Sunday, August 05, 2007

Takeover of Texas Youth Commission by adult prison bureaucrats will continue, says The Back Gate

With only unnamed sources, this information must be considered a rumor. But it's an interesting rumor, and one that makes sense considering what's been happening recently with top management slots at the Texas Youth Commission (TYC).

At least five wardens from adult Texas prisons will transfer to work in senior positions at the Texas Youth Commission over the next few months, reports The Back Gate, a Texas prison-guard run blog, attributing the information to an unnamed source at the Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) central office in Hunstville. The Back Gate reported:
The Backgate Website confirmed information today obtained through a source in Huntsville that stated that at least five current TDCJ wardens will be hired by the new Texas youth Commission's head man, Ed Owens in the next few months. At least one has already left TDCJ employment and is currently in Austin working for the agency in an unknown administrative capacity.

For those of you that have not been keeping up with the ongoing situation, Governor Rick "good hair" Perry recently appointed Owens to direct the youth commission in it's new and improved direction. But anyone who has worked for TDCJ longer than 2 years knows full well just how big a mistake that appointment was. Owens was TDCJ's assistant director under Brad Livingston, and was always well known as an example in how not to manage people, or to make good decisions.

The Backgate has also learned that the wardens in question, which Owens has hand picked, are not the highest quality staff that TDCJ could offer the beleguered agency. Most have management difficulties themselves,which is something that TYC doesn't need at this point.

TDCJ, which has long been predicted to take over operations of TYC facilities , seems to be moving one step closer to accomplishing that goal. TDCJ office of inspector general staff (TDCJ internal affairs) has now been designated as the investigative arm of the TYC now, and has even offered up one of it's own to head that agencies top law officer post.

As an editorial to this piece, all I can say is that i truly feel for the staff of TYC. I am also angered by the governor's decision to appoint a man to head TYC that couldn't even get his own agency straight prior to leaving there. TDCJ is in the worst shape it has been in since it's inception back in the 1800's with employee issues, low morale, and non-existent upper level management support. Not to mention the agencie's continual barrage of vacancy postings it publishes every month that still number near 3,000 officers , the same stats they held 3 years ago.

TDCJ loses on average 500-600 officers per month , and suffers even more from a wave of supervisor self demotions that have left the agency scrambling to fill vacant on units posts. Sometimes those posts are filled with rookie , un-experienced staff members due to the lack of interest in those positions by the seasoned staff.

I say to you Texas legislators that read this website, it's time to put the brakes on this move, fix one agency before to shift the problems to another to ruinthat one too !

Especially troubling is the assertion that the wardens who might transfer to TYC are "not the highest quality staff that TDCJ could offer the beleaguered agency," though since the names of the wardens aren't revealed I'm not sure how the writer could know that. Still, that makes sense too, at least from TDCJ's perspective: What agency would give up its best managers? In those cases, typically you'd rather hand off your problems.

In any event, if true this decision by conservator Ed Owens continues a lamentable trend already under way where staff from Texas adult prisons have filled most empty slots in top TYC management, bypassing employees who've spent years in juvenile justice and in most cases failing even to post jobs to seek outside qualified candidates.

Not only does it smack of cronyism and ensure top managers will require steep learning curves to change their approach (juvenile justice is a whole different ball game compared to running an adult prison), but as the Back Gate notes, TDCJ is a poorly run agency in its own right.

If it's true the folks they ship over turn out not to be the sharpest knives in the drawer, that can only add to TYC's struggles. Mr. Owens and Co. need to re-think this approach and begin hiring juvenile justice pros in senior management slots, not just limit the applicant pool to their friends and folks they personally know.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

This agency is going down fast.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's Owens' intention to fill agency slots with wardens who best know how to cover up sexual harassment.

Anonymous said...

11:47...you nailed it!

I'll have to comment on this a little later because right now I am feeling very sick.

Anonymous said...

1000% agreed, 12:01. I want to vomit.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the unamed Warden working in Central Office is Bronco Billy. That guy is singularly unimpressive. Sure, all the agency needs is a few more like him!

Governor Goodhair had better not be seeking any further elective office!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Grits! I wrote the story for the Backgate, and although we do have a list of wardens in our hand, we promised not to publish it until the official deal is ready to be made public. You see, if we release it now, we will burn the source because they are one of a few who has access to the info.

The ex-warden who is already there is Billy Humphrey. He was last assigned to the Hospital Galveston unit, and has a bag of bones he took over to put in his new TYC closet. There will be more on him as well in the future.

There is planned mass moves in the future for TDCJ wardens, and one reason is the exodus to TYC.

As soon as we can publicly do so, we will release all the information.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:28 Backgate writer, we refer to him as Bronco Billy just so you know. Let the Backgate staff know for future reference. I'm sure we'll come up with some creative names for the next five.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:28, why the mass exodus? They know what's coming their way next session or something?

You don't have to publish their names, but are we getting the bottom of the barrel or what? Please tell.

Anonymous said...

How can we find out more about the bag of bones Billy Humphrey brought with him over to TYC? Is there a particular Back Gate post we should read for more info?

so so sad said...

I saw the writing on the wall and got out, but I still care about the agency and it's mission and have friends suffering through this debacle.

As much publicity as this got through the session, it's surprising how little it's getting now.

Nothing is 'fixed'. They just imported in bureaucrats who don't have any juvenile justice experience and made the job harder for those who are still hanging on, trying to make a difference.

I know lots of good people in CO who are scared to death to open their mouths. One wrong word and they can be fired.

It is just so wrong in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of jobs and filling them: Is it my imagination or are there more & more vacancies posted on TYCs public website? Seems like there are multiple openings at every facility (example Gainesville w/ 4 Case Manager positions). Are facilities hiring MORE people or are people leaving/getting laid off? If it's people leaving then it must be a nightmare if you're still hanging on and trying to take care of business. I left the agency and the state of Texas before this takeover and would be very interested in knowing how things are going. Someone please fill me in. Thanks, L.A.

Anonymous said...

You know what would be interesting? I'd like the State Auditors Office to replicate that employee/management survey like they did during the session and reveal employees attitudes now v. then. Wonder what it’d reveal? My guess after reading these comments is the situation has worsened.

Anonymous said...

This is no surprise. The writing has been on the wall since the Kimbroug debacle. My question is how do we put a stop to it?

Anonymous said...

Hey...that's a GREAT idea. State auditors...are you listening?

Lorraine Running Water said...

Do you understand what Bronco Billy and the wild west show are all about? You can be anything you want. All you have to do is go out and become it!

Anonymous said...

4:33...people are leaving because they are fed up with the agency and everything it now represents. For those of us who choose to stay, yes it's a lot more work. I see some people filling in for so many people. Many are working 12 hour shifts, and not getting their scheduled days off. Others are having to do their own job and perhaps the job of two or three others during their shifts. It is only the people who are truly dedicated to the kids that are sticking around. I am proud to be one of them.

Anonymous said...

There are quite a few of us that are hanging on. We want to make the agency work, but it is heartbreaking. I have my retirement papers sitting on my desk at home, but I keep hoping that things will work out. I have talked with some of my peers who are also eligible to retire, and most of us are holding on and hoping we can make a difference. It gets harder and harder every day. I might put a date on those papers yet. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments Old Salty and 7:55. Since I posted I've been going through & reading up on old blogs/newspaper reports, etc. I'm shocked at what's been going on. TYC was never a paradise but at least me and my co-workers believed we were fighting the good fight. It seems to me that TDCJ is taking over and TYC is becoming a bunch of mini-prisons & contracted care. I can't believe it all; it's only been 18 months since I left! My heart goes out to all of you...Good Luck and May God Bless You!

-4:33

Anonymous said...

You can't assume that all the newer hires don't have any background in juvenile justice. Many have experience in the juvenile system and prevention programs. Also, please understand that anyone who has worked in the adult system has a real respect for how important the juvenile justice system is in working to keep kids from entering the adult system. The folks from TDCJ know first hand where these kids will be without some serious help. What's heartbreaking to me is how many kids have been thrown away because TYC does nothing but lock them up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Salty, why not retire and come back? Seems like with all the vacancies, wouldn't be a problem unless, of cource, you're in CO. Man if I were in your position, I'd do it. What's your position? Field or CO?

Anonymous said...

Oh you just opened the flood gate with that.... let him/her have it fellas:

Let's start with this: Just how long did it take TDCJ to get out from under Ruiz? Answer that. What do any adult corrections professional know about the right to rehabilitation? Protection?

You say we just "locked them up?" How many TDCJ inmates go to school everyday during the work week in a structured classroom setting? What about planned recreation? How often do TDCJ administrators deal with family reintegration?

Sorry, I could go on forever, but I'll let the other vets in the agency tell you a thing or two. You're in the wrong place making that comment.

Anonymous said...

Maybe 9:38 is one of the TDCJ employees who's now getting a TYC paycheck.

Anonymous said...

And yes, what you are getting is worse than what you have so far sorry to say. "bronco Billy" as you guys call him, is said (not verified) to have been having an affair on that unit with a subordinate. And got his current wife on the job as well. He believes himself to be a real ladies man.

We have requests in for his history and such through the AG's office, we will report on those findings, amoung others later.

All of the TYC people going over are doing it basically to get out of hot water with TDCJ. Bottom of the barrell...? nope, from under it.

Alex Martinez, Backgate Reporter

BTW, TYC... you guys have a new area on our blog, come find out the latest gossip and news over there. You may be able to help us help you.

www.thebackgate.com

sunray's wench said...

I'm sad for the TYC folks who get one of the un-caring, invisible TDCJ Wardens as there are plenty of those to choose from. But what worries me is what Owens and TDCJ think of as 'not the best of the bunch' may actually be the Wardens that staff, inmates and families actually like and respect. If this is trickling down from Gov Perry's office, we all know how he feels about inmates and officers in TDCJ. This pay actually work ok for TYC, because kids who are vulnerable are worth more column inches and public sympathy than TDCJ inmates who are doing 30+ years.

Anonymous said...

To 8/5/9:52: Judge William Wayne Justice, and his plaintiff's attorneys who made a lot of $$$$$, delayed the court settlement. Our Ledge/the lobby folks/ senior TDCJ management didn't want the case to "go away" to quickly because the case was the "cash cow" for TX corrections.

Have you ever heard of one of the largest school systems in TX; WISD?
Thousands of inmates attend school classes every day in a structured classroom/school house. The teachers are outstanding!

The "RIGHT" to rehabilitation? Wouldn't that be great if that was codified? Having worked in local,state and federal Criminal Justice Fields for over 40 years and having a Graduate Degree in this field (double Major: Rehabilitation and Social Services" and "Counseling Psychology")I do know "something" about rehabilitation. What is your point?

Protection? Very difficult with the severe staff shortage but TDCJ does the best they can. By the way how many "kid" on "kid" and staff assaults does TYC have per month? Percentage wise which agency has more?

Are you familar with a Parole Plan?
Do you have any idea how many inmates have family ties after serving those long sentences?

This is the right place to comment as "Grits" has many readers who have the ear of those who make the decisions.

Finally, I think all State agency employees could tell each other "a thing or two", but that would not resolve the major problems we have. Morale is low and the frustration level is critical. Throwing rocks at each other will not help. Keep the faith and remember; you are one day closer to retirement!

Anonymous said...

As what could best be described as an "outside critic," I don't think it makes sense to say that, as a rule, no prison staff can work in juvenile justice.

However, the wholesale placement of TDCJ staff in practically all the leading positions at TYC, along with the policy ideas spelled out in docs like the Kimbrough report, smacks of an agency that is headed in exactly the opposite direction of what is needed.

Putting aside TDCJ specifically, juvenile justice's entire reason for existence is that it is NOT a prison system... and strives whenever possible for treatment over punishment, rehabilitation over incarceration.

So yes, this latest news is troubling, esp when taken with the secretive MO displayed so far, documented by Grits. Conducting unpublicized RFPs, hiring prison officials quietly, all done while the lege is in recess and the press isn't paying much attention, what should people think?

Should we believe that the new TYC leadership is embarking on some sort of open-ended search for solutions, for a better juvenile rehab program? Why should anyone believe that, based on what we're seeing?

Bill Bush, UNLV

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm with you Bill, if it were one or two TDCJers, I might even welcome the differing perspective. But to replace the leadership wholesale with folks from the adult prisons can only be viewed as cronyism at its worst.

And with all respect to the TDCJ veterans out there, that was an extremely poorly run agency on many levels on Ed Owens' watch. I think the BackGaters will back me up on that score. Lets please not pretend otherwise, and let's please God not make TDCJ's "parole plans" the model for how to reintegrate kids when they get out of TYC. Comparing two broken agencies and asking which is better is a losing proposition. I'd rather find juvie programs and agencies that do function well - either in-house or perhaps out of state, if necessary - and hire new management from there.

Anonymous said...

To the person who asked: I'm field staff. I actually like working with kids. I'm afraid it I retired with the intention of coming back, I'd enjoy my mandatory minimum month off too much to want to come back Old Salty

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bush and Henson. A few adult correctional professionals would be good. I see their presence as an improvement in our security. Some have different ideas in that regard; however, a wholesale exchange of juvenile justice administrators with adult corrections (with supposed bad histories) will have just as negative impact as having the inept, hard headed, egotistical and incompetent juvenile justice administrators we saw walked. Hate to say it, but most (BUT NOT ALL) that were whacked got what they deserved.

Why not look around the country for people who have experience in Juvenile Justice? Why not post an ad on ACA's website? Lets bring in some new blood, but lets not forget that there are many current TYC employees who have dedicated themselves to this agency for years and had nothing to do with what happened - had no part in that scandal and have exceptional experience in this field. What about them? I’d just be happy to see the regional directors be former superintendents, not TDCJ’s flunkies. I’m sorry TDCJ, and no offense, but juvenile justice is a different beast.

Just ask that new Ombudsman. He's seeing that first hand I'm sure. He's seen adult justice, and he's now see juvenile justice. Funny how we took to him. He came in asking a lot of questions, and that made his transition smooth. Hell, the JCO's love him from what I've been reading and hearing. Why aren't they reacting the same way to the other newbie’s? It has to be obvious. Conduct the SAO's employee survey and find out. Second call.

Uncle Sam's wrath said...

Tax Payers in the US and Texas ought to be appalled: From an obvious TDCJ administrator:

"Our Ledge/the lobby folks/ senior TDCJ management didn't want the case to "go away" to quickly because the case was the "cash cow" for TX corrections."

No reform? Delaying reform? What the hell? You mean to tell this jury that TDCJ purposely delayed reform in the name of a sacred "cash cow?" Hey, you guys broke that heat wave did you not? Wow.

How it doesn't surprise me that TDCJ gets the criticism it so well deserves. Will that be the same approach to reforming a juvenile agency in Texas? For the love of Christ, have you adult corrections people lost your mind in Texas?

Anonymous said...

9:38,

If any of the new hires from TDCJ have juvenile justice experience, why wouldn't the administration trumpet that from the rooftops instead of claiming TDCJ all the way? Somehow, I'm guessing your claim isn't all the way true. BTW, a year as a juvenile probation officer fresh out of college before spending the bulk of your career in adult corrections does not a strong TYC administrator make. How much juvie experience does Buckin' Bronco Billy have, for example? Is it his years of experience with adolescents that have convinced him that it's A-OK to pepper spray juveniles into compliance?

Anonymous said...

Good questions. Care to answer TDCJ-on-board-type?

"Justice Delayed is Justice Denied."

Delaying the Ruiz settlement? Explain that, and please explain who was behind it if you can (you can).

And please explain how that strategy might benefit a juvenile offender in this state.

Oh feel free to share :>

Anonymous said...

6:23...What you said is very logical, to the point, sharp, and insightful. Your comment contains suggestions the "powers that be" should carefully listen to. They could benefit from your line of thinking.

signed,
A current TYC employee who has dedicated 10 years to this agency and had nothing to do with what happened.

Anonymous said...

This is 9:38.

I'm just making the point that not every person that is coming from TDCJ sees that as an ideal system, and they are not all ignorant of juvenile justice. Just as you seem to know quite a bit about the adult system. Obviously, the structure and operations of TYC could have been much tighter in the interest of the youth and the integrity of the state agency. It's not that TDCJ is so much better as a system. But, just like the TYC conservatorship is not your fault, the TDCJ shortcomings are not these folks fault. If something wasn't broken in TYC, then why are there so many problems?

Anonymous said...

To 9:38

It wasn't the system that was at fault, not that it doesn't have flaws, but many of the people running the agency (Chester clays, L Banards, Don Freemans, Dwight H etc...)

Unfortunately, it appears that those who have taken over are less competent and more corrupt than those who left!

Anonymous said...

it is getting to the point to where, at night, when i put my head on my pillow, i would like to think about a good nights sleep. i don't get one anyway, but i would like to think about one. being able to post on grits has allowed me to at least think about a good nights sleep. when i can't think about this anymore, then i think my personal ethics will require me to quit. i cannot believe that our government is this bad.

E.

Anonymous said...

9:38...I understand and appreciate your comment. It is a positive view of the situation that I hadn't thought of..(N0, 9:38 critics, I am not from TDCJ)

8:49...hang in there...the kids need you. I can't sleep either, but better days will come.

Anonymous said...

For me, the jury is still out for many of these TDCJ imports. After meeting several of them, I am convinced that some of them at least, came over because they saw a chance to do some good and have a positive impact where they were prevented from doing so in TDCJ. Having said that, there are a few who I definitely wish had stayed with TDCJ. Time will tell. I am really praying that TYC does not become a "Jr. TDCJ". As I told a kid today, if I had wanted to work for TDCJ I would have signed on with them in the first place. I chose to work at TYC, and for now at least, I choose to stay with TYC. (Though I do have my retirement papers at home, ready to send in, should I lose hope.) Old Salty.

Anonymous said...

E- we miss you!

Anonymous said...

Well, again, i will stress, and you all will see for yourself soon but the people you guys are getting are TDCJ people that were close to losing thier positions within TDCJ, and are heading out to curb being run off.

I can see your point if i didnt know the guys that your getting. You have no idea whats in store. There is no doubt they are fresh faced, interested, and spaked full of enthuiasm. Im sure they were when they came to TDCJ as well.

I am a TDCJ employee, 20 yrs worth. And having been here and seeing these guys come up through TDCJ ranks. I can say this. Owens is a puppet, a man with no spine and couln't manage to free himself from a paper sack with his management skills.

Owens is tight with a few other TDCJ rejects as well. Thomas Merchant, and Jackie Edwards being two of them. Will he hire them? if i had to bet, i would say yes for sure to one of them.

TDCJ and TYC are like night and day. No degree, or amount of adult correctional experience would equal a day dealing with these TYC kids. Our less than desireables saw a way out, and owens was the way out.

I see this as rick perry's demise as Texas gov.

I am proud to work here. And other than the 500 or so turds we employ here, there are thousands that do the job because they want to , and like it. Some even feel they make a difference. It surely aint the pay.

But if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like one. Dammit, it's a duck!

Anonymous said...

We've been reading about this Merchent guy at TDC @ the backgate. He sounds like another Bob Woods if anyone remembers that a-hole.

Anonymous said...

One positive note is that these people seem to recognize that they have nothing to lose. The old guard were so entrenched in their traditions and fear of litigation that they became unable to make a decision. The TDCJ people are coming in "full speed ahead; damn the torpedoes." I admit it scared the hell out of me when they dropped Handle With Care, but then again 60% of our people couldn't restrain a kid, anyway. And the ones who could tended to be abusive. All of them can use their thumb, and OC spray is a lot safer way to subdue a violent kid than having them taken to the floor by a bunch of overweight adults. At this point, I say lets give these people a chance. They may not do any better, but I'm not sure they'll do any worse. The old guard promoted a man to Asst. Supt. who had twenty disciplinary actions (almost half reprimands) on his record who started this mess. The new people may be incompetent, but hopefully they will at least read a damn personnel file before they hire someone is such a powerful position.

Anonymous said...

Um, don't forget Ray Brookins came from TDCJ where he allegedly molested inmates there as well. No one at TDC ever told us about that little problem.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the TDCJ crowd seeming like they are nice and want to help, talk is cheap. Action speaks louder than words. What have you seen done? What is the plan? What direction is TYC headed? Is TYC better off today than it was four months ago when these people first began to show up? There has been more than enough time for there to be reform. Where is it?

Anonymous said...

By way of comparison, lets consider something. How many current employees have been promoted by the new crew vs. how many have they fired. How many have they fired and how many of those positions were filled by current TYC employees v. how many filled by TDCJ? Can anyone answer that question?

Anonymous said...

7:34 take another look at that restraint policy: kid won't do want you need done, what makes you think he will stand there and let you put cuffs on him? If you manage that and he still won't do what he is being told to do, do you spray him? Headline: "Handcuffed Prisoner Pepper Sprayed for Wearing Pants Too Low: Roommate hospitalized with lifethreatening asthma attack"

Anonymous said...

srrvDid you know that most TDCJ wardens DO NOT have any college? Have you seen the requirements for the job? Just recent;y , TDCJ began requiring equivelant to a 2 year degree to run a unit of over 400 employees, and 2,000 inmates. The way they made it in was this. If you had a good shotgun, a 4-wheel drive and a hunting lease and a case of beer. You were hired on the spot. No questions asked.

The wardens you guys will get are no different. NO college, No experience with juvenile corrections, and no common sense.

Be afraid....

Anonymous said...

A few years ago (When TYC was taking over the TDCJ Unit that had been erected in Bryan College Station),a senior official in TYC talked with me about coming on board with TYC as an Asst. Sup. (I was then a Senior Warden at a TDCJ "High Security" Facility). I had a grad degree and experience working with juveniles. I was surprised to discover the TYC security staff did not fall under the "Peace Officer" supplemental retirement plan.

I also discovered the Asst and Sup. made more money than an Asst or Senior Warden(higher step increase). Reason provided was that TYC required these positions to be filled by degreed personnel and TDCJ did not.I did not pursue the position.

Do the JCO's and other security staff presently fall under the Peace Officer's Supplemental retirement Plan?

nurit said...

9:46 no, JCOs are regular state employees under ERS.

Anonymous said...

Unblievable! It is difficult enough to hire Correctional Staff in TDCJ WITH the Peace Officer retirement incentive!

It is absolutely amazing that the Lege has not changed TYC retirement packages to include the JCO's. I do not know how TYC hires anyone to fill those positions.

The TDCJ folks that will go to TYC will have the 20 years in for the Supplemental Retirement Package. When they hit the age requirement they will retire with an excellent income.

I know you folks in TYC do not want to read what I am about to compose but. . . If I were one of the TDCJ Administrators recently joining TYC I would try to talk all my good former employees, who had their 20 in, to join me. Can you imagine only dealing with a small portion of violators compared to the 2,000 to 3,000 they are presently supervising (not to mention the 400 to 1,000 employees at TDCJ units).

I hope and pray they will be the good employees and will become TYC assets Of course that will put TDCJ further in the hole.

I'll be reading to see who crosses over. Stay safe out there.

Anonymous said...

OK, people I have set back and have not spilled my gutts of all the cover ups, because I thought that the new CO personnel would clean up the mess. I always wonderd how deep they would cut to "get all the cancer". Well I have waited long enough to tell my story. When the firings began to happen I set back and made a list of everyone that was in the "club" or the good Ole boys and it help to be black if wanted to be in the "CLUB". Yes black! If you were Black and was a yes man they would hire you. They surounded themselves with weak people with no people skills and dumb as dirt. WELL it caught up with them and they lost their high paying jobs. My good friend that was forced out of managment always told me Quote "Give them time and they will out dumb themselves"History speaks for itself. At Victory Field there has been Sexual Harrassment filed on one employee (he is black) 4 times (since the take over) and found true on three of them and WHAT DO THEY DO? Cover it up and give him a promotion with the elite top 6 Blacks of running
Victory Field. Because he is best friends with the Asst. Sup. ,which is black, and he came with him from West Texas, Yes you Heard me West Texas, I am Talking about PYOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where Chip Harrison was Supt. These boys were part of the "CLUB" As well as Victory Field Supt. Donald Brooks.Which came from Shefield. This "CLUB" all started back In San Saba and Brownwood and spread to Sheffield and West Texas. When one of the bosses was promoted from Austin he would drag more soldiers in to his facility and promote them, check the records they were all black. Parsee went to Marlin after being run off from Victory Field for violation of policy and procedures and the Mafia bosses in Austin (BLACKS) just moved thier little General to Marlin as Supt. instaed of demoting him. And finally out dumbed himself and lost that job. But he was part of the "CLUB". They were builing an Empire BUT they made a mistake and hired dumb people and sex perverts people and what ever else and it caught up with them. With the King PINS of the Mafia IN AUSTIN or I am sorry the good Ole Boy Club. OK listen up your not going to believe this ./ Out of the 32 top managment positions, At Victory Field, they are all Black except 6. I am talking about JCO5 all the way up to the Supt. Racism is running high and wide here and Nothing is being done. Austin Central office has been told. When ever a greivence is written and sent to Austin, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WANT THE FOX THAT IS GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE AT VICTORY FIELD to settle the greivence because it will be swept under the carpet. The NEW Central Office personnel send the greivence back to the head fox . The head Fox , that is gurading the hen house covers it up if it is against one of his Black soldiers. Then the 26 Black Bass try to run the employee off by over working the greiver and giving him shitty jobs. The Black Brass have private meeting and LAUGH about how they rule over all and they cover each others ass. I know this because I have one black friend that has been to those meeting and he told me. What I am trying to say is The New Central office Brass has not cut deep enough. We have 4 to 5 still here that were part of Harrison's and Parsee's and Mr. Harris's West Texas Club. They miss use State cars for personnal travel . Austin has been told and nothing is being done about it. Racism is running ramped at Victory Field. The troops are only as good as their Leader and Victory Field Supt. is too sick to even be running a facility. He is so weak he can hardley get enough energy to get out of his car and walk to his office . I feel sorry for him , his kidney's are failing him. He lokks as though he does not have much time to live. Looks like "Walking Death". Very seldom , these days does he stay at the office over four hours a day if he comes in at all. It is really sad. We need leadership that is fair ,firm and consistant. The Asst. Supt. is a good Christain man But he is dumber than a fence post with no people skills. He has had many Hostile work greveinceas filed on him (even by his own race) and Brooks always finds them untrue and sweeps them under the carpet. What Austin needs to do is come to Victory Field and Finish the Job of cutting out the cancer . I know of two Law suits that is going to take place in the near future because The upper 26 Blacks have out Dumb themselves. AND the New Brass in Austin will not listen to whats going on, they just SEND THE COMPLAINT BACK TO THE FOX THAT IS GUARDING THE HE HOUSE. Which he will continue to let his top 26 soldiers abuse the employees. I WILL BE WRITTING MORE AND KEEPING YOU ALL POSTED ABOUT HOW BEING RAPED BY THE STATE IS GOING AT VICTORY FIELD.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing, 5:26. I want to hear more about the problems with corruption at Victory Field that aren't being unearthed by the new CO, but I'm pretty uncomfortable with the racial tone of your comments. Is there any other characteristic that unifies these folks, like all having been in the military? Time spent in a particular institution during a particular time period, like San Saba, Sheffield or Brownwood?

Anonymous said...

5:26...well, we know three things: you are NOT black, you work at Victory Field, and you are pissed off. I'm so sorry you are having a bad life...why don't you find another one?

I have worked at Victory Field through the tenures of five different superintendents, Donald Brooks being the fifth...I hate to disappoint you, but they were not all black! Two of them were as white as I am, so maybe you need to do a little more homework.

Donald Brooks has done more for Victory Field and it's youth than anyone else before him, and he has some very dedicated leaders under him too. They do their jobs well, and the color of their skin is irrelevant!

Anonymous said...

5:26, I agree with 5:42. What else can you come up with besides race?

Anonymous said...

Listen up Victory Field, you are not going to believe this:

Out of 23 teaching positions, there is only one who is not white. Sorry to disappoint you 5:26. This does not go along with your racist crap.

Anonymous said...

5:26 pm
I got news for you. Liar, Liar ,Liar pants on fire you are not white and you know it or you would have not made the comment you made. But I will play your game . I am black and I am embarrased that you would even make a comment defending whats going on at Victory Field. Their record speaks for them selves. Good try to convince everyone that you are White. OH! and another thing when the two white Supt. were there we did not have all the corruption (racism) we have now. And another thing when the Blacks took over ( good ole boys or the Mafia ) they the Fired Bobby King or should I say demoted him. I know for a fact that there is not a white person at Victory Field that would right a rebutale as you have . YOU OUT DUMBED YOUR SELF! YOUR BLACK AND YOU KNOW IT and you evidently are part of the cover up at Victory Field. Have a good day !!!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, 7:01pm That might be right but I can not help it that other people didn't get their education and pass thier State exam to be a Teacher. Wether it be Black or White. The Fact is 90% of MANAGMENT is black,not education. And they are mistreating the white employees. You out dumbed yourselve again. Thinking about it , YOUR RIGHT, this is not racism it is reverse racism. How does it feel to be on the other side of the fence, for a change. Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

I read all of Grits postings(Awesome work, Grits!) I don't work for the Youth Commission but I can say this: You clowns don't need CO to bring TYC and yourselves down, you're doing a great job all on your own. I hate it when anyone uses the race card, or the gender card, or the religion card or the...well, you get the picture.

Remember this: Every second you waste fighting among yourselves is a second that could have been dedicated to finding some solutions to the massive problems your agency is facing. I have a lot of compassion for you guys but it's wearing thin. I hate to say this but it seems as though many of you are so twisted and bitter that the only answer would be for you to find some other employment.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of possible inappropriate racial comments, 2 members of the Blue Ribbon Committee told me separately that Ms. Pope told the Committee the problem with TYC was that it had been run by a bunch of White Good Old Boys. Is there a double standard or was that ok?

And considering it was Brookins and Hernandez doings under the Harris-Reyes-Clay-Barnard-Harrison regime that started the downfall, it doesn't seem quite accurate.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I miss the enlightened atmosphere of TYC!

Anonymous said...

The only truth out of all this, be they black or white... most of th previous TYC management came out of Brownwood and to some extent Corsicana. Many of the Central office rehab folks came out of Giddings. Yes, it was a good ole boy and girl system. The use of race is often the last ditch effort of those with a weak defense.

Anonymous said...

8:06, if you are new to this blogsite, stay tuned. It gets much worse than this. I am all for solutions myself. I'm willing to stick with the agency in hopes that it will improve. 7:56 is absolutely right though; some people obviously need to find employment elsewhere! They are killing us with negativity.

Anonymous said...

I agree 7:56 I am 5:26 pm , I am an ex TYC employee. And I went to work with TYC because I wanted to help the youth,and instead I was drawn in to the Polictical BS and drama and after 8 years of abuse as a JCO and working in a hostile work enviroment, I finally through the towel in because my ambitions and Goals were no longer even a light at the end of the tunnel. It was all about back bitting and back stabbing and got so cut throat, that the goal of helping our youth,fell through the cracks somewhere. I finally did quit and went to work somewhere where i could acomplish what i started out to do.Its sad though, because like me,they are running off all their good help because they have all become so bitter and lost track and focus of what was important to begin with, that they are all bickering and fighting each other instaed of helping the youth. how can you monitor all these youth with all this going on.What i know of what is still going on at Victory Field, is because I still have close friends that work their and they ARE being mistreated by the uppers.I have also reported all of my own concerns to the State Rep.Rick Hardcastle.When I was employed their, I had my own runins with all the mess there and had my own grievance that was swept under the carpet, and YES it Very much had to do with race and with not only Hostile work enviroment but also Sexual Harassment by an upper.they were all part of this notorius CLUB OR MAFIA that this person 526PM was speaking about.I finally had enough OF of being STEPPED ON AND OVER LOOKED and unheard,Passed up on promotions,training dumb asses for what should have rightfully been MY promotions, and finally had enough so I quit, SAD DAY for our youth....because in reality that is where I shined and could have mad a diffrence if they would have just pulled togather for what is right not what is black or white or purple for that matter....
Ill comment on this more latter. and Ill continue to have a nice day because I finally quit and now DO have a life....

Anonymous said...

I have to say one more thing and then Ill retire for the night.I commend the staff that are still emplyed at victory field be they black or white and be they bitter or not, for they are still hanging in there, which is more than I could do. I hope and pray for all of you that are still there, you have more than you can possibly handle and then some, Lots of work to do , I only pray that it all comes to a head and everything gets straightned out for all of not your sakes but for all of our Texas youth sakes....

have a life

Anonymous said...

All though the writer at 5:26 comes across very racist and bitter, the fact is at Victory Field, all of the upper management over dorm staff from Jco V and up are all African American except for two white males. Dorm staff are very balanced with numerous races represented. Security is just the opposite having only 2 African American staff with the rest being white or spainish. Admin staff and case managers are white or spainish except for two people. Education and recreation has 3 African Americans and 1 Spainish. This seems to me to be a pretty well balanced ethnicity.
What concerns me more is that male to female supervisor ratio is way over balanced to the male side. There are only 8 women (1 white) in supervisory roles.
I apologize for the remarks made by my fellow VFCA co-worker. These things do need to come to light, but hate breeds hate and we are not about that.
I also have worked through several Supt. and it is all the same. One comes to us as a Asst. Supt or Supt. and they bring their friends to fill jobs that workers who have been there for years get passed over. That is what makes for a really bad environment as people get really tired of working their rears off and for nothing. TYC says their employees are their greatest asset. BULL. No one cares about the little guy, we have to help each other.
We came together and sent all kinds of Christmas gifts to Al Price after Hurricane Rita so that our fellow employees could give their kids Christmas and we donated to Gainesville after their flood. When we found out that a TYC grandfather lost two grandchildren in the flood we grandparents cried for him. TYC employees hold up your heads, roll up your sleeves and lets make this a good agency again whether the upper crust want it to be or not! Lets prove them WRONG!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Pope's statement that TYC was run by a bunch of "White Good Old Boys," is accurate, it shows just how out of touch with reality she really is. If Dwight Harris, Chester Clay, Eric Young, Linda Reyes, Corinne Sanders, Deborah Nance, Paula Morelock and various other management, superintendents and assistant superintendents are a bunch of white good old white boys, then I must be suffering from racial and sexual confusion.

Pope's alleged statement is racist and shows her intent to engage in racial discrimination. If true, there should be a public demand that she should be fired and branded as a racist.

Anonymous said...

I am apalled at the least that people are getting in to a pissing contest at VFCA when they should all be sticking together. Instead of attacking each other on race, put it out there for what it is. Another form of the good ole boy system. I hate to say that it is racially generated, but the peron(s) were accurate when they gave numbers of the number of people in supervisory positions being black. It has definately changed over the years. Mr. Brooks, ill or not, is not the problem. Mr. Brown, our great asst. is! He may be a good man, but his leadership is beyond help. He has had so many Hostile work environment grievances filed on him, some even proven true, and he is still in a leadership position. He has ran off some very good supervisor. The problem is not being black. It's that the people that are black and who are in the position to promote people, promote on the basis of their buddies and who they want to see move up. Rather than promote on ability and leadership skills. They promote people who have bad attendence records or who goes out sick when they don't get their way and then that breaks down morale for the other staff. Promoting should be dealt with in a different way. You have a panel of 3 people asking specific questions. Then when it's all over, each person scores the interviewees answers. Gosh, how easy is it to give you buddy the highest score. It is not subjective and it doesn't give people a fair shot.Most people who would be good material for supervisors have thrown up their hands and said to hell with it. You see JCO staff working 12 hour shifts on a regular basis, but the JCO VI's (except one in security), schedules themselves an 8 hour shift and they are walking out the door at the end of their shift. Then you have a supervisor who has had 4-5 sexual harrassment grievances filed on him and he is still there. When he was filed on, he went on FMLA. When he came back, he's back to his old tricks. But then again, he's Mr. Brown's buddy, so he doesn't have to worry about losing his job.
The real issue should be knuckling down and doing what is best for the facility so we can keep it open. I for one do not want to move or find another job. If they, CO, can't see the problems, then it is up to us to stand fast and keep going so that VFCA will continue on in to 2010!

Anonymous said...

7:37, it is difficult for CO to see the problems you describe because the TDCJ administrators engage in the very same behavior. Cronyism is the official policy of TYC's new management.

Anonymous said...

As several of you have pointed out, making a "white good old boy" comment would have been just plain stupid. Whatever else she is, Ms Pope is not stupid. Regarding her alleged racism, I find it hard to believe given the number of White folks she has brought over with her from TDCJ. What we have, is an undocumented, unsubstantiated claim that Ms Pope made this statement. I am amazed - we are all busy crying about injustices done to us TYC veterans, yet we are so ready to deny justice to Ms Pope!

Folks, consider that just possibly these people from TDCJ may have come over to TYC because they saw a hope of being able to do something that they could not do at TDCJ. I am sure some of them came over because of what they saw as a challenge.

The MSM and the politicians have done an excellent job of convincing people that TYC was a rats nest of thugs and pedophiles. Some of that probably rubbed off on these TDCJ transferees. It is obvious that many of them view us with great mistrust. Some folks on this blog have certainly given them ample evidence to support their prejudices against us! I am calling on all of us to be as professional as we possibly can and hope maybe those who have come over might see that in us.

Even if they don't, we owe it to the kids and to society. I cannot think of how many times I have told kids that they cannot control the behavior of others, but they can control their own behavior. We adults need to take that same advice to heart. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Lets be truly honest why they, TDCJ folks are coming to TYC.

1) They are about to go under review themselves and are 20 times worse that TYC. Would you stay?

2) They have no experience in juvenile justice, and THEY WANT TO HELP #@%^%$#$%^&*!!! PLEASE

3) Ms. Pope feels comfortable around those less educated than herself, so they decided to just tag along.

4) They figured Ray Brookins was one of their own and wanted to join the party!!!

5) Even after all the blood letting (it's not over) they feel competent enough to interview against a TYC staff for a job, oh I forgot they appoint staff into positions and do no interview.

I am sorry I keep looking for all the positives these TDCJ people brought to the table and just cannot find anything. Can someone please assist.

Anonymous said...

Old Salty,
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. You always seem to present a rational and considered approach to the topic -- and I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Old Salty, again after six months of TDCJ management, are you better off than you were seven months ago? Is TYC better off now than it was seven months ago? Are the TYC staff better off than they were seven months ago?

Anonymous said...

Some of you folks are so focused on the deeds and misdeeds of the TDCJ imports that you are missing the main event. In answer to your question, No, we are definitely not better off now than we were before the changes. Who is to blame for this? I say it is the fault of the politicians and the MSM. It is true that these folks now running the agency have no experience with juvenile justice. Many of them admit that.

My main point, which some of you seem to be missing, is that we still have our responsibility to the kids and to society. We have to start pulling together to mend this agency that was not really broken before the mess created by the politicians. We have the TDCJ folks, and we don't trust them and they don't trust us. We cannot control what they do or what they think, all we can do is get over our mostly justifiable anger and do whatever we can to try to make this agency work.

I myself have been very, very discouraged over the past few months, but I decided that I have a choice, I can either leave or I can do whatever I can to try to make things better. Who knows? I may be the next one walked to the gate. Until I am, I intend to do my best. As I said elsewhere, that is what Semper Fi means. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Old Salty, good management does not need six months to better TYC. It should have by now earned the respect of the staff. It has not. It has taken actions that have only harmed TYC. Semper Fi is more than than always being faithful. It is living up to one's duty. Standing by and letting mismanagement harm TYC is not being faithful but shirking one's responsibility to protect the public trust. There comes a time when a Marine needs to relieve a superior from command. That is what Semper Fi means.

TYC is not the Corps. Professionalism means that one does what is right. If one can't, then it is time to walk. Otherwise one becomes not a professional but a flunkee, a yes man, etc. etc. and should not lecture other people about professionalism.

Anonymous said...

So, 6:46, We just ignore our responsibility to the kids and walk away? That is the coward's choice. I'd rather stay and figtht and take a chance on getting fired. What you do not seem to realize is that these people who came over from TDCJ are not the source of the problem. TYC is just a pawn in a much bigger power struggle. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Okay, lets just say the TDCJ folks are pawns?

Does that mean we need to just sit around while they threaten us with our jobs?

I see it this way, yes we have a responsibility to the youth, and correct me if I am wrong we are doing this.

We are not here to be mislead by a bunch of uneducated TDCJ folks that their own agency wanted them out.

If they actually gave a damn they would start building bridges and repair the damage that has been done.

PAWN my ASS, a pawn would not try to pull all of their buddies from a failing agency while the one they are joining is in a free fall.

I seriously doubt the politicians told Pope and Ed, keep firing those TYC folks for a couple more months so we can show the tax payers in Texas we really cleaned house.

Hell last time I looked Brookins and Hernandez are still walking the streets. I respect your comments Old salty but you are way out of line if you think Ed and pope are just Pawns.

Anonymous said...

Old Salty, walking away is not cowardice, but requires more guts than you have. Walking away makes a statement and allows people to talk publically about the problems of TYC reform. Do you honestly believe that people like Howard Hickman are cowards?

spearshaker said...

As a white staff, it bothers me that nobody saw a problem when Crenshaw was the only black supt and central office was so lily white it looked like a funeral parlor, even after Morales v Turman. I have worked for and with blacks, whites, browns and even an asian or two... never found much difference: the competent ones were a pleasure to work with, the incompetent ones made the job more difficult. As an example, Donald Brooks knew the rules, listened to staff even when being told he was wrong, after which he would publicly self correct. Had no problem working with him and can't see color had anything to do with it.
That said, intentional racism is as foolish for black leaders as whites only was in the past. Unintentional, i.e. hiring people we know and trust that sometimes follows racial lines, can be as foolish. Bitching about may be the most foolish act of all. If you have evidence other than just numbers (remember how everyone complained about quotas in the 60's and 70's?) take it to court and make a federal case out of it. If there are specific problems/issues like those that have been mentioned, grieve/complain or go to the ombudsman if it is affecting a child in our care.

Anonymous said...

I did not say Owens and Pope are pawns, I said TYC is a pawn in a much bigger power struggle. I was not calling Howard a coward - I know and respect Howard - I was responding to the person who was implying that I am a yes man. I have been accused of many things in my life, but no one who knows me has ever called me a yes man.

I have given some very direct comments both face-to-face and by e-mail to Ms Pope. I have tried to be polite and professional while still raising issues that I felt needed to be raised. So far, I have not seen that my comments have had any effect, either positive or negative. Who knows, I may still be walked to the gate, but so far, I still have my job.

I understand the person who says he/she uses this forum to vent. I do the same. My point is that bitching and fighting among ourselves is not doing us, the kids or the agency any good.
Old Salty

Anonymous said...

If you are a white woman, you might as well give it up...add higher education! HA, TYC is not for you. TYC LIKES ignorance and being black!!!! If you can't act ghetto, FORGET IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with the Caucasian woman's comments. TYC is dominated by the black population, and it seems, regardless of their level of education or lack of, they seem to rule the place. How sad. I thought we stopped fighting the civil war years ago!! The black women complain of prejudice, but they are the very best at it!! I feel very sorry for the black women (they seem to have the ghetto attitude, they should learn some social skills from their Black men who seem to be very easy to work with, regardless of your race or gender.