Saturday, July 07, 2007

Inside Job: More musical chairs at TDCJ

In an ongoing round of musical chairs at the highest levels of Texas corrections management, Texas parole chief Bryan Collier found a place to sit down before the music stopped as the number two man at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, replacing Ed Owens who as regular readers know went on to become Executive Director, then conservator of the Texas Youth Commission. Reported the Austin Statesman:

Bryan Collier, the state's parole director, was named deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the No. 2 position in the state's correctional system, on Tuesday. ...

Collier, 42, has been director of the parole division for the past 5 1/2 years.

Collier started with the corrections agency in 1985, and he has worked his way up through the ranks, according to agency spokeswoman Michelle Lyons. He has worked as both a correctional officer and a parole officer, Lyons said.

For anyone who watches Texas corrections closely, this move inspires little confidence. Under Collier's leadership, he and Parole Board chair Rissie Owens have together driven down Texas parole rates to their lowest point in state history, which all the number crunchers say is the primary cause of the state's prison overcrowding crisis.

Mr. Collier obviously bears some of the responsibility for allowing widespread fraud in the parole system uncovered last year. The Austin Statesman reported that hucksters were "using the secretive nature of the parole process to cheat clients." The Texas Civil Rights Project last year filed a lawsuit aimed at making the parole process more transparent.

OTOH, if Collier's parole division wasn't monitoring for fraud, they were paying close attention to the media. Under his leadership, by policy, TDCJ's parole division gave an extra supervisor's review before recommending release of any inmate just because their case received media coverage before and during their incarceration. That means if the press covered your case, even if the coverage was in your favor, you get an extra hurdle to clear before parole is approved.

One wishes such strict attention were paid to the parole division's own policies and practices. During Collier's tenure, Texas was more likely to follow parole guidelines for releasing violent offenders than those who pose less of a threat.

I've never met Bryan Collier. I have nothing against him personally and I hope he can help turn the troubled agency around. But as someone who began working at TDCJ when he was 20 and was promoted through the ranks, he's not the kind of guy you hire to reform anything. He's more the kind of guy you hire to keep your problems out of the papers.

As we've seen at the Texas Youth Commission, that strategy only works for so long.

8 comments:

Miss Welby said...

ciao, nice blog

Anonymous said...

So, what position will he be taking at TYC?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Y'all don't get him for a while, apparently. He took Ed Owens' old job.

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as a person who has worked hard and earned a position for the good of all people and is fair and honest anymore? In reading these blogs on TDCJ and TYC why do "they" continue to put people in high offices that are proven to be screw ups? Do we hire by the slogan "screw up , move up"?

Every person that they have put in office at TYC has a bad background and they seem to be worse than the ones they fired(with the exception of the sex offenders) according to the blogs and backgrounds that are on the internet. Take the last one they hired and have not announced to the working folks at TYC. You can google her up and find that she was not rehired by a school district, according to the net. So I guess what ever that was about it made her highly qualified for TYC.Guess that "screw up, move up" rule met those qualifications.

How can you fix an agency if you continue to place these kinds of people in charge. If I remember correctly that the Legislators said no more of this GOOD OLD BOY STUFF AT TYC! Whoops have we forgotten that statement. Wait it should have said , No more of the GOOD OLD BOY CLUB all these people are in, we need a new CLUB of GOOD OLD BOYS IN TOWN!

How do they expect the good guys in the field to respect these people? We are to trust that they are working for the good of the kids and employees? You can't and the field people are educated enough to know this.
This is a sad world in corrections and for all of those who have to bear this burden everyday. Waiting and Wondering what is going to happen next. We only know what we read about the new Good old Boy Club and it seems that is just what it is once again.

As far as TYC goes, I hope that all the information on the internet and blogs are untrue statements about the new hero's in CO and that TYC will rise to the greatness that the Legislators wanted for all.

This is just my opinion that was formed of these people by what others have said, newspapers, internet sources,blogs on the backgrounds of the NEW ONE TEAM members of TYC. I am open to give them a chance to prove all the bad press wrong.For all of us in the trenches I pray that they will do the right thing to make this world of ours in corrections better for the inmates and employee's.Prayer and hope is all we have left.

Anonymous said...

In TDCJ as in business, the ones that can - cover up the mess - rise to high positions of power.

The ones that do the work are left to - clean up the mess.

This new guy seems to have great credentials to - cover up the mess - which is currently at the BPP regarding the fact that they cannot follow their own guidelines.

It has seemed to me for a long time that the BPP just follow whatever the Parole Division of TDCJ recommends. Of course the parole division wants to be sure that there are lots of prisoners so they'll continue to have a job.

It is all very sad!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the CJAD-BPP is following in the Probation footsteps of keeping the hard working employees in the lower ranks and moving the "Good Ole Boys/Girls and Lazy Losers" to the top! When will it end??????????

Anonymous said...

GOOD FOR MR COLLIER, BUT HE FORGOT TO INCREASE THE PAY ON THE CAREER LADDER FOR THE PAROLE OFFICER. A 10+ YEARS PAROLE OFFICER IS MAKING 173.00 LESS THEN A 2 YEARS PAROLE OFFICER. I HOPE THEY ARE NOT FINISH WITH THAT PAROLE OFFICER'S CAREER LADDER. IT WILL DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF HAVING A CAREER LADDER, PLEASE MR COLLIER BEFORE YOU LEAVE ADD AT 800.00 TO THAT CAREER LADDER FOR PAROLE OFFICERS. WE ARE THE REASON YOU ARE MOVING UP, PLEASE SOMEBODY HELP BY THE WAY THE CLERICAL SUPPORT STAFF ONLY HAVE THE 2% TO LOOK FORWARD TOO. THERE SALARY ARE ALREADY A PROVERTY SALARY PLEASE HELP US, IT NOT AS MANY PEOPLE IN PAROLE DIVISION, THEREFORE INCREASING ALL SALARY BY 800.00 FOR THE WHOLE PAROLE DIVISION WOULD NOT PUT A DENT IN THE BUDGET, PLEASE HELP US. I AM NOT ABLE TO TAKE MY FAMILY ON A VACATION, BUT I AM SURE MR. COLLIER CAN AFFORD ONE. AGAIN, GOOD LUCK TO YOU MR. COLLIER.

Anonymous said...

Some people in Austin are driving the prison population up, so the overflow will go into the PRIVATE PRISONS. I bet this guy will have a high paying job with a private prison company when he retires. This is usually the payoff. Corrupt government at its best.

Way to go Perry, let's lock everyone in Texas up, while you and your buddies steal all the money. The money sure didn't go to the hard working TDCJ employees. The Governor now has 40,000 TDCJ employees and their families watching him. Lets not forget about the inmate's families too. He just stirred up a hornets nest. We need Perry impeached now!!!!!!!!