Tuesday, May 15, 2007

TYC Roundup

Just a few quick links to some recent MSM coverage of the Texas Youth Commission:
  • Emily Ramshaw at the Dallas News reported this weekend that TYC officials who learned about the Pyote sex scandal allegations were more worried with avoiding media coverage than investigating abuse allegations ("Emails show TYC officials obsessing over image," 5-13).
  • The Brownsville Herald published this story about Eduardo Martinez, the recently named Evins Unit supervisor fired this week after less than two weeks at his new post.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bruce Hight is exactly right. TYC needs a dress code IMMEDIATELY.
Kimbrough, get on the horn and order every staff five (one for every working day) "I'm a Gritter" T-shirts ASAP.

Thanks,
Rick Perry

Anonymous said...

Bright colored vests? Isn't that what they wear at Home Depot? Does anyone know what will go underneath them? I am hoping for jeans and T-shirts myself.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to make them bright red. That way when all the staff continue to get assaulted by the students, they don't have to work too hard to get their own blood stains out.

Anonymous said...

Prison instead of treatment for Mental Illness is a terrible thought for adults. The USA Today story highlights the fact that it is even worse for juviniles.

The current culture of fear on the part of TYC Staff does nothing to to remediate the problems at TYC.

Why won't the new management communicate with the staff? Why isn't something being done that helps solve the problem. Media interviews will not solve the problem!

Anonymous said...

How about bright red bleeding hearts on the vests of staff who really care about the kids, big brown noses on the vests of those who could care less about them, and dollar signs on the ones who don't really give a shit, but need a job? That would cover just about everyone!

I'd order the bleeding heart design...and you?

Anonymous said...

All God's children need a job. As far as bleeding hearts and brown noses, nothing is that simple!

The solution to problems at TYC will require a lot of work and some time to implement.

Why isn't anyone working on the solution?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone remember that the youth wear uniforms that look strangly unlike anything staff generally wear? I can't imagine that it's that hard to figure out the difference between staff and student, but the argument makes a convenient propoganda image for Mr. "I've got the Biggest Ego in Texas" Kimbrough.

Signed: A TYC staff staff member who's looking for a job ASAP!

Robin Hood said...

Not to change the subject or anything, but has anyone read the story on the new 'ombudsman' in the SA express? Interesting comments regarding cutting his hair...great role modeling so far. Will we have to let the youth grow ponytails now? And speaking of ACLU stuff...just heard today that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against one of our local school districts because they have installed an ELECTIVE Bible-based curriculum. This is not a mandatory curriculum and was approved by the school board and has been in existence for over a year now. I find the timing interesting as I have heard there is some pending legislation having to do with allowing Bible based curriculum in all schools at the discretion of the local school boards. What is next now that the ACLU is in the ombudsman's office? Will all of our religious volunteers be told 'thanks but we won't be needing your services any more'- please save souls somewhere else'. That's going to go over well! This is just getting better by the minute!

Anonymous said...

Um, Robin Hood? ACLU is not the Ombudsman. Will Harrell, the individual, is the Ombudsman.

ACLU often takes unpopular positions on controversial issues, like church and state. But, that's no reason to believe that Will Harrell, the individual, has any plans to take ACLU's policy positions and political agenda on such issues with him after he no longer works there.

And, dude, what's the big deal about the ponytail? I think it's stupid that the reporter even asked that question.

almost outta here said...

to Robin Hood...Will Harrell is absolutely correct. There is nothing in TYC policy relating to the length of staff's hair. I know...I have hair down almost to my backside. All PRS says is that we should present a neat appearance and that if we have daily contact with the youth, any body piercings must be covered, no more than one earring per ear, and tattoos must be covered. Check PRS.01.03.b.17.

And btw, with Texas students doing so poorly, maybe schools should spend time on the basics rather than the Bible. If you want to learn about/teach about the Bible...go to church.

Anonymous said...

May 16, 2007

Agreement on TYC
According to a Texas Political Blog, The details aren't dried on paper yet, but the conference committee overseeing the Texas Youth Commission reforms hashed out its differences today. Here's where things stand:

An executive commissioner will head the agency through at least the fall of 2009. Then, unless lawmakers feel differently next session, the hierarchy would revert back to a board of directors and an executive director. The governor would appoint both the executive commissioner and the board of directors.

Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, who sits on the TYC conference committee, said the draft agreement was on its way to the printers. Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, co-chair of the conference committee, said the proposal would probably reach both chambers early next week.

"The plan is moving. It's a big deal," Madden said.

Who will run the scandal-plagued agency has been the major sticking point in the reform bills that have sailed through the House and Senate. Distrustful of the old structure in place when the abuse scandals broke at TYC, the Senate has called for a single individual to run TYC, assisted by an advisory board. The House, backed by the governor, has backed the reestablishment of the old hierarchial structure, with greater independent monitoring.

Both chambers have called for reducing the inmate population by keeping out of TYC misdemeanor offenders and those 19 and older; improving staff-to-inmate ratios; and creating an independent inspector general and an ombudsman's office.

Jesus H. Chist!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:49...if all God's children need jobs then how come some of them aren't doing theirs? I am all for solutions, but no one who's been hired hired to find the solutions is listening! Hell, I've never even seen or heard from them. Have you?

Robin Hood said...

Hey almost outta here...don't look now but this too will change...haven't you read the new dress code handed down by Mr. Kimbrough? I would be willing to bet that PRS policy, along GAP and everything else is soon out the window. There have already been lots of changes right under our noses, quietly, of course. I wouldn't count on any current TYC policy to protect me on anything...especially when we become at-will. If this happens PRS policy ain't gonna mean sh%$. After all, we now have report traffic tickets right along with arrests. How far off can pony tails be?

Don't get offended ACLU supporters...its a free country with freedom of speech - isn't that what ACLU is all about? Don't get your panties in wad for crying out loud...I'm willing to give 'ombudsman' a chance but he's put himself out there for the media now and he'll get to deal lots of - how did you put it -'stupid' reporters...gee if it wasn't for these 'stupid' reporters, we wouldn't know anything about anything that's happening in our own agency. That's sad but true and shows exactly how much our 'leaders' care about TYC employees. I say "thanks" to the many good reporters out there who are doing good work. Thanks for keeping us informed! And thanks to Grits for giving us this forum - I don't think we could survive all of this without it.

whitsfoe said...

Thanks for the site Grits...thanks for the advice... hope the car gets running soon!

Anonymous said...

From the USA Today article:

"At the time, Raimer said the state medical branch notified the Texas Youth Commission. Within 30 days, he said, medical authorities were told that "steps were taken" to deal with possible use-of-force abuses and that two staff members had been fired.

"Obviously, the remediation was not as effective as what I had been led to believe," Raimer said."

I don't understand this. All these suspicious injuries, and the "medical authorities", ie. the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, notified the TYC, and no one else? Which TYC officials did they notify? How many more subsequent suspicious injuries did they treat before this scandal came to light? Did they report these injuries to anyone? Something's not right here.

Anonymous said...

After reading the USA today article a second time, I left this comment:

The University of Texas Medical Branch has come under fire for mismanagement in its role as healthcare provider for the Texas Youth Commission and the Dallas County jail, so I'd take anything they have to say with a grain of salt. When Dr. Raimer appeared before the state Legislature to testify in connection with this scandal, his testimony seemed to me to consist mostly of trying to cover UTMB's backside, and complaining that they didn't make enough money off their contract with the TYC. He complained about the TYC's insistence that they perform "unnecessary" tests on sick and injured TYC inmates, saying that it was an inappropriate use of the taxpayer's money. It got so bad that one legislator couldn't refrain from cutting him off to express his disgust.

Mr. Johnson, there's something else about UTMB's role in this matter that I don't understand, and it's troubling. In your article, you quote Raimer saying that "concerns about suspicious broken bones surfaced in 2005 with the discovery of three cases". Then the article says "Since the broader abuse investigation was launched this year, Raimer said medical authorities identified 60 suspicious breaks of arms and other body parts over the past five years that merit further investigation". I assume "this year" means 2007. Three UTMB researchers had an article published in the January/February 2006 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics based on a study of bone fractures observed in some of their TYC patients. It's entitled "Proximal Humerus Fractures Sustained During the Use of Restraints in Adolescents". You can see it listed on this webpage: http://www.pedorthopaedics.com/pt/re/jpedortho/toc.01241398-200601000-00000.htm;jsessionid=GTHTrv6ThgVhyN6fwct76STX604Jxcyr2wxPc2QJ0w2tyKyyhjX1!741375937!-949856145!8091!-1.

I have no knowledge of medical studies and the like, but I wouldn't think that anyone could get an article published in a medical journal based on a study of only three subjects. I may be wrong, but I don't think so. A few other news stories I've seen have stated that UTMB turned the information in this study over to the authorities after the scandal broke. To summarize: They notice three instances of suspicious fractures sometime in 2005, and report them to the agency. They apparently go back over their records and discover 60 more suspicious fractures in 2007, yet they have a journal article published on this subject in early 2006. The timeline just doesn't match up. It suggests to me that they sat on the information about additional suspicious injuries for a whole year after this article was published.

Not-so-common sense said...

What's not being said is that we won't own these vests--we'll be sharing them, meaning when Nasty Nelson turns his in from the 10-6 shift or Hairy Henrietta hands hers over, you'll be putting that same vest on, with all of the grease and dirt from the back of their necks, the funk from their dirty clothes that they just pulled from the hamper to "throw on right quick," and the snot and boogers they wiped on it. Now true enough, they'll be washing these things, but how often have we A)considered the kids' clothes to be cleaned from the generic detergent and bleach and poor running washers, and B)worn someone else's clothes on a daily basis? I don't wear other peoples' clothes. Soon they'll have us sharing pants too. And then the student workers no longer have to wear a vest. So let's see, we're staff and have to wear one, looking like big green jalapenos, and they don't have to wear one so we can't locate them or determine who is on the workforce? Regularly I wonder is this real life where we live or is it a fairytale...who is actually locked up needing rehabilitation?

Anonymous said...

What ever happens with TYC will be a massive failure. Nothing has changed at TYC except the names on email list. We will be getting rid of Jay Kimbrough soon and that is a very good thing. We will have sexual assault cover up, not so expert, Ed Owens running TYC. For God’s sake Ed Owens got nailed for covering up serious sexual misconduct at TDCJ and the governor appoints him to run TYC! What is more outrageous is nobody seems to care. Everybody acts like it never happened.

The people who covered up the sexual misconduct at TYC are not sitting jail where they belong and probably will never see the inside of a court room. They are enjoying their retirement at our expense.

I don’t see funding for sweeping changes at TYC. Some law makers are already talking about how the tax payers are not going to want to pay for the expense of building an all new TYC system of 100 bed facilities close to the metro areas. By the next session some of the early release youth will have done some major crime and it will all turn in the opposite direction.

When it is all said and done TYC is a train wreck blowing down the track at a 100 miles an hour and the bridge is out! Jay Kimbrough will be long gone when TYC crashes and it won’t be his fault to hear him tell the story. Once again it will be all those stupid TYC employees who screwed up. Jay can come back and fire a few more to get things right!

Thank God I stumbled into a new job which has nothing to do with the state of texas, criminal or crazy kids, or corrupt administration. It even pays more and I don’t have to do without health care for the first 6 months either. Also it is not located in BFE.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you got lucky and found a job 10:49...I am in BFE too, so tell me something...did you move or are there some other jobs in BFE, and if so, where?

Anonymous said...

The dress code shoul dprohibit gold teef