Thursday, November 01, 2007

TYC in the News; Madden draws primary opposition

The Texas Youth Commission continues to make mainstream media headlines:
See also NPR's related piece on reforms at Missouri's youth prison system.

Meanwhile, from the blogs, Vince Leibowitz lets us know that Republican House Corrections Chairman and Craddick loyalist Jerry Madden faces a primary challenger from the right, another proponent of surrealist political accounting who promises both "tax relief" and to "keep drugs and crime out of our community and schools by locking criminals up - not putting more of them out on our streets," as though locking infinitely more people up is free or even justifies lowering taxes. That's laughable; very few people can say they've done more for public safety in Texas than Jerry Madden. I concur completely with Vince, who writes:
I seriously wonder if he realizes he’s running against the Chair of the House Committee on Corrections. Does this guy seriously think he can run a “I’m gonna be tough on crime” campaign against Jerry Madden? That’d be like running an “I Hate Illegal Immigrants More!” campaign against Leo Berman.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

As much as I would like to see Madden gone, I can't afford another tax cut, this last one cost me an arm and a leg.

Anonymous said...

Madden may very well be the "Chair" on corrections but putting forth a piece of legislation, SB103, and then hoping incompetent leaders (TYC) ensure it is enacted is laughable.
I am sure Mr. Madden knows and understand corrections but one would also hope that he understands people especially incompetent ones. The ongoing cycle of abuse and missteps continues to plague TYC and it is a direct correlation to the leadership in Austin.

Now, Mr. Madden may not be able to oust the current leadership but he can place just a little more heat on them than what we have seen. Let me see, you have a high ranking staff in Central Office who has directed field staff to disobey a recent lawsuit on OC and he has never been suspended or fired. We have staff fired daily/weekly based on just a verbal accusations with little or no proof.

So, lets get this straight, as long as your friends with the Pope you are allowed to violate court orders and break the law? And we thought Dwight Harris was bad? Scott even posted some (not all) of the e-mails on this blog this guy sent out, not to mention the witnesses against this guy but nothing happens? Makes you wonder about just how competent all the folks are down Austin-Way.

Anonymous said...

People here don't know how much worse a lot of this would be without Jerry Madden.

There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with Madden, Whitmire and TYC, that's why they canceled the hearing, not to wait for a new conservator. And like it or not, House bills have to get through the Senate, which on Corrections means through John Whitmire, so he can't just burn that bridge. Whitmire's the one protecting D'ope and the TDCJrs. Madden's doing what he can he just doesn't talk about it as much as some.

Anonymous said...

I was just ousted from TYC after many years of loyal service. If people think that the sexual abuse at WTSS was bad, it was. What people don't hear about, except here on GRITS is the disrespect and emotional abuse that is perpetrated upon current employees on a daily basis from the TDCJ leaders in CO. Abuse and power and control are wrong no matter where they occur. I am going to try to get my life back together.

Anonymous said...

8:25, that has been my interpretation reading between the lines also. Madden's public statements, while I may disagree with some of them (esp his take on the Blue Ribbon report), have at least made some sense, while Whitmire's have been contradictory and baffling.

Here's something else to ponder.

Prior to the 1970s, legislative committees that dealt with juvenile justice issues were kept separate from the prison system.

For instance:

Prior to the creation of TYC in 1949, an "Eleemosynary" committee oversaw juvenile training schools, as did the state agency called the Board of Control. Juvenile justice facilities were linked to institutions for the mentally ill, orphans, the blind, etc.

Special joint committees were created in 1947 and 1969 with titles relating to training schools or "YOuth Affairs" but not "Corrections."

It may only be symbolic but nevertheless important that today the Corrections committee is the one that deals with TYC. Even before the debate begins, we are working in the framework of adult correctional imperatives.

BB

Anonymous said...

Clearly you have no idea about how the mind of a Republican primary voter works - completely oppositie of yours.

This will be a very close race.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Re: "Scott even posted some (not all) of the e-mails on this blog this guy sent out"

Actually, for the record, I've posted all the emails I had from Bronco Billy himself. I only deleted emails from a string by others that were a) off point or b) whose header would have revealed my source. I, too, wonder how in the world Stan G. lost his spot and BH is still with them. Perhaps the other shoe will drop for him, one supposes, when the Advocacy Inc suit accusing TYC of being in contempt of an agreed order gets a public hearing and goes before a judge.

Meanwhile, I'm with Bill Bush and 8:25. I'd take Jerry Madden over nearly any possible Democratic replacement. What I like most about him: When we disagree, he tells me, he always has a reason, and even if I don't like it I know where he stands. It's easy to respect someone when they agree with you. To disagree agreeably is the mark of a statesman and of true leadership.

As the late great Sam Rayburn notably declared, "any fool can tear down a house, but it takes a carpenter to build one." By that standard, as legislators go, Madden's never been one who's afraid to cut wood and swing a hammer.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@10:07 - I do know this: Madden's opponent have to show up with more than he has so far to make it a close race. The mind of the GOP primary voter will understand Madden's slot on Texas Monthly's "Best" list, his leadership on Jessica's Law, votes for numerous criminal penalty increases over the years, his focus on making sure there's space to house violent offenders without breaking the bank, and his actual, real-world commitment to holding down spending compared to mere lip service that says "tax less, spend more."

Unless his opponent has a LOT of money at his disposal to spread false attacks, I'd be surprised if your prediction is correct. I'd guess Madden beats him unless the guy's got more to go on than than that. If Madden had crossed Craddick in the power struggle this year, I might feel differently, but Madden knows too much about the subject and has done too much he can point to for the guy to beat him on criminal justice, IMO.

Anonymous said...

Bill,
Your recent post regarding the corrections committee overseeing TYC is interesting. Most other states have juvenile corrections in with youth services that may include the child mental health agencies, child protection services and other family oriented programs. I think that there must be a good reason for this and I wish that Texas would explore this further. But researching issues has not been a strength in this state.

Anonymous said...

AMEN, Scott!!! Jerry Madden is the only hope TYC has right now. This man is not afraid of Whitmire and I truly believe he will not back down.

Anonymous said...

I so hope that one day all will get their due, who have caused pain and suffering to TYC employee's.
Retaliation and discrimination is rampid still in TYC. It is happening everyday. I personally know this is going on and adminstration has it so sewed up that no one dares to claim it. You will be fired.

It is a fact and no reason to argue the point. One staff complained about an issue and was put under investigation immediatly.
If you sees something then by god you better turn that head or yours is going to roll.
It is a shame that this place is this way. I don't understand why we really stay and take this abuse.
We were told in the begining of this mess we were protected if we reported someting. That is the biggest joke of them all, it was a way to get rid of you. No room for trouble makers here.
We are out of control and we are headed to fall, hell we have already fallen just the buildings are still standing. TYC is gone and the evils have invaded and taken over. The kids see it, good staff see it and no one can do one damn thing about it. If your not the right color, or in the suck up crowd, your doomed. just a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

If you check the House committee structure, there is a House Juvenile Justice Committee, which also has jurisdiction over TYC.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

I see the committee's responsiblities and agencies they're over, but nothing about TYC. I don't think I'm misreading.

Anonymous said...

I hear that David Walenta has been appointed as Asst. Deputy Director of Rehab and that Stan DeGerolami is now the Director of Treatment. The latter is a very interesting decision. While Stan is a social worker by training, he is not a clinician and has NO license on record with DSHS. Shame on Stan for accepting a position for which he not qualified and shame on David Walenta for allowing this to happen. Neither cares about providing treatment to the kids. DaPope knows nothing about treatment and those that do should be screaming about this stupid move. This says a lot about the role of treatment in this "reformed" agency.

Anonymous said...

8:22 - you're pretty visable and transparent, unlike this current regime. Your tone has been consistent, which begs the question, what exactly did this Stan guy do to you? Now you're after Valenta or whatever his name is, then others?

I mean, take to heart, people like you are complete dumbasses when you go after your own and while doing so, protect TDCJ occupying forces. We're all wondering, are you a TDCJ flunky that escaped? You certainly appear to be. I'm glad you're out of here if that's the deal.

Anonymous said...

So these guys have to revise their business cards almost every week?

Anonymous said...

Stan will do just fine in treatment since there is no longer any treatment in TYC. This will give him the opportunity to do what he is best at which is sit on his butt. Now he won't be able to screw up corrections anymore, that will be left to Humphrey. What a great agency to work for.

Anonymous said...

I am not a TYC employee, but with all the comments on Grits and the scrutiny that TYC is going through, I can't understand why anyone would continue to work for such a screwed up place. To those of you dedicated to working with the kids, good luck, it sounds like you need it with this current Administration.

Anonymous said...

8:56
I am still here. Trying my best to do what's right. What about you?

mp103 said...

to 9:36

I AM a TYC employee, though admit this is not the Agency I first joined 15 years ago. Why do I stay? Because I believe there are more of US than there are of 'them'. 'They' just happen to have all the right connections; WE connect with the kids and make a difference. Therefore, I believe WE have the right connections (no pun intended for David's stupid program - and I use that word lightly).

What I know for certain is this: At some point, whether in 9 months or 40 years, those kids that are in our custody will be back out in society. THEY are our future, Texas. They will be paying for our Social Security, our roads, our schools. If WE don't stay and fight for them, who will?

I have to believe that; otherwise, I'd be out looking for another job.

Anonymous said...

9:45,

My point exactly, but by the sounds of things, I don't think many can put up with this fir another 9 months much less 40 years, including the youth you serve. I admire your dedication, but I think I would be out looking for another way to make a difference for the future.

Anonymous said...

They are probably going to sunset TYC, and they are going to spread the money thinner to more programs so they can hide the money being paid under the tables. The lege has proven itself to be ineffective session after session. We've forgotten about them running off to Oklahoma and New Mexico instead of doing the jobs. We've forgotten they're failure to fund education. We just keep voting them in, and now they are all going to run on the platform that they "fixed" TYC. All based on the corruption of the past administration, which no one yet has proven to be true, or are even investigating. The ranger report is all anectdotal, and most of it is a bunch of nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Dedicated and experienced staff are leaving TYC everyday. What is going to bring down TYC is people who are being placed in administrative positions because of WHO they know not because of WHAT they know. If a person has connections to a certain Acting Executive Director they are assured a job in Administration or at Central Office. Never mind the fact that they do not have experience in juvenile corrections or knowledge of employee relations or workers rights! These people get into positions of power and abuse it. They take the AT WILL provision to fit their personal agendas and egos.
There really needs to be a better system of checks and balances in relation to the hiring of these people.
Who wants to go to work at a place where a person can be emotionally abused,treated with disdain or Administratively moved because the person in charge doesn't like the shoes you happened to wear that day!

Anonymous said...

You who have made negative statements about Jerry Madden, do not know this man. I do and also what he has done for TYC and TDCJ and individuals who have had problems with both.

Don't down grade someone you know nothing about. Jerry Madden works hard for the things he considers right and follows through with the ideas. If the Senate were as dedicated to what they stand for, there would be fewer problems in our corrupt criminal justice system.

I know Jerry and his wife and they are wonderful Christian people and stand for they truly believe in. I am not a Republican, I am a Democrat, but when it comes to a person who says and does what he trule believes the Lord wants him to do, then that does not give anyone the right to trounce on him. Go Jerry!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know Jerry Madden, but I do know he's been communicating regularly with many of my co-workers. He cannot make everyone happy, but I respect a man or woman who listens. Wish he could encourage the leadership in TYC to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 6:14 a.m. I agree with every word.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Madden is the one person with both integrity and competence on the Joint Committee. He is not the one who needs to be replaced. I keep hoping some strong challenger will emerge in North Harris County - especially after the disparaging remarks Whitmire made about his constituents which showed conclusively that he has nothing but contempt for anyone but himself.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Madden should run for Governor. He seems to be the only one with sense on that gosh-awful joint committee. And he certainly has more sense than ole Goodhair! Not to mention something Goodhair totally lacks - integrity.

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet Goodhair is behind this fellow running against Madden.