Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pope passing the buck on important TYC decisions

I just discovered this page of "recent directives" on the Texas Youth Commission website which previously escaped my notice. The theme of several new directives from Executive Commissioner Dimitria Pope was handing off key management decisions to small groups of hand-picked insiders.

In some instances, given poor decisions by the management team so far, that may be a good thing. For example, here's the full text of an interesting decision from July 31:
I hereby delegate to the agency's Chief Administrative Law Judge the authority and responsibility to make and issue the final decision in all employment termination grievances. This delegation applies to both pending and future employment termination grievances under PRS.35.15.
So for everybody who lost their job over a felony TYC already knew about and everyone else who's filed a wrongful termination grievance, an administrative law judge, not Ms. Pope, will make the decision.

I'm curious to hear from ex-TYC employees going through this process - do y'all consider this good news? What's happening with your cases, what's the timeline for denouement, and what are you hearing about the quantity and types of cases alleging wrongful termination?

Another recent Pope directive Aug. 29 created an interim review panel "designated as the final decision authority for approving the release, discharge, or extension of stay for all non-sentenced offender youth who have completed the assigned minimum length of stay." I'd heard about this panel but hadn't seen the directive. I guess these are the folks who must decide the fate of 19-20 year olds who the TYC administration left in limbo.

Yet another directive governs admission and extension decisions for mentally ill youth incarcerated at Corsicana, granting authority over decisions to one person:
decision-making authority for Mental Health Status Review hearings for admission or extension of stay in the Corsicana Stabilization Unit is temporarily granted to a single hearing manager appointed by the Corsicana Residential Treatment Center superintendent. This directive is in effect only until and as soon as additional psychiatry services are obtained for the Corsicana facility.

The hearing manager must be the assistant superintendent, a program specialist, or a mental health specialist. The criteria for admission or extension in the Corsicana Stabilization Unit remain the same as in current policy. Any recommendation to admit or extend must be supported by expert testimony from a psychiatrist.
Who is this one person, I wonder, and how were these decisions made before? What was wrong with the old decision making process? Is the purpose of this decision to reduce the number of youth admitted to Corsicana, and if so is that really a good idea to disqualify kids who might need specialized mental health services? I wonder what Don Brantley thinks about the idea?

Though the directive was dated August 31, I recall no discussion of the decision at the joint legislative hearing just two days before. In fact, an official at UTMB told the Lege that mental healthcare at TYC had declined in quality since the spring. Due to "overcrowding" or "understaffing" problems said, Dr. Ben Raimer, healthcare workers had to operate at TYC in a "situation that's out of control." So given that context, how will this change improve matters?

As always, I'm grateful for any light TYC employees can shed on these matters.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott there will be no measurable difference due to Pope’s handing off the responsibility to an Administrative Law Judge. If you notice Pope referred to the Chief Administrative Law Judge as belonging to the agency not the State Office of Administrative Hearings. I think this slip on Ms. Pope’s part tells all one need to know!

I entered exceptions to the decision from the Administrative Law Judge who presided over my termination which dealt with matters of state law. In her opinion she totally ignored the state statutes which limit the firing of employees by a conservator that I raised in my case presentation. A conservator can only fire someone if it can be shown the employee was directly connected to the issue that brought the state agency under conservatorship. The same section of law also states a conservator cannot delegate policy making to another. Jay Kimbrough fired TYC employees who had nothing to do with the matters that brought TYC under conservatorship by using his power to make policy which I feel violates the Texas Government Code. Jerry Madden told me, in an email, they had to fire the felons to show the public they were cleaning up TYC. As I have said all along the fire the felons program was nothing less than political grandstanding which had nothing to do with the real problems at TYC.

I had no doubt the Administrative Law Judge who heard my case and ignored the laws of Texas in her written opinion was biased toward TYC. The Administrative Law Judge responded to my letter of exception stating since she had rendered her opinion she no longer had jurisdiction over the case due to the accelerated termination procedure of TYC. It would appear TYC’s policy trumps “due Process of Law”. Exceptions to the decision of an Administrative Law Judge are allowed by law. The accelerated termination procedure of TYC regarding people with prior felonies was in itself a due process violation because it treated one class of employees very differently than all others.

In short the deal is fixed! The only difference is the heat is off of Pope now. Looks like she is getting smarter! Delegate to distance yourself. If things go bad it is a good move. The new designated fall guy is some Administrative Law Judge.


Anthony Mikulastik

Grace Under Fire said...

The experience with the felony termination process went something like this:
1. Received letter from TYC stating suspension with intent to terminate.
2. Employee has 3 days to grieve it.
3. Hearing is held and the ONLY thing the Administrative Law Judge is interested in asking you is "Do you have a felony record"
4. Received letter from TYC stating that they were going to uphold the recommendation of the Administrative Law Jugde from the hearing. In other words "YOUR FIRED" signed Ed Owens. End of process.
From start to finish the entire process took 90 days. Just think about it, it only took 90 days to demolish a 12 year career! Since then I have heard that they have stream lined the process and it doesn't take that long. No dinner, no kiss or anything.

Anonymous said...

CONFLICT OF INTEREST ??


TYC Open Bay Dorms Alterations 2007
Turn your bids into:
Contact Information:
Art Hinojosa
Maintenance & Operations Dept.
6400 E. Hwy. 290, Suite 202
Austin, TX 78723

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm sorry, y'all, that's really depressing. The firing of ex-felons was the single worst decision made by mgt in a series of bad ones, IMO, because it totally alienated staff and blamed the wrong people. I hope there's some justice meted out down the line.

What's the conflict of interest, 1:30 - tell us the backstory.

Anonymous said...

Anthony,

Can you appeal this decision to a higher court?

Anonymous said...

Senator Hinojosa dismantles TYC

Art Hinojosa decides who gets the money for the remodeling contracts ?

We are talking 20 million to be spent on remodeling here....

Just a Coincidence I am sure.

http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/sagencybid.cfm?startrow=1&endrow=25&ag_num=694&orderby=Agency

actually outta here said...

Do you have any actual evidence that Art is related to Senator Hinajosa? That's a pretty common last name in Texas. That's sorta like implying that I'm related to OJ Simpson just because he and I have the same last name.

Rambo said...

Scott:

Here's how it worked:
1. April 2, 2007, Received letter placing me on adminstrative leave and notifying me of the intent to terminate my employment. I was given 3 days to grieve the action.
2. April 4, 2007, Filed grievance, but it obviously meant nothing to TYC or the Administrative Law Judge.
3. May 1, 2007, Termination hearing conducted by an Administrative Law Judge. She had no interest in anything other than the fact that I have a felony record. She recommended termination of employment.
4. June 29, 2007, Received letter from Ed Owens, informing me that he was following the Adminsitrative Law Judge's recommendation to terminate my employment, effective July 2, 2007.
5. End result: 12 years of faithful service and all retirement plans down the tubes...

I have heard that the process has since been streamlined.

If anyone else falls into this class, I would be interested in pooling together a group of them for legal action. I think that if we work together, it will present a much stronger case than if the victims of TYC's actions file individual suits.

Please feel free to contact me at: tcu98.frog@yahoo.com

Rambo

Anonymous said...

The past TYC practice has been for the TYC Executive Director to review these matters and make a decision based on the records and staff recommendations. This, of course required a great deal of work on the part of the Executive Director.

The people who will now make these decisions have been given no standards to use to base their decisions. If they guess wrong, then they will be blamed and the Executive Director will have a fall guy to blame and fire if the wrong decision is made.

Thus it saves the Executive Director labor and eliminates responsibility.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Anthony,

Who was the Administrative Law Judge that heard your case?

Anonymous said...

Give it up "Rambo," it was all your calls about how you had been wrongly denied a promotion that started all this in the first place. When Kimbrough found out about your record, he started the purge.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:03 stated that "Rambo" started all of the "purging of ex-felons" I think you are mistaken... it as the ledge starting all of this after finding out an employee at a contract facility had a sex offense on his record. Then the order came down that "no employee with a felony record could be employeed at TYC"

Gritsforbreakfast said...

For the record, Jay Kimbrough appears to be who came up with the idea of purging felons. But all the legislators jumped on board quickly, and nobody in authority criticized it during session.

As a political ploy, it had all the subtly of jangling your keys and saying "look over here," but it worked - it held off the media till interest died down, sad to say, even as it destroyed agency morale and created a climate of fear in the workplace.

That said, I think we should all agree to blame Rambo. Bad Rambo! Bad! :)

Anonymous said...

Go to the TYC mainpage and click on the link to Programs & Facilities located in the left sidebar. Then under the heading "Facilities" click on Facilities/Institutions. Click on Corsicana. The picture is of a group of people walking into the building that houses the Corsicana Stabilization Unit.

CSU is a psych-security ward, located on the CRTC campus, for temporarily treating the most seriously dysfunctional youth who present a risk of harm to themselves or others and who require the special efforts of CSU staff to meet their treatment needs and control their behavior. See GAP 87.67(c) for admission criteria.

These youth can be referred to CSU from any facility in the system, but most of them come from the general population at CRTC.

There's a special due process hearing (called a Mental Status Review Hearing) required to admit them to CSU, and that's what the directive is about. See GAP 95.71.

The directive places authority to make the decision in the hands of a single person, instead of the three-person panel formerly required by GAP 95.71.

Why? The directive suggests it's because there's not enough staff to make up an adequate number of panels to handle the caseload.

Note: effective "only until and as soon as" makes no sense. The directive wants to say "and ceases as soon as" or "and no later than."

Anonymous said...

Most recently, many surviving TYC employees in CO are starting to slowly but surely get their voices heard again and "getting this buck" passed to them.

Does that mean TYC is coming back as it was? Newp, and it shouldn't.

Does that mean we are going to see more TDCJ employees taking these lead positions such as Superintendents/Assistants?

Newp. Look at the last fills in that position. Those TDCJ applicants couldn't hang with current TYC employees and all those posts were filled with current TYC employees. We have one TDCJ kid that got an assistant superintendent at Crockett. That's it: so much for those five Wardens coming over from TDCJ.

Are we top heavy with TDCJ @ the top posts?

Yes.

Is it right?

Yes and no is my take. There have been some key additions.

I think without a doubt, Jim Hurley has been an outstanding steal from TDI, and I know many refer to him as a "bad guy," but the fact is, he is an absolute steal, and many of us who survived and got to know him absolutely respect him and his wisdom as well as his experience dealing with Perry’s office.

The gal out of research, not bad but it'll take her a little while to see how the ole' Chuck has mastered this research business.

On the other hand, Billy (Bronco Billy) has a lot, almost too much to learn. Numero Uno: Learn your chain of command. Very important. I think he is pissing off more of his own than TYC survivors.

The jury is out on Micky Neel. Sometimes a good, calming grandmother-type, other times, an over reacting wife much like mine. I think she's capable of trusting at some point, but right now she's guarded thus making us guarded. It's what you should expect coming in this environment, but I would think at some point (and sooner rather than later) she'd realize a good guy/gal from the bad.

Foster has to come to class. Can't judge when you’re not visible.

The other "new" attorneys." See Foster, but hey, they are nice and they come to class.

Marty Martin - welcome aboard. Jules was retiring anyway and Marty is pretty damn goal oriented. HWC is back, thus challenging Bronco's pepper policy. Nice fill.

And finally… D. Pope.

I think the fact she's passing the "buck on important TYC decisions" and including TYC survivors gives us reason to pause. I may be bit optimistic, but when you consider her v. Harris, I'd still take her hands down.

Anonymous said...

8:02, would you take Pope hands down over Harris even when it means losing Reyes, Nichols, Sanders, Logterman, Kerri Davidson, Nance, Brantley and others and getting Neel, Foster and Bronco Billy and promoting DeGerallami and Novy?

Anonymous said...

I think 8:02 has taken one too many shill pills.

Anonymous said...

Hurley is not from TDCJ, I believe he was the spokesperson for the Insurance lobby, or something close to that.

Don Brantley said...

Calling me out, huh Grits?

By the way, I really enjoyed speaking with you at the hearing last month. I have also enjoyed reading your articles and (most of) the posts, although it truly depresses me to hear the continuing difficulties faced by my friends and colleagues at TYC. You know I have refrained from contributing to the blog for legal reasons, but since you asked me directly on this issue, I guess I should step up.

The Corsicana Stabilization Unit (CSU) is actually two small units (one for boys and one for girls) intended for the most seriously psychiatrically disturbed youth in TYC. For this reason, it is a totally contained unit. The youth do not leave the unit except for medical care that cannot be provided on their small living unit. They eat their meals on the unit, their classrooms are attached to the unit and their recreation is on the unit or attached to the unit. They are basically segregated from any other youth at Corsicana. Because these units are so restrictive, it is important that youth only be placed there when their mental health needs truly require it.

The prior admission/extension process for CSU involved a hearing panel consisting of a psychiatrist, a non-psychiatrist mental health professional (i.e. a psychologist or clinical social worker), and a TYC administrator (Asst. Superintendent or Program Administrator). Admission or extension was based on a majority panel decision except that the psychiatrist had to be in agreement with a decision to admit or extend or it could not happen. This panel process was very time-consuming for the psychiatrists and psychologists – professionals who really needed to be providing direct treatment services rather than sitting in administrative hearings.

Before I left Corsicana over a year ago, I had recommended replacing the hearing panel with a single hearing manager (a trained administrator or mental health professional) who weighed the available evidence against policy criteria to decide if a youth met criteria for CSU admission or extension. A part of that evidence had to be a recent evaluation and recommendation from an independent psychiatrist (not the psychiatrist who referred the youth to CSU or who recommended extension). If the psychiatrist did not recommend admission or extension, then it was not allowed. If the psychiatrist did recommend admission or extension, then it should occur unless the hearing manager identified some other policy or legal due process requirement that had not been met. This is really what the panel process came down to anyway. I just proposed a way to streamline it. This change was intended to keep the decision tied to a clinical assessment and recommendation by a psychiatrist without tying up the psychiatrist (plus a psychologist) in all the administrative procedures.

If properly managed, this process should still protect youth from inappropriate placement in this very restrictive program while at the same time allowing better use of scarce clinical resources. On the surface, it sounds like the directive from Pope may have been just to implement something that was recommended over a year ago. If implemented as previously proposed, it should not necessarily increase or decrease the number of CSU admissions. Of course, what I cannot confirm is that Pope is implementing the change as originally designed/intended…

What are the odds? My first comment here is on something where I do not necessarily disagree with Pope. There haven’t been many of those…

Anonymous said...

Hands down over Harris? YES. Losing Reyes, et.al, YES. They put unreasonable expectations on releasing, and it was bullshit from day one. Resocialization was a good idea in a Harvard community, but unrealistic in the hood where many of kids came from, so yeah, it's dead.

Brantley? Well, the guy had issues, but more so what he created himself. That "holy I am than thou attitude" is what did him in. It didn't turn out that way in then end huh? Reserved judgement on the rest.

But yeah, I'd take Pope over Harris (in the closet) any day. He just wouldn't listen to anyone other than his mirror.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone provide a list of the Current Supt. and Assist. Supt. in TYC? For those of us no longer with the agency.

Anonymous said...

Actually the Austin American Statesman opened up the topic of felons working at TYC. Kimbrugh had a bad experience with an ex-felon getting a license of some type in a former conservatorship so he has a personal beaf against people with felony records. Once the AAS brought up the topic of felons at TYC Kimbrough jumped on it like a duck on a June bug!

By - FTM

Anonymous said...

Actually the Austin American Statesman opened up the topic of felons working at TYC. Kimbrugh had a bad experience with an ex-felon getting a license of some type in a former conservatorship so he has a personal beaf against people with felony records. Once the AAS brought up the topic of felons at TYC Kimbrough jumped on it like a duck on a June bug!

By - FTM

steve said...

Anonymous 11/9/07 2:48 PM said...
"Anthony,

Can you appeal this decision to a higher court?"

I believe you can appeal most decisions by an agency ALJ to district court in Travis County.

Anonymous said...

Scott, The guy who made all the calls regarding his perceived unfair lack of promotion did not had some minor felony during his childhood. It was pretty serious stuff, and he had claimed, (falsely) that he had received a pardon from Governor Richards. He got the outside investigators to look into his case, and in so doing, they found out about his background. When Kimbrough was informed, he went ballistic. I would warn anyone who wants to join him in a lawsuit that this guy is one of the most narcistic people they will ever meet. It is always about him. In this case, his narcism did him in. He didn't get an assistant supt. position and he tried to get the hotline folks involved. He got his wish, and he got himself, and a lot of other folks fired. Bad Rambo is right!

Anonymous said...

Don,

Thanks for posting. It's so good to hear from you again. You are missed.

One of many

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:53
I believe you may have "Rambo" confused with someone else because none of what I read in your blog is true in this case. Maybe you need to make sure that you have the right person. Rambo's friend

Anonymous said...

9:02 and 10:03 are stark raving idiot lunatics probably kissing the barking spider of Owens et al as they wrote their posts.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks everybody for the excellent responses - especially Don for chiming in.

FWIW, I agree with those who say Jim Hurley is an asset to TYC, though I've ribbed him about the pepper spray incident. My dealings with him have been forthright and amiable, and he's obviously a PR pro, which is nice - sometimes people in government resent those asking for information. He also gets blogs, though I think it all may scare him a bit (understandably so!).

I'd be interested in hearing more from PTYC management's defenders exactly what specific things they're doing well or that you approve of - not being Dwight Harris only gets you so far, though I think most will agree that's a plus! best,

Grace Under Fire said...

Grits your 7:51 posting-- This is an article that makes reference as to why the criminal backgrounds check started. This may help. I couldn't get a link to work so I copied some of it here.

Sex offender fired as TYC guard
07:54 AM CST on Thursday, March 8, 2007
By EMILY RAMSHAW / The Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN – The state on Wednesday fired a West Texas juvenile justice guard it didn't know until recently was a registered sex offender, the first termination in the far-reaching investigation into sexual abuse allegations in Texas' youth prison system.
The firing revealed a blind spot in the state's system of background checks for juvenile justice employees: Private companies charged with running a handful of facilities don't always check the juvenile records of prospective employees, state officials said Registered sex offenders are prohibited from working for TYC institutions or facilities the agency oversees, officials said.
Officials said he does not appear to be involved in recent allegations of abuse at juvenile facilities. The Texas Youth Commission was notified two months ago that he had a juvenile sex offense on his record.
Ed Owens, who became the commission's executive director after his predecessor resigned amid the scandal, terminated Lewis on Wednesday after getting official word of the man's registration status, said Rep. Jerry Madden, chairman of the House Corrections Committee.
"This is the kind of stuff that shows how important it is for us to be out in the field en masse," said Jay Kimbrough, the special master over the investigation who on Tuesday dispatched 71 law-enforcement agents to youth justice facilities across the state. "I think this is a big find, and it's going to be a big fix."
Record 'bad enough'
Kimbrough said Lewis' case came to light "by rooting around and talking to people, and it just bubbled up." He said his investigation will soon include "indexing" – re-running background checks on all youth commission employees to make sure their status is up-to-date.
"When you start kicking over rocks in an organized fashion, this is what you're able to uncover," said Robert Black, spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Kimbrough.
He said ensuring criminal background checks at all Texas youth facilities will be a key topic at a joint House and Senate committee meeting today on the scandal.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Grace Under Fire @ 11/9/07 1:18 p.m. except it was 17 years of exemplary service. I am pleading to the Legislature to reconsider the "Fire Felon Fiasco" with a TYC policy change. Sen. Whitmire and Rep. Madden should be given the opportunity to hear all sides of the stories.

Grace Under Fire said...

What do you think? If 2 people were applying for employment at TYC, both recovering drug addicts for 16 years or more. Both drug free, nothing on their criminal histories in those 16 years. One had a criminal history beyond those 16 years that is directly related to the addiction. Who would you choose for an employee? If you choose the one without any criminal history you would have no way of knowing the addiction existed. Does this make them a better person just because they did not get caught committing any sort of crime? Doesn’t the chance of relapse still exist for both? With the relapse could come lots of criminal behavior, so what makes one better than the other???? The only difference is you would not be able to bias your opinion based on a criminal history. Compare it to doing a phone interview. You really were impressed with the person on the other end of the phone until they came in to see you and they did not have the skin color you had anticipated or their manner of dress was not what you expected or desired. Would you still be impressed with them? Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Can people be discriminated against in the hiring process because they know someone with a criminal history?

You bet! Hiring someone means looking for a reason not to.

Firing someone that has done a good job for over 10 years is wrong, wrong, wrong when the reason is ancient history.

Fair is where you go for a pie eating contest. The "world" is not fair.

Anonymous said...

the purpose of these decisions is for Pope to hide her own incompetence and the incompetence of Owens.

Anonymous said...

Grits,
As you know the new IG is now is place. All the IG's are getting their own cars, guns, and bulletproof vests. They also get overtime and a carrer ladder. Youth care Investigators didn't get anything. No over time, no carrer ladder, and obviously they are better at doing their jobs becuase they have never needed guns, or vests.Oh yeah, and the YCI's have four time the case load, with no help, or overtime.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, I agree with those who say Jim Hurley is an asset to TYC, though I've ribbed him about the pepper spray incident. My dealings with him have been forthright and amiable, and he's obviously a PR pro, which is nice - sometimes people in government resent those asking for information.

Jim Hurley works for a collection of lieing con artist. He doesn't build the lie he just delivers it!

Anonymous said...

To Rambo's friend - if Rambo's first name does not begin with a C, I have the wrong person, and apologize. If it does begin with a C, I stand by what I said. The person I am referencing had serious adult felonies, and he lied about them. The person I am talking about was so self-absorbed that he thought calling the hotline about not getting a promotion to Assistant Superintendent of an institution was the way to go. He raise so much hell, that they decided to look into his background. When they presented what they found to Kimbrough, he went ballistic.

Anonymous said...

To the person who is complaining about the new IGs - get a grip. They are state law enforcement officers. As such, they may be required to respond to law enforcement situations outside of TYC. They need to be properly equipt. I welcome their presence. The YCIs may get a career ladder yet.

Anonymous said...

From the content presented and the style of presentation, I believe that posting is really from Don Brantley.
Don, we miss you. Best wishes in your new job. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Salty, if whoever it was had wanted us to know who it was, they wouldn't have posted as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Go back and look. He posted as Don Brantley, not as anonymous. I know Don well. From the detail he provided and from the style of writing, I am 99 % sure that posting was, in fact, from Don. I sure miss him in this agency. I wish I had a way of contacting him. Dr. Bush, if he contacts you, (and you are sure it is him) you have my permission to reveal my identity to him. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:11

Thanks for the apology. You have the wrong info. This person has never claimed to have a pardon, (especially from Ann Richards) and was always very honest with his criminal record. I guess there are approx. 66 different stories from the people that were terminated for felonies.
Are you someone close to J.K. to have this sort of info? If so, how can he not realize that his actions were discriminating against people who had NOTHING to do with the WTSS incident? Has anyone heard anything about Brookins and Hernandez lately?
Are they ever going to be dealt with???
Thanks,
Rambo's Friend

Anonymous said...

Rambo's friend - are you saying that Rambo does not have one or more initials of "C"? Rambo revealed that he worked at Crockett, McFadden and Gainesville. That sounds alot like the person who told people that he had a full pardon from Governor Richards. It also sounds alot like the guy who tried to get the hotline investigators involved in his failed promotion.

Please confirm that Rambo does not have at least one "C" for an initial. My apology is conditioned on that one point.

Anonymous said...

I bet you are referring to C.C., one of my heroes from the old days.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:42

I was not after the apology, I was after the truth. The truth of the matter is that “Rambo” never stated to have a pardon at all, much less from Ann Richards. I have seen lots of paperwork showing that “Rambo” never lied about his felony record. TYC was fully aware of it from the day that they hired him. The information you are stating about “Rambo” is incorrect. And as far as initials go, you who care to remain anonymous, would you know the identity of every person that was terminated from TYC?
Regardless of any of their identities, the way TYC discriminated against the people is not right. Would you say that people (ex-felons) you worked with and knew personally needed to be terminated for poor job performance? All of the ex-felons that I worked with did their jobs very well. I was quite shocked to hear about some of them actually. I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover. It is a shame that TYC lost good employees based on publicity stunt and STILL haven’t handled the business at WTSS. That sends some kind of message doesn’t it—“If you are going to commit a felony, do so while employed by TYC or against TYC, and nothing will ever come of it” If the 66 people had known of this ahead of time they could have adjusted their schedules accordingly and they wouldn’t be ex-felons! :)

Rambo’s Friend

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between a felony committed as a juvenile 20 years ago and a felony that resulted in hard time in TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

There is also a difference in an adult felony resulting in prison time and an adult felony resulting in probation.

Anonymous said...

People who commit felonies as adults have no business working for TYC at all. People who were juvenile delinquents and turned their lives around to become responsible adults are another story all together. Each of their cases needs to be looked at individually.

Anonymous said...

9/24 @10:08pm

Adults can turn their lives around, too. Many have done so.

Anonymous said...

Fine, let them turn their lives around. They are not allowed in the military, so why should they be entrusted with the care of children? The point is that an adult is an adult. That is why we put kids in TYC and adults in TDCJ. There is a huge difference between a person who makes a bad decision at 14 or 15, grows up and becomes a law abiding adult, and an adult who commits a serious crime. Adult felons do not belong in TYC. They are not allowed in many professions, so why should an exception be made for them to wrok in TYC?

Anonymous said...

9/25 @10:48

Anonymous said...
The tough on crime people have let crime run rampant in Texas and upon the adjudicated and convicted population.

The entire basis of the tough on crime philosophy is that people who make mistakes are throw away people, and in the same mold as career criminals.

Until we accept the fact that all people have value and need to be treated as such, this tough on crime philosophy will spread into fascism of the first degree.

10/07/2007 01:44:00 PM