Friday, October 26, 2007

Advocates: Not enough detail in TYC grievance procedures

On Wednesday afternoon, the Texas Youth Commission held its first, post-conservatorship public hearing to receive input about agency rulemaking - a landmark, of sorts, even if the agency only grudgingly admitted it should use official mechanisms for accepting community input.

The subject was creation of new youth grievance procedures at the agency as required in SB 103 passed earlier this year. I couldn't attend, but Isela Gutierrez of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition took detailed notes and agreed to let me publish them here along with her testimony, which I've uploaded here into a Google document. Here are Isela's notes:

Today’s public hearing was slightly less than an hour long. It was presided over by Wade Phillips, Deputy General Counsel, with Mary Strong, Director of Youth Rights Division, and DeAnna Lloyd, Manager of Policy, Grants, and Accreditation, also sitting on the dais.

Phillips thanked everyone for coming and for their comments which were ultimately intended to help make TYC a better place. He clarified that the purpose of the hearing was to take comments and hear suggestions, not so much to debate. He asked speakers to limit their time to 10-15 minutes per person and said that TYC had already received a number of written comments from Texas Appleseed, Texas Legal Services Center, Advocacy, Inc., and others. The hearing was recorded. Phillips said TYC will respond in writing to any written comments made before the rule is published.

Lisa Graybill, Legal Director for the ACLU of Texas Foundation: She thanked TYC for holding this public hearing at the ACLU of Texas’ request. ACLU is just as interested in the process of the reforms as in the substance. She used to work for the US Department of Justice in the Special Litigation Section doing the very same kinds of investigations that DOJ is doing at Evins. In her experience, transparency is integral to process of reform. Hearings like this are key parts of that process. ACLU is also very interested in substance of issue, of course, and did a lot of work (via former ED, Will Harrell) on the legislative reforms that took place this session. She urges TYC to continue to keep the process open.

Monica Thyssen, Advocacy, Inc.: Advocacy, Inc. (AI) is the federally designated Protection & Advocacy (P&A) group for Texans with disabilities. Inside of TYC, their primary focus is incarcerated youth with disabilities. AI goes in and out of facilities; she went just this week. Thyssen recommends that the policy establish a designated staffer to receive grievances at each facility. She also would prefer that people outside of the facility review the grievances, possibly the Ombudsman.

She said that youth have no faith in the complaint process. She is also concerned about youth being able to access the forms. The current structure of youth receiving the complaint form from another youth on the dorm (the Youth Grievance Clerk) results in some youth feeling a sense of intimidation based on what kind of relationship they have with that youth and the JCO on that dorm.

Also, as P&A, Advocacy, Inc. has authority to speak with youth with disabilities. If youth are minors, they get permission from the parents to file complaints about any allegations of abuse or neglect. Once AI files a grievance, they become a legal representative of the youth. But, some of the grievances AI had filed were followed up on by TYC staff speaking directly to youth and not including AI. TYC staff would ask youth “did you mean to file this?” Sometimes youth would forget that they had filed the grievance, and sometimes they were intimidated, so then the grievance was dropped without AI’s knowledge. Thyssen said that this interferes with AI’s attorney-client privilege as defined in Rule #4.02 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.

Phillips asks: What does the form look like? Who are the parties to the document?

Thyssen: I can send you a copy of the form, I don’t have on with me, but with a minor youth, we ask the parents to sign it, and if a youth is over 18, they can sign it themselves.

Phillips: So, you think you’ve got a situation where someone is going behind your representation and disavowing that relationship?

Thyssen: Yes. I hear from kids that the complaint process is a joke and that they don’t have any faith in it. They feel like they can trust us because we are outsiders.

Ms. Clark-Kingery (didn’t catch her first name), Parent: She is the mother of a child that was in Corsicana and is now in Ash. What Monica Thyssen said is true about kids being intimidated. She said she still hasn’t heard back about the grievances she filed on her son’s behalf, who is afraid and easily intimidated. Her son was assaulted at Corsicana, had been injured, had surgery, and she couldn’t get any response on her grievances.

Lynn White, Texas Appleseed: Thank you for inviting us to this hearing and for having the hearing. It is very important for advocates and others to be able to give feedback. Submitting the policies to the Register and holding hearings like this shows a good faith effort to adhere to the transparency required by SB 103.

The primary issues TX Appleseed is concerned about are: access to grievance process, resolution of the grievance process, and the appeals process. The State Auditor’s investigation revealed systemic issues with the grievance system. But, the problem was not so much the written policy that created the problem, but the culture in the agency. Of course, a strong written policy is very important.

The biggest problem with the proposed policy is that there is not enough detail. In written comments, Appleseed suggested language to make the policy stronger, including: creating grievance officers, which would help ensure uniformity and responsiveness; language indicating TYC accommodate disabled youth in filing grievances, which proposed policy doesn’t address at all; grievance forms must be available to youth without contact with staff; need a definition of the role of the “youth advocate.” One of the most serious issues revealed in the State Auditor’s report was the lack of access youth in security had to complaint forms. Proposed policy doesn’t address that at all.

In terms of attorney-client privilege problems addressed by Monica Thyssen, Appleseed suggests that facility staff be trained to understand issues of attorney-client privilege rather than inadvertently undermining the attorney-client relationship. The proposed policy should: provide for someone on staff to explain the appeals process to youth; allow access to legal counsel in case of violation of federal, state or constitutional law. Also, language regarding retaliation needs to be strengthened.

Other states have taken a more hard line approach to the issue by making retaliation grounds for immediate dismissal. Even though it seems that implicit references to the executive director appeal in GAP 93.35 are interwoven throughout the proposed rule, there is no explicit reference to it. The new policy also implements an extra level of appeal, which seems like it would delay opportunities to exhaust the administrative process.

Isela GutiƩrrez, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition: Read her full testimony here.

Editors' note: Here's an important excerpt from her testimony voicing concerns about a pattern of pending TYC rulemaking proposals where the details are filled out in administrative directives that allow no public input:
[T]he proposed rule does not provide sufficient detail about how this new grievance process will actually function to strengthen, standardize, and enforce the youth complaint system. The lack of specific information in the proposed rule about how this improvement will take place is troubling. The proposed rule fails to provide clarification on a number of key issues, including:
  • How the complaint process will be standardized and centralized;
  • How the agency will ensure that the period for resolving grievances will be shortened;
  • Which staff member(s) will be responsible for receiving, responding to, and resolving grievances;
  • How the agency will prevent youth from being retaliated against;
  • How long a child, parent, or advocate should expect to wait for a response to a grievance;
  • Whether attorneys, advocates, and others will be able to assist youth in presenting and resolving a grievance, any limitations placed by the agency on that assistance;
  • How the internal grievance system will interact with the Independent Office of the Ombudsman and Office of the Inspector General created by S.B. 103;
  • How the agency will accommodate the special needs of disabled youth in filing complaints;
  • How the agency will guarantee that the new informal conference process is not used to intimidate or otherwise coerce youth who have complaints, and;
  • How to appeal to the executive director.
In addition to our concerns about the lack of specific detail in the policy, TCJC is further troubled by the change in how the agency now plans to write and implement its policies. Previously, TYC’s administrative policies were very detailed and provided a great deal of information to outside stakeholders, such as parents and advocacy groups, about how the system was supposed to be run. Since this information was contained in the Texas Administrative Code, youth, agency staff, and outside stakeholders were able to submit proposed changes to policy at any time for the agency to consider.

Currently, it is our understanding that the new administration plans to implement a bi-furcated administrative rule/administrative directive system, in which the published administrative rule is only a shell of the policy, which will actually be implemented according to the content of a lengthy, internal, administrative directive that contains the actual “meat” of the policy (i.e., practices and procedures for the implementation of the policy).

Although the agency has agreed to make these administrative directives available to the public via its website, TYC has no avenue or process in place to receive public comment on these internal administrative directives. Since these administrative directives are not a part of the Texas Administrative Code, the development of these directives and any significant changes to them may be made behind closed doors at any time with no input or oversight from anyone except agency staff, as there is no requirement that these directives be published in the Texas Register or advertised in any other way. While TCJC can appreciate that this new system may increase TYC’s ability to expedite any needed changes to procedures implementing policy, we also believe that it impedes the public’s ability to participate in the policy-making process, which is critical in this time of rapid and far-reaching change for the agency.

136 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think public input into administartive directives is necessary. These are operational issues that are inherent to organizations to be able to conduct the day-to-day operations. There is a limit, you know.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'd agree if they don't make the rules so vague that all the meat of the decisions are left to administrative directives. There's also a limit to how much they can use such directives to shield decisions from public scrutiny.

Bottom line: A little openness goes long way. When advocates have to pry information out of the agency at every turn, it's hard to accept an answer of 'trust us' on stuff like this. That's especially true when some of their directives so far contradicted GAP policies without acknowledging the violation of Administrative Code rules. Best,

Anonymous said...

12:56 anon-must be a TDCJ flunkie-

Anonymous said...

12:56
You sound like a Pope protege. or perhaps da Pope herself.

When an organization goes from one group of compadres to a group of commadres and things change and get worse for the kids, maybe it's time to listen to the public.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe 12:56 is a 'flunky' - I'd bet it's someone who has experienced trying to get policy changes done in the past and knows how long and convoluted the process is if you have to wait through the entire process!

Bottom line, it shouldn't take 30 days and you shouldn't have to wait for all this public comment if the change you're trying to make involves modifying a form or changing where data entry is completed or that it's going to now take 7 days instead of 10 days to do 'X' or that so-n-so needs to be notified instead of so-n-so.

The agency has been hamstrung in the past needing to make these level of changes immediately, yet you've got to go to policy, they've got to write it up, it's got to go to the Register, you have to wait, and so on and so on......hell, by then, half hte time it's too late!

If you don't separate your adminstrative procedures from your general 'rules', you'll never get away from the inability to respond immediately.

On the other hand -- 'executive directives' that are just totally contrary to policy and to court orders?? HA. Well thats just priceless and is a whole differnt can of worms!!

Anonymous said...

There is a way of wording the policy that allows for administrative procedures to be modified pending official change in policy. How that is done, and the limitations on what can be done by temporary executive order needs to be spelled out in the policy. That allows for changes to be made timely and responsively, while still protecting the integrity of the policy and the process. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the meeting "Operation & Management of the Texas Youth Commission" scheduled for 10/29/07 at 10am has been canceled. This is what's posted on Texas online under meetings for this date??

I was hoping this meeting would put an end to the current TDCJ reign, but maybe another day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 1:41. You articulated it so much better.

Anonymous said...

anybody notice that Will Harrell does not have a listed phone number on tyc e-mail (454----- has limited appeal)... and, if you check the employee directory under Ombudsman (an actual choice, like HR), it says nobody there. Can't think of any reason the public might be a little concern about grievance process.

Anonymous said...

Here's a stellar example of how the grievance system worked at WTSS in 2004-5. (The then PA and now regional director) Mr. Ayo kind of missed the mark as far as ensuring the grievance system worked according to TYC policy:

"... said that when he wanted to file a grievance on
..., the Program Administer (or PA), Mr. OMONIYI, tried
to talk ... out of filing the grievance. ... said he did file the grievance but believes nothing ever
came out of it and no action was taken against ...."

My, my!

Anonymous said...

Wade, Wade, Wade,

What difference does the design of Advocacy's form make? Absolutely none. It is their form.

Advocacy's procedures are not the issue. They have federal authority to talk to whomever they want, whenever they want, whether you like it or not, even if they do not have a form.

Another TYC issue of "form" over "substance." Maybe we should be thankful that Wade at least asked a question, regardless of how lame the question is.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:03 p.m./10-26-07. They say he is related to the d'Pope, is it true??

Anonymous said...

Did somebody type GRIEVANCE? JCOs had better get the pen and pad out because the dA'poop, oops, I mean dA'Pope has oozed again! Yes indeed, she has susended all overtime checks to the hard working JCOs until further notice because too much money was spent paying them to work the slots of the vacant JCOs. Where is the money going? Don't give me your line about FTE - RUBBISH. Find a way to pay the hardworking TYC JCOs just like you were able to find a way to land the high paying job you have and how you found a way bring in your pals APPOINTED onto the payroll. With all the ax swinging sHe is doing, surely there is money some place.

Anonymous said...

Howard: regarding 7:27's comments about overtime for JCO's: I realize that governmental agencies have certain leeway with OT, but doesn't FLSA or similar have some limits? Last I heard, unpaid labor ended around 1865...or is D'Pope still fighting the Civil War?

Anonymous said...

Just in Wade Phillips is now taking over Stan Degerolami's job and Stan is over contracts with the agency

Anonymous said...

Dear JCO Staff,

I am sorry that I took away your overtime checks, but I have too many new positions to create for my pals from TDCJ who need work to pay you for busting your asses day in and day out. In lieu of the checks you've come to expect, I will give you each one extra polo shirt, plus you will each receive a secret decoder ring and an autographed 8x10 glossy color photograph of myself depositing my large paycheck in the bank each and every month. I know that you work hard, but what else does a bunch of illiterate, corrupt staff have to do but my bidding? I'm sure that you will all understand and continue to work overtime to make me look good so I can eventually become the first executive commissioner of TYC. No need to thank me, I'm doing it to...oops, I mean for you.

Love,

Dimitria
1st Pope of TYC

Anonymous said...

Looks like the TDCJ crew successfully sabatoged Stan through grits.

Anonymous said...

For those staff that still choose not to contact your Representative right now would be a good time to do so. The only person with any Juvenile experience is now removed from any real decision making authority, it is about to get real bad. For those still in any position that matter and may have over 5 years of experience start looking for a new career.

Anonymous said...

Novey has a new job, heard he was back to his old one.

Anonymous said...

How are you finding out about the position changes and, does this explain the cancelling of the Joint Committee meeting? i.e., Whitmire allowing time for the dust to settle before he kisses d'Pope's ass....I mean ring?

Anonymous said...

why doesn't someone do an open records request on what all the X-TDCJ now TYC employees made at TDCJ and see the big money they are now making at TYC. This will tell you why they can't pay JCO's any more OT. Sure they have lots of "experience" that's why they are sitting pretty for retirement thanks to TYC. Who is left in HR? no-one!!!!! Another good staff leaving..........Doesn't anyone wonder why? Is it Eric or Mary? TYC is not a good place to be working so if you can get out please do before you are booted out and have to train your new manager from TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

For 09:31
For staff at WTSS, our representative, Gallego, is reported to be helping already. Senator Urius sold out months ago; he is now a law partner of Senator Hinojosa who wants to close WTSS so he can keep Evins open despite DOJ investigation and more Supt turnover than student admissions and releases. Just to top it off, Speaker of the House Craddick of Midland (only 70 miles East of WTSS) got bought off even earlier, probably to fund his power trip.
"Next election, ANYBODY but (Goodhair, Elmer etc). He sold out children with the need to change to keep things cheap. You may not be next, but most certainly, as a Texan, you will pay the price."

Anonymous said...

Gallego helping? That's funny, I emailed him asking for help over two weeks ago and still haven't gotten a response. Guess you have to be more than just a registered voter.

Anonymous said...

I pray for the people of this Agency everynight, even the ones that I know are doing wrong. However, people who do the right thing will prevail, this Agency will survive. It may take some time, but God's will is at work, and he is blessing those of you that do what is right. Keep up the good fight and keep the faith that this will change for the better.

Anonymous said...

With all the unsolved problems at TYC, Pope is fretting about the new uniforms! Sounds like that is the only thing she feels competent to do - pick out the right color-coded clothes for her minions!

Anonymous said...

10:33 apologizes for unintentionally using the name Urius when I meant to say URESTI; might have something to do with the Senator's notable lack of support; then again, maybe it has something to do with being tired after a long day and longer week watching a decent agency get screwed by governor and legislature.

Anonymous said...

7:19 pm - I don't believe they're blood relatives, but more related by a similar lack of things like integrity, ethics, professionalism, etc. The bond is based upon the need of both to have and maintain power and position that neither of them are qualified to have in the first place. Neither will ever accept any responsibility for their actions and choose to blame others for their failings. And anyone daring to confront or hold them accountable is summarily dispatched. And so far they and their cronies have managed to fool everyone into believing that they give a tinker's damn about the kids or the staff or the agency. But like their predecessors (Harris, Reyes, Barnard, Harrison, Brookins, et al) they will go too far and suffer the same fate. Issues continue to surface at Evins, Al Price, Mart, West Texas and in contract care that will be their eventual undoing. In the meantime, the staff and youth will continue to pay the price for feeding the enormous egos and need for power of Pope, Humphrey, Omoniyi and the rest of the TDCJ wrecking crew. What is most shameful is that the governor and the lege know they screwed up, but won't do anything to fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

What do you all think about the cancelling of the hearing on Monday? Is the legislature afraid to confront the growing problems in TYC and the outright defiance of the court settlement on pepper spray? It would have been difficult not to. Are there some back room discussions going on between the legislature and the governor about what to do? Seems to me that it would have been very difficult for the oversight committee not to directly address the violations of the pepper spray settlement. Might they be trying to figure out whom to name the new conservator and how to prevent political fall out from the mistakes they made in naming the ineffective and corrupt leadership for the agency?

Anonymous said...

who else is leaving in HR? there won't be any one left but the new tdcj people and eric.........you know what that means.....

Anonymous said...

5:52 a.m. thanks for the update. The rumor that they were related was pretty strong at our facility. Having worked with him for less than a month, we quickly became aware of his large ego, power trip, and his brown nosing of the current leadership. The rumor that he was the only one that applied is also strong, if that's the case, the promotion was not his merits or quals.

Hope he remembers all the ones he stepped on on the way down, there will be no sympathy or empathy from our staff!!

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that when the joint committee decided to "downsize" TYC(without thinking through the recidivism and amount of employees resigning, DUH)they really screwed the budget and used the extra money elsewhere(like maybe buying cameras that haven't been seen yet)leaving everyone in a bind.
A friend told me that Mart II is 150+ under on staff.They are 5-6 teachers down and cant' even post the positions. So I checked it out and sure enough not one teacher position is posted for Mart II. They then went on to tell me that CO has designated Mart II for the worst of the worst kiddos due to the single cells (a BH decision). So, they have no staff, no teachers, but have over 320(including all the ones from Coke Co) students in the education bldg. Also, they are receiving this week 6-8 more of the worst BMP kids from Al Price and continue to receive their old kids that went to Brownwood back(about5-10/week)Kids are sleeping on the floor. The single cells are working good don't you think?
My friend continued to tell me that Mart II has cleaned up other facility messes 3 times in two years. They took in Al Price during hurricane Rita, then they took in Mart I so it could be changed over to McOA, and then Coke Co. All this with not nearly enough staff or teachers. They were told that there is no money for jobs until spring when the lege meets again.
My point is, not only will they not pay JCOs for work ALREADY done,they can't even bring in new people because of funding!

Anonymous said...

9:40
That's good information. They are spending money increasing the numbers of staff in CO (and at high salaries) and ignoring the needs of the field - the people who are directly working with the kids. How irresponsible!!!

Anonymous said...

Irresponsible is too kind of a summation...

I can think of many terms closer to being accurate, which I will not include to spare GRITS having to consider deleting it.

Anonymous said...

Novy took his old job back on the day that the current acting Director was to interview for the job. He didn't have the courtesy to let her know before he made his announcement. Still taking care of himself at the expense of others.

Anonymous said...

I would bet that Novy was asked to step aside and that the Pope did the "asking". It would have been the right thing to let the person applying for the Special Ed Director know that this was in the works. But this is the way that business is now done in the agency now. Novy is not qualified to be in charge of treatment and would have had to step aside at some point. Word is that he is close to retirement, so perhaps the applicant will be able to interview for that position in the near future. Don't you think it interesting that this happened at the same time as Stan was reassigned?

Anonymous said...

BH did not make the decision to make Mart the unit to recieve the badest of the badest. That was in place in the begining of Mart in 2000. Not taking up for anyone, just know that he did not bring this to Mart. As I was one of the first employee's in Mart even before the doors opened for kids. Just wanted to clarify the fact.

Anonymous said...

BH has made the current decision for the bad kids to be put at Mart II. You are correct that it was originally designed for the worst. However, it never has been used like that because of staffing issues, etc. However, now it doesn't matter if you have staff or not, it will still be used. It is said that the really strong staff from Marlin went to Mart I and that Mart II was left hanging in the wind. Staff ratios to kids are below 1/12 at Mart I, but way over that at Mart II. It is getting very dangerous at Mart II, especially when they let them all out during education. Staff are scared of confronting the students and mark my words, there will be a "free-for-all" soon.

Anonymous said...

8:01,

The answer on comp time is contained in Sections 659.022 and 659.023 of the Government Code.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard: I guess that means we are back to arbitrary payment for work. If I understand, the supervisor requires the staff to work over time, then gets to say when he can use that accrued time... and, if the use of time is denied by that same supervisor, they lose the time (659.15?) when they have no say in accruing, using or losing. I believe that the suit against Guadalupe County (Seguin) by "exempt" employees had some of the same concerns... probation officers (exempt) were being scheduled to work shifts as floor staff (non-exempt) on weekends (in addition to their regular duties) due to a staff shortage. Received no compensation since they were exempt. Successful arguement was that the OT was being "regularly" scheduled, so it was not an emergency need, like staying late to see a working parent might be.
As Howard keeps finding out, I am not a lawyer... I am just suggesting that routine abuse of staff can have consequences beyond being short of staff.

Anonymous said...

Did I not hear in the begining of all this mess on reforming TYC, the lege said that Staff would be paid for working over. I remember something about this being part of the plan to get good staff and keep them?
Where is the money?

Anonymous said...

In the new administration's bank accounts...

Anonymous said...

According to the "Pope" Administrators in the field need to manage OT better.
This is her answer but in reality we cannot manage 40 to 65 vacancies on a campus.
This is her way to deflect the real issue most of us have in the field, we are in desperate need for staff but cannot keep them nor hire enough or any when your agency is being ran by incompetent morons from TDCJ.
Please do all of us a favor and step down, lets give Dwight another shot, at least he had some ethics and morals.

Anonymous said...

8:06 I must have had a brain fart. Thank you for helping me clarify that.

Yes, we always blame someone else for our mistakes in adminstration. Never ever take the heat for something we did. It is the morons in the field that can't read or the slow learners that are screwing it all up.
Maybe all of us slow learners need to find another job and let the top dogs watch kids.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Pope and all her crony fat cats in central office should "dispatch" themselves to the field to help out with coverage on the dorms. She was certainly able to put that team together to shut down Coke County in a matter of minutes - this dispatch shouldn't be difficult. What a bunch of crooks. I think I feel sick and I don't know if I'll be better by tomorrow. Maybe Ms. Pope can cover my shift.

Anonymous said...

What needs to happen is for all of the staff at every Institution should recall any instance where OC was administered on your campus where GAP.97.23 was utilized after the settled lawsuit and call the attorneys and inform them, they will and can keep your identity anonymous, or you could notify your State Rep.

By doing this you will put more heat on the Pope Administration than you could ever imagine. They are about to loose another round in courts and the more mis-steps we can point out will hopefully end their reign. Or you can sit back and not get involved and Shut-Up and quit whining.

Anonymous said...

Screw all the bitching and whining! The answer is for all JCO's to walk out. It's the only thing that will really get the attention focused on the plight of TYC (staff and youth) by the lege, goodhair, the media and the DOJ. What are they (Pope, et al) going to do, fire us. Hell, if they close our facilities, it won't matter now, will it?

Anonymous said...

One drawback is some kids could be killed.

Anonymous said...

To 1:20 am - There's an emergency work stoppage plan in place in TYC. It requires administrative staff to work the dorms to ensure youth are safe, etc. It would be interesting to see how long our current administrators and administrative staff (at facility level)could hack a real TYC job. And just for the record, I know the chances of a walkout or a strike and march on Austin aren't likely to happen. We all gotta work and the powers that be know that. It's a shame that good, long-time employees get treated so badly that they begin to think this way. The longer this type of treatment is allowed to continue, the greater the chances of an extreme response. This is the stuff of revolution!

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what is needed "a revolution". Nov. 11th, let's send a message. We can let the Administrators handle the dorms for a day. I do agree that one drawback is the safety of the kids, but any blood would be on the hands of the Lege.

Anonymous said...

If one follows the law, one does not lose comp time. It is either paid for, granted when requested or granted within 90 days of the annual expiration. That is what the law says. Exempt employees are not entitled to comp time for overtime, only non-exempt employees.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hickman,
Is it not true that it is illegal for gov't employees and teachers to strike in the state of Texas?

Anonymous said...

Section 617.003 of the Government Code prohibits strikes.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard: Following the law is not a noted characteristic of this administration.
I imagine exempt staff scheduled for 24 hours straight (e.g. if 11/11 becomes actualized), they could be fired for sleeping on the job sometime during the next 24. It might be interesting should such a walkout occur (interesting, not legal or safe, mind you). The stability of certain facilities might show where students trust ALL staff, even exempt staff, to do the job.

Anonymous said...

Grits and all, speaking of a "revolution" check out this editorial from today's New York Times:

October 28, 2007
Editorial
The Right Model for Juvenile Justice
With the prisons filled to bursting, state governments are desperate for ways to keep more people from committing crimes and ending up behind bars. Part of the problem lies in the juvenile justice system, which is doing a frighteningly effective job of turning nonviolent childhood offenders into mature, hardened criminals. States that want to change that are increasingly looking to Missouri, which has turned its juvenile justice system into a nationally recognized model of how to deal effectively with troubled children.

The country as a whole went terribly wrong in this area during the 1990s, when high-profile crimes prompted dire predictions of teenage “superpredators” taking over the streets. The monsters never materialized. In fact, juvenile crime declined. But by the close of the decade, four-fifths of the states had made a regular practice of housing children, even those who committed nonviolent crimes, in adult jails. Studies now show that those children were considerably more likely to become serious criminals — and to commit violence — than children handled through the juvenile justice system.

But all juvenile justice systems are not created equal. Most children taken into custody are committed to large, unruly and often dangerous “kiddie prisons” that very much resemble adult prisons. The depravity and brutality that characterizes these places were underscored in Texas, where allegations of sexual abuse by workers prompted wholesale firings and a reorganization of the state’s juvenile justice agency.

Missouri has abandoned mass kiddie prisons in favor of small community-based centers that stress therapy, not punishment. When possible, young people are kept near their homes so their parents can participate in rehabilitation that includes extensive family therapy. It is the first stable, caring environment many of these young people have ever known. Case managers typically handle 15 to 20 children. In other state systems, the caseloads can get much higher.

The oversight does not end with the young person’s release. The case managers follow their charges closely for many months and often help with job placement, therapy referrals, school issues and drug or alcohol treatment. After completing the program, officials say, only about 10 percent of their detainees are recommitted to the system by the juvenile courts.

A law-and-order state, Missouri was working against its own nature when it embarked on this project about 25 years ago. But with favorable data piling up, and thousands of young lives saved, the state is now showing the way out of the juvenile justice crisis.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

"The depravity and brutality that characterizes these places were underscored in Texas." That statement strikes me as a gross overstatement -- even a distortion -- of TYC before the takeover. Additionally, it seems to me that the description of the good points of Missouri's program in paragraphs 4 and 5 are very close to what TYC provides. TYC has never been given the resources for extensive family therapy or lots of small facilities. Our legislature planned it that way.

It has not been long since the juvenile justice system in Texas was considered a "model." Perhaps Missouri's turn in the bulls-eye is coming. 25 years is a long time. All it takes is a couple of fools, a part-time DA, and a ripe political environment...

Mr. Bush, will you please draw for us a comparison between Missouri's juvenile offender population and that of Texas (size, offenses, demographics)? I

Anonymous said...

It could also be that Missouri is not reporting employee/inmate sexual abuse or inmate on inmate sexual abuse or other stats. I'm not doubting their success but perfection has yet to be achieved in juvenile lockups. What I am saying is that TYC never expected it either but because of two administrators and their actions and the poor management by their supervisors, the agency imploded

The people appointed to reform the agency, unfortunatly, have not been successful in their efforts. Sadly, it seems that our elected officials don't seem to care about the enormous amount of salaries we are paying these people to reform an agency that still has no sense of direction.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hickman,

Can you point me to the texas law on retaliation. Is there such a law and to whom does it apply?

Anonymous said...

4:07 I think I agree with your point, but also remember that those 2 administrators were reported and removed; it was not until 2 years later that other facilities got the same intense review and, SURPRISE, many of them made WTSS look as innocent as new borns. I don't think it changes your point, but I also suspect that Dwight and Chip recognized that the legislature, specifically Senator Whitmire did not want to hear how budget cutting, raising the age and time of students and other attempts to make his "friendly" private prison contractors less necessary. The tapes show Whitemire being told by Harris in a hearing and he did not want hear it until it later served his purpose. Lydia does not get even a possibility of a "good intentioned/bad outcome"...after allowing Brookin in the system and then knowingly dumping him on another state school, hell is too good for her.

Anonymous said...

Brookins should have been fired while employed at the Tulia Unit where he was a Captain and failed a polygraph for having oral sex with inmates (the inmates passed the poly). Lydia did hire him in San Saba but TDCJ did not provide this info. Lydia did not pass him onto to WTSS, she was already out of San Saba when this occurred, please check your facts. I believe the Supt. at San Saba at the time was Marian. Please try to keep your facts straight when posting these issues. I am not anyones fan but do know the facts of this situation.

Anonymous said...

Actually, former Superintendent and Assistant superintendent at San Saba (Deans and Flynn) were fully aware of Brookins facination with porn and toys and should have fired his pervered ass back then when they caught him with it on his computer. Instead, they allowed his transfer to WTSS and we got stuck with him. But I agree, Ms. Barnard should have stopped that move. She got hers in the end but now it seems our school is closing. Does anyone know when that pervert goes on trial?

Anonymous said...

Okay, so strikes are against the law, does this mean they can send OIG out to arrest us, if we all decide to be sick on a given day? Howard, comments?

Anonymous said...

No, this is what it says:

§ 617.003. PROHIBITION ON STRIKES BY PUBLIC
EMPLOYEES. (a) Public employees may not strike or engage in an
organized work stoppage against the state or a political
subdivision of the state.
(b) A public employee who violates Subsection (a) forfeits
all civil service rights, reemployment rights, and any other
rights, benefits, and privileges the employee enjoys as a result of
public employment or former public employment.
(c) The right of an individual to cease work may not be
abridged if the individual is not acting in concert with others in
an organized work stoppage.

Not Howard

Anonymous said...

They do what's called a sick out.

Anonymous said...

I interpret that to mean they could not only be fired, but also lose any retirement or unpaid overtime.

Anonymous said...

If a TYC employee attends a Joint Legislative Hearing could they be terminated for insubordination and if so is that legal?

Anonymous said...

08:48 My information is that Lydia not only recommended him, but when some questions were raised regarding his transfer, by Chip among others, Lydia insisted that he should be hired. My understanding is that Lydia was also involved (as Central Office rep) as is often the case when asst supt are being interviewed (Brookins came as a Director of Security) and pushed for his hiring. This was while she was aware that Chip would be away from campus due to surgery. It has also been suggested that Chip requestd that Brookins be named acting supt to avoid any responsibility for Brookins, in part because he did not trust Brookins and this was a way to blame Lydia should something happen. Then again, I must acknowledge I was not there for any of the interviews involving any of the above parties and what I have heard may be an attempt to mitigate responsibility in some way.
If I have erred, my apologies...it was unintentional.

Anonymous said...

8:48 p.m., Please don't insult our intelligence. Lydia may not have been in San Saba when Brookins was sent to WTSS, however, she was in Central Office and knew about his perverse side. She could have stopped the promotion and didn't. Instead she allowed the promotion
that sent him to WTSS. He was so grateful, he abused our youth and sent the agency spiraling into chaos. How dare you want to make excuses for her! I hope she has the decency to add this accomplishment to her resume.

As far as I'm concerned she had no integrity, ethics or morals. She is as guilty as he is. Since you seem to be her self appointed PR person, please let her know that there is no one in TYC, that buys your line of defense for her. For all I know, you could be one of those she covered up! Yuk!

Anonymous said...

Howard: it appears tyc employees lost rights and priveleges with "at will"

For current employees, I believe Howard is trying to warn you that even sick out is illegal if organized. Of course, you could argue that a field employee you are either corrupt or don't reed to goode...

Anonymous said...

I bet 8:48 is Lydia Barnard herself.

Anonymous said...

No, not Lydia, but I get sick Of all this Brookins crap. Only one person at WTSS had the balls to stand up and confront what was taking place at that school, just one. And I don't think he is the one doing all this blogging, so for you other self righteous folks "shut up" and don't pretend you have grown some since this all broke out.
Where were you when Ray was having these late night clean-ups, why did all the staff know something just was not right but never said a word? Where were the PA's on that campus?
What about all the Case Workers, and JCO VI's?
What about when the youth grievance box key was given to Ray?
All I am saying is don't point fingers until you take a real close look in the mirror. This could have stopped if just one self righteous blogger would have stepped up sooner.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is why would Wade Phillips leave the Cowboys coaching job to become the number 2 man in TYC?

I thought Barry Switzer was a moron, this guy takes the cake!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Billy Hollis said it all and took it to the top, and was admonished by Lydia. She gets no sympathy here. Many people lost their jobs because of her, so.

Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight about Brookins. When he was caught with porn on his computer, Lydia was the Supt. at San Saba. She prevented Marian from firing him. Same was true over the unpaid traffic tickets (Marion was outraged - her husband was at the time a DPS officer). Lydia forced the transfer to WTSS because when she got promoted, she was no longer in the chain of command for San Saba and could not protect Brookins if he stayed there. When the garbage came out at WTSS, once again, Lydia tried to suppress it. Someone ought to request an open records on the investigative reports. Lydia was also given oversight over Crockett, replacing Marie Murdoch, after Marie refused to put up with the shenanigans of the Supt there, who was a protege of Chester Clay. The bottom line was that Brookins was one of the Chester Clay team, and the team always took care of each other. I heard Clay say that myself (though not in regard to Brookins). Clay held both Linda Reyes and Dwight Harris in open contempt. The terrible irony of all this is that the team from TDCJ which replaced Dwight, Linda and Neil Nichols, bears striking resemblance to the Clay team.

Anonymous said...

Once again get your facts straight, Marians husband was not a DPS officer but rather a JCO V who worked for Brookins in security. I also know that if Marian wanted Brookins fired Lydia would not have stopped that based upon the pron on the computer but in TYC's disciplinary procedures it called for probation. Brookins served his 90 days probation and then applied for the WTSS DOS, Harrison could have stopped this move but did not.

After a year as the DOS at WTSS Brookins applied for the Asst. Supt. in which Harrison did the interviews, Brookins then became the Assistant.

Anonymous said...

Let's get the facts straight, Harrison could NOT have stopped anything that Lydia wanted. What Lydia wanted, Lydia got! Everyone wants to blame Harrison for what went on at WTSS...he is not the one who should be blamed for everything at WTSS. There were people at the top who stopped him. Lydia had a lot more power then people thought she had.

Anonymous said...

Lydia was one of Chester's people. 09:39 PM, what are you talking about when you say. "My understanding is that Lydia was also involved (as Central Office rep) as is often the case when asst supt are being interviewed (Brookins came as a Director of Security) and pushed for his hiring. This was while she was aware that Chip would be away from campus due to surgery.It has also been suggested that Chip requestd that Brookins be named acting supt to avoid any responsibility for Brookins, in part because he did not trust Brookins and this was a way to blame Lydia should something happen." Chip didn't appoint anyone...Central Office did the appointing, Lydia did the appointing. I totally agree with 0804 AM. This is Lydia's fault. This whole mess could have been prevented if she had gotten rid of Brookins in San Saba!

Anonymous said...

Back to sthe subject of this post - Ms Pope stated over a month ago in public testimony that the new grievance policy was up and running and that all the Youth Rights Specialists were in place. That was not true at the time, and it is still not true. No wonder they had to kill today's hearing!

Anonymous said...

Is Pope Whitmire's mistress?

Anonymous said...

to 10:30pm - I just have one response to your comment - If you haven't walked in our shoes, please don't preach to us. If you weren't here you have NO idea what we went through. You have no idea how many time we reported suspicious incidents to supervisors and were told "he's the assistant superintendent, he can do whatever he wants", etc. You have no idea how many times these incidents were documented on dorm logs and security logs in the desperate hope that someone would take us seriously and look into what he was doing.

So, please don't talk about things you don't know anything about - or a better question is - did you know?

Anonymous said...

The word is out - Eric Young has resigned. One more gone from CO. I bet you can count how many are left on one hand.

Anonymous said...

Good for Eric.........let them figure it out. He is a good person and does not want to be with those dirty people.

Anonymous said...

9:39 pm & 8:04 am - Anyone who believes that Harrison is a victim in all of this is either corrupt or has a comprehension problem...and is full of bovine excrement! He (along with Lydia)is, was and always will be a criminal of the first order, who knew exactly what was going on, but chose to do nothing about it. If he had voiced his concerns and been a man, he damn sure could have prevented Brookins' hiring. The only concern Harrison ever had was how to find ways to stay home and do nothing instead of coming to work and taking care of his facility, staff and youth. To be making all these excuses for him, you are no better than him. But keep on pretending he's the victim. Evenually you may truly believe it.

Anonymous said...

Guys, the WTSS issue is over and those people are gone. Let's concentrate on getting rid of the current incompetent administration. Maybe having no Juvenile Justice people in Executive Administration will cause TYC to deteriorate even faster than ever, and maybe Goodhair will notice and appoint a competent Conservator or commissioner or whatever it is nowdays.

Anonymous said...

I believe you can count on 1 finger (no comments please about which one) the number of TYC Executive Council members left. Robin McKeever.

Anonymous said...

10/28, 4:07,

The Blue Ribbon report addresses your question to some extent:

"The Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) has received attention in the media and among
juvenile justice experts as a system that stands out for its ability to provide successful intensive
treatment across residential facilities, group homes, and aftercare services. For example,
according to a study by DYS in 2003, approximately 11 to 29 percent of youth released from
DYS custody in 1999 had recidivated within the following three years, and 8 percent of those
released were sentenced to adult prison or short-term 120 adult confinement programs during the
following three years (Roberts & Bender, 2008). According to the DYS FY2006 Annual Report,
the juvenile recidivism rate was approximately 9 percent.

"However, one must use caution in drawing direct comparisons between juveniles treated at TYC
and Missouri’s DYS.
According to the DYS 2006 Annual Report, just over half (51.4%) of DYS youth were
committed for felony offenses (9.6% for serious felonies and 41.8% for less serious felonies),
with the remaining youth being committed for juvenile offenses (e.g., status offenses, court order
violations; 10.5%), and misdemeanors (38.1%).

"According to the TYC Commitment Profile for 2006, this compares to 80% of TYC youth being
committed for felonies and 20% for misdemeanors in 2006. Thus, it appears from this data that
TYC had a greater number of felony commitments in 2006 than did Missouri’s DYS by nearly
30 percent.

"In addition to type of offense, there are other important demographic characteristics on which
TYC and DYS youth might be compared, such as the percentages of youth in each system with
mental health problems (41% in TYC, 46% in DYS), substance abuse problems (46% in TYC,
59% in DYS), and educational disabilities (40% in TYC, 32% in DYS).

"Based on this cursory analysis, of course, it is not possible here to draw any hard or fast
conclusions about which youth are more difficult to treat – TYC youth or DYS youth. Nor is this
our intent. Reaching any scientifically sound conclusions in this regard will require more
sophisticated analysis in the future.

"We are simply suggesting that there may be elements of the
DYS regionalized system-of-care that are worth considering as the State of Texas explores the
feasibility of adopting a regionalized juvenile justice system.

"In other words, we ask not what program packages are most effective, but what characteristics
are common to effective programs."

A brief overview of the Missouri program appears on p28 of the report.

This is the stuff that the Wise Men of the Lege and the Enlightened Leadership at TYC couldn't be bothered to even consider.

By contrast, last year the Ohio DYS did an extensive feasibility study to see whether they could apply the Missouri model to their system. (Hat tip, Grits reader who sent this to me, you know who you are). Ohio's differences with Missouri echo those of Texas (in fact, it is more pronounced, b/c Ohio DYS deals exclusively with felony offenders), but they at least took the idea seriously and seem to be trying to apply several features in revamping their program.

Where is that level of intellectual honesty and truth-seeking in the lege or in the TYC administration?

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Come on, Bill, intellectual honesty in our political leaders in Texas? Surely you know better than to ask that!

Whitsfoe said...

Bill,

I don't think Missouri has hit this kind of low... ever.

It's sad, but it's true. I think this situation deserves outside attention. Mixing family values and politics in this state is lethal, at best...

Whitsfoe

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Dr. Robin McKeever says the only reason she is still around is because TDCJ doesn't have anyone intelligent enough to do her job, or at least there isn't anyone intelligent enough that knows Pope or wants to come to work for her.

Anonymous said...

Eric, just because you were forced to quit, don't think that will prevent me from naming you in my lawsuit, since you put your signature on that bogus investigation against me. See you soon.

"Chuy" said...

I think sooner or later this whole agency will sink further into the bowels of hell. No sense of direction but rhetoric. The leadership is sorely lacking any ethics, morals, and ability to lead a good agency let alone a sinking one. Is this not the prophecy we have all been speaking of for some time? When sunset comes about they will have no choice but to pull the rug from under this agency. The remaining question is why? Why have our elected leaders allowed this to take place? They were so quick to pat themselves on each others backs when the session was over with, a bunch of clueless buffoons that had no idea what they had done.
Your line staff, case work staff, support, and all staff situated with TYC can see the damage the erosion.
I can make one promise and that will be all family members and friends will vote for any body rather than the incumbent.

"Chuy" said...

And by the way lets keep cutting each others throats. This is something else they have against us, we keep stating how ignorant these TDCJ administrators are but look how they have kept each other out of the unemployment line (can you say Humphrey) as we continue to turn on each other. Loyalty, whats loyalty, TYC staff have no loyalty towards their common man this is evident by reading these blogs.

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe,

Actually, Missouri did hit this kind of low right around the same time Texas did, in the late 1960s and 70s.

While the Morales case unfolded in Texas, resulting in the closing of 2 of the worst max security facilities, Missouri went thru a series of investigations and scandals that resulted in the closing of their 2 oldest, largest, most notorious institutions. That's when the state began experimenting with the smaller, regional, anti-"corrections" programs that predominate there now. Texas didn't go quite this far but moved in that general direction, until the 1990s.

I agree with those who say that it is simplistic to think that the Missouri program can just be copied wholesale in Texas. But to refuse to even look at it, to consider borrowing what might work, is equally ridiculous.

The fact is, as the NYT editorial makes clear, many states' juvenile justice systems are in trouble right now, and are looking at Missouri for ideas. It doesn't mean they are mechanically copying the whole program. Serious reformers don't usually go looking for a "magic bullet" solution for complex social problems. Only kids or ideologists think in the all or nothing terms that some seem to want to apply to the Missouri model's portability.

Texas officials should borrow what works, and dump what doesn't, but at least make an effort.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Chuy,

You are absolutely correct, I have already rallied my family and friends to vote against any and all incumbents, and I plan to take it a step further by getting actively involved in campaigns against the incumbents, the good thing is that I have friends and relatives from all over the State that love me and are willing to go to bat with me against these spineless incumbents that were intrusted by the people, but have yet to be for the people, or at least not the people in TYC, both staff and youth.

Anonymous said...

Chuy, I'm not sure the current administration won't buffalo the Sunset Commission just like they've buffalo'd the lege. I don't know how far down the chain of command Sunset staff talk to employees, so they may not even talk to the real TYC staff.
Maybe we should be writing to the Sunset Commission to make sure they do know the problems the TDCJrs have caused, and recommend getting top administrators with juvenile justice experience.

"Chuy" said...

If we can spend just a little time without throwing daggers at TYC staff for a change and funnel our energy at the real problems we can move forward.
Walkouts are not the answer, but real transparency, what the current administration espouses but knows nothing. Stay honest, tell the truth, refuse to violate polices or laws, of this State. Utilize the hot-line when violations occur and you read or see e-mails that violate policies/law.
Don't be swayed by their corrupt ways, refuse to put in for positions if it means jeopardizes your integrity. Write letters to your representative (make sure your registered to vote) and tell them you true thoughts and your intentions if they choose to sit on the sidelines, get your friends and relatives to do the same.
If they choose to ignore you then cast your vote for anybody but the incumbent.
Voter turnout is historically low in Texas, so believe me every vote counts and they know this but we need numbers. I'm feeling patriotic now time to go with a new slogan- "In "Chuy" We Trust"

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone trust in anyone named "Chuy"? To 7:23 and 8:26 am - "Shut up Genese!"

Anonymous said...

Because it's Spanish for Jesus?

Anonymous said...

This may be the wrong place to put it, but an article in the Austin Statesman tomorrow says: "Youth prisons halt overtime
Spending in a month was about half of the annual budget." And Madden questions how that could have happened.

Is that why Eric Young left? They're running out of TYC employees as fall guys.

Anonymous said...

We have already had one Chuey !!! Look what that Fool did to us ,,,
Hell He is a wimp who double crossed the DPS with His I have done nothing wrong.... I still say we need to Vote these little Fools out of Office .

Anonymous said...

You really have to love this agency that can spend half of their overtime budget in just one month and not even know they did!!!
I guess the Pope will have to form a TEAM to look into this injustice but in the mean time no overtime check for JCO staff. Great timing once again Pope, right before the holidays and you tell staff we will not pay you for the hours you work.
Not trying to help you out here but a leader would figure this out quick and pay the JCO staff during the holiday season, ask for emergency funding, do something rather than stick your foot in your mouth.
Then she has the nerve to blames TYC time keeping, once again her ignorance shines through. Someone from the outside please compare TDCJ's timekeeping (where she came from) with TYC's, I think you will find TYC's is computerized for all staff and TDCJ still does paper time sheets. She still has no clue and continues to embarrass herself. And of course she can always blame the administrators in the field, everyone knows we have an over abundance of JCO staff and should not have this overtime.

Anonymous said...

Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Could it be/,,,,,,,,,

Anonymous said...

According to the AAS piece, TYC ran thru half of its yearly budget for overtime in a single month.

The article also notes that Kimbrough specifically warned against "banking" overtime hours b/c it encouraged high turnover.

More bureaucratic Newspeak from TYC to explain this latest embarrassment.

One begins to think that the next public scandal won't involve staff-on-youth abuse, or even youth-on-staff or youth-on-youth, but some kind of organized staff protest. Really, it might send a powerful message if staff and youth advocacy groups presented some kind of united front in demanding real change...

BB

Anonymous said...

TDCJ (Mr. Owens) said to pay all the OT out each month and that's what they did without asking budget where the money would be coming from. The idiots would not listen to Budget about anything. They are just using this as another excuse to get rid of Eric. It is not an error that the JCO's have workeed all the OT they have just kept them quiet by paying them, now they don't have the money. WHY?? look at the salaries of the new Executive staff and managers from TDCJ and you will know why. The lege is just being blind sided......

Anonymous said...

Ms. Pope told the legislators in a hearing that the agency is meeting the 1:12 staff to youth ratio??? Maybe the agency was meeting that ratio through overtime. Now with the stopping of overtime pay it will be interesting to see if the agency can continue to provide supervision to youth. Stopping overtime pay is an injustice to the field staff who work everyday with the youth. And while everyone is looking at this issue maybe Ms. Pope should put a committee together to look at the amount of money that is being spent at CO to move everyone around. I am sure that $100,000 plus price tag could be used to pay staff!!!

Anonymous said...

This move to stop overtime payments is an example of the Pope's inability to manage a large agency. She clearly does not understand operations; she proudly tells the legislature that the ratios are in compliance with the law without a clue as to why the shifts are being covered in the face of significant and dangerous staff shortages. It would be obvious to most that the reason shifts are being covered is that staff are working a lot of overtime. If she'd had an ounce of intelligence, she'd have seen this coming. Stopping overtime pay is a slap in the face to the JCO staff. I'd like to see the Pope and other admin staff give up a portion of their inflated salaries to pay the JCOs.

Anonymous said...

Is this a case of gross fiscal mismanagement?

Anonymous said...

This is "gross fiscal mis-management" but first Whitmire will have to ask for an investigation in the Pope, do you really think this will happen. Our only real chance is if Madden and those lowly House members decide to step up!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Perry and Madden are Republicans and Whitmire is a Democrat. You'd think Perry would listen to Madden and realize there are problems with Owens and Pope and appoint a replacement for Owens who would get rid of Pope. Also, anyone have an idea why the hearing yesterday was postponed?

Anonymous said...

The hearing was postponed in order to get a Conservator or Commissioner and let them get their feet on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Let's all hope it's not Pope.

Anonymous said...

She has formed a COMMITTEE to look into this. Email came out today about this Committee that will decide if and when OT can be paid. Then it accuses Staff of not working the hours in a round about way. YOU GO GIRL.

Anonymous said...

How could she not know that the overtime was being paid and the amount being paid??? Doesn't she get financial reports??? It wouldn't take a genius to figure out if you look at what was paid September 1 and then October 1 to realize the amount of money. She cannot blame this on anyone else as it happened on her watch!

Anonymous said...

This agency amazes me. All the troubles they have brought upon themselves is unbelieveable. Then, they start this uniform crap for all staff throughout the agency and it all started back in August without letting the staff who needed to know this in on it. They wait until now to inform the staff and they are nice enough to want us all wearing black pants and black shoes by the end of the 1st week in November. Oh and they are going to provide us with 3 shirts of their color. I wonder what we do when we ruin one or it's torn off by some "unhappy" campus resident? IF this is legal, I can't believe they care so little of their staff that they don't let them know far enough in advance to make preparations. Can a person get fired for not having black pants and black shoes? They might be able to go buy a new wardrobe at the drop of a hat but most of us in the field need a little more time. We're not paid enough to do this kind of thing "right now". Here is the email that went out back in August that was forwarded to us today with the little note to get those black pants and black shoes.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tommy Bayes
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 1:44 PM
To: Ayo Omoniyi; Teresa Stroud; Jerome Williams; Rebecca Thomas Cox; Eduardo Martinez; Paul Bartush; Jacqueline Urbach; Alan Walters; Mike Davis; Curtis Simmons; Donald Brooks; Billy Hollis
Cc: Stan DeGerolami; Billy Humphrey
Subject: Uniform update

Folks,



We are working rather quickly on the procurement of the uniforms. The decision of the color and style of the actual uniform was made by our executive director, and the bid has been developed and posted. I wanted to share with you the updates.



Our JCO, both dorm life and security will be outfitted in a “Dusty Blue” polo shirt with a badge that is identical to the badge you have as an administrator but says “Corrections.” These will be heat pressed as opposed to silk screen. These will be issued to:



Corrections: (Dusty Blue)




JCO's (dorm life and security)


2,882.00



Program Specialist

93



Recreation Specialist

41



Security Officer II

11



Vehicle Driver

2










Total


3,029.00
x3
9087






Our treatment, education and workforce development will be outfitted in a “Marigold” polo shirt with a badge that is identical to the badge you have as an administrator but says “ETW” These will be issued to the following:



Treatment (Marigold)




DOCS


13



Teachers/Principals

348



Psychologist

15



Teacher Aid

109



Case managers

301



Ass. Psy


47










Total


833
x3
2,499




Our Administrative staff will be outfitted in a “Kelley Green” polo shirt with a badge that is identical to the badge you have as an administrator but says “Administration.” These will be issued to the following:



Administration: (Kelley Green)










Human Resources:

38



Superintendents

12



Assistant Superintendents
13



HR Assistants
13



Business Manager

11



Staff Services Officer

1



Training Specialist

12



Volunteer Coordinator
12



Chaplin


11










Total


123
x3
369






Attached is a file with a picture of the badge so you can get an idea. We will not be putting anything on the backs of these shirts, just the badge on the upper left hand portion of the chest.



Please ensure your staff, especially your JCO’s, know that I’m working at Godspeed to get them in these uniforms. We will have identified the bid winner relatively shortly and soon, we will be in uniforms. However, please notice that there are over 11,000 of these being purchased so it will take a little bit once the bid is awarded. Our priority will be getting the JCO’s done first, and then the rest of you.



There may be others that I missed but I think I have the bulk of you covered. This is just a start for now.



Call if you have questions.



Tommy


Right behind it, we were forwarded this one.

-----Original Message-----

From: Billy Humphrey

Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 6:06 PM

To: TYC - Superintendents (Institution)

Cc: Tommy Bayes

Subject:

The previous message sent regarding our uniforms reads as if we reasonably plan for everyone to be uniformed on 11-01-07 without exception. This is not realistic. Staff have to acquire the items needed such as black pants and shoes. We hope to see staff in uniform by the end of the first week of November unless circumstances prohibit and arrangements have been made with local administrators.

I apologize for any confusion.

BSH

It sure would be interesting to see who got the contract and who they know. It would also be interesting to see if the numbers match up with the staff and how those ratios would work out with the numbers of youth in TYC. I'd be willing to bet a black pair of pants and a black pair of shoes that the numbers won't match with what they've been reporting as far as staff and student ratios.

If I were a clothing source, I'd offer the TYC staff a discount on black pants and black shoes and see if I couldn't get their business. Looks like a good business opportunity for someone. If you are staff and haven't heard this yet, you'd better get on the ball and get those items before your style and size are not available. Otherwise you could lose your job for not being in dress code. What a place this great agency of ours don't you think!

Anonymous said...

d'Pope, please admit that you're in over your head. How many more employees are you willing to bring to your sacrificial altar for the sake of your cronies oops, I meant cause? Cause we still don't know what that is, your cause I mean, not the altar. Bow out gracefully and take all your committees and members with you. I'm sick that there has been no progress or direction for this agency. I can't take much more!

Now you want to make me purchase pants and boots to wear with the shirt you have instituted as uniforms for the agency. By gosh, I didn't even get to pick the color. Guess I'm challenged there too!

Please tell me how the one parent household will be able to afford that purchase when the budget is already stretched to the max? Or do you even care?

I can just see the christmas card I'm getting from you, it will read
as follows:

Happy Holidays to my TYC Family! While I'm eating turkey and drinking egg nog, you fools can be working extra shifts without over time pay. Please enjoy your baloney
or P&J sandwich and give my love to the kiddies! Especially the one I bonded with in the whole 12 minutes I spent at your facility. The one I pulled out of a group session to sit on the floor with all of 3 minutes. Oh and please tell the mommies and daddies I'm thinking about them too. Let the children call home on Christmas Day at my expense. Always remember I love you and I'm doing everything possible to make the workplace better for you. Blessings, Dementia, the Lege and the Guv!

It brings tears to my eyes and I wish I had the time to help you design it but I can't this year because I'll be working a doubleshift and when I see you, I will kiss your feet for halting the overtime and keeping my family on the strict budget we are now on!

However, please, please, put me on the committee for next year's
design.

Love & kisses, your most loyal, but lacking reading comprehension
skills, employee.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it is legal to require staff to purchase black pants and shoes? It would seem to me that if an agency requires a uniform then they should provide the uniform, i.e. look at TDCJ and other law enforcement agencies. Considering that overtime pay is being cut off, the holidays are ahead, and many of our JCO staff are single parents just trying to get by how are they suppose to afford this. I am not sure I would buy new clothes if it meant that my children would not get new clothes or Christmas gifts. But as I stated at the beginning is this even legal????

Anonymous said...

Let's be real, is half the crap that Pope and her cronies are doing legal? I don't think so... When you have the Dean of the Senate in your backside, I mean back pocket, it doesn't matter, she could require you to stand on your head your entire shift and get away with it.

Anonymous said...

There yall go again. Putting TYC business out on these damm blogs. Dont think we are not aware of who you are. You will be dealt with. Howard, enjoy your retirement. Will, you are TYC now. Get use to it or quit.

Stop calling your reps..they cant do anything. The got to raise money and you damm people don't have money to help them win thier races. Damm advocacy groups and parents....do a better job with your criminal kids. The system dont owe you a thing.....wasting tax dollars. I say no dam overtime. let the volunteers watch the babies.

POPE IS KING POPE IS KING she and the rest of the tdcj flunkies are not going any where. Bitxh all you want. ALL IS TALK AND NOTHING WILL CHANGE. HOWS THAT FOR REALITY

Anonymous said...

10:10 p.m., are you one of the Regional Supts? You write like one of them? Fess up!

Anonymous said...

I have stated this already once, TDCJ gives their staff half way decent uniforms, and pays them a clothing allowance. Pope will not allow this for TYC because she wants to EMBARRASS you. How does it feel to be humiliated in front of the town you work and the youth on the dorms,warm and fuzzy.

A staff approached me today about being sick for a week said he had a doctor that would give him a note because of stress or back pain he was experiencing, don't really know if he was giving me a hint or what? He went on to say others would be following, none of this sounds good.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Bayes, who is Tommy Bayes, another TDCJ reject who designs clothes?

Anonymous said...

Tommy Bayes is a long-time TYC employee in Juvenile Corrections who is just passing along the orders of the idiots.

Anonymous said...

Tommy Bayes was Lydia Barnard's flunky that was completely complicit in the Brookin's affair. Wonder why he got to keep his job.

Anonymous said...

"Let them eat cake" said Marie Antionette - talk about words that come back to haunt you:)

Anonymous said...

It's good that they finally found something for Tommy to do!

Anonymous said...

Tommy is doing nothing but what he is being told to do. If not, he's out on the streets like everyone else in that department. You hang in there guy!

Anonymous said...

Its time to get started ,,,, We need to Vote these Fools out of office I know Troy Fraser is a real help in out District ,, Like He really cares ,,, Hell after the session He left the Country while the crap was going on with these fine folk.
I say we try to vote Him out as well as others who watched this injustice happen!!!He wouldnt even return e-mails during the session,, He was proably too drunk..

Anonymous said...

8:03,

You must be Bayes' drinking buddy. I sure hope Pope and her cronies don't find out about all those legal problems in your buddy's past because according to policy, he should be out already. You hang in there, too. ;)

Anonymous said...

9:02, can't you go after the real enemies, the TDCJrs, instead of the TYC employees? How many times do we need to say the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Guys, please find out who your elected representatives and senators are for your district and prepare your community to GO VOTE! Voter turnout in this state is beyond pitiful and if we TYC employees and x-employees don't organize and get our families and friends organized, we'll be stuck with these incompetents again. I, for one, just cannot tolerate that. Even if you have left the agency, you have still suffered from their lack of action and inability to make good decisions (most of them). A few have heard us and done some good work (although most of it behind the scenes) but for the most part, they have been useless.

Everyone please, educate your family and friends and lets put and end to this bullsh&%.

And to mi raza - get out and vote my people - we have tremendous voting power and we never put out there in full force - now is the time!

Anonymous said...

9:06,

Bayes crossed over long ago, take off the blinders, he is one of them.

Anonymous said...

10:14pm I said it before and I say it again, YOUR LOCAL REPS CANNOT HELP YOU. Come on you fools don't vote, can't get organized, can't provide any true money to support a canidate. All you can do is whine and bitch on this damm blog. Why did you folks leave TYC (stay and fight a good fight), if you were such good workers why you let Harris and other do all this cover-up or perhaps you are the ones who took part in it as well as other stuff that never came to light.

Get sick/call in you will be fired for sure.

Anonymous said...

Oh its great to take your posted comments and cross reference them to the files and places go on the intra-net. Hmmm What you forward to personal email accounts and what you access and read that you know is not really in your division. BIG BROTHER or Let me say BIG SISTER (LOL) IS WATCHING.

TYC EMPLOYEESS AT WILL. TRY LEAVING AND SEE IF YOU CAN FIND A JOB IN THE STATE. OH WAIT....YOU CAN WORK FOR TDCJ. BUT HEY YOU ALREADY DO.

Anonymous said...

Tommy is not my favorite person, but my understanding is that he noted a student being in Admin at 2 AM and reported it to Lydia and the rest of the team that came to visit Brookings et al.... and Lydia told Brookins to stop it... and told Tommy it was okay. I agree he may have crossed over, but he did try to do his job at least once before then.

Anonymous said...

Tommy's just following orders. He's still one of us.

Anonymous said...

12:04am - shut the hell up - you're wasting perfectly good blog space. Take your anger to a therapist. You have no idea who is able to organized. Maybe where you come from no one cares, but not out here.

Good luck to you with that anger problem and negativity.

Anonymous said...

When did Tommy become one of us?