freeman and the Crockett facility that most would not know or have access to. I hope you have shared this with the current investigators.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

10:29 responds,

Pinpoint, it is not my desire to defend Curtis only to comment on observed behaviors. I have heard of rumors of misconduct but nothing I could ever substantiate. I have observed that when it comes to controversy he rather not stick his neck out and draw attention to himself. You can draw your own conclusions as to what this means.(I am not Curtis Simmons)

A correction, Lydia is not gone, but she is no longer over Juvenile Corrections. My opinion is that she should be fired as well. She took over the supervision of Crockett from Marie Murdock. I was told that Marie did not want Freeman to return so she was replaced.

Regarding whether or not I should let investigators know... the investigations should be available and a matter of record. At Crockett the problem was not the investigations, or the investigators involved, but how it was handled administratively afterward. Also, there has been at least one article by the Dallas Morning News on the subject. Just surprised that this has not been brought out further.

As my relationship with the agency goes, lets just say I have a love/ hate relationship. Many people, including myself, saw where TYC was heading once Dwight took over the agency. It really began when he took over as Assistant Executive Director. Dwight always seemed to care more about numbers how things appeared than reality.

I truly respect many of the hard working and dedicated people who work towards the best interests of the public and youth in their car at all levels of the agency. The problem really isn't the programs or structure but of poor management, retirement of administrators who remembered the sting of Morales vs. Turman and the subsequent sunset reviews and the importance of doing things the right way, underfunding, resulting in under-staffing and dangerous student/staff ratios, and poor design of facilities (i.e. student populations over 300 and open bay dorms). In addition, TYC loses many good and well qualified staff due to the good old boy bureaucracy that does not want managers/employees who will think and act ethically but will jump when they say jump, serving their own selfish ambitions.

Anonymous said...

Pinpoint, (10:29 again)

Just one more comment on a personal pet peeve of mine. I believe that it is wrong to characterize or think of the youth in TYC's care as children. Before you jump down my throat, let me explain. Many of the youth in TYC's care have committed very adult crimes and I have found that a person who characterizes the youth as children often tends to minimize and excuse youth for their behavior and see them as victims. They may have been a victim of previous crimes, poor socio-economic status, or myriad of issues which many of the youth face...however, in the majority of cases they have committed a crime and have victims of their own and are responsible for choices they make and should be held accountable.

Also, despite of the fact that they have committed a crime, I also believe it is a mistake to characterize them as criminals... my experience is that persons with this perspective tend to believe that it is his/her job to punish the youth in their care, often leading to abuse. I prefer the term student or youth because it is TYC's job to model appropriate behavior and mentor the youth/students in the agency's care. They should be held accountable for their behavior but never abused.

Also, regarding previous posts about the privatization of TYC. My experience has been that there have been many more cases of rampant abuse, neglect, and misconduct in privatized facilities. Coke County around year 2000-2001 comes to mind. I am not sure why anyone thinks privatizing social services is a good idea. In social services the persons being served should be the focus not the bottom line/margin.

Anonymous said...

To 10:29-
I refer to them as children because the law defines them that way until the age of 18. Even if it did not, a 10 year old is a child and TYC has many. I agree that an 18-21 year old is not a "child". I don't believe they should be in TYC at that age. Regrettably, they are. We all also know that a 16 year old can kill his parents just like a 40 year old can. Calling them children, youth, students, criminals or whatever else you want to label them does not change the fact they are there.
I do agree with you on all aspects that the "children" are to be held accountable for their acts. Crimes have to have punishments or consequences. I in no way want to hug the little necks of all of them and set them free. Some would most likely take the chance to cut mine if I did. However, I will also add that many there did not do serious crimes, just really annoying ones no one wanted to deal with within their communities (or did not have the resources). Labeling them a child, criminal, or any other name should not minimize their acts or their responsibilities to be accountable. What ever you or I call them, it does not take away the fact that TYC is an agency full of ADULTS. Adults responsible for the care and protection of the "children" within it. However, many of those adults chose not to do that. They knew right vs. wrong, what the laws are and looked the other way. The "children" were not protected by many of the "adults".

Regarding contract care or privatization of TYC, I have already stated my opinion on this in previous posts. There is good and bad in every option. I do not support one over the other, I only support the best option we have that does the best job with the best oversight, resources, etc.

I also have a "love/hate" feeling of TYC. I know TYC has good people, good programs and can do what it is intended to do. TYC could have an enormous positive impact on the youth and their communities if done right. The problem is knowing what it could be vs. knowing what has been in the way of that for countless years. The people who really want it to work right, to have the effect on the students it was meant to and do a good job have been held down. They have been prevented from rising to the top or driven out of the agency. Instead of the cream rising to the top, TYC got those who felt political ties and self perpetuation was a better goal. To do that they surrounded themselves with like minded others. They had to keep a few good ones here and there in non-authority type jobs so they could overhear or take their good ideas and make them their own. But, they did not allow them to actually be in any position that could challenge their personal agendas and goals. That is my opinion anyway.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

Pinpoint,

Hope I didn't come across as attacking. It was late and I was getting sleepy. My diatribe about children was more appropriately directed at those who appear to label the youth as innocent victims and villify staff indiscrimately. I believe that a balanced view should be taken and that how we frame our thoughts/beliefs structures our reactions and responses. So I meant the use of the word children in the figurative sense. It is unfortunate but most of these children have long lost their innocence.

I agree that some youth have been sent to TYC for annoying his/her communities, in some cases political reasons, or for other inappropriate causes...but counties have always been inconsistent with commitments to TYC, but largely many youth have been committed appropriately.

I agree with you whole heartedly how good staff have been treated and often all that is left is sour milk.

I suspect that we agree on far more than we differ.

I just hope that those currently in charge take cleaning up/out the agency slowly and seriously and don't do politically expedient changes for the sake of appearances (it is Dwight all over again) and throw the baby out with the bath water.

10:29

Anonymous said...

To 10:29/12:33

Regarding your statement that the investigations and information you stated at Crockett should be available and a matter of record-
The new investigators are not part of TYC's old system and do not know the workings and most of the past "underground" information. Unless they are told what to look for they don't know it's there. Some of the things you stated would not be in an investigative report, but are legitimate concerns none the less. It's just my opinion that they should be formal complaints, not just aired here where someone can later say "we didn't know".
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

I seem to be taking up a lot of blog space. I probably need to be quiet for a while and let others jump in with whatever is on their minds.
Back to work.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

To Whitsfoe-

What's going on at Marlin? You said you didn't want to mention names, but can you say what it's about?

Anonymous said...

My concern is all of this "finger pointing" should perhaps be pointed back at the ones pointing. While I agree that some of those with felons should not suffer these drastic consequences, I wonder if the fox that is barking the loudest perhaps has something he himself is hiding in the henhouse.

Anonymous said...

My two cents for what its worth. In an article found at mysa.com 4/10/2007 Mr. Jay says that he has suffered from survivor's guilt for the past 40 years due to the war and now his sense of purpose is to wreck all the lives he can at TYC. At 19 Jay how much wackie weed did you smoke to get away from all the killing. You should have gotten some help before now. You say you lay wounded for hours. Well maybe the man I love who was in the same war, at the same time you were and at the same location you were and who was a medic, well hell he may be the one that bandaged your sorry gut and help save your sorry ass. Now you might fire him for something that he did years ago just like you have done to some of the guys that served in the same war with you. How low can you go? Did you know that Mr. Jay is the man that rated out the Democrate House members that went to Okiehoma in 2003. Yep one in the same. He called the cops and the feds. He was director of homeland security at the time and seems money from there was diverted for this little event. Did you know that in 1997 when he was playing God at another state job that agency gave a private security guard license to a convicted felon who later killed a man at a bar where he worked. Maybe thats why he is out to get all felons. In 2006 he oversaw state agents who seized evidence from a federal court as part of a criminal investigation. Greg Abbott passed it off as "miscommunications." The federal judge accused the state of behavior bordering on the criminal. Boy what a leader... Owens even has more nonos than this guy. Oh well it's just lives that they are detroying.

Anonymous said...

SIGN: Opinions wanted, inquire within, only if you think the same as us.

NEW HEADLINE: Internal TYC staff dispute ends, widespread ethnic cleansing dominates.

FUTURE PREDICTION: resistance/insurgency imminent.

Dionne said...

Either people have no idea or those who find themselves involved with the juvenile “justice” system, and The Lubbock County Juvenile Justice Center more specifically, don’t understand their children do have some rights and there is recourse when they are violated.

My 10 year old boy had to experience these abuses first hand and he hadn’t even been charged with a crime. He was kept at the LCJJC for 10 days before we could get a hearing to get him out. During his time there my little boy was given a shot without our consent or notification. He was deprived of his “promised” 10 minute phone call allowed each Wednesday. Despite their claim ( on their website and handout) to be a safe and secure environment my son was hazed and tormented multiple times by the probation officers and guards.

The first night one guard took him out in front of all the older offenders and with a pair of electric clippers said he would be cutting Richards hair. When he began to cry the guard said “I always love hazing the new kids they always fall for it.” All the other kids laughed. The next day while my son was playing checkers the same guard told Richard to go to his pod and get on his knees with his hands against the wall for a drug search. Of course he did because he’s only 10 and believed he really was being checked. The guard came in , acted like he was patting my son down and then began laughing again. He told Richard that if he mentioned this to me, my wife, or his attorney that another 2 months would be added to his “sentence”. Luckily he chose to tell his mom regardless.

On 2 separate occasions, after not “clasping his hands properly behind his back” he was confined to his pod alone with the lights out and the door locked. One time he was left there for 2 hours, the other time 3 hours plus his bed was stripped and everything removed but his mattress. Apparently the employees don’t care that besides being a scared little child they were also violating the Texas Administrative Code (TAC 343.7 d) that specifically states a child may not be confined longer than 1 hour. They also failed to give us the legally required handout titled, “Texas Juvenile Probation Commission on abuse, neglect and exploitation of children and its grievance policy.”

Despite multiple complaints to Director Les Brown he did not do anything, but he did make the following comment to my wife, “OK, I’ll investigate this but you won’t like my findings.” This is hardly the level of objectivity that should be demanded from someone entrusted with the responsibility of investigating allegations of abuse by his staff. I would hope that LCJJC wouldn’t condone such behaviors and abuses but the sheer number of humiliations and hazing against just my child makes me suspicious.
I believe that this was not an isolated case, we just happen to be well educated and able to afford proper representation for our boy, Richard. Most kids (and by extension most parents) are ignorant of what remedies are available to them. Parents who complain are ignored since they obviously “cant fight city hall” and their kids suffer hazing by those in authority because what choice is there? Many are housed there for extremely long periods because their court appointed attorneys are too busy, uninterested or under funded. If they cause any disturbance or trouble they lose any remote activity that causes them pleasure. And you can forget about due process or innocent until proven guilty in juvenile justice. Those rights only apply to adults. The whole process is more frightening than a Steven King novel.

My hope is someone with conviction and tenacity will help us expose this travesty. Apathy will only ensure other less fortunate kids will continue to be mistreated and ignored. I contacted both my State Representative and State Senator who both seemed appalled. I hope you are too.

Thank you,
Dionne

Bronco said...

Dionne, have you actually witnessed this happening to your son? If you have not, then there is the possibility that he is lying to you. Of course he could be telling the truth too. One thing I do know, is that if an inmate, youth or child, goes into TYC and stays quiet and respectful to the officers, "Yes sir, no sir, etc." Then that inmate will not have any problems with the gaurds. The inmates that have problems with the gaurds are generally ones who won't be quiet, argue with the gaurds, curse at the gaurds, etc. Not that this is any excuse for a misbehaving gaurds, but it is also not an excuse for children either. Children need to know how to behave, if they did then they would not be in the system in the first place.

I have to agree with the comments made earlier in this post about the majority of problems being with administration. All of my problems did, and I worked with TYC for many years. I still remember my first day there. I went to the unit with the idea that I was going to role model for those boys and girls what it meant to be a man of integirty and character. After years of being lied upon by the inmates, fighting with inmates that hate you for no reason other than that you wear a plastic name-badge, putting up with administrators blaming the staff and officers for their problems, I became calloused. it was because of this callousness that I ended up leaving TYC. This was a hard move for me because I had worked my up through the ranks to be in a decently paid position. After leaving I had to start over completely. Now, almost three years later I still wake up in the middle of the night screaming, cursing, and fighting. My wife can not sleep next to me some nights, because I strike out in my sleep. I am suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and it has ruined my life. You guys who talk about TYC and its employees do not understand what its like to work there. I was constantly under investigation for allegations of abuse, but I never abused a child. Do you know what its like to have to face an investigator who automatically thinks you are guilty until proven innocent? One time I was accused and found guilty of refusing to give medical treatment to an inmate who was in the infirmary being treated by a nurse. other than basic first aid and CPR, I am not medically qualified to give someone medial treatment, and I had even driven the young man to the hospital. Can you imagine what that is like to constantly live in fear? Afraid that you will be attacked by an inmate and constantly having to watch your back? Afraid of making a decision which even if it is right will cost you your job because the administrators would rather hang one of their staff than face a possible unit wide investigation, even if the investigation shows the staff was correct in his actions. I went into TYC with the idea that I could help people. I came out cold and bitter. I worked with those youth for almost 8 years, and all I have to show for it is an injured shoulder and sleepless nights.

The real travesty is that neither side, the kids or the gaurds is being treated fairly. The administration is working hard to keep itself looking clean and good, and is trying hard to roll the "crap" downhill. The kids and the gaurds are both caught in the middle. I feel for them both.