The document offers a snapshot of the TYC Czar's current thinking about the agency and an overview of what's been done so far in the name of reform. It includes 56 recommendations, many of which will be familiar to Grits readers and 11 of which the agency says have already been implemented.
Without comprehensively examining the report, I noticed a couple of interesting stats about TYC that are worth mentioning. For starters, Juvenile Corrections Officers have the highest turnover rates of comparable state employees in 2006, says Kimbrough (p. 8):
- Juvenile Correctional Officers: 47.0%
- TDCJ Correctional Officers: 23.8%
- Parole Officers: 12.3%
- DPS Troopers: 4.5%
- Game Wardens: 2.1%
- Accountants: 6.8%
Appendix B of the report (p. 24-25) lists 13 people arrested since the agency was put into conservatorship in March - mostly staff but also several youth. The report also contained some top-line information about complaints received by the much-ballyhooed hotline set up after the West Texas scandal was outed:
As of April 27, 2007, the TYC command post has received 2,972 calls and complaints. To date, investigators have reviewed and closed 1,463 of the cases. Youths, parents and others were encouraged to call with information regarding any incident or issue. The calls involved issues dating back years and include duplicate reports related to the same incident. The most common types of calls and complaints received have been:These only reflect complaints filed, and the data isn't weighted for the different facility sizes. There's no way to know how many are true or what can be made of the data. Offhand, it's interesting that Evins came in so low, when it's been one of the facilities most criticized even prior to the recent allegations of sexual abuse out in Pyote.
The facilities most often named in the calls and complaints are:
- Information only (867)
- Staff misconduct (683)
- Assault of an offender by staff (553)
- Sexual misconduct by staff (359)
- Assault of an offender by another offender (235)
- McLennan State Juvenile Correctional Complex (431)
- Giddings State School (299)
- Marlin Orientation & Assessment Unit (254)
- Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood (244)
- John Shero State Juvenile Correctional Facility in San Saba (226)
- Corsicana Residential Treatment Center (218)
- Crockett State School (203)
- West Texas State School in Pyote (178)
- Al Price State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Beaumont (149)
- Gainseville State School (139)
- Victory Field Correctional Academy in Vernon (127)
- Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg (122)
While we're on the subject of official reports, here's a more in-depth report (pdf) from the Joint Select TYC Oversight Committee that includes as attachments many of the major documents (state auditors report, etc.) that have come out so far.
One of the most striking items I noticed skimming this document were results from a TYC employee survey conducted in March. Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, "Overall, employees are treated with respect and dignity at this agency," a startling dichotomy arose that I think many regular TYC employee commenters won't find surprising - 65% of managers agreed with the statement, while only 43% of employees agreed. In all, 57% of staff disagreed with that statement, compared with 34% of managers.
So bottom line, most TYC employees don't feel they're "treated with respect and dignity." I know, I know - you guys are shocked, aren't you?