Sunday, May 27, 2007

Adios, Jay Kimbrough! Ed Owens Now TYC Czar

Apparently having done all the damage he can do in the short term, Texas Youth Commission conservator Jay Kimbrough has been named deputy chancellor of Texas A&M, where he'll be the number two man under another former top aide to Gov. Rick Perry, Dr. Mike McKinney (who happens to have been my boss years ago at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission).

Kimbrough's departure leaves former TDCJ #2 man Ed Owens Czar of the TYC system for the next two years. I've already explained why I don't think he's a good choice, but it may surprise readers to learn that the Governor did not solicit my opinion before Mr. Owens' elevation to czar status.

Owens' wife, Rissie is also a Perry appointee - she chairs the state's Board of Pardons and Parole, which places an inordinate amount of authority over the state's corrections system in the hands of this little known power couple.

TYC seems to have fallen off the media radar screen for now, but I hope it continues to receive the level of scrutiny afforded it at the height of session, and that the same spotlight is shone on similar problems at TDCJ (the state settled a lawsuit last year, e.g., that alleged Mr. Owens covered up sexual harassment charges against a high level employee at that agency).

Plenty of TYC employees read this blog, so let me know in the comments what you think of Kimbrough's tenure at TYC - what he did right and what he did wrong - and what you think are the prospects for the agency under Ed Owens' leadership?

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I personally think its a case of the fox guarding the hen house. I am glad to see Kimbrough gone he has done enough damage to TYC. This all started over something involving only a few individuals and because of those bad people numerous lives have been destroyed. While i am in favor of changing the system to provide better services only time will tell what impact letting so many juvenile offenders out at once with little or no treatment will have on the state. while i am glad to see the Resocilization program go (it as only a good system on paper it never worked) it seams to me we have done a grave injustice to both the youth and people of the state of texas. ktf

Anonymous said...

Change? What change at TYC? You mean the appointment of one sexually covering up figure head for another? Oh, were we supposed to notice that? I thought it was just business as usual, sorry.
Did you mean the change of concealing the findings to all the youth investigation instead of having them available through open records like they were? Change? What's different really? Before they just changed the findings to what they wanted them to look like, so what's the difference between that and not being able to see them at all? Sounds like the ususal TYC routine to me.
Change? You mean stopping the retaliation and fear tactics used on employees? What change? Hundreds of employees who had nothing to do with anything were just fired and the rest don't know from one day to the next if they'll have a job. Change? Again, sounds like business as usual to me.
Did you mean the change of making things better and safer for the youth by separating ages, offenders, sexes and revamping their dress code? Oh, sorry. I was thinking back to the time when we already tried all that and it failed- over and over and over again. Sorry, I thought you meant something new.
Gee Grits, I don't know what you are talking about. What change in TYC?

Anonymous said...

What did Kimbrough do right?

He did a great job being an egotistical, power tripping, cover his butt at all cost, henchman for the Govenor. He did an over the top job of making sure that it did not get out that his buddy Rick Perry knew about the WTSS scandal. He was quick to turn the WTSS incident into an Agency wide coverup and declare Agency wide abuse of youth for his own gain and notoriety. He was outstanding at quickly identifying and falsely accusing long time experienced Juvenile Corrections professionals with the problems at TYC and ousting them with little or no evidence to show they did anything wrong other than follow Agency policy. He got the "dream reform" approved, but this will still fail to improve the biggest problem facing TYC, staff turnover.

There are a dozen or so other things he did that were self serving and will have a lasting effect on TYC that is now more screwed up than ever. Texas A&M, good luck, you are getting a proven winner, an another example of how one of your most famous alums has once again screwed the Aggies. From one die hard Republican Aggie to the rest of ya'll in Aggieland, send reinforcements to the Corps, hunker down, and be on around the clock guard duty because the more power that Kimbrough gets at TAMU, the more ya'll will have hell to pay.

How about Ed?

He will be a breath of fresh air compared to Kimbrough, if indeed he is the new TYC Commish. Everybody knows that he plans to sit for the next two years and draw a fat paycheck and do very little. Everybody in Central Office also knows he was considering retiring in August, but we are all betting that his wife twisted his arm into staying on as the head of the Agency so she can exploit his new position for her own gain.

Good luck TYC and TAMU, hope ya'll survive after having these two in leadership positions.

Anonymous said...

Kimbrough destroyed families, destroyed careers, destroyed trust in communities. I don't see a damn thing he did that made any improvements to the agency. Good riddance.

Is Hurley's ass out of there as well? Poor DMN. You guys won't be privileged to have your open records request placed before others. That was a scam folks.

Ed? Is that a fact or just speculation? I really haven't seen any decisions he's made because all decisions came from bimbo. Did Perry officially appoint him? Is that being reported?

What's the scoop on Pope? She'd be a nice little steal. Hope she stays on.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me in hoping that Pope stays on? She is in Kimbrough's and Whitemire's back pocket. I say she needs to go back to TDCJ where she belongs.

Anonymous said...

Whitmire's back pocket? That's not the only place of Whitmire's I've heard she's been.

Anonymous said...

Kimbrough - He did nothing but cause upheaval for TYC. If I'm not mistaken his picture is posted in psychological journals under "super-Ego".

He and his over 55 motorcycle riding buddy Owens are just the epitomy of men over the hill that want to leave a mark.

And leave a mark they did! The face of TYC has never been more bloodstained. Youth are fully in control...and these wonderful children are on the way to your community straight from TYC. They feel bulletproof thank to these two. Lock up your daughters, your wife, your home, and your vehicles. Because we are letting these "babies" go with the idea that they are now untouchable.

TYC staff that have been faithful and excellent employees feel powerless to keep these youth in check in the facilities - thanks to Kimbrough and the ledge... and Owens. There is a big hands off policy...the kids know it and they are in your face with words and actions that would make a sailor blush. Poor little darlings. Well personally - I worry about my poor little darlings and their friends. Because we are getting ready to be overrun in Texas with juvenile crime. Thank you Kimbrough, Whitmire, Hinojosa, Perry, and Owens.

Wake up TEXAS said...

As I write this, we have in our facility youth that are in Security - not on their dorms - with behavior phases of ZERO - ready for release in a few days. For those of you that don't know - Security is like Ad Seg, or jail because these kids are off the chain and can't be with anyone. But because we HAVE to get them out of TYC we stick them there - so they can't hurt anyone on campus.... That way no one gets pissed off because they are held beyond their minimum length of stay. I just wonder......... has anyone tracked the crimes that have been committed by these early release juveniles? I know one has recently been recommitted to Giddings for stabbing a man?

Someone has got to quit tying the hands of TYC staff! "Time Out" didn't always work for my own children.....and it is definately not going to work for gang affiliated youth. Why don't we send these kids to the military. Our own kids have sargeants in their faces, doing push ups and following rules. Why are these criminals supposed to have their time spent in Miss Daisy's daycare??

What will it take for someone to see the light? Youth getting killed by other youth on TYC campuses? Or staff getting killed?

The Odd Couple said...

Will Harrell and Ed Owens. Sounds like a blueprint for a two year central office battle between an advocate for reforms and a TDCJ flunkie/sexual abuse cover up hachet man who has absolutely no experience working with juveniles or rehabilitation services. Ed Owens made a career of working for a system that openly despises the concept of rehabilitation. Now he is in charge of an agency which is supposed to focus on providing rehabilitation services. In addition TYC is in middle of developing major changes in policy which will continue to evolve over the next couple of years as we approach sunset review. The changes which develop during his tenure will serve as the guide for the direction of TYC policies and programming for the next decade. Ed Owens makes absolutely no sense for this job and Governor Perry should be embarrassed and held accountable for politicizing this appointment.

Slowly it turns.... said...

Ahem. Please keep in mind that the Executive Director job is posted. Interviews may already be occurring; candidates could be lining up. The Chosen One could be in place by August, allowing Ed to retire to Huntsville in style and a whole new reign to begin at TYC.

sunray's wench said...

If the post is still open, why dont we all apply for it? I imagine the money is pretty good...

Anonymous said...

I want Rick Perry's job! He just gave himself a big raise.

"Among other things, money in the state budget is used to keep public schools open, pay for state law enforcement and health insurance for children in low-income families. This year, it includes money for a teacher pay raise of up to $450 and a $35,000 raise for Perry."

Teachers and state employees get screwed again and Rick Perry gets a $35,000 raise! What is wrong with this picture?

Anonymous said...

Kimbrough stabbed the agency in the heart and it is now bleeding out. If help doesn't come soon the agency will die. The agency needed first aid, but now it needs major surgery. It would be nice if someone with a reputation of actually fixing a broken agency was in charge, but it seems to me that instead of doctors they gave us cosmetologists. At least we'll look good in the coffin.

Anonymous said...

I have very little faith that whomever is hired to become our new Czar will be effective. Let's say they do hire someone who is rehabilitation-minded. Since the rest of the leadership of Texas is against rehab, he/she will fail anyway. The only person who will get any support from Perry and his cronies will be someone like Kimbrough because he's the kind of man they seem to prefer.

If I were an Aggie right now, my face would be school colors knowing this pompous ass Kimbrough was in a leadership position of my University.

My days at TYC are definitely numbered whether they close John Shero or not, but good gawd, how much pain can this group of "leaders" inflict on us before it's all over? I've made a lot of mistake in my life, but choosing to work for TYC is beyond a shadow of a doubt the dumbest decision yet. I feel silly now for thinking I might retire with this agency.

After all of this drama, who in their right mind would willingly accept a TYC position? Well, maybe not the kind of employee you'd really prefer...

very close to leaving said...

NOT SO FAST- Here's what the new law says about the Executive Commissioner- the Governor makes the appointment, and no news source yet has reported that he appointed Owens. Let's hope the Governor doesn't have any other old buddies like Kimbrough to send over and ruin more lives, insisting on policies that are brutal and unsupported by logic or common sense, then claiming they weren't what he wanted. This is from SB 103, which you can find at www.capitol.state.tx.us.

SECTION 28. Sections 61.012 and 61.0121, Human Resources Code, are amended to read as follows:
Sec. 61.012. EXECUTIVE COMMISSIONER. (a) The Texas Youth Commission is governed by an executive commissioner appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate. The appointment of the executive commissioner shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointee.
(b) The executive commissioner holds office for a term of not more than two years expiring February 1 of odd-numbered years.
(c) The executive commissioner is eligible for reappointment with the consent of the senate.
(d) The executive commissioner is a full-time state officer who is entitled to a salary and reimbursement for actual expenses incurred while on commission business.
(e) This section expires September 1, 2009.

SECTION 30. Section 61.013, Human Resources Code, is amended to read as follows:
Sec. 61.013. ADVISORY BOARD. (a) An advisory board for the commission is established to:
(1) advise the executive commissioner on matters concerning the commission; and
(2) assist the executive commissioner in the performance of the executive commissioner's duties
(b) The advisory board is composed of nine members. Three members shall be appointed by the governor, three members shall be appointed by the lieutenant governor, and three members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. The governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house of representatives shall coordinate to ensure that the membership of the advisory board meets the requirements of Subsection (d). The governor shall designate a member of the advisory board as the chairman of the advisory board to serve in that capacity at the pleasure of the governor.
(c) The appointment of a member of the advisory board shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the appointee [A meeting shall be held on the call of the chairman or on the request of four members at the time and place designated by the chairman].
(d) Members of the advisory board must be citizens who are recognized within their communities for their interest in youth. The board shall be composed of at least one physician, an experienced member of a victims advocacy organization, a mental health professional, and a current or former prosecutor or judge. A majority of the members of the advisory board must be qualified, by experience or education, in the development and administration of programs for the rehabilitation and reestablishment in society of children in the custody of agencies similar in mission and scope to the commission. At least two of the members of the advisory board must have primary experience in a field other than the field of criminal or juvenile justice.
(e) The advisory board shall meet at least four times each year. A meeting shall be held at the call of the chairman or on the request of five members at a time and place designated by the chairman.
(f) Advisory board members are entitled to receive a per diem in the amount provided in the General Appropriations Act for not more than 90 days in any fiscal year, plus reimbursement for actual expenses incurred while on advisory board business.
(g) A member of the advisory board serves at the pleasure of the person who appointed the member.
(h) This section expires September 1, 2009.

Anonymous said...

The only good thing that Kimbrough did for TYC was leave. Under his reign, we saw all the things identified as wrong with TYC stay virtually the same. Retaliation, intimidation, threats, lack of communication from Central Office (especially concerning the closing of John Shero), arbitrarily changing policy to suit executive whim, secrecy bordering on paranoia and god-ol'-boyism (or in the case of Dimitria Pope, good-ol'-girlism). So much for professionalism, ethics and integrity!

Saddest of all, is the fact that no one currently up in Austin cares one iota for the folks whose careers and lives have been ruined or those of us who have been in a constant state of turmoil due to not having any idea if we'll still have jobs tomorrow, by a group of uncaring, self-serving, grandstanding, self-righteous, ego maniacs, who ought to be looking at their own agency (TDCJ)and its problems, with the same intensity and moral outrage as they have looked at those of TYC. As for Ms. Pope, I truly hope that when she departs (the sooner, the better), that she takes her new found flunky and brown-noser, Eric Young, with her. I can only imagine the case of whiplash he would suffer should she ever stop suddenly!

What will actually happen to TYC is anybody's guess. Unless we want to suffer the same fate as TDCJ, TYC better start living up to its most important guiding principle - "TYC recognizes that staff is its most valuable asset."

Anonymous said...

9:45,

It would be great if Pope left and took Young with her. However, if Young sticks around, he will be able to kiss enough ass to survive. He has been doing it for years, and his list of asses kissed is enormous. So keep those lips puckered Eric, there is a new ass to kiss heading your way.

Anonymous said...

There was once a man named Kimbrough, who came to an agency on the down-low. He ruined some lives, cutting necks with those knies, all the while using Grits commenters as his spies.

He hired a guy named Will, who had a misdeanor too. But Will's a thrill, but given his past, employment should be available for all of you!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the 'change' post - What change? The student grievance system that Kimbrough and Co. was soooo concerned about has not changed one bit. This was supposed to be such a BIG DEAL. We have to get those little darlings a good grievance system in place. Hell, its been more than three months and its business as usual with student grievances and level hearings. I was asked to serve as a hearing manager on Wednesday and the first words out of my mouth were "do we still do that here"? I thought Central Office was taking over that little task...needless to say, I don't really want my name on any hearing packets ever again...no thank you!

I agree - what change other than harrassing and degrading staff. We still can't hire anyone - even our clerical positions remain vacant...we've had one vacant for going on four months! That is almost unheard of around here. But no one wants to commit to a job they may not have in a year. There's better opportunities out there. I'm afraid that Mr. Kimbrough has doomed this agency and if we are able to recover it will only be because God grants us the strength - and a miracle to go along with it - to survive this.

Thanks again Mr. Kimbrough and Governor Perry. You've done a great job fixing TYC...please go lend your talents somewhere else now - you too Perry.

Anonymous said...

So, now Mr. & Mrs. Owens are both back in charge of systems they don't need to be in charge of. I heard Mr. Owens was retiring, hopefully to some other state, but evidently "Gov. GoodHair has other ideas" I am amazed at what he gets away with. Just when you think you have things going well, bam, here comes Rick riding in again and turns everything back to what he wants and not is best for Texas.

I hope the statements I hear are true and Gov. Good Hair is going to run against Senator Cornyn for the Senate. There is a very good chance we could get rid of both of them.

Gov. Perry has become a very self centered man and only wants what he wants and does not consider what is best for Texas and when one betrays that attitude, they need to change jobs. Are you listening Mr, Perry? We are tire of your pushy ways and my way or the highway and now we feel the same way about you. You need a real job, so please be our guest!!!

grievances schmivances...here's a vest said...

No kidding 11:14- the "what change" comment is exactly right. Especially with the grievances. I guess it's more important to force staff to wear "uniform", sweat soaked vests that everyone has to share instead of having their own rather than having a grievance system that actually works. He sure got those vests in a hurry. Guess when someone like Pinpoint took the time to write up and post a grievance system that would actually work, Kimbrough just couldn't find the time to get around to that since it wasn't his idea.

Anonymous said...

TYC used to be cracked but now it's broken thanks to Jay, Ed, the governor, Pope and all their thugs. The only thing that has changed at TYC are the names of the top players. Yes, the regime has changed but it's business as usual for Central Office staff.

Which translates to: folks who travel all over the state spending tax dollars, or don't come to work half the time(work from home, anyone?) and the half they do attend is spent in endless meetings, surfing the web doing "research", rewriting policies no one ever read anyway, or creating boring PowerPoints for training to justify all that traveling around the state on tax dollars.

Anyone who survived the recent Inquistion and sticks around long enough can earn a fancy title and overblown salary to do a "job" that produces absolutely nothing of value or meaning.

Just like a Bush/Cheney team invading a country with no plan for the aftermath,TYC has been invaded by people with no idea what to do after firing everyone and exiling the rehab plan.

Newsflash: even tho we don't dare say Resocialization anymore we're basically still practicing & training it. We've just changed some of the words and titles to pacify Damien "my way or the highway" Pope. ABC Phases, levels, behavior management, correctional therapy-no matter how you phrase it, it's still Resocialization!!

Anyhow, the damage has been done; facility staff are quitting, no one in their right mind is applying and the youth are seizing their opportunity to gain the upper hand. Hopefully no one will get seriously hurt but it's probably only a matter of time.

So, while it's a good thing Jay is gone it doesn't really matter because Central Office is stuffed full of others just like him, eager to profit from the ill fortune which has visited TYC.

An Aggie's Dad said...

The only Kimbrough legacy that is left behind is chaos. He and the lege and the Governor had absolutely no idea what working with juvenile offenders was/is all about.

The structure of TYC - while not effective for the field under past leadership, is truly a war zone now. The Bush/Cheney reference is appropriate.

You have veteran staff that were fired...more still to come - as the precious hotline is left in the hands of the youth that feel invincible and love the power of retaliation for anyone that confronts behavior. Taking the word of these youth over staff members and firing based on allegations that are confirmed - again based solely on the word of the youth. We can thank Kimbrough for that as well.

We can thank him for even worse retention and recruitment for TYC.

We can thank him for increased staff assaulted by youth, and youth assaulted by youth. Now that there is limited discipline on campuses and our darlings are feeling bulletproof.

We can thank him for an increase in tax spending.

We can thank him for releasing unrehabilitated youth back into society - solely because Heaven forbid they have reached their Minimum length of Stay. Does the word MINIMUM not come into play here? And the youth know this. They know they don't have to show respect and can act like idiots - but they will get out anyway.

My daughter is an Aggie - we may have to rethink her educational plan. I have sincere reservations now about the intelligence of their hiring authorities.

Thanks a whole heckuva lot Czar Kimbrough and your cronies in the legislature. You sure did work a "miracle" for TYC.

Anonymous said...

Grits,
You didn't really mention the details concerning the post. Is Ed Owens really to be elevated to the Commissioner position from the Acting Executive Director position. When and where did you hear this?

Anonymous said...

Good-bye to Jay! Thank goodness he is moving on to burgandy pastures. Sorry for Aggieland. Maybe there will be someone there who will keep in check. He did nothing for TYC, but make a struggling system worse. We are losing so many of our veteran staff, from JCOs to Teachers. We are more ineffective now than we ever were. The real sad thing is that staff who want to leave and have interviewed say that the public's perception of TYC is so negative, that anyone who is associated with TYC is not looked upon favorably, especially by prospective employers. So, now we have overturned Level II Hearings, and the youth who are over their original MLOS will now be released. Okay, read this carefully CO, State Reps. and Gov. Perry....the Level II Hearings were held on those youth for a reason!! There is a reason those youth never got their phases and have remained at a phase one or a zero. The reason is those youth have no interest in changing their attitudes and behaviors! Now, how is Austin going to explain their knee-jerk, face saving actions to their constituents when their homes are burglarized, cars broken into, drug use and gang related activity rise in their communities. I do have a question though, how will the youth being released get the aftercare services that they will so desperately need? There are only a limited number of available aftercare providers in the state.
All I can say is, I had better build me an ark because the flood is about to happen.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I don't know if Ed will be Commissioner or not. He's Czar now, was my only point, until something else changes, whether you call it commissioner, ED or whatever.

Since the commenter rumor mill has it that Ed may retire, too, perhaps that won't last long, but for now he's czar til he's not. best,

almost outta here said...

I am sick and tired of all the CO bashing. I have a news flash for some of y'all. The vast majority of staff in central office, myself included, are in the same boat y'all are in in the field. We get told nothing and we worry from day to day whether we'll have a job just like the field staff do. We have no input into what's going on with the folks who came in from outside...they don't ask the opinions of staff in central office any more than they do of field staff.

I'm sick of standing up for those of you out in the field all the while knowing y'all don't have my back.

Anonymous said...

Almost outta here- unless you are one of the ones making all the stupid decisions in CO, why would you think others were including perfectly innocent "CO" staff in the comments? We know you're there, but it takes way too long to separate out every single good or bad person in every single comment. Just take it for what it is when people say "CO"- it means the bad guys (oops, sorry to offend you if you're a woman since it's a general statement too). If you aren't one of them then let it go! Gees!

almost outta here said...

anon at 8:04 am...sorry, but anonymous at 6:19pm on the 28th got on my last good nerve with the comments about how CO is full of useless ass-kissers...at least that's how I read it.

Contrary to what that person seems to think...I don't have a fancy title or a big salary. Just a desire to help the kids using the abilities I was given. I don't have the temperament to be a JCO or CW...that doesn't mean I didn't take this job to try to help. I think most people in CO took their jobs because they wanted to help the kids. It sure isn't for the money or for the adulation we get from our fellow employees. *snort*

And as far as I see it, it is pretty easy to differentiate when commenting between CO employees and the people who have come in from the outside. But a lot of people aren't bothering to do that.

It would be like me saying that all JCOs abuse the kids. We all know that's not true. But some JCOs do it...so the ones who don't shouldn't take offense.

BTW, this is probably my last comment for a while. After all, wouldn't want people to think I spend all my time on the internet. *snort*

Anonymous said...

You people honestly did not think that Jay "Chaos" Kimbrough was going to ride into TYC and make change that would benefit TYC, the youth, and the employees? Folks, that is not his job. His job is to cause so much chaos that it diverts your attention away from his long time buddy and pal, Rick. Did he do an outstanding job or what? Ultimately, the problems at TYC are on the Governor and the Lege. The Governor needed Jay to say he knew nothing of the problems in TYC and do a bunch of hocus pocus to the media to make it look like things were changing for the better. The Lege got together and all denied knowledge of TYC problems, then sold the same dog and pony show to the media to get everyone to buy off that they were changing things for the better in TYC with the overhaul act. All the while, TYC employees were shaking in their boots instead of organizing and protesting the heinous actions of the new TYC management and one of the most ridiculous bills in the history of the Legislature. Now Jay has himself a nice fancy title at A&M knocking down some big bucks, Ed is positioned to run an albeit tattered Agency that he will likely screw up even worse before the end of his two year reign, and the Governor props his feet up on his desk, wipes his brow, and grins as he realizes that he narrowly escaped another political nightmare. So, who won? The Government, because TYC employees, their families, and friends did nothing but sit on their thumbs. Maybe this will be a good lesson to State employees throughout Texas. Hopefully they will organize a better Union so the next time this mess comes around, someone will be speaking for the People.

Anonymous said...

About the only good thing that Ed might do is to get rid of all the bad apples within TYC. He is off to a good start, but I am concerned that he will replace them with his TDCJ cronies. That means that TYC will be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Anonymous said...

As the world turns...some of us are just waiting for the axe to fall.

Anonymous said...

You know, TYC has had a morale issue for so long, I am so glad that Jay and his group have come in and helped us at TYC raise it and make us employees feel proud.... NOT. So, as we all went to work, scared if we were going to be one of the ones lead out the door, or let us not forget, our new Ombudsman, notice there is a "Bud" in the name, can have the rules changed for his job. Yeah, we surely have fixed TYC. We must be the laughing stock of the nation. We have gone in and suspended someone from allegations of abuse, sex with youth, cover up to using Fed Ex, terminated someone through the newspaper, and we are now fixed? So staff, how many of you out there are happy? We created a workplace that we could go after those we did not like, disagreed with, or whatever, and may have cost them their careers. While some deserve to go, I find it hard to believe they all had to. It is easy for us to condemn the people who have been unjustly victimized by Jay and the rest, which are few, but there are some of you that need to hope that someday you do not get the same fate as they did. Only then will you understand. To the many friends I have seen go that did nothing wrong, good luck and I am so sorry. For the one's who deserved to go, you knew better. For the one from CO, I can not imagine going into that place everyday and face this and for all it takes, I have your back. I know not everyone one there is lazy and is not an asskisser.

Anonymous said...

I want someone who really know's the right answer to this question to answer it.Will Harrell's class B misdermeanor will be over looked due to the fact that Jay asked for X and got Y. What happens to the people that had class B misdermeanors that was fired, will the same excuse help them get their job back?? And for TAMU I DO NOT FILL SORRY FOR THEM THEY KNOW WHO THEY HIRED THEY ARE BIRDS OF A FEATHER.

Anonymous said...

Have the people w/ misdemeanors actually been fired? Really?

If they are still in the pre-termination process for the felonies, there's just no way all the misdemeanors have already been 'fired'.

Won't it be ironic if, in retrospect, those folks basically have ended up w/ the equivalent of a couple of months worth of paid time off? As much hell as we've been put thru, it might've been worth it!

I've thought about it, and I don't think I will have that much of a problem if Pope sticks around. She's a bit blunt for me, seems a little unpredictable, and I'm not sure how much I trust her; But it's actually been refreshing having someone like her around. There's something to be said for someone who doesn't stand on ceremony and speaks plainly. She's rubbed alot people the wrong way, and I still disagree w/ Dr. Brantley's dismissal, but overall, considering the job she was tasked with, I think she's kinda done as good a job as could be expected.

She has undoubtedly done a better job than the previous executive director.

I'm alone (at least in the blog), but I actually kinda looking forward to some improvements. We have been for YEARS mired in unreadable policies, complicated procedures, adminstrators unwilling to make tough decisions, overanalization, cover all the bases in every situation, people in charge with way too many letters after their name for their own good, puffed up with themselves. Solution to EVERYTHING was a new policy, a new procedure, a new form. Like everybody in charge lost all connection to the frontline, AND lost all common sense!

It's been painful, at times horrifying - but TYC needed an enema. Hey, I'm optomistic!

Oh, and as for Kimbrough, wellll, I'm no fan of aggie, so......sounds like a nice fit to me ;P

Not-so-common-sense said...

Many, Many commments:
(1)God will punish those who punish His own (children and adults alike) so Kimbrough and whomever better be careful as they make ill decisions for political gain.
(2)Everyone constantly says Resocialization didn't work. Just as some of us teach the kids, IT'S NOT A MAGIC TRICK!! It is life in a book. You can't tell me that the explanation of unmet needs (that we ALL share) and how we use them (offense cycle) and how we try to clean up things we do (thinking errors) is not our everyday life. The understanding is in the deliverance of the information. The only thing I agree to is that the youth do need more Life Skill type of information because 98% of them don't have a clue about very simple concepts of life, like shaving (for the boys), or puberty in all aspects (for the girls). Many of the staff don't know how to get a bank account or manage money, let alone fill out an application. By unspoken title, we are big sisters, big brothers, mothers, fathers; we are all they have until they leave. The "politial" way of teaching and documenting is what takes away from the deliverance of information. If we didn't spend so much time making everything so formal because it looks good or it sounds good, we could actually handle these kids on their level where they can relate (why some of us have a great rapport with these kids and others don't). Remember, most of them came from indigent situations so their exposure to aspects of life is very low, right along with their vocabulary.
(3)Rehabilitation is wonderful and needed, but without DISCIPLINE, you can't teach these kids ANYTHING!! If you don't capture their attention, guess what, THEY'RE NOT LISTENING!! I love the bootcamp setting. Do I believe all youth need to be in bootcamp? Definitely not, but staff need to be able to administer more discipline that "Johnny, stop that. That's a time out for you sir." This does not work and we all know it because, if we've forgotten, we were once kids and for the majority of us, had we not recieved physical punishment along with explanations and love, we COULD HAVE BEEN in the same boat as these kids.
(4)Who is going to fight for the good staff? Being case managers, lower-level JCO and Rec staff, and other positions, is like the teaching profession: You certainy aren't in it for the $$!! When will there be protection techniques that actually work? These youth come at us fighting for the death like a bad drug deal and here we're left to attempt to restrain them CAREFULLY!! I don't know where everyone else came from, but I've never seen a "nice fight!" These kids aren't having pillow fights with us. They are big, strong, and quick, and they are throwing blows like we're battling for the last meal. And if you happen to get a smigget more physical than you should have, without question, you're fired. There is life out there for me to experience and I will not lose mine (nor my eye, my arm, or anything else) for this job. I pray to God I never harm anyone but if I have to protect myself and some governing body didn't agree with my technique because "they" wouldn't have done it that way, then I guess I'll have to look for another job like I looked for this one. I won't lose my life and everything that is important to me for someone else's son. For JESUS, God's son, yes. For Jesus, Hector's boy, NO!!
(5)I completely agree that the staff need to be educated a some minimal level and for those that are not, they need to come up to par. But exploiting and firing them was not the way. If Kimbrough and whomever else cared at all about the agency, they could have very easily given these people a timeframe on getting their GED or whatever other credentials they needed to meet their position requirments. We would have continued to be staffed, these people would not have lost their jobs, and then we would have seen who really wanted to work here because they would have done what they needed to do to get their education. Realize that some of these staff didn't experience and learn about life any more than these kids did; they just made it through the cracks. So they should be afforded some opportunity for betterment just as the kids are. That would be called "loving your neighbor," enough to want them to prosper just as you have.
(6)Kimbrough, pat yourself on the back. You made a lasting example for all youth to see. For years we have taught these youth that no matter what mistakes they've made in life at an early age, they can get their lives in order and as long as they stay on the right path, they will survive. You've shown them that even the things you did at age 17 can AND WILL come back to haunt you so you may as well live how you want to live; you'll never win in the end anyway!! Good Job, Perry!! So after all of this, tell me what the felony youth have to look forward to? Why should they believe that they have any chance for life outside of the gates? For as much as I would like to hate you and pray evil against you, or not pray for you at all, or slap your face off, I actually pray that you all make wise decisions because your decisons ultimately affect me and my family. As a Christian, I have to wait on God to do those majestic things He does. I would hate to be you, to be waiting on God's wrath. You can't touch God's annointed and think nothing will eventually happen to you...

Be Blessed Today!! Thanx Grits!!!

Anonymous said...

Not-so-common-sense, you summed it all. We have completely lost all focus of why we are employeed by TYC. It is about these kids and helping them make better choices. How can we set these examples if we have those like Kimbrough who decided to fire all staff with prior felons or should I say "skeletons in their closets"? We all make mistakes and no one is perfect. But, because we make mistakes and then try to correct our mistakes by changing, we should not be punished in the future. What better example should we give these kids if we committed a crime 5 years ago or even 20 years ago and then paid our debt to society and made a change. This would be an incentive for some youth to make better choices. If we can reach ONE youth, we have accomplished our goal and met the mission of TYC. But, when we have those in the lege and Kimbrough who have gotten rid of those staff with a bad past, how can we continue in this agency to set an example for the youth? I do not see any changes that have been made since the scandal, other than "cleaning" up C.O. and firing "good" staff. And, the incident that happened in West Texas.....we have lost focus. We have forgotten about that. Was this just a way to change TYC and make the agency fall under TDCJ? Is that where we are headed?
Grits, can you answer that question for me. Retaliation still remains at the facilities. Morale has not changed. Staff are still afraid to speak up. The stres level is as high as it can go. Staff are still calling in sick because of overwork conditions. I know they said it has to get worse before it can get better. When will better take place? The ship is seeking and we are drowning right along with it. We need some closure to this hold mess.

Anonymous said...

If Jay Kimbrough is "Adios" as Grits reported, why is he still running TYC? Aren't you a little early on the announcement of Kimbrough's departure?

An aggie's Dad said...

Amen to not-so-common sense! The sad truth of the matter is our transgressions do always find us out in one way or another.

That sad truth is that these youth were used by Kimbrough, Perry, the lege and power seekers in TDCJ to glorify themselves through any means necessary. To grandstand and divert attention away from the real issues by harsh and swift action, thereby leaving a chaotic system in their wake.

While we all rock along in limbo - a terrible state to be in for anyone. No one is comfortable when lives are hanging in the balance - from personal life to employment. We all want structure. Staff, youth, the public anyone. That is something that is past tense for employees involved in the Texas Youth Commission.

Just like in the home - when mother and daddy are in disagreement...kids are in chaos. They are harder to deal with and due to human nature will play one against the other. Don't all the PHd's in Austin realize that? Oh I forget sometimes book sense depletes common sense. Not in all cases, but in a very fair share.

We all live in this environment with hope that repair is forthcoming. What should have been minor remodeling has turned into full scale construction of TYC. I just hope the highest bidder doesn't have an agenda all their own!

Anonymous said...

ok, Grits.... you always have the word on what's up with the powers in TYC....(wish you were our PR man - at least we'd find things out in a timely manner!)

Any new Postings forthcoming regarding our current state of affairs? God Bless

Anonymous said...

So...what is the fate of the two from WTSS that started all this mess?

Haven't heard anything lately....guess the lege is on to bigger and better things now that the session is over.

Anonymous said...

anon @6:46 - there hasn't even been any pretrial hearing on the two FORMER WTSS staff yet...I am worried the state is not as prepared as they should be. My fear is Brookins will get off - and that would be a travesty. I can't help but believe he still has some powerful people in his corner - I don't know who they are but he did not even spend the night in jail after his arrest and was released on a personal recognizance bond out of Travis County...unbelievable to me how that could ever have happened. So I hope you all understand my skepticism about the outcome of all of this. I just hope the AG's office is on top of this!

Anonymous said...

Are you efin' KIDDING me????? Kimbrough is not a man that takes his appointments lightly... he gets the job done. He is NOT a man that wants political gain - quite the contrary, he HATES politics. He set out to do the best he could and he did that. I just couldn't sit back and let all of these bad things be said about a man that has fought for our country and dedicated his entire life to community SERVICE. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Kimbrough took this one lightly. Moreover, he left the job quite unfinished when greener pastures beckoned.

I've seen him do good work in the past - most notably regarding oversight of Texas drug task forces after the Tulia scandal - but on this one he screwed the pooch.

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