Sunday, May 20, 2007

Which criminal justice items deserve funding in Texas budget?

We're still waiting for the final conference committee report on Texas' next biennial budget, but while we're waiting I thought I'd mention several items in the Senate budget that I hope House conferees accept.

Regular readers know I didn't approve of the Senate's penchant for prison spending, but quite a few other criminal justice items proposed in the Senate budget are really important funding for key juvenile and adult community supervision reforms. We'll see how much of it actually makes the final cut. All of these items are in the Senate proposal but not the House:
  • $50 million to implement a TYC rehabilitation plan
  • $35 million more for community corrections of youth (more important than ever since we're releasing kids from TYC)
  • $100 million more for community-based treatment programs for adults.
  • $43 million more to bring TDCJ healthcare up to minimum constitutional standards.
  • $10 million more to probation departments for basic supervision funds.
So that's $238 million in extra spending proposed by the Senate that focus on strengthening probation, preventing recidivism, and making prison healthcare less likely to face federal oversight like in California, where prison healthcare was so poor it was placed into federal receivership.

Meanwhile, also in Article V of the budget, The Senate proposes an extra $35 million downpayment on new prison building (they'll cost $106 million per year in the next ten future Texas budgets), while House wants to spend $90 million more than the Senate on ineffective pork barrel grants to border sheriffs in the name of homeland security. So that's $125 million in the current budget that is a) controversial, b) motivated by politics instead of good public policy c) that many informed observers think is unnecessary, and d) which requires much larger balloon payments for the next two decades' future budgets.

Make me philosopher king - or Solomon with power to split the baby - and I'd fund the Senate's extra crime prevention and community supervision programs, then ditch the new prisons (experts say they're not needed) and the homeland security pork.

Budgets are about values and priorites. Which of these programs gets funded and at what level will utimately tell us a lot about both the values and priorities of conferees and the Legislature as a whole.

Source: LBB Summary of House/Senate Budget Differences (pdf).

60 comments:

don said...

We definitely don't want the new prisons. As a counselor, I'm glad to see money for community based treatment programs, but I still have misgivings about staffing the programs. Since the Republican Revolution of 94, substance abuse counselors have steadily been leaving the field, and although new ones are coming in, they don't have any experience for this population. Seasoned counselors won't work for TDCJ based programs, or many of them won't. I won't. For any amount of money. We'll see what happens.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Seasoned counselors won't work for TDCJ based programs, or many of them won't. I won't."

Can you or somebody elaborate on this? Is it because the rates are too low? Is it because the Legislative funding for programs is unpredictable? Is it the rural locations of many facilities? Other reasons?

I ask because even the lower, House budget pumps nine figures worth of new funding into various treatment alternatives - the Senate budget gives maybe 80% of what Tony Fabelo said was required, but still a LOT of money.It seems like that kind of massive, well-heeled demand would pretty much create its own market.

I've heard this statement a couple of times now so I'd love to hear the argument fleshed out: Why don't you think treatment providers will do it?

Anonymous said...

All this money to correct TYC when are they going to reise employee salries? for so long tyc has not attracted he best people because of the pay.wo is going to put up with the abuse one must take at TYC for such minimal pay.if they want better staff you must be willing to pay for thhem.

whitsfoe said...

You know we have the same problem in TYC in that we cannot attract or keep LCDC staff on board, and one of the biggest reasons is the salary we pay them. We've had this problem forever.

Joe E. Taxpayer said...

Juvenile justice does need reform. That will cost money...tax money. All the firings and coddling of the families that are out for a dollar from lawsoit and settlement are going to be paid by someone. That someone is you and me. There needs to be some intellect involved in those that are riding the grandstand wagon with legislation and reform on how all this is going to effect the taxpayor. How is releasing hundreds of juvenile offenders going to financially impact the public school system and community financially? Local taxes are going to have to be increased to pay for the programs that may or may not be successful. Then - when we see that you can not treat these young abusers, rapists, theives and gangsters like they are 4 year olds...and innocent citizens are victimized - who is going to pay for the ensuing lawsuit from Joe Public. Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, lots of our taxdollars are going to go into this. I imagine that there will be many lawsuits from those fired with ex felony convictions, investigations, defamation of character etc. I wish they would spend some of this time and effort on the Texas Public School system. My kids have never been convicted of crime - but there is not this much attention paid to their needs. Does one have to be a criminal in Texas to get legislative support and funding?

Sick of Naziism said...

Or spend the money on restitution of the victims and their aftercare counselling and needs. Is there increased in funding for that?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

sick of nazism: Don't worry, every session more money goes to that - it's like a required biennial genuflection that they take new money from somewhere for victims. This year they took it from families of incarcerated people through excessive phone fees and a couple of other sources.

Anonymous said...

The "children" in the youth commission are definately feeling invincible right now. Hopefully full scale riots won't be forthcoming. Staff are afraid to confront for fear of youth and parent retaliation. Maybe when Texas youth commit crimes they can get a group hug and vow to never offend again and just go home. Isn't that what it's coming to? That would save lots of tax dollars - or would it?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@7:18, that's just scare mongering. The same things were said when Dallas County recently released 700 inmates in one county because of overcrowding, more than TYC has released statewide - the sky didn't fall there and it won't with TYC, either. There are real problems with TYC's restructuring, but what you're describing isn't one of them.

I also tend to doubt sweeping statements that the kids run the show now. I doubt they read the papers, KNOW they don't have web access, and generally think that sounds a lot more like a politicized spin than an accurate reflection of facts on the ground.

I admit y'all need more staff and the lack thereof makes JCO jobs unsafe, but it's not a result of bad publicity or what's going on in Austin, IMO.

Anonymous said...

It would be inappropriate to say the kids are running the show but Grits many of the kids do use fear and intimidation as a means to control others when it is to their advantage. With everything going on I am sure that some of the kids smell the blood in the water and are bolder and more difficult to control.

It is also incorrect to think that these kids do not have access to outside media. While students don't get a complimentary paper and with their morning cup of coffee they are allowed to read the paper at some facilities with in classroom settings. In addition, students have had access to the internet for various educational reasons...and some kids even have gotten access to staff computers via staff passwords, stolen or in rare cases given. At Hamilton (now closed) several students were able to get into the computer system by a well meaning but naive teacher who gave them access. They were able to hack and obtain "every" teachers password in TYC. In addition, these kids accessed one caseworkers personal information (DOB, SSN), knew her address, car she drove and license plate number.

Grits, I think you do a great job but these kids have nothing but time to try and figure out ways to get over or around the system. "Some" ataff at "some" campuses work in conditions that are dangerous and highly stressful... while this is not the norm, I don't believe that this staffs view is an exaggeration just his/her experience.

Now I could get into the slew of reasons staff feel powerless but mainly this is because most of the staff have not been properly trained and have had any authority and responsibility removed from them via micromanagement. Their is a belief (came from Central Office and down the chain of command) that staff can not make rational and intelligent decisions because they lack the education or intelligence to do so. Reality is that it is a failure of management to properly instruct, mentor, guide, and empower staff to do their jobs.

Staff want to do a good job but they have to be given the opportunity and respect to do so.

Former, JCO, CSW, and PA.

Anonymous said...

From 8:41
Sorry, had to make a correction...

It would be inappropriate to say the kids are running the show but Grits many of the kids do use fear and intimidation as a means to control others when it is to their advantage. With everything going on I am sure that some of the kids smell the blood in the water and are bolder and more difficult to control.

It is also incorrect to think that these kids do not have access to outside media. While students don't get a complimentary paper and with their morning cup of coffee they are allowed to read the paper at some facilities with in classroom settings. In addition, students have had access to the internet for various educational reasons...and some kids even have gotten access to staff computers via staff passwords, stolen or in rare cases given. At Hamilton (now closed) several students were able to get into the computer system by a well meaning but naive teacher who gave them access. They were able to hack and obtain "every" teachers password in TYC. In addition, these kids accessed one caseworkers personal information (DOB, SSN), knew her address, car she drove and license plate number.

Grits, I think you do a great job but these kids have nothing but time to try and figure out ways to get over or around the system. "Some" ataff at "some" campuses work in conditions that are dangerous and highly stressful... while this is not the norm, I don't believe that this staffs view is an NOT (a correction) exaggeration just his/her experience.

Now I could get into the slew of reasons staff feel powerless but mainly this is because most of the staff have not been properly trained and have had any authority and responsibility removed from them via micromanagement. Their is a belief (came from Central Office and down the chain of command) that staff can not make rational and intelligent decisions because they lack the education or intelligence to do so. Reality is that it is a failure of management to properly instruct, mentor, guide, and empower staff to do their jobs.

Staff want to do a good job but they have to be given the opportunity and respect to do so.

Former JCO, CSW, and PA.

5/20/2007 8:41 PM

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@8:41 - Don't you think that if y'all had enough JCO staff to maintain control in the first place it would solve ALL those problems? I see this as conflating different and only tangentially related problems. I don't for a second think kids don't pose a danger to JCOs or that they're all angels, and I'm sure some get news from the outside, though I'll bet they head to the entertainment section instead of the investigative news stories about state agencies. I just keep seeing this meme and think it's quite overstated. What's worse, and more destructive, the meme misplaces blame on the kids instead of where it really belongs - the failure of administration and the Legislature to adequately staff and provide oversight to TYC facilities. best,

Anonymous said...

Grits...You just nailed it!

don said...

Scott, I could elaborate on it all day, and you pegged some of the reasons. No doubt, entrepreurs will sally forth to offer programs, but if you don't have the qualified personnel, you go with the unqualified personnel. TDCJ programs are already doing this, hiring interns and other unlicensed people. The problem is TDCJ. It is dysfunctional from bottom to top. Or more accurately from top to bottom. Probation does not escape this dysfunctionality. It's not that there won't be programs, but the quality of the programs. I have seen some of them do more harm than good. (Read SAFPF) Sometime I will write you personally and give you my views on the whole thing from the viewpoint of someone who has worked as an LCDC for 20 years, most of it directly in the realm of "crimnal justice" (quotes to imply a gross misnomer)

Anonymous said...

8:41 responds,

Staffing is part of the issue, no doubt Grits but I have seen well trained staff handle groups of 50 kids or more. Such staff know his or her boundaries, respect the youth, are fair and consistent in his/her decision making, and was supported and empowered to do so with the trust and support of his/her administrative staff. In other words the staffs yes meant yes and his/her no meant no.

There has been a systematic shift to remove any real decision making from staff. When I was a staff and when I was a caseworker the responsibility to maintain and run a dorm was our responsibility... I rarely if ever saw a PA or other management on the dorm other than for monitoring purposes. The PA or JCO VI(then a YAS IV) did not come in and take over control unless things were way out of control... If things reached this state then they were not doing their job...

Out of control behavior resulted in a shutdown, slowdown, dorm restriction (take your pick)... Staff work overlapping 12 shifts to for 3-5 days to increase staff numbers. This was not down because the kids were "out of control" but was really a retraining/refocusing for the staff.

When I was a CSW I worked hard with the JCO's to ensure we did not become lax with the students and addressed problems through constructive group process. A dorm restriction is really an attempt to return the dorm to constructive group processes.

I did this because I did not like working a 12 hour shift when a dorm is on restriction. As a csw I never had to do this because I had a great team of people working with me...my PA offered constructive advice but did not come onto the dorm and do my job... They did not come in an up-surp my authority. Power and control are illusion...they would let staff and I maintain the illusion that were were the alpha dogs...

Unfortunately, largely to the rapid growth and poor training of staff CO and management (my opinion) lost faith in staff and csw's ability to manage dorms. PA's were expected to come in work extra hours and take over...I saw this happen at many campuses. As a PA I protested and argued against this but like other PA's was forced to do this. This taking over...took away/undermined the authority, responsibility, accountability of staff and csws...

More staff are needed but there also needs to be a shift in responsibility and accountability back to staff and csw's and allow them to make decisions...support them when right, correct when wrong, and put faith in them that they are capable. People are people, if we treat someone as incapable they soon will be but if we believe and put faith in them they may rise to face the challenge and may even surprise us.

What I am saying is GRITS is that there should be a focus on training and empowering staff to do his/her job. More staff can be just as impotent and ineffectual if the management mindset does not change.

Anonymous said...

You must have self-motivated people in an organization. Throwing money at an unmotivated person only rewards poor performance and will NOT make them better at their job. However, if you have the wrong people in administration you can UNMOTIVATE even the best employees! This seems to be the status quo for TYC, Adult Probation (CSCD) and Juvenile probation departments in Texas

Anonymous said...

Those of you who say that the kids could not be running the show are misinformed. If a kid thinks that a staff person is being mean to them by enforcing the rules and keeping the dorm "on program," all that kid has to do is pick up the hotline phone and call in a report of staff abuse. The staff person is immediately put on a different dorm or suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, which could take weeks. In the mean time, the kid has shown that he really is in charge and the staff are even more discouraged. Many of these kids are professional manipulators and they are working this system. I wish that I could see an end in sight.

Anonymous said...

Scott: I have never seen SAFPF criticized as a "bad" program" I'd be interested in hearing more on that.

Also, could you please get someone to post a "glossary" so us DAs (dumb asses) can better understand WTF all the PAs, JCOs, CSWs etc. are saying? Thanks.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm for funding treatment in SAFP, just not building three new Hobby style units we don't need. A glossary is a good idea, but I don't know (or would have to think long and hard) what some of the abbreviations are that get tossed around in the comments. When in doubt, ask! Best,

Anonymous said...

JCO = Juvenile Corrections Officer (the higher the number, the higher the trank with the VI being the supervisor)

PA = Program Administrators (just below the assistant Superintendent)

CSW= caseworkers

CO = Central Office

DA's = dumbasses! lol

whitsfoe said...

LBB Summary of House/Senate Budget Differences: "TYC will not appropriate funds to anyone convicted of a felony offense. I guess the felons are done regardless of how long ago their crime was committed. Wonder if TJPC and TDCJ have those provisions in their's as well?

Better Think of Everything said...

My question is - their are many persons that are involved with juvenile offenders. Will TACOOMI, CPS, TDHS, TDH, all physicians and the hospitals that treat these youth (while incarcerated) have to have criminal background checks? I mean fair is fair...they have interpersonal interaction with these youth. The way the GAP policy revision reads - they shouldn't have felons in contact with them either. If a felon wished to pursue that in a court of law - they might have a very valid and expensive point. More food for thought and more potential funds out of the budget.

Anonymous said...

I think it is rather crappy that certian people at TYC have lost there jobs for mistakes they made as kids themselves . Who better to show the screwed up youth of this state they can rehabilitate? I just hope the person in charge of hiring and firing now will realize what he is doing he is messing with alot of FAMILIES not just indviduals. One of these days he will be held accountable for is actions and I hope he gets what he deserves.

Anonymous said...

Certian female central office staff need to learn how to do there jobs instead of letting everyone who works under her do it for her. Takes some Midol and some Prozac and do your own job. You know who you are.

Anonymous said...

It is fair to say TYC has many problems and you can throw money and resources at it all you want but you wont change he problem without revamping the agency top to bottom. Sure TYC needs more staff to maintain good supervision of youth but there also needs to be programs in place to reform youth TYC has held on to its precious RESOCIALIZATION program that provides little the way of teaching useful alternatives for problem behavior. why cant the agency be restructured in a manner that reflects the different types of youth it serves instead of grouping them all together as it does now. wouldnt alternative programs geared towards the actual problembehavior be more beneficial than using this generic program that doesn't work.

whitsfoe said...

Can 8:01 please clarify? What's that all about?

whitsfoe said...

And @ at 8:17 p.m., I couldn't agree more, but I'd suggest we go a little deeper in that thought and fund counties to have parents of these troubled kids and have “tried and failed” available resources prior to the point of a judge deciding the child's fate and ultimately sending them to the TYC.

Some parents have problems recognizing how they've enabled their children (by denial of the offense, esp. sex offenders) to the point to where their child has been incarcerated.

Parents do bear some responsibility of getting kids placed in TYC.

Counties bear responsibility for not having intervention resources in place to handle it.

The ledge has the ultimate responsibility for not funding counties to make it happen to begin with....

Hopefully, this will change after this session. (ps. I’m a parent too and I’m a watch dog of mine, and their friends, and so-on, so I know!)

Janice said...

Whislefoe has a valid point. Parental responsibility. I know my grandmother's eggturner brought me to reality a time or two....not to anger the "time out"' people. Excessive corporal punishment is not the answer. But a well placed and time peach tree limb....yes. :)

I think there should be more monetary repercussion to the parent/guardian involved in the life of juvenile criminals. They are very quick - especially in the climate of the last few months - to blame those that are trying to keep these kids in line and be productive citizens. I see it everyday - more grievances etc that are basically unfounded in the hope of a dollar. Many of these parents are the same ones that abused their children and are felons themselves. Which opens another can of worms - if the parent is a felon, should they be allowed to be involved in the youth's program while in TYC....I mean that isn't a good example either???? Kimbrough and the lege and the TDCJ powers need to think these things through. I am all for helping....but at the expense of what?????????? Policy makers need to walk the walk before they talk the talk.

Or what about the lege adopting a criminal and taking them into their own houses for rehabilitation????????

Anonymous said...

good point... Wonder if Hinojosa, Kimbrough, Owens, and Whitmire have spare bedrooms. LOL

All the firings - the hands off policy etc - are just good "works"... But there is no real meat. Keeping everyone in limbo and fear that is involved in the agency is a big waste of tax dollars too. Turn over and firing of employees that could be retained and valuable is an injustice to the youth, the employees and the taxpayers of our Great State.

"Chuy" said...

Those of who know that the majority of youth in TYC do not have parents that visit them on weekends or even call them. We also know that the only way the kids will ever have a fighting chance is to place them away from their family and friends once they leave because they will most likely fall right back into the same trap that brought them to TYC (neglectful parents and peer pressure they cant avoid).

But, the powers that be believe that by having these youth close to home it will solve the problems. It will not, but a program that actually works with these youth once they leave might, and this calls for more than what is on the table.

I hate to say this but the majority of the youth we have at TYC do not come from functional families. We can debate this all night long but unless you actually work day in and day out you would know this but you could do what most folks are doing now and that is to theorize what might work.

I theorized one time and bought $100 worth of lotto tickets thinking that I just might hit the big one, guess what my theory did not pan out and I am still employed by the State. I enjoy my job working with the youth but theories are for those that don't do the actual work.

Anonymous said...

I agree with janice...."parental responsibility". Just like the Bible says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it". Where were these parents when the kids were 3 yrs. old? It starts at a very young age. And, now, they expect us to rehabilitate and change them. When, in fact, they shold have done that themselves. The problem with this agency is the people in CO are sitting behind those big fancy desks, looking at stats on paper, and not knowing anything about what the staff are going through in the field. I vote for allowing Kimbrough, Whitmire, Hinojosa, and any of the others to come and spend a 12-hr. day on a dorm alone and see what the real deal is. Maybe, just maybe, they can then understand what the JCO's have to deal with. There are still some good people out there who genuinely care about the youth and are NOT abusing them. Also, make a decision and stick to it and stop keeping us in the dark and in a chaotic state.

Anonymous said...

grits, in response to our post on 5/20/07 about scare mongering. speaking as someone who is on he inside i will agree that some of it is scare mongering but if you look at TYC over he last few years the severity of and frequency of major incidents has increased dramaticly. most of which mever were brought to public light. TYC has in the past 2 years sent its STAR teams (riot teams)to numerous facilities (i was there for many of them) Evans,giddings,victory field,mart,san saba. the culture of both youth and staff has seriously gone down hill. youth in the facilities are truly feelng empowered and this does create a serious security issue.while there have not been any Attica type riots he potential is there and with the recent confusion in the agency reguarding use of force many staff feel that they cant act. it s truly a scary time to be working in the agency...ktf

Anonymous said...

just so you know we have over the past 2-3 years had full scale riots at several facilities. most were covered up but im sure if someone did an open records request to the state office of risk management and loked at employee injuries or just talked to some of the star team members who were sent to these incidents you would see a really different pictue of the agency.

Anonymous said...

whitsfoe asked about TJPC and TDCJ having rules about hiring felons. Well, they do. You can't have anything above a Class B Misdemeanor in order to be certified as a Juvenile Probation Officer through TJPC. I think that TDCJ has a similar rule, but don't quote me on that.

Anonymous said...

O.K. bloggers, I hate to get off the subject but I just heard something today that I have GOT to confirm. Hopefully someone here will know or can find out. I admit up front that this is hearsay and I heard it at least third hand, but it would explain SO MUCH about what is happening in TYC Central Office these days. Is there a connection between Dimitria Pope and Whitmire????

Also, I understand there is more being discussed on the sly, behind closed doors, regarding facility closures that up front and out in the open. (what a surprise!) There are still three facilities on the chopping block in addition to John Shero and Marlin, and we know who we are. Unfortunately, Mr. Kimbrough appears not to want to answer this question directly and honestly regarding these closings and has said it is all up to the legislature. Whatever! I may not be the brightest light on the tree but I'm not stupid either. We deserve better than this.

Anonymous said...

Okay 4:15...we're listening, but I can tell you that hearsay is hearsay, and since I happen to work at one of the facilities on the chopping block, I can tell you that I hear something different every day. For example, yesterday I heard we are closing, today I heard are not closing. Who knows? The truth is, THEY know and they are NOT going to say one way or the other for fear of a mass exodus. They will close facilities in the same manner they closed Hamilton State School a few years ago--SUDDENLY and without warning. So, 4:15 anon, if you show up to work one day and see a line of state vans with kids climbing aboard, you'll know it's doomsday at your facility. Until then, you won't know anything because they aren't going to tell you.

Anonymous said...

THEY won't have to worry about a mass exodus pretty soon, with all those employees who haven't produced high school diplomas or GEDs plus the felons already on suspension. The exodus has already happened - the only difference is the people are still on the payroll. Way to go Kimbrough! Really well thought-out plan! The rest of the country must sitting back laughing their assess off at us. I know I would be!

whitsfoe said...

@ 1;28, thanks for the response, but do you know if the LBB put it in your approprations as a rule like they did us? I need new contacts so can you check on that question? Please? Or at least see where it may be otherwise mentioned except in your administrative policies. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hey 4:15...what kind of a "connection" are you talking about between Pope and Whitmire?

Not so dumb in suburbia said...

Please - there is a connection between Kimbrough and Perry - Owens and Pope - all the lege involved have one back to scratch or another- talk about the good ol boys and girls club. They think that because the field employees are in some rural areas that we have hayseed between our teeth. No = what they are doing is part of psychological warfare....keep us all in limbo and then when a "final plan" is in place everyone will just fall into the line. Grateful that big brother came to the rescue. Give us a break!!

Then move to put facilities in the urban areas - ok - lets put these offenders in the cities where their "homies" are and have a big problem...Let Uncles and cousins become JCO staff....just like the Dallas County Juvenile system. Talk about major gang affiliation all around.

beaumont needs help said...

Hate to get off the "blog" topic as well. But on the subject of connection....why is Kim Fowler still superintendent at Al Price. She jumped from PA to superintendent with the blessing of the last TYC CO administration....troubles in our facility are at an all time high. The current acting administration is aware of the racism and "head turning" - yet nothing is being done here??????????
I am sure the back scratching goes all the way to the top. No doubt in my mind.

Anonymous said...

SB 103 states the following in the most recent of the Legislative Budget Board's Fiscal Notes on that bill (dated May 6th, 2007):

The impact of the population reduction would result in the closure of facilities.

Bottom line:
We don't know where, we don't know how many...but it WILL happen.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever wondered - or brought forth the tax dollars it will take to build the urban juvenile facilities? You know the ones that will keep these "children" close to home. If they close the ones already in effect - far from these gangsters "affiliates" - the facilities that are already being paid for by tax dollars - who is going to absorb that cost? You and I brother - you and I. Texas must have one helluva budget!!!!!!!!!!! Wait til the public that feel they are unaffected by the TYC drama start feeling the impact! Whitmire's dream of becoming governor will go up in smoke.

whitsfoe said...

I just knew the superintendent at Al Price would make her name on here, but please folks, let's stick with the debate and not turn this blog into another witch hunt string of who needs to stay and go.

Let's stay focused on the issues. I know what you're saying Beaumont; I've had my differences as well with the Superintendent, but can we please start developing solutions to the problems that Central Office brought upon you as opposed to naming people that quit frankly, were small change in comparison to what the big buck did?

I know you are pissed off at her, but lets fix this thing.

It's kind of like that test pilot that once said to his navigator during a test flight of a new fighter jet launched. See, the co-pilot expressed a concern that there was a rat chewing on the wires that operated the jet, but the test pilot said “No problem. We are going to take this thing so high, and so fast, there is no way a rat can hang on." So there... hang and let's fly this thing.

Anonymous said...

Hang and fly what thing to where? That's the problem whitsfoe...we don't know where the this thing is going or which one of us should hang on. If we had some notion of what's going on it would help a lot of us sleep better at night. The thought of unemployment in the boondocks is a scary thing.

I appreciate what you are saying and I know your intentions are well meaning, but hanging on is getting old. This thing has been going on so long the thought of job security has become a distant memory.

When will the hanging on end, when we finally fall off the cliff? We deserve better!

Beaumont in Hopes said...

You have a very well taken point Whitsfoe. As I said - didn't want to get off the blog. Forgive my passion involved in that area readers and Grits. I will just hold to the basic principle of what we reap what we sow. Looking forward to brighter days and the hope of appropriation of funds in that light. Beaumont.

Anonymous said...

Surely CO is looking at Fowler, Beaumont. I know they have been given information. Just hang in and you all try to do what you do best - try to keep the campus together.

Anonymous said...

Try to hang on, you say. Hell, I took the rest of this week off to try and hang on to my sanity and salvage what is left of my health. I have offered many times to assist on the dorms for staff coverage, but because I am the FEMALE department head of a department no one really respects anyway, I'm looked upon as practically too stupid to be able to survive a shift - even though I regularly supervise cafe, security, visitation, etc. as the ADO - there is just no possible way I could be of any help to our frontline staff. Hell I could at least answer the phone and do the paperwork. But I assure you, I have offered for the last time. There are some of us who are busting our asses to save our facility and then there are certain administrators just focusing on getting their 'GREEN' each month and planning where they will transfer when March 2008 rolls around. Its disgusting - but stupid like I am, I will probably be the last one out the door on the last day waiting on the last kid's mother to pick him up and guess what? She'll be late and won't have gas money. I'll give her Senator Whitmire's cell phone number which he so graciously gave out during a recent hearing. Maybe he can help mom out. I'll be halfway home by the time she reaches his voice mail.

no jailbird said...

Grits,
The time has come for employess who do not have GED,s to get the ax. They have 90 days to get them or they are gone. No matter how long you have worked for TYC or what your job discription is. In some cases one person can equal 3 with their talents and the jobs that they do every single day. Jobs that TYC has sent them to training forand even paid for. Talk about misuse of tax dollarss... This nightmare will never end because they cannot replace these people fast enough. Who suffers? The facility, students and the staff that is left. JCO's now look like crosswalk guards with their little yellow vests. The sad thing is they dodnot even order enough of them for all the jcos so they have to share. Would you want to wear something that someone else has worn for eight to twelve hours? What a four ring circus. Central Office are still sitting on their thrones just like it has always been. They are out to make a name for themselves no matter the cost.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@ nojailbird: I was just told that Jay Kimbrough insists only those who lied about a HS diploma or GED are at risk of firing. Is that your information or is it broader than that, and how many folks are we talking about? Is there a memo or something you can forward?

Anonymous said...

Female Inmate Found Dead in Cell

May 21, 2007 11:27 PM CDT

MARLIN - An inmate at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hobby Unit in Marlin was found dead over the weekend.

TDCJ Spokesman Jason Clark says 44-year old Mary Cristan was found with her hands tied behind her back with torn bed sheets in a prone position on the floor of the cell. Cristan had abrasions and scratches on her. She was taken to Falls Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Cristan's cause of death was not immediately known and an autopsy has been ordered. Her cell mate was a 26-year old female from Hidalgo County who is serving a 40 year sentence for murder.

Cristan was serving five years for three counts of assault on a public servant out of Tom Green County. The Office of the Inspector General of TDCJ is conducting the investigation.

Grits, is TDCJ going to be investigated thoroughly regarding this incident?

no jailbird said...

Grits.
One of the fellows that I work with was told this week that he has 90 days to get his GED or he will be let go. He was told this by one of our HR people. Now he is in a panick because he is up in his years and affraid he can't pass. He disclosed to CO that he did not have a GED when they sent out their memo. I did not have fish for lunch but I sure smell one..... Nothing in writing yet from anyone just verbal. They also posted for Sups and asst. sups today so they can reapply. These are on the job site for TYC.

Janice said...

Will everyone get this scrutiny in state agencies? There are so many state funded arenas that deal with children.

My question is - why are those that interact with juvenile offenders deserving of such mistreatment....the fear of job loss based on education and past indiscretion etc? Shouldn't it be passed equally among the masses - that my friend is why it is being coined a "Witch Hunt".

whitsfoe said...

Well it seems like every session, there are a few whipping boys. This year was TYC's turn, along with TxDOT, and maybe a few others, but I assure you, no ones ass is as red than TYC this session :0

Sick of Naziism said...

Haven't seen much at all on the dead female inmate referred to above. But I guarantee you if it was a youth in TYC we would all be under arrest or investigation ....whether we were on vacation in the Bahamas or at our mothers eating turnip greens.

Come on folks - let's treat all agencies the same.

Anonymous said...

See new blog Salem TYC witchhunt in 2007 - good read

Anonymous said...

well tried to access that blog mentioned above and I can't pull it up??? Grits - help a computer illiterate. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
TYC Witchhunt - Thought Salem was dead

Well folks we are at the close of the legislative session. There has been free publicity for the senate and house as they have jumped on the bandwagon of juvenile criminal abuse. Where were these elective officials and the governor when they were informed of the Brownwood abuse in 2005. I mean - its a matter of published record that they were aware. We have all seen the articles in the papers. Yet no one seems to want to focus on that - nor do our beloved officials. BUT - they want to hear "no excuses" from anyone associated with TYC....yet, they want answers and have no tolerance for the fact that TYC was still investigating and came to no conclusion. They want to hear no good that has come from the devoted employees that put these juvenile criminals ahead of their own families and wants to ensure an environment of security. What do they want to hear - anything and everything negative about TYC..from parents that themselves abused these kids and are felons - from the youth that are in the forefront - pissed off at any authority that they can accuse of wrongdoing (real or imagined). Who do they have writing policies and plans for rehabilitation - persons with PHd's that have never worked closely with gangsters and incarcerated youth in a correctional setting. This is like the adult that never gave birth to a child or parented one telling a couple how they should raise and discipline their child. Give me a break. What about the firing of felons and axe on the head of those with misdemeanors in TYC. What a bunch of hypocrites!!!!!!! We are supposed to give them their walking papers (in front of the youth) that they have built relationships of trust with in TYC - and then tell the youth their crimes are forgiven??????????? What message are you giving?

These youth with the current climate are feeling invincible. This has been nurtured by the legislature. The numbers for employment with TYC are not the greatest on a good day. Now no one in their right mind would want to go there.

Please wake the heck up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Sick of Naziism at 5:23 PM 0 comments



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Anonymous said...

Grits: All staff MUST be qualified for the position they hold. That means all JCO's must have a GED/High School Diploma; Case Managers must show college transcripts, etc. It doesn't matter if they hired you without one or not...You must show proof or you're suspended by next Friday.

I mentioned before that having the facilities offer GED prep. for staff would have been a thoughtful thing to do since we have already (and continue) to lose staff due to AMI's, felony/misdemeanors, injuries, etc. Those of us left are here holding the bag without an end in sight. No overtime pay (as promised), working 12 hour shifts (non-JCO's), etc. If someone sees hope, let me know. Until then, I will continue to do my part in keeping this thing afloat!

BTW: a copy of your diploma is not enough, you must have a physical copy! That means all of our "age experienced" staff whose schools shut down in the 70's have to get "someone" to certify that there are no records! Good luck with THAT!!