Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sins of Commission

Two TYC-related updates:

Reporter Nate Blakeslee, who first broke the story of the alleged sex scandal at the Texas Youth Commission in the Texas Observer, has a feature on the topic in the May issue of Texas Monthly titled "Sins of Commission" - a free media preview of the story is available here. Good job, Nate!

And speaking of "sins of commission," state Rep. Harold Dutton, the Chairman of the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues, was arrested and charged with a DWI in Austin on Wednesday night. See the Houston Chronicle's coverage. Ironically, TYC has yet to determine whether employees who've committed similar offenses may continue to work there. Even before news of Dutton's arrest was made public, a Grits commenter sagely suggested:
I wonder how many of the legislators would be able to work in TYC with this new policy in place? They can run our government and our lives but may not even be able to work a picket in TYC?
Perhaps Dutton's legal dilemma will help convince legislators there are dangers in going further down this path.

57 comments:

Whitsfoe said...

I'll repost it here.....thanks Dutton, you may have just saved 400 jobs.

Om my God! On Dutton's arrest:

"State Rep. Senfronia Thompson said she was sad to learn the news.

"This is one of those things that happen in life, we're not perfect," Thompson said. "This is not going to hurt him in his district."

State Rep. Garnet Coleman said he knows Dutton is a responsible individual.

"Everybody makes errors," Coleman said. "Legislators are human, too."

Rep. Sylvester Turner said the incident was "unfortunate" but he thinks that Dutton's long service to his district will weigh in his favor. He said voters want their representatives "to be mindful of our behavior in every facet of our lives" but don't "expect perfect people."

MMMMkay.... now we have an issue. The pot has offically called the kettle black and it's time for war.

Anonymous said...

That is an absolutely awesome article. Thank you for posting it Grits.

I just wanted to mention that I heard the volunteer who broke the information to the Texas Rangers was arrested because he had warrants. I don't know what for or what his personal criminal history is (if any). I wonder if this would disqualify him from ever being able to volunteer at TYC again. Can you imagine if it does? Can you imagine where those students would still be today had he not been there? Can you imagine the abuse that would have continued had this volunteer (arrested or not, criminal himself or not) had not had the conscious and courage to take it to the Texas Rangers? Thank God for him. I certainly hope the new administration in charge and the legislators consider this- that it may have been a "criminal" that was the only one strong enough, bold enough and fearless enough to do the right thing. I would rather work side by side with this criminal than the one who writes legislation and then gets drunk, gets behind the wheel and risks lives. Mr. Kimbrough, Mr. Owens and Legislators- before you take the axe to the heads of all "criminals" employed and volunteering within TYC, at least take a moment to think. Without that volunteer, you wouldn't be where you are right now doing what you are doing. People are not bees or ants and do not act in mass. Each has a mind, a conscious and deserves individual consideration. By the way, will that West Texas Volunteer get the TYC's Volunteer of the Year Award or will he just be denied access to any TYC campus now?
Just curious.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

By the way Grits, I posted the comment you quoted (that was before some of us decided to start signing off on our posts).

Had I known a legislator was about to be arrested and add validity to the whole comment- I would have sent him a TYC job application so HR could stamp "unemployable, denied" on it and hang it on their wall.

I'm still questioning why no one has come forward in checking Mr. Kimbrough or Mr. Owen's criminal histories. Not only them, but of every person they have brought with them or have hired. If they want to be seen as credible, they should stand under the same scrutiny. That is what separated the Administration from the rest of the employees before (they were above the law and polices that everyone else was expected to follow). If they are truly revamping the agency to the right path, they need to start establishing new beliefs about administrators and lead by example. They should volunteer to have their histories checked and posted if necessary. Mr. Kimbrough and Mr. Owens, if you want people to buy into your plan and have any faith in what you are doing, then stop the appearance that you are above the law or policies. Be a part of the process rather than a fly-by-night, at arm's length, ghostly qualified orchestrator of it.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

Hi all, just posting this for everyone's benefit.

I have some information -- if you are presented with a letter, asking you to resign or be terminated, TAKE the termination and file a grievance -- don't resign under pressure. File an open records act for any and all information pertaining to your supposed wrongdoing...believe me, they are so clustered over there, and so many people are doing this, that is a nightmare and they're screwing things up right and left.

Allegedly Kimbrough was advised by numerous attorneys not to do all of this but he allegedly stated that since it was in the papers he was going to do it...

This isnt legal advice but if you ask any lawyer, they'll tell you that's what you should do because TYC is a 'with cause' agency.

"Chuy" said...

I can only pray that Governor Perry and our elected officials would finally step in and stop this train wreck. You have wiped out nearly all of the leadership in Austin, but you have no plan, but headlines. You have allowed officials from TDCJ to act as our Executive, but he has a past of covering up sexual misdeeds while with TDCJ and the State had to settle a lawsuit. You have allowed our IG to become appointed rather than interviewed for his position. You have allowed "Drunks" (Dutton) to have a vote about if TYC should allow Felons or Class A & B misdemeanors to work for a State agency, a job he would not be qualified for. But, if you read the headlines he is human and makes mistakes, where is this reasoning when we refer to TYC or TDCJ? Hire an Executive and lets move away from these rent a cops, dont wait until the ed of the session.

Whitsfoe said...

Once again, I call for both chambers of the House and Senate and the Governors office (and all staff aides) to submit to a comprehensive and extensive criminal background check to include all arrests and/or convictions from birth to present. We have a right to know. Let’s start with the Houston cue ball Whitmire…..

Anonymous said...

I emailed all of the House and Senate the following email:

Please review the below quote related to Jay Kimbrough firing TYC employees with felony records who were hired under past TYC policy then terminated without cause.
“Kimbrough had temporarily suspended the terminations last week as he waited for guidance from lawmakers. Some had questioned whether the terminations should be limited to only the most severe charges or whether Kimbrough should exempt workers who had been convicted years ago.
Ultimately, the lawmakers let Kimbrough fire all of them.” Quote from the Austin American Statesman 04-19-2007


I would like to know if you are one of the law makers who let Mr. Jay Kimbrough fire all of the employees at TYC with felony records. It seems some of you had concerns about the mass firing without consideration of time since the conviction, level of offense, age at the time of conviction, and evidence of rehabilitation. Also I would like to know your position on Human Resources Code 61.035 relating to TYC employees being fired for cause only, which would make Mr. Kimbrough’s actions unlawful.

Please supply your stance on this matter by return email. I appreciate you time and consideration.


Yours truly,
Anthony Mikulastik


I may not receive many replies but I bet Mr. Kimbrough gets more than a few phone calls!

Whitsfoe said...

Rock on Anthony...rock on. I think we need to launch Operation May Day. Pick a day in May and let's descend on the capitol to protest this bullshit. Let's all color our fingertips black as if we were just finger printed. Maybe we could get a Jay Kimbrough look alike and heckle the hell out of him. I'm ready. I think we've had enough and the only way we're going to be heard is to launch a march right on the steps of the capital. I bet those 400 employees in addition to the terminated prior felonies and those who were dismissed without cause (executive council) would be there. What do you say fellas.... you ready to rally? Balls to the walls fellas, lets get organized.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with big, bad WTSS. Mark Steward calls this a big lockup - hell the facility is only budgeted for 240 kids, but in Missouri I guess that's large considering the whole state could fit in Texas three times at least. Well folks, the Missouri model is not Camelot, although some people would like us to think that...I have a family member who was in and out of trouble in the Springfield, MO area. This young woman is what we in TYC would refer to as a 'chronic offender' with mulitiple trips before her local county judge for burglarly, forgery, truancy and drug use. Her parents were basically told the state of MO was more interested in putting her on probation and collecting her probation money than committing her to DYS. Her parents were begging for help but could get nowhere with the courts. Thankfully she has since made some drastic changes in her life and is now headed in the right direction. I called her today and asked her to provide me with a written, detailed description of her trip through the 'Missouri model' (DYS) and she said she would be glad to share her experience. I will pass it along as soon as I receive it...in the meantime you all might find the following link interesting - it sounds almost too good to be true, but bottom line is, how much money is OUR legislature willing to spend to revamp TYC, because it's gonna cost some bucks to copy the 'Missouri model'. (note - check out the STRIKING similarities to Resocialization) http://www.connectforkids.org/node/3381

Anonymous said...

Resocialization is straight up cognitive behavioral therapy in a TYC package. Getting rid resocialization is not going to solve problems but won't be the end of the world, as long as there is some type of rehabilitation program that based on some sound psychological/counseling theory. My guess, and only a guess, since Linda Reyes, Don Brantley, and Corinne Sanders were some of the originators of resocialization, this may be why they want to sweep the program out with the people. I did always feel that the most important part of resocialization which was was establishing a positive and safe peer culture was often neglected since it had its roots in another program.

Change can be painful but it may be better to go with the flow of the change rather than fight it and get swept up in the tide... after all, by trying to work with the "new" people you might be able to influence and be a positive force.
You catch more flies with honey...or people tend to adopt or assimilate ideas when they are being told how wrong or stupid their ideas may be...

Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

post 5:03

correction

You catch more flies with honey...or people tend to adopt or assimilate ideas when they are NOT being told how wrong or stupid their ideas may be...

Just a thought...

Sorry trying to type and hold a conversation at the same time...never good at multi-tasking.

Intergrity Counts said...

I am not opposed to change; I am opposed to being portrayed as stupid and not knowing what I am doing. I am opposed to the quick changes that are not well thought out because we are already feeling the ramifications in the field. The reorganizing of duties is not a bad idea, but when you do it and then make the rules instead of thinking through it 1st, it causes confusion. We don't have enough staff as it is and now we have to work at just trying to communicate. This takes more time away from our mission - the kids. Go ahead, make change, but please take into account that most of us do not work in Austin and we have ideas too. They may say we are stupid, but I have been doing this 17 years, I have worked hard to establish safe treatment programs w/o the funding and w/o the support of the lege. It took a lot of creativity and leadership. I have been dedicated to helping these kids and developing quality staff. I shouldn't have to fear for my job. I agree, you get more flies with honey. You also attract them with bullshix. I am tired of the bullshix and ready for some honey in both directions. I can get on board with reform, but I cannot support the Machiavellian techniques that they are using to rally the troops. I can keep my mouth shut and get along, but I need my job and I need it to stay where it is. The fear and uncertaity is an enourmouse stress that at some point is going to cause even the good staff to become diasgruntled and go out on extended leave. There has to be someone at the executive administration that recognizes this and is willing to admit that the time for bashing is over and the time for program development in starting. You cannot coerce people into creativity and system reform. It takes freedom of choice and good leadership. Now is the time to start that. We can only take so much.

Anonymous said...

Operation May Day:

I'm not worried at all about the "new people." I don't sweat them at all.

This "Pope" lady seems to be a progressive thinker. I know some are upset that their chiefs were let go, but when she revealed that she asked these chiefs to "bring me your people and let me hear from them," I was taken back. I never heard this before.

So what exactly did they not want her to hear? Possibly that we were not being heard? Maybe the fact that some of us actually reported this shit to begin with? Maybe there is some truth to what the field is saying??

Let’s listen to the field beyond the administration. Let’s interview more employees. Let’s be present, face-to-face to hear them. Let’s be more visible and make our presence known, and that we do care and recognize that differences are inevitable in the work place... but let's encourage those differences in an effort to avoid "group think." But by all means, let us all be the professionals we are in doing so.

Nonetheless, let's recognize the fact that people are people and need to be treated the same regardless of what position or power you hold. Let's treat Dutton in the same manner you would treat a JCO, Teacher, Caseworker, Deputy Executive Director, the same.

Only then will you achieve harmony….. but until then...... I say we march.

Anonymous said...

. Let’s start with the Houston cue ball Whitmire…..

I heard some super interesting allegations re: Whitmire today. Unfortunately, because of confidentiality reasons I can't say what it is -- but, if y'all want to dig, and I give some hints, that isn't breaking confidence right?

I'd look back at Whitmire's record as city-councilman in Houston...begin there. If I receive the go-ahead to talk, I'll post it here first. The info came via a reporter so I'm not *entirely* sure its true, but if it is -- wow.

Whitsfoe said...

Go - give up the link, and we'll research it... we'll figure it out, just give us the link. I'd love nothing more than to add to the case....

Anonymous said...

I can't find anything saying Whitmire was ever on the Houston City Council. He is the former brother in law of former Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire, though. I did, however, find this post on another blog:

"Most individuals cannot afford the high price of NFL tickets. A cheap seat at Reliant stadium for the Houston Texans is about $70 not including parking, but that's a small price to pay especially when you can use your campaign contributions to do it.
Senator Whitmire (D-Houston) has over $3Million in his account according the Texas Ethics Commission with little if any signs of running a campaign. This opens the opportunity to entertain his constituents to a season of sporting events.

Over the last 5 years Senator Whitmire entertained his constituents with over $51,520.00 in season tickets to the Houston Texans, at $10,350 a year. He also spent over $10,000 on Houston Astros season tickets in 2006 and a total of $70,711.00 over the last 5 years. He also purchased Houston Rockets tickets for $16,280.00 in 2006 for constituent entertainment.

It must be nice to be a constituent in Senator Whitmire's district!"

Anonymous said...

anonymous up there^ said: Go ahead, make change, but please take into account that most of us do not work in Austin and we have ideas too...I have been doing this 17 years, I have worked hard to establish safe treatment programs w/o the funding and w/o the support of the lege. It took a lot of creativity and leadership. I have been dedicated to helping these kids and developing quality staff.

According to Ms. Pope...this is why the folks this week were let go: she TOLD them, more than once, to bring the people just like you to the table. And for whatever reason, they didn't.

You know, it's a little bit weird, actually. For some reasons, when they said 'GO - DO THIS, and DO IT NOW'...it really honest to god looks like the only divisions that followed those instructions were the support divisions. But the core of your agency, the operational areas of corrections and rehab? Apparently just dug their heels in, crossed their arms, and said 'can't make me!'

I honestly wonder why that is...maybe support divisions, by their nature, are more used to having to respond to the other areas, so they are better at reaction? Hmm.

Dr. Brantley's departure is still very saddening - he was a very smart and good man. I guess he was just too invested himself. Unfortunate :(

Anonymous said...

Whitmire is a prick with a Napoleon complex.

Anonymous said...

Thank you @ 7:49... we will consider this as an alleged offical misconduct investigation and will report accordingly...

Anonymous said...

Grits- you could probably help all of us out by finding out how, even though the Governor made him a "Conservertor" Mr. Kimbrough or any of his associates can fire TYC employees when we are not "AT WILL". What powers does tis title imply? Does it allow a person to break the law and do practically anything they choose? Your praises would be raised to the highest ceiling if you could answer these questions, most of us are still employed with TYC (this could change soon) and we cannot rock the boat. Call it what you like but with a family, mortgage, and a dog, we cant take the chance. I believe we all understand the gross misconduct the legislators used in regards to the West Texas State School, but how far reaching can they take this??

Whitsfoe said...

That's 7:39... and I'll expose his ass from here.... thank you and please share more...

Bozo said...

I may be in the minority opinion here, but I'm kind of excited about having the opportunity to really look at and change some of the sacred cows of TYC.

I know there are lots of us who have looked at policies, procedures, practices, or programs and thought, "There are 15 better ways to do that."

Well, folks, it's time to put up or shut up. For the first time in a long long LONG time, it really seems that the leadership at the agency is open to new ideas.

It is a little scary -- I mean, if any bozo comes up with an idea, it has a chance of moving forward -- but at the same time, I'm excited about the possibilities.

I'm still very sad about losing so many good and committed people in ways that seem to make no sense at all, but I also understand that some of those people (although there are exceptions) were quite invested in doing things a certain way and were not going to be truly effective change agents.

Given all of that, I've been spending quite a bit of time thinking about what works, what doesn't, and compiling a list of the changes I think would improve the system to benefit the kids we serve.

I don't know if it'll do any good, but at least I will have given it my best shot.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure what evidence there is that anyone is doing anything to try to really change anything except that which will save their ass.

I keep hearing about "great reform." What great reform? Isn't most of this stuff standard practice in other states and hasn't central office asked for most of this stuff over the past few years while George and Rick tripled the size of the agency and then cut the budget?

All this is a joke. THe legislature, and the governor, have effectively kept attention from the fact they have routinely declined Central Offices requests for additional funding and ignored, themselves, the abuse going on at WTSS.

Throwing out the resocialization program will be a mistake. It never had a chance. No treatment program can be effective when facilities are understaffed and the staff are only expected to have a G.E.D. How in the hell do you expect to help any of these kids when they are in facilities being raped or so violent the Feds declare them unconstitutional. Come on.

Good people, visionary people, people who not so long ago had this agency viewed as one of the most innovative in the counry, were forced out last week by people who have ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH JUVENILES AND HAVE NO BUSINESS IN TYC.

So the legislature is going to pass a bill which will require a 12=1 staffing ration. That is great and seriously needed, however, where are they going to get the staff to do this. These facilities are extremely understaffed as it is. How are they going to add staff? Honestly i think they know that they can;t and are looking down the road two years to say see, we tried to make these changes but this goddamn agency is so corrupt we can't change it.

Honestly that may not be a bad idea but i wish people would just speak the truth. I am tired of the politics. Fix this thing. Get rid of these TDCJ henchpeople and get Kimbrough out and bring in some people, since you got rid of everyone who had a clue, who actually know what they are doing so we can all get back to doing our jobs and not be constantly checking our email and looking at grits to see what the hell is going on. I know that last sentence runs on and on i just couldn't stop.

enough for now.

Anonymous said...

A blog with some of Whitmire's indiscretions:

http://www.houstonpress.com/2003-09-11/news/return-of-the-boogie-man/

Another visitation by the troublemaking inner child several years later led to Whitmire's divorce from his heiress wife, Becky, and his return to the singles circuit.

I believe one can read between the line there (I read it as an affair)

Anonymous said...

This is in the Dallas Morning news-
Let the info flow!

A huge issue for this year's Legislature may be the Texas Youth Commission scandal, but lawmakers are oddly at odds with a proposal to encourage the free flow of information. Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston is carrying a bill (SB 966) to give journalists a qualified privilege to protect sources and materials – just the type of cover that could help expose TYC scandals of the future. But a minority of senators banded together to block a vote on the bill. Sens. Kim Brimer, Bob Deuell, Chris Harris, Jane Nelson and Florence Shapiro are on the wrong side of this one. Here's hoping Mr. Ellis can change enough minds to get a fair shot at a vote.

I wonder why these Senators don't want this.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you this "witch hunt" is getting out of hand. The firing of Dr. Brantley is a good example. Its ridiculous. Quite frankly as this juncture all TYC staff are terrified, demoralized, and directionless. This situation grows gravely worse each passing moment. The agency is now reduced to that of body without a head, communication completely severed to the field, and the milieu becomes less safe or staff and youth at each passing moment.

Anonymous said...

None of this will matter if substitute HB 2884 passes (oddly enough, authored by Dutton). All facilities housing more that 100 kids will be turned over to TDCJ for TDCJ to do what it wants with the facilities. Kids cannot be committed to a facility housing more than 100. Check out the fiscal notes and other goodies..Sounds like going all contract facilities in large towns.

Anonymous said...

Word just reached one of the people at the Marlin TYC unit their administrative leave was being extended for another month before they are fired due to their felony record.

This employee contested the termination within the 3 day period.

Not sure what is happening here. It could be any of several reasons.

Anyone in Central Office know what is going on with the extension of admin leave?

Anonymous said...

Could it be that the new TYC "administration" reads Grits and saw the irony that Mr. Dutton could not be employed at the agency if they keep up what they are doing? After all, he may need a job soon. Or, maybe they saw the outrage from people who have made very valid points? OR maybe they just realized there's not enough money in the bank to pay out all of the lawsuits coming. Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of lawsuits, you ought to see this... they have commandeered an entire conference room to go through all these tort claims. This place is insane.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"All these"? 10, 100, 500? How many are we talking about? And are you referencing claims by kids, by fired employees, or both?

Sounds like Nate Blakeslee or a Dallas News reporter needs run a PACER check for federal litigation, then take a tour of the county courthouses where the facilities are to check for lawsuits. I'd do it myself if I had a travel budget.

Anonymous said...

Please post or send info on law suite to Grits. I just talked to an CBS TV station and they will run with the story if they can have back ground info and be pointed in the right direction.

Grits question on source and number of suites is important. Youth, employees, or both.

Anonymous said...

Remember when the agency asked for workers to volunteer any past law issues? Well they are suspending pending termination workers with felonies on their juvenile records. Some of these are over 25 years old and most volunteered this information.....

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of the actual numbers, but I've been seeing attorney from the outside coming in left and right. It's a complete zoo folks......

Kimbrough was here today, threatening to fire everyone again. The guy is just nuts. This is a PTSD gone untreated. We had a kid that went to the ER over the weekend because he ate a light bulb. A notification was sent out of a serious incident. Someone forgot to copy Kimbrough. He said if it ever happens again, he will be sending some staff to the ER. Now hows that not a threat?

Anonymous said...

If any of you know the guy in the article below (Jerome Williams- Central Office employee), you won't be surprised to see his next step in trying to become "Ruler of the World". He has announced over and over again to anyone who will listen or may happen to be stuck in the bathroom stall next to him that he's going to be "running TYC one day". This must be his next step in gaining political ties and connections to make that happen. Seems to have worked for everyone else. If you've never had the pleasure of meeting Jerome Williams- being humble is not in his abilities. Please vote for him for a city of Manor position so maybe his ego will be satiated for a little while and get him out of TYC for the good of the agency. I like his quote below:
"Jerome Keith Williams said he should be elected mayor because Manor has a leadership vacuum keeping it from its full potential". Is he talking about the city of Manor or his knowledge and participation of how TYC has been led?

By Marty Toohey
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Monday, April 23, 2007
On May 12, Manor voters will choose an entire City Council, which will be entrusted with navigating a population surge that could bring a new vibrancy or bland sprawl.
The mayorship and four of the five seats are up for election. Thirteen people are seeking those positions. Depending on who wins, the city's fifth council position could also come open.
Every seat is in play.
The candidates agree, at least generally, on what the city should do: Bring in more businesses. Generate more tax dollars. Use that money to enhance the city, particularly the shabby downtown, which they say should become a cultural bridge between "old Manor" and the new subdivisions on the other side of U.S. 290.
Three sitting council members say their experience makes them best able to transform that vision into a reality. The challengers say that new ideas are needed to keep growth from obliterating the small-town charm that everyone wants to preserve.
If there has been a city election in Manor with this many candidates, it's been a long, long time. The number of available seats is the result of an unusual confluence of activity:

Jerome Keith Williams said he should be elected mayor because Manor has a leadership vacuum keeping it from its full potential.
"Manor is like a phoenix, that mythical Egyptian bird that died and was reborn," he said.
Williams, a Texas Youth Commission corrections specialist who moved from Austin two years ago, said he is the candidate who will work best with businesses and other governments. "I envision our downtown looking like a Salado or Fredericksburg," he said, "with the other parts looking like Austin."
Jerome Keith Williams
Age: 50
Occupation: Texas Youth Commission juvenile corrections specialist
Education: Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Chicago
Worth noting: On the Planning and Zoning Commission and a committee drafting Manor's new charter; president of the Greenbury Village Homeowners Association
Position statement: 'My goal is the restoration and preservation of our small-town charm.

Anonymous said...

§ 22.07. TERRORISTIC THREAT. (a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:

(2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;

(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense:

(2) is committed against a public servant.


Considering the above post Mr. Jay Kimbrough has committed a serious crime against one or more people who are public servants which constitutes one or more counts of Terroristic Threat a Class A misdemeanor. Jay Kimbrough should step down immediately. One or more of the people that were threatened by Mr. Kimbrough should contact local law enforcement and press charges. It would appear Mr. Kimbrough could be a danger to others. It is hard to believe the head of a state agency would resort to threats of violence against state employees for something as trivial as being left off of an email CC. This a person who is supposed to protect the TYC children from violence, yet his first reaction is to threaten violence against other human beings! How can he be trusted?

Anonymous said...

Some of you in Austin really should write all this down. After all is said and done..this before and after scandal smells like a book and a consulting job on how not to run a state system

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell us what is going to happen to all the JCO's, caseworkers, teachers, etc to the 13 large TYC facilities if one of these bills makes it through that states that since they are designed to hold more than 100 juveniles, they will be turned over to TDCJ to do with as they want and all employees will have to reapply for their jobs by September 01, 2008? This language seems to be jumping from one bill to another so it seems likely it will come to pass. What will happen to all those good employees? Will TDCJ begin running juvenile facilities too and what would be the education system that would be used?

Anonymous said...

SB 108 will join the Houses version and you can bet that's a done deal.

We are documenting all of this...

Dutton wrote the bill to transfer all 100 plus beds to TDCJ, and then he sobered up at the Travis County "bed and breakfast," so his bill will die because he was boozed when he wrote it. That just won't happen.

Whitmire needs the same therapy Kimbrough needs. We'll be sending referrals to the Houston MHMR out patient centers on them both.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Kimbrough did in fact threaten people at Central Office he needs to be reported to local police. Talk about work place violence, Mr. Kimbrough fits the profile we were trained on in annual training. Mr. Kimbrough is a war vet who was seriously injured in battle and may be suffering from PTSD. He could be a very real danger if put in a very stressful situation for an extended period of time. On a positive note if he does pull a gun at Central Office he will not get to kill too many employees with all the law men in the building.

whitsfoe said...

On the Jerome Williams comment above and his ambition to become a mayor of a very small town.... people, I plead with you not to defame current employees of the commission. This just doesn't settle too well with me. Let’s debate those making decisions regarding us and not use this forum as a means to attack one another. We need to band together and ready ourselves for reform. Going at each other like that takes away from the real issues. So please no more Curtis Simmons or other superintendents, or some JC programmer who wants to be a mayor. So what. Focus on the ones who are deciding our fate.... outside visitors and the ledge.... thank you...

Whitsfoe said...

Oh and by the way grits, that article in Texas Monthly is pretty damn accurate and really woke me up to why this agency needs a complete overhaul. It does... it really does. I say lets burn the GAP policies and rewrite all of them.

Anonymous said...

this is about a body count, what better facilitator than an ex vietnam veteran. This is about insulating the Governor and politics, not about children. The folks hired to be the death squad must infiltrate and exterminate as deep as the legislature and the Governor deem necessary to create a personna of "new". This is as real as any "hostile" takeover in the private sector. I wouldn't be fooled by offers of free thinking and bringing folks to the table, as its more like bringing sheep to the slaughter. One ex-felon let go in this modern day salem was a grounds keeper with a 40 year felony who was 64 years old, his wife died shortly after he was issued the expedited termination. Talk about civilian casualties, it doesn't get any realer than that. the media needs to focus on the abuse of employees, the disconnection with the field, and reality of false reports and unsubstantiated claims of abuse that the AG, TDCJ, and Texas finest are dealing with at the training schools.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to agree with that as well...

Anonymous said...

Whatever Whitsfoe! You come on here and blast Whitmire and who ever else you want but if someone else has a beef with another person they aren't allowed? They can say what ever they damn well please. I know the guy and they were right on with what they said about him. If you don't think he's been part of all this cover up and crap that made the agency explode in the first place then you don't know what you are talking about. He's neck deep in it. So as far as I'm concerned, anyone has the right to say what they want about him, or Simmons or anyone else. You do so everyone else can too.

Anonymous said...

I agree that people should say what they think...but Whitmire is an elected official. So is Perry. Far as I'm concerned, that's a totally different animal than some random employee.

And also, this? "I say lets burn the GAP policies and rewrite all of them."

Nail, meet head.

Anonymous said...

He's only a "random" employee to those who don't know him. Obviously there are people that do know him or work with him and feel he is part of the problem that led to TYC's downfall. Why shouldn't they be allowed to vent their frustration that he is still around when others that they felt were good for TYC were fired? There is still a lot of injustice happening within TYC to see, not just on the outside from the elected officials.

Anonymous said...

No kidding. They fire Dr. Brantley but Lydia Barnard is still being paid? What's with that? She's named right in the cover up chain that led to all of this but she's still here. Go figure.

Whitsfoe said...

At 9:09, you are a part of the problem and not the solution. Go forth and slander as we shall ignore you for what you are worth, absolutely nothing. No solutions whatsoever. Now we'll all ignore you. Your antics are as cheap as they come. This forum is on the elected officials, not the little wannabe trouble makers like you, always stirring the shit.
You live in it, thus you must it. Shit. Yes I believe so....

Anonymous said...

I don't know who 9:09 is Whitsfoe, but if you meant 9:06- I'm not going to ignore him/her so please don't speak for me by saying "we will ignore you". You consider what he/she said slander when you say some pretty ugly things about Senator Whitmire? Is that not slander as well? Just because you might be mad he/she came back at you doesn't mean they don't have a right to voice their opinions just like you do. The person you dislike just happens to be a Senator. And, this post wasn't just about elected officials as you state- it started as Scott's posting of the new Texas Monthly article recapping/discussing the entire TYC cover up and process. 9:06's expressing his/her dislikes of someone is "stirring shit"? What are your expressions against Whitmire? You tell him/her they are nothing but a trouble maker with no solutions- what is your solution other than to get Whitmire? You both have a right to your opinions and you both have expressed them. Just because one is a Senator and one is a TYC Central Office employee doesn't make one more valid than the other. I want to hear 9:06 just as much as I want to hear your opinion.
Pinpoint

Anonymous said...

By the way Whitsfoe- You posted a couple of days ago that something "big" was about to happen at the Marlin facility. What happened? Is it still "brewing" or did it turn out to be nothing?
Pinpoint

Integrity Counts said...

There is plenty of blame to go around. Sure, blame the elected officials that under funded us for a decade. It is obvious in the style of dorms they funded in our growth period, the fact that when they built those dorms they staffed them with ½ the number of supervisors and 1/3 fewer staff than our older programs, the condition of vehicles that we have to maintain (we only rotate vehicles every 20 years), the CW to student ratio in general population, the fact that some of the facilities take youth to UTMB for appointments and are on the road for 13+ hours, the entire concept of lapse, the refusal to hear our pleas to increase our staffing and refurbish our buildings, the list goes on and on…..

There is plenty of blame inside our structure with people that have no integrity, which used the system for their own personal gain, aligning themselves to save their own butts, and most completely forgot what brought them to this field in the 1st place. Most everyone wanted to work with kids and help them learn the skills they needed to be successful. I remember the 1st day I started on the floor with the kids; it was so hard but so rewarding. I remember working for some great people and I remember making choices to move on and not work for people that didn’t appear to be in it for the right reasons. We all know people like that in our organization.

Unfortunately, our executive administration did not find a way (or want a way) to deal with these issues and combat them. It appeared as if they were being ignored. When the management technique of “don’t ask don’t tell” is utilized, you get what we have today. There are people in our agency that needed to be removed to ever influence change. The problem is with the approach that was taken to complete the mission. The grandstanding was political, the assignments of the governor’s buddies was self-promoting, and the chopping the head off has become ineffective due to taking out good people along with the bad. We lost the public’s trust, but more importantly we have lost each other and the reason why we got into this field in the 1st place.

This will pass, we will pick up the pieces, but we will never be the same. Some things will be better, but the lack of trust will prevail for decades both internally and externally. I’m just ready to stop all the drama and get back to what we are here for. I know how to work with kids, I know how to develop staff, I know how to run a good program, but I can’t do anything until everyone above me refocuses on our mission. So for now, I will do all I can to help the staff and kids in our care to get through this time and attempt to encourage them that we are still here to be better today than we were yesterday. We may not know where we will be tomorrow, but we all have a choice in what we are going to do today to make an impact. As I read all the posts each day, I find some comfort in the commonality of everyone’s emotions, but at this point, I just want it to all be over and get back to the game.

Anonymous said...

to 'integrity' -
AMEN! I don't think anyone could have expressed it better...with all that is going on, nothing changes the fact that we have to carry on with our mission to do the best we can to help the youth in our care...in the grand scheme of things, there may not be much we in the field can do about what is happening in Austin. But what we can do is continue to help the youth and do the best job we can for our facilities and agency (such as it is). The turmoil in Central Office does not/will not change the potential we all have to make a significant difference in the lives of the youth in our care. God Bless us all and may his hand touch everything we do:)

Whitsfoe said...

Sorry to just now be responding pinpoint.... but yeah it's still brewing but I think they are getting close... I keep hearing about it.

Say, how are you people at Marlin taking to the thought of possibly moving to Mart? Is everyone good with that or what? What are they saying out there?

Anonymous said...

I was at Hamilton when the closed it. You had management directed choices on where you went. In the end you just want a job. Working at Marlin and Mart is comparing and apple to an orange. However, I'd bet dollars to everyones donuts if and when this occurs the Marlin employees will fell more at home than the Mart people because the assessment function will move with them.

Anonymous said...

you can bet the transition (MOAU, Shero, WTSS) will becoming soon. The population at Marlin has been cut almost in half and Shero and WTSS are both on Moratoriums (not taking new intake). They will be a distant memory by September 07

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