Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pope: Staff still using pepper spray either "corrupt" or lack "reading comprehension"

"As best as I know," said acting TYC Commissioner Dimitria Pope to the House Corrections Committee, all agency staff have all been fully informed that a lawsuit settlement changed the pepper spray policy to rescind the August 2 directive allowing its more frequent use.

Those who aren't following the proper policy are "corrupt," she said, or suffered from a lack of "reading comprehension."

I happen to have a copy of the memo from Billy Humphrey she referenced in her testimony (September 28, 2007). Read it over and tell me, if you were a JCO, when this policy tells staff to use pepper spray?
This memo has been reviewed and approved by the Office of General Counsel for TYC.

Pursuant to the terms of the Agreed Order of the Court, the Texas Youth Commission will suspend the enforcement of the terms of the Executive Director #2 FY 07 and will enstead enforce the provisions of its use of force rule codified at 37 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 97.23.

37 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 97.23 does not and never did totally prohibit the use [sic] OC Spray. It must be determined that the threat to the youth and staff warrant the use of OC Spray as the least restrictive and most appropriate use of physical force. Clearly the importance of the use of OC Spray in our facilities is to protect the youth from unintentional injuries possible with the use of other restraint.
What does that mean in concrete terms? I don't know. To me, the final line seems to imply that the General Counsel and Billy Humphrey want OC sprayed used instead of "restraint," which appears to contradict the lawsuit settlement.

I'm not sure that memo gave clear guidance to employees as to exactly when to use what level of force. See this prior Grits discussion of the two policies.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was unavailable this morning, and I don't see that the broadcast is archived? Anybody know differently?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

It will be as soon as the hearing's over. While it's going on there's no archive yet. I missed a couple of hours this morning, too.

Anonymous said...

wow, Billy Humphrey, now theres a piece of work. He was a warden at one of TDCJ's medical facilities prior to his new Owens imposed position. He married a subordinate employee(which is against TDCJ policy) and commenced to screwing up the unit he was assigned too. With Demetria Pope and her crew of TDCJ rejects, TYC is sure to suffer an implosion very soon!... God help you all.

- www.thebackgate.org

Anonymous said...

It's not against TDCJ policy to marry a subordinate. If one does, one has to separate from service or go to another unit. It's unethical but not illegal.

Anonymous said...

That includes Humphrey, who has stated on more than one occasion, to more than one person that he doesn't care what the law suit requires. He has made it clear that we will not go back to the previous policy (GAP.97.23) and anyone who does will pay. Maybe that's why he stared at the floor during most of Dimitria's bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Backgate where is the policy you talk about.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I clearly don't speak "Billy Humphrey-ese", because his memo is clear as mud to me. I was wondering why there was so much confusion in the wake of the lawsuit. Now I know. PS.. if anyone would like to communicate confidentially to a reporter, please email me at she.digs@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Grits,

Since it is my understanding that there is written evidence and witness testimony that Humphreys is ordering the violation of the court order, is he corrupt or does he lack reading comprehension ability?

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard, what happened to the old maxim that "ignorance of the law is no excuse?" :)

Clearly Humphrey has opened himself up to criminal and, if a juvenile sues, potentially civil penalties.

The whole thing is descending into comic levels of absurdity not yet seen this year. Claims of progress with no evidence whatsoever. An absentee "volunteer" conservator who produces a report that is not only late but merely half the length of the original one.

One foolish dog and pony show after another, each competing with the other for sheer ridiculousness.

Can it really get any dumber?

BB

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder why the Pope has not taken any action against the Humpster.

Lets see, she knows about the memo, she knows that he has ordered staff to break policy and the law. Why would you keep this guy around?

Anonymous said...

That memo was NOT distributed agency wide.

Anonymous said...

not only has that memo not been distributed, there has been no communication, distributed agency wide, concerning the lawsuit.so it appears that again, the Pope don't know the scope...

Anonymous said...

not only that but BH sent an email, after 09/27, to trainers telling them to continue to train the use of force according to the Pope decree of 08/02.

Anonymous said...

If they have a staff that lacks reading comprehension shouldn't she have made accomodations?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@6:57 - The memo is addressed to "Executive Council, Halfway House Superintendents, Institutional Superintendents and Regional Directors." The title is simply "RE: Use of Force." I was given a copy last week by a reader.

As to Bill and Howard's comments, it's bizarre. I don't understand what makes it worth walking out on that limb, but there they are. Again.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@7:04, if you have that email could you please forward it to me at shenson[at]austin.rr.com? Thx!

Anonymous said...

How about this for we are all safe and happy at TYC as was told today in so many words.

While they were saying things are better today in Austin. A teacher was stabbed twice, one above the eyebrow and another one in the cheek with a pencil. Teacher was taken to the hospital and release later. Wonder how many headlines that will make for the public to see?

Anonymous said...

Today was less than expected. Damn. I hate to say this, but now if anyone's to blame for the mess at TYC, it's the ledge: BOTH chambers. I guess our elected leaders we put in office have taken the role of “bad guy,” because they certainly had the opportunity to open this agency up and learn what's happened, but failed to do so, and thus failed us all.

If anyone of you are reading this, Humphrey is very out-of-line and before we lose more tax dollars on settlements, you might want to take a stand. He's telling these people to use the pepper spray in violation of the settlement agreement.

So, my rep. wasn't on that committee today, but if he was, I'd be voting against him. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

What's with these legislators? They aren't terribly perceptive, are they? They don't really probe deeply. When it comes down to it, they just don't want to know the reality. They seem to be easily distracted.

Of course the acting ED is going to rehearse and script her responses. They aren't gonna get the full story from her. Have they ever spoken to any of the employees?
(If they offered protection against retaliation, employees would speak to them).

Anonymous said...

The memo referred to by 7:04 was a string in which trainers asked how the removal of Executive Directive #2 affects training of the use of force continum. Marty Martin asks Billy "Are we changing the use of force continuum to move OC as the step before physical restraint? If so, this has a big impact on how we train this portion of UOF. Please advise. Thanks."

I have a paper copy of the memo referenced by 7:04. It was not fowarded to me electronically. It was sent on 10/1/07 at 7:25 pm to Marty Martin, Ashley Berry, TYC -Trainers- Field; and TYC - Trainers. Reads as follows:

"Marty

Chemical agents has always been authorized by policy, staff have just been instructed not to use it. There are situations where physical force is necessary as there is circumstances where in the interests of preventing injuries we will use chemical agents. The guidance to staff will not change. If we must use physical force, it is a last resort and we are to do it in such a manner so as to prevent injury to any party involved. THe memo is in no way to be interpreted as TYC going back to the old way of doing business! BSH"

There are two critical sentences here - most critical being "THE GUIDANCE TO STAFF WILL NOT CHANGE". I have a couple of degrees. I am not corrupt and do not have a reading comprehension issue. Those insisting on following GAP 97.23 as agreed in the settlement are under serious fire.

How does Ms. Pope continue to blatantly lie to the legislature and get a pass? On this issue, I do not comprehend.

Whitsfoe no longer fishing said...

Scott, here's the deal, and I bet this will get my colleagues jumping:

Wasn't "blind loyalty" what got this agency placed under a Conservator to begin with? I mean, Barnard covering Brookins, Clay covering Barnard, Harrison covering Brookins, Barnard covering Harrison… and Ayo, Ayo, it's off to Conservator we go…

I've heard many say history repeats itself, but this has to be a record because normally, history repeats itself in many years, not months. Amazing.

I wanted Madden to voice it, but he didn’t. Why? Their camp talks a lot, but they sure didn’t show up on game day. That issue of pepper spray needs to be investigated post settlement. Sorry, you missed it guys.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody who has the e-mail from BS Humphrey send it to Madden? I'd say "and Whitmire," but he's Pope's Sugar Daddy, and he wouldn't care.

Anonymous said...

8:16, bingo, you nailed what is amazing to me about this latest scene.

I'm actually going to have take the time this weekend to slog thru the video of today's hearing to have any clue. Based on what people are writing here, they once again allowed TYC officials to basically say anything they wished without subjecting them to any tough questioning.

Is that about right?

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Bill Bush,
The legislators have the same e-mails being posted on this site, they know the agency has violated the recent court ordered ruling regarding OC. Why they are playing this cat and mouse game is beyond me?????

They know the current leadership is way over their heads, and I was surprised the Pope not once spoke in the third person today. Maybe that remedial speech class is paying off.

Anonymous said...

What is really sad is "Your" Executive Director for TYC called all the staff in the field a bunch of illiterate dumb asses. But, she goes one step further if your not a illererate dumb ass you are a corrupt individual. Maybe just maybe your a corrupt illiterate dumb ass.

I guess if your address was 4900 North Lamar you just might be one of the above or maybe all three.

Makes you proud to go to work everyday now doesn't it. I am amazed any of you can even find the work place, your probably out in the parking lot walking around in circles unless of course you left a trail of bread crumbs the day before you left work. Pathetic

Anonymous said...

That's funny. That's what most TYC employees think of Owens, Pope and the TDCJ cronies.

Anonymous said...

The fact that she has always insulted the previous administration and employees at every level who worked for them demonstrates Pope is not a leader. A leader would work to gather support from her employees and not alienate them. Her statewide tours and input into the agency's Strategic Plan is far to little with all she has done to belittle the non-TDCJ employees.

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe-Evidently time in the wilderness fishing has had a positive impact on your powers of perception. The current executive administration is, without a doubt, more retaliatory, vindictive and corrupt than any other that has come before it. And the lege isn't much better when it allows Pope to stand before them and blatantly lie to them, the rank and file of TYC and the people of the State of Texas. The representative (name escapes me) who grilled Pope on her motivations for shutting Coke County down in the manner in which she did, was dead on the money. It was, without a doubt, a calculated, premeditated and strategically staged media event designed to falsely portray her as a decisive leader and deflect attention from the pepper spray issue and the recent string of "surgical" administrator moves and removals.

How many times did Pope beg off from answering questions, stating "I'll find out and get back to you this afternoon"? Seems to me that a "real" ED would have been a little bit better prepared for the hearing and maybe even know something about the agency she is supposed to be running. And the lies! If a "corrupt" staff with a lack of reading comprehension such as myself can know a lie when I hear one, why can't the lege? Maybe they just don't want to know.

I'm not surprised that Broncho Bill wasn't asked to testify. How would it look if he threw his briefcase across the hearing room and launched into a profanity-lace tirade when the issue of OC came up?

Why Ayo is still allowed to be employed is beyond my comprehension? He was an active player in the Brookins cover-up, who should be awaiting trial along with Brookins and Hernandez, but because of his sucking up and willingness to blindly follow orders (no matter how illegal or unethical), he continues to be rewarded by our equally coorupt executive administration.

And lastly, Howard Hickman has it down. Progress, ha! There isn't any progress being made. The Owens/Pope regime have done nothing to "fix" TYC. All they have done is put a system in place that is more corrupt, unprofessional and unethical than any that has coome befroe it and is not likely to be seen again. Bruce Toney can send out all the memos he wants on how retaliation is illegal. Unless he, the lege and the public take decisive steps to stop it, Pope and her TDCJ cronies will continue to use retaliation, coercion and threats to systematically destroy TYC and any possibility for TYC to have a positive, lasting impact on the youth we serve.

Anonymous said...

Grits, can you find out why the video for this hearing has not yet been archived??

Anonymous said...

Good job 6:51. You hit the nail on the head.

Anonymous said...

The Texas House of Representatives

There Are No Archived Broadcasts From Yesterday To Today.

Where is yesterdays hearing at??

actually outta here said...

I find it interesting how often Da Pope calls other people corrupt. Projecting much? *snort* The guilty dog barks first.

JT Barrie said...

Maybe Humphries is practicing passive resistance. Has anyone heard him hum the refrain "We shall overcome"? That's how peaceniks protest bad laws. Worked for Ghandhi and Martin Luther King.

Anonymous said...

The dog and pony show continues. The legacy left behind by the previous corrupt leaderships has magified to unimagineable proportions & festering! Guess we'll have to sit back until it erupts once again. d'Pope needs to look in the mirror when she mentions corrupt and lack of reading comprehension. She has neglected to comprehend TYC policy and juvenile laws and is allowing her cronies to be as corrupt as they want, it seems to be a routine for them.

Madden, your hearing was very disappointing. It resulted in showing us what we already know, the leadership can lie and the lack of juvenile justice expertise is appalling. When are you people going to wake up. Do we honestly need another agency scandal before you act!

Anonymous said...

UTMB psychiatric treatment for youth is based on $$ not the well being of the children.

Any question's?

Telepsych with mohammed is a well thought out treatment program....

Anonymous said...

Grits:

The memo can be addressed however it wants to be but i know myself our entire department, bunches of other people in other departments including security unit staff and dorm staff that still have no idea what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Please read post 10:16pm, you must be one of those staff the Pope was referring too yesterday. Shame, shame, please resign and apply for a job that does not require any thought process.

Anonymous said...

For the posting on 10/17/07 2:49 PM...Humphrey and his wife have been married for over 10 years...stay on the point of the subject and leave his personal life out of this.

Anonymous said...

The archived broadcast is posted, but I'm not able to connect to it. Is anyone else able to?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

watching it now.
sh

Anonymous said...

As a running testimony to the unethical, unscrupulous tactics employed by the Pope regime, it seems that Maria Porras (PS II) is the acting A Supe at Pyote. An interesting choice considering that she was fired as the Supt of Sheffield Boot Camp for numerous violations of law and policy (not the least of which was using her position to give unjustified merit raises to a personal (male) friend). Another example of Ayo in action. Put these people in high positions so that they will owe you and will cover for you down the road when you do those little, illegal, unethical and unprofessional things that Ayo is want to do. What a world!

Anonymous said...

Maria is what ?????????? Damn these people are really crooked I remember when She was Fired ,, Is She friends with someone /????Whats next Charles Manson will be over Sheffield??? Come on Folks this is so crooked someone needs to get a Legislators attention I heard today that there is a Legislator from Lubbock Texas who is looking into this and is asking for people to contact Him ?? I will post when I get more info..This is Crazyyyyyyyy

Anonymous said...

Maria wasn't fired, she was demoted from Supt. at Sheffield to Caseworker at WTSS. Rumor is besides the personal relationship, she also had a history at Sheffield of taking money from an employee recognition fund. Everybody watch out, here comes the next scandal, too bad its going to be at WTSS again... Wouldn't suprise me, given her and Mike's history if she knew who called in the opportunistic "bomb threat".

Anonymous said...

Porras? I want to see this announcement. That case is still open from what we hear at SBC. That's just wrong. They closed Grandads here only to see it open in her office.Talk about corruption.

Anonymous said...

you disloyal bastards. you need to quit now. find employyment out side the state cause no-one in the state will hire will. I'm dropping cases on all you. I know who you are.

Anonymous said...

What's Grandad's? There won't be a scandal, because Pope and her crew can do no wrong.

Anonymous said...

11:06 you need to read this:

There is zero tolerance for retaliation, it is now a crime to do this via legislation passed.
TO ALL EMPLOYEES THAT FEEL THIS IS HAPPENING.......WAKE UP.......AN READ THE MEMO!!! (POPE)
5:06 OF THE HEARING YESTERDAY

Anonymous said...

oops.......10/18/2007 11:16:00 PM

Anonymous said...

OK guys...the last I knew, Wallace Brown was acting Supt. at WTSS. Maria was acting for one day. We're not thrilled about Brown, as he is a crony of Harrison and Ayo, but I doubt he is too happy about it himself. He literally shakes when he talks these days.

Anonymous said...

I have not heard anyone blog about Ms. Popes comment that all staff will wear black slacks and black shoes. She did say TYC would but the shirts, this means you will need to buy your own black slacks and black shoes. Does TDCJ supply this to their staff or do they have to pay out of their pocket??

Anonymous said...

10/19@7:03 am - That's Assistant Superintendent, genius.

Anonymous said...

No genius, I beg your pardon, I'm there and Brown is the Acting Supt./Administrator in Charge. There is no acting Asst. Careful with the name calling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification Maria, we are glad that the incompetent Ms. Pope was not so incompetent to put you in charge of a facility. okay, everyone can calm down and take some deep breaths.

Anonymous said...

whew.

Anonymous said...

10/19@5:48 pm - Porras is using the office, driving the car, acting like she has authority...hmmmmmmm? Sorry about calling you a genius. Reading your posts certainly disproves that assumption.

Anonymous said...

At the hearing, the comment that Resocialization has been "tweaked" and now called Connections should have indicated to Madden & committee the total ineptitude of the current leadership and company! They have been "tweaking" policy and law since day one at TYC!! Hmmmmmmm, do they tweak because they lack reading comprehension and a total lack of juvenile justice experience or because it leads down the road to "corruption"?

Anonymous said...

5:48, Can't you disagree with someone without insulting them? Aren't you supposed to be role modeling behavior for TYC kids?

Anonymous said...

Well "tweaking" does sound much better than saying I have renamed different sections of Resocialization, including the name, but nothing else is different.

Anonymous said...

I didn't notice any mention of "Connections" in the latest Conservator report. I'll have to go back and look again, or maybe on the TYC web site.

Anyone know where we can find a description of it online?

BB

Anonymous said...

That's a good one, BB. The only place I've seen reference to "CoNEXTions" is in the report Pope passed out at the Committee hearing: "Implementing SB 103."

I don't think it's up online anywhere yet.

Anonymous said...

We are getting better at the art of deception. Do not allow anything to go public until it hits the streets. This way you lessen the scrutiny and it appears your actually doing something constructive. Someone please pull the plug on the incompetent morons.

Anonymous said...

Bill, if I'm not mistaken, a guy named David testified at the hearing and he mentioned it. I did not get to finish watching his testimony, but I believe this is where it surfaced.

Anonymous said...

www.conextions.org/

Anonymous said...

2:16, that link goes to a private non-profit that does what looks like a faith-based prison education program, and they're based in New Jersey.

Are you suggesting that TYC has subcontracted out its rehab program to this group?

Or that TYC is copying their program?

Very curious,
BB (Bill Bush)

Anonymous said...

My understanding is they're copying their program.

Anonymous said...

Corrupt and incompetent describes Pope and Bronco Billy. Criminals typically don't believe the rules apply to them. That describes the folks who are currently running TYC.

Chester and Lydia protected a couple of criminals out in West Texas. The Governor and Legislative leaders are now protecting the criminals who are currently running TYC.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you actually know Billy Humphrey???? Or are you just talking from what you have "heard". This is one man who is not corrupt or incompetent.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually not joking when I say this, but I believe there are two TYC employees who are named William Humphrey.

Anonymous said...

3:06 pm-Sure do. I have had the great displeasure. He is an arrogant, corrupt megalomaniac, who believes himself to be infallible and above the law. He knows nothing about juvenile corrections and covers it up by threatening anyone who questions him on little things like due process rights for kids with transfer or termination. All you have to do is read his emails and/or memos (I believe a sterling example is posted here on Grits) to know that he is only concerned with his perception of how things should be done. The courts and the law be damned. He has no honor or integrity and has no respect for anyone who thinks independently or knows anything about working with kids. No one but his hand-picked flunkies (like Omoniye and Chuck)has any respect for him.

Anonymous said...

Can I get a AMEN for 5:54Pm :}

Anonymous said...

I, also have witnessed him in action and I agree with 5:54; except that I would add that he is not very bright. I think all that bluster comes from a wish to cover up his own incomprehension. And yes, there are two people with that name now working for TYC. Both of them from TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

3:06 - How can you possibly believe that a person who blatantly disregards not only rules, but laws is both competent and incorrupt? This guy is a disaster! (I have had direct dealings with him - he really is as bad as all these folks have been portraying him.)

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you. He is not a bad person. And I believe I know him better than anyone on this board. He is my oldest brother and just because you disagree with his style of work, does not make him a bad person. And for 10/24/2007 08:26:00 PM saying he is not very bright.... you have no idea how smart he is. Do you know his education background??? Say what you want, but you still have no clue on the kind of man he is.

Anonymous said...

8:23 am - Work style has nothing to do with the opinions expressed here. The major issue as far as I and others are concerned revolve around the issues of integrity, ethics and compassion. Bronco Billy has none of the above. This observation based upon first hand, personal knowledge gained from encounters with him in his current capacity. And as far as being smart...how smart is anyone who would consciously and maliciously choose to ignore or outright violate a court order or the law? Without the characteristics listed above (integrity, ethics, compassion and all of the other characteristics of a good leader)all the education and degrees in the world amount to nothing. No one-Bronco Billy included-is above the law.

Anonymous said...

To Billy's brother - I know that all the ugly comments made here about your brother must be painful. But, remember this - the kids in TYC are there because they broke the law. How are we any better than them if we choose to break the law in caring for them? Your brother is breaking the law and is demanding that his subordinates break the law. He is wrong for that. No, I don't like his style, I don't like his arrogance, I don't like the fact that he seems to think he has all the answers - but that is all beside the point. It is all about following the rules. When people put themselves above the law, we call those people criminals. Sorry, but that describes your brother. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

This is actually his sister. Does anyone actually report the good things that people do? Everything I have read so far is negative..I've seen the good he does and I know the kind of person he is. But nobody wants to hear that kind of stuff....

Anonymous said...

To all,

There are alot of things that we would prefer not to believe, but there are just too many questionable (if not illegal)examples of what he Billy Humphrey)has done and how he treats people since coming over to TYC. I think that everyone in TYC had hoped that the new administration and the changes mandated by the SB 103 would have brought about positive change, but they didn't. And that, is the fault of those currently in power. They have continuously demonstrated that they are solely concerned with their personal position and power and creating a mirror image of TDCJ because they have no clue regarding how to effectively manage a juvenile justice agency. They have not shown any concern whatsoever for the incarcerated youth, the impact their mindless, ill-informed decisions have had on TYC staff and their families, or the public trust they are sworn to uphold, yet continue to violate. We are defined, as human beings, not by position or power, but by our actions in our daily encounters with our fellow human beings. The solution is simple, treat people the way you want to be treated. Who knows, it could work!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To Billy's sister, it's fine to let us know of all the good your brother's done to counterbalance what you've read here. That's why it's a public forum. But this post is not really about whether he's a good person or not. In the case highlighted, his actions have drawn his employer into litigation, and Big Bro appears to have left a paper trail pinning blame on his own lapel.

Like Old Salty, I'm sorry that what you read here may be painful, and one of the dangers of the blogosphere is that people get talked about sometimes in ways they or their family don't like. Since truth is a defense to libel, though, and because reporting such incongruities helps enforce the rights of kids who can't get on the web and speak for themselves, I stand by what I've written here. I hope you'll accept my apology for any offense taken. best,

Anonymous said...

The only good Bronco has done is to get raises for his TDCJ buddies. They can all go back to their own f*** up system and leave ours alone.