Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New TYC treatment program unveiled; completion by youth now optional

Thanks to Scott Medlock for pointing out to me that the Youth Commission came out with its new treatment program, CoNEXTions, while I was out of town last week on December 7. (Note to TYC PR department: Pearl Harbor Day? If I were y'all, I'd avoid for the time being all future symbolic references to sinking ships.)

The new TYC treatment program sounds a lot like the old "Resocialization" program, but with key differences designed to rush kids out the door on the back end much quicker than under the old guidelines:

CoNEXTions measures a youth’s progress in treatment in five stages: Orientation, Skills Development, Transition, Maintenance, and Community Reintegration. Once a youth completes a stage in his or her treatment, he or she cannot be demoted to a lower stage. Additionally, youth do not have to complete all five stages to be eligible for release from a TYC facility when they have met their minimum length of stay. Progression through and completion of the program can be accomplished as a condition of parole.

In the CoNEXTions model, reward and privileges are key motivating tools to encourage youth to progress in their rehabilitation. While all youth receive basic privileges as outlined in TYC policies, there are four additional privilege levels. As youth advance in their treatment, additional privileges are earned. Youth may earn or lose privilege levels based upon individual behavior but any lose of privilege will not affect a youth’s minimum length of stay in TYC.

So bottom line, kids no longer must complete this treatment program before they go home, and while privileges may be taken away, failure to participate fully in treatment will no longer be used to extend a youth's length of stay (a change already codified this summer in TYC's formal rules).

That's probably just fine for most youth, but for some of the more troubled kids at TYC the failure to more fully prepare them before re-entry to the free world could invite trouble, just like the failure to provide adequate sex offender and chemical dependency treatment may lead to youth re-entering society without resolving their core problems.

I can't find any additional info about the program on the agency website, but the press release declares that "CoNEXTions is expected to be implemented system wide in early 2008."

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

COnsidering that Forrest Novy pioneered this program with a Special Education orientation and none of the other treatment issues dealt with through the old "Resocialization" model simply proves that TYC has sunk.
They have joined TEA, and CPS on the sinking ship of the State of Texas.

Anonymous said...

AMEN

Anonymous said...

I note that there is less review of a youth's progress in treatment because they are only evaluated every 90 days instead of every 30 days as in Resocialiation. This could mean that a youth could be re-evaluated as little as twice during his TYC stay. That does not sound like there is going to be much in the way of structuring the treatment to meet the needs of the individual youth as they are advertising.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

It is basically a cover for warehousing. There is very little in this that will motivate kids to change the way they think and act. It will be interesting to see how this impacts recidivism.

Anonymous said...

Currently, if a youth on parole has his parole revoked, his minimum length of stay is recorded as the date of his/her revocation hearing. Since our current view in the state is that minimum = maximum, and since a youth cannot lose his level in the new ConNEXTion system, I guess a kid can do what he wants on parole, get revoked, come back to institutions with full privileges, and be returned to the community immediately. Did anyone think this thing through? Old Salty

Anonymous said...

I think the standard of planning with this bunch is a long-term plan is one that projects over 48 hours! Even Rumsfeld did better than that in Iraq!

Anonymous said...

No one has thought anything through since the hostile takeover by TDCJ. One shouldn't expect anything great to come from the leadership. It's all coming from the lege. TYC will become a revolving door for troubled youth a step away from going to TDC. Forget meeting treatment or educational goals, they won't be in long enough to earn credits or benefit from any sort of treatment program. I believe we have all underestimated the power Dementia has over the lege and the guv. Its a sad state of affairs for the youth! It's time for the DOJ to takeover. One might as well let the youth run the whole she-bang. They'd probably do a better job!

Anonymous said...

One reason kids were staying so long in TYC just may be because their mental health, emotional, and social problems are so complicated that the therapy they need simply CANNOT be done in a prescribed amount of time.  Many of the kids have already been in multiple "programs" that made no difference in their ability to be successful in society.  I hope this new program includes a miracle cure that can be accomplished in a snap!  Serious therapy takes time....I think? And, after all, TYC shows their confidence in their professional staff responsible for administering their programs by telling them how to dress each day.

Anonymous said...

underestimated the power Dementia has over the lege and the guv

Must be DNA on her dresses

Anonymous said...

You think??? Hmmmmmmm!!!!

Anonymous said...

More substandard product from Pope and company. What a joke TYC has become. No rehab, no accountability, no control, along with crap for administration. The end is near, very near. Titanic Youth Commission.

Anonymous said...

I have questions, hope someone can answer.

1. With this new program, how will TYC manage youths behaviors if they only loose a privilge? Most don't care about being on a restriction or not going to a social or function.

2. So this means that the 30 day Treatment Review(pat teams)will not be needed each week.

3.Writing 225's will be more useless than they are today, being that they will not be held aganist the youth?

Bottom line, how will we control behaviors?

If a kid does not care about his education and refuses to do his work, then there is nothing anyone can do? He simply continues to fail in school and leaves TYC as uneducated as he arrived?

Maybe we are going to really need that pepper spray because if this is how I see it, then the kid can beat the crap out of staff and still go home.

Does anyone out there in blog land with ideas on how this is all going to work?

Anonymous said...

Yes I know How it works and so do you. They gonna spray them

Anonymous said...

Assault on staff (including spitting) is a felony. Staff need to start filing charges. Even if the kid is under 17, he/she can still be taken to court and given a determinate sentence. Then, if he or she continues, at 16 TYC can petition the court to send the youth to TDCJ. It will only take a few of those to send a message. The OIG and the SPU are two positive results of SB103.

That does not solve the problem of how to motivate youth to make positive changes in their lives. There will be kids who will go to Security everytime they have to do something they don't like doing. We have to provide them with mattresses in Security, so they can just go down there and sleep.

Y'all know what these kids will do - these TDCJ clowns don't have a clue.

Read my lips TDCJ - kids are not motivated by the same things as adults!

Anonymous said...

What are they going to do for the kids admitted to TYC? It sounds as if the kids will be issued a deck of cards, dominoes and dice upon entry and "3 hots and a cot" until their time is up. Nothing is being done to correct any of the issues that brought the kids to TYC in the first place! Would you stop doing anything unacceptable if you had no consequences for your actions? A perfect example: Demetria Pope, Gov. Goodhair etc. What is happening here?

Anonymous said...

Question about riots.

If there is a riot at one of the facilities does it automatically get reported anywhere?

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dirty Harry said...

Riots weren't automatically reported in the past. Has something changed?

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that we have all watched the State of Texas as it struck the iceberg Bush, after the iceberg Clements, and voters don't seem to care that the ship has alread broken and is headed form the icy depths.

It is too bad that posters here do not have the power to make the public listen. This is at least the second time that Gov Gay Goodhair has let down the children of this State and his Lege cronies have insured that children are of no import.

Welcome to the world of throw away people.

dirty harry said...

Speaking of riots, I've been looking for one to happen in one particular unit. However, it's not the youth I'm looking for to create the riot. There is a problem with the employees, and it's racially based. It appears to me (based upon solid documentation) that unit is turning into a safe job haven for
a number of deadbeat employees. I know that If I'd done what some of these employees have done, I'd be fired in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

The below statement is taken from the blog notes:

"In the CoNEXTions model, reward and privileges are key motivating tools to encourage youth to progress in their rehabilitation. While all youth receive basic privileges as outlined in TYC policies, there are four additional privilege levels. As youth advance in their treatment, additional privileges are earned. Youth may earn or lose privilege levels based upon individual behavior but any lose of privilege will not affect a youth’s minimum length of stay in TYC."

The above process will be a great tool if managed properly by competent staff. Additionally, youth must be placed into facilities that are populated by similiar offenders. I hope TYC and Ms. Dementia have a plan to coordinate a treatment system that addresses specific offender types. TYC needs a system where types of offenders are separated. Otherwise TYC will continue to be in the Funny Papers. Who came up with "CoNEXTions" as a title to the new program? TYC needs to remove or change their program title. CoNEXTions sounds like THUGG language for scoring more illegal substances. That will definately get a laugh from TYC youth. Let's change it to "All staff and youth prepare to abandon Ship."

Anonymous said...

NO TYC program will work anywhere in this state as long as TYC keeps hiring, stupid ignorant people that not much better or worse than the youth they are hanging out with. As for an example, out of 25 new hires 5 might be left on their
1st anniversary, if TYC is lucky. Of those five two will be on FMLA. One will be on workers comp. One more will be sick three times a week due to staph. Another will be to tired to come to work because of their other job. The last one will be selling grass to the kids to supplement their low TYC income. They in Austin still don't get it. What a horrendous mess.

dirty harry said...

Regarding CoNEXTions, I understand they will have to change the name of that program be cause it was previously copyrighted. And, there is no education component. Education is no longer a motivating factor. No one dime has come through for vocational progarams as was talked about earlier.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem with relying on new criminal/delinquency charges to address serious assaultive/dangerous behavior in TYC and to extend a youth beyond their assigned “minimum” stay (or transfer them to TDCJ): prosecuting these charges is dependent upon the local courts. This has always been an issue for TYC. Some local courts are willing to do it and some simply are not. Even when they are willing, they have limited resources and it can often take 6-12 months to get a case to court. How is that going to work with a youth who only has a few months left on his/her original stay? I can’t imagine that TYC is going to extend their stay based on “pending” charges. Once the youth is released to parole, and very often no longer in the prosecuting county, will the county still pursue the charges? Historically, many have not been inclined to do so. Even if they are willing, who handles the transport of the youth back and forth between say Houston where he is on parole and Gainesville where the charges are pending? Is TYC going to do it? If the county has to cover that expense, including housing the juvenile during a trial, they are going to drop these cases like hot potatoes.

Handling very many of these cases can be a real burden on a small, rural county. The county often feels like this is not our youth anyway, why should we shoulder this burden. One possible solution is to have the county that sends a youth to TYC reimburse the local county for prosecuting new cases against their youth. However, I am aware of no legal way to enforce this approach. Obviously, this is another issue in favor of keeping youth in their home counties but we are a long way from being able to do that and TYC will never (nor should they) have a facility in each county.

Conceptually, extending a youth only for proven additional serious offenses seems logical. But depending on local courts to administer this element will be rife with problems and ultimately inconsistency across locations. Of course, the beauty of this approach is that TYC administrators can wash their hands of it and blame any problems or inconsistency on the local courts. That worked really well for Mr. Harris over the West Texas issue, didn’t it? I wonder if the current administration will be allowed to do this. They seem to be allowed to avoid responsibility so far.
>Don Brantley

Anonymous said...

Don,
That is why they took it out of the hands of the local prosecutors and handed this responsibility to the Special Prosecutions Unit. So far, they seem to be aggressively pursuing some of these cases.

rage judicata said...

However, I am aware of no legal way to enforce this approach.

Well, passing a statute would do it. Problem is, the counties with the prisons are vastly outnumbered by those without. Wouldn't pass, most likely.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that folks are reading a lot into just one press release. Without additional details on the program (such as what kinds of sanctions will exist), it's very difficult to figure out if it will be good or bad. Clearly, there will still be some extensions of sentences. I'd like to hear from commenters at Al Price, who are actually working with the new program.

Grits, TYC institutions are still far from being ideal settings for rehabilitation, as the comments about understaffing and working conditions all attest to. The idea that extra time spent in a TYC institution under these conditions would somehow help prepare a kid for re-entry is ludicrous. Perhaps in the best of all worlds, but you of all people know that TYC is far from that right now.

The press release doesn't say that youth will not have to complete treatment. It says that youth can complete the treatment program while on parole, instead of remaining incarcerated in TYC institutions, which are far from rehabilitative. The bottom line is the more time kids spend in secure confinement, the less likely they are to succeed. Justice Policy Institute has done a great report on this issue, called "The Dangers of Detention."

Treatment does not have to be and ideally should not be provided in a cell.

Anonymous said...

The "new program" sounds like another behavior modification program with rewards and privileges just like the old. I don't see Dimitria Pope and company coming out with a genuine change to their model of juvenile correction. They continues to have limited professional rehabilitation services including limited education, special education, psychology, substance abuse, sex offender treatment and other specialized services. "Grits" recently pointed out that many youngsters have to wait for sex offender treatment and other specialized treatment services required for their rehabilitation and release. Other have commented on the unworkable "one room" classroom approach to education at TYC where all grade and ablity levels are educated in the same classroom, and limitations in other special services. In addition, there continue to be outstanding abuse issues especially their use of pepper spray in light of their unwillingness to look at what experts say on how difficult situations can otherwise be defused, and the sexual abuse findings that continue to come to light. I don't see TYC doing anything substantially different than before. It remains (and will continue to remain as long as Dimitria Pope and company continue to run TYC) a preparatory school for crime and the adult prison system. Her prior experience at TDJC has grossly limited her persepctive, and she undoubtedly has other serious limitations has as a person and professional administrator. The people of Texas demand more!!!

Anonymous said...

Don,

The Special Prosecution Unit and the IG's as law enfocement officers was to solve the local investigation and prosecution problem, Additionally SB 103 authorizes TYC to re-imburse certain costs of prosecution to local governments.


Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

All I want for Christmas is for the DOJ to do their job, and take over TYC.

Anonymous said...

Hey - 8:50am,

The TDCJers got rid of all the intelligent TYC employees, only those you refer to as "stupid and ignorant" are willing to work for such an embarassment to the State of Texas called TYC. There is no longer any pride in working for this Agency, I encourage you all to seek a better place of employment, take it from someone that knows, the grass is greener...

Denise said...

These youth need counseling, they need skills, and they need consequences for their actions. It appears the new program does not promote consequences for actions which is the problem in most of their homes. Even in TDCJ offenders get time for assault. Ms. Pope made it crystal clear in a meeting in Austin that she would not support sending a sentenced offender to prison which is a shame. They became sentenced offenders because they committed heinous crimes such as murder and they aren't taking advantage of the opportunities given to them. I sure hope no one in her family is never a victim by one of these kids. I AM SORRY FOR ALL THESE KIDS WHO AREN'T GETTING THE SERVICES WE SHOULD BE GIVING AND I AM SORRY TO ALL THE VICTIMS WHO CANNOT FEEL CONFIDENT IN THE SERVICES TYC SHOULD BE PROVIDING. Perhaps the legislature will wake up and see that Ms. Pope and those they have placed in charge have done nothing but break the agency and try to make a name for themselves. It seems with the sunset review next year, they have a hidden agenda. HMMM

Anonymous said...

There are still intelligent people who work for TYC and you don't have to be stupid to work for TYC. Some of us have stayed because we genuinely care for kids and hopefully the number of us can outlast the dumbasses that the legislature has put in charge. So please don't lump all TYC employees into one category.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that you look at the counseling credentials of the persons training the new treatment program. Basically, IMO, they don't have any. Why? Because they have run off the people that have any real official credentials and have hired their friends. It is a card house with few persons wit real recognised licensures or credentials. I know of no professional persons, or persons that are currently employed that want to come to TYC, or to stay at TYC.

Anonymous said...

Howard and 4:00pm:
I'm glad to know the special prosecution unit is really handling youth offenses. That will really help. All I heard much about before was them handling staff offenses. I knew that SB103 authorized some reimbursements to local courts but I thought those were pretty limited and for only certain special costs. Thanks for the clarification!
>Don Brantley

Anonymous said...

Don and Howard: I do not believe criminal cases will be pursued; TDCJ violators are seldom prosecuted.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

@7:30pm-

Who is doing the training and what creds do they have and lack? Are you @ Al Price? If so, tell us what you think of the new program (in spite of the trainers)

Anonymous said...

I fully understand all the anger but once again, lets focus on the issues 1) If you are unhappy at your current place of work - change it. 2) The kids..the kids...remember them...because they will grow up quickly. This program is not being implemented correctly already because Tim Savoy and Austin said one thing...but we are teaching and training something different in core group. For instance, Austin guy Tim Savoy said "youth on appeal don't have to admit to it.." but I know different. I know that I am still being told to get them to admit to their charge. I was told to use connections however, that program is not being done correctly. So, I agree that if the right staff were in place...no riots, no ill will, no run a muck kids...however, Austin lies to us...they lie on us and we do the same to the kids. As the old addage reads "shit rolls down hill." And obviously we got it, we get it and we are stuck. I can't be without a job so I guess I have to deal with this mess. Someone is going to get sued over this and the TYC boat will be the Titanic.

Anonymous said...

I do think we have to reserve final judgement but the basic premises which they are reporting are concerning. I believe that individualized treatment plans are a great idea but those which are developed at the orientation unit will be limited in their relevance. Youth coming through the admission process routinely lie about the majority of their life histories.

If youth think that all they have to do is pass their time then that is all they will do. If you give them a date they will not be motivated to engage treatment.

I do not think they have really thought through how this program will work for sentenced offenders. Anyone with treatment background should know that treatment progress is not linear and the ability to hold youth relatively immediately accountable for regressive behavior is essential to long term progress. The idea of treatment review every 90 days is ridiculous. These kids barely think about tomorrow. If anything the progress needs to be reviewed more often (twice monthly) as opposed to less often.

Anonymous said...

Let it go Don. Move on with your life, its too short. Believe me, they've moved on. SD threw you and others under the bus that JaEd and company were driving as fast as they could while gleefuly standing on the pedal. They (being the govlege) don't care. The DOJ does not scare them a bit because they will simply blame you and the others until and even after their terms expire. You and Howard are two of the nicest (read conscientious) guys ever employed by TYC and its a shame that either of you should have to defend or respond to anything that these $#!tbrains are puking up.

Long enough to know,

Anonymous said...

I'm very curious to hear from staff who are actually working with this new program. The TYC press release sounds good but is vague.

The five "stages" of the treatment process aren't very descriptive. In fact, their titles don't reflect anything intrinsic to individualized treatment or needs, but to the stage in processing kids thru TYC.

For instance, what does "Orientation" entail? Is this where an individual treatment plan will be worked out? What "Skills" are developed in the middle phase? Academic? Vocational? Life skills?

What does "Transition" mean?

Again, would be very curious to hear descriptions from staff in the know.

Bill B.

Anonymous said...

We met today and for the first time discussed the new program. I am hopeful but we all know what's coming. We are releasing kids left and fight regardless of offense, behavior problems or phase. I don't think the "new program" will impact that at all. I agree with the poster that said it's a cover to warehouse kids. The 225 will become obsolete - they are even considering removing Cat 2s all together. Can the accountability get any lower? JCO VIs are going to shifts which means they won't be assigned to particular dorms. PSs - What PSs? They may do away with them all together. I am not just an unhappy employee who needs to go somewhere else - I am in this for the long haul, but some days are tough. The right hand has NO IDEA what the left is doing.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:16 - find a new hobby and enjoy your greener grass. We can do without you here.

Anonymous said...

I will state this again, TDCJ will build three more new prisons to hold all the youth that receive no treatment at TYC.

Security will be packed because the JCO staff will have no tools to hold youth accountable for their actions (for some reason our leadership believes we can be ran like TDCJ and just shut the doors and lock them in by themselves).

Staff will not be assigned to any dorms, they do not want another Brookins/Hernandez scandal, JCO staff will rotate from dorm to dorm weekly. Once again they do not understand juveniles and relations with staff they trust.

The new treatment program is designed to push youth out as fast as possible, can you just feel the love.

Anonymous said...

10:31, glad to see the TDCJrs are reading this, and can see how much they're hated here.

Anonymous said...

Retired 2004: What are you talking about? Every time I get called to jury duty, there's a dozen or more inmates in the docket. Most of them plead out as soon as they get a look at the jury pool - but they are there, all properly indicted and waiting.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that more of the youth who are served by TYC will end up in prison due to LACK OF CONSEQUENCES. That's why they end up in TYC in the first place. I wonder how TDCJ will fix their staffing issues and recidivism-implement Resocialization! LOL. I get calls from old students all the time talking about how well they are doing and encouraging us to keep doing a good job regardless of what is said in the papers---they know different. A few out of thousands shouldn't ruin the whole. Let's look at TDCJ's ratios........... For all those who have left the agency, you know how great it is to get calls for youth who were held accountable, finally did complete the program, and left only to hear from them and how well they are doing. One is going to Baylor and one UT Arlington graduates soon.

Anonymous said...

I have a far better job than I ever had in TYC. I am working with a small group of children very near the New Mexico border. I put in 13 years with TYC working for Chester Clay, Don Brantley, Marian Deans, and Mike Davis. Overall, these are good people, they have flaws, but I would like for anyone who posts here, or anywhere else to say they don't have flaws themselves. The last person who claimed that was nailed to a Cross.
Don makes some very compelling legal arguments. Howard also makes compelling arguments. But the real problem is Gov. Goodhair and his cronies in the Lege. These people believe the only way to sacve money is to destroy agencies that make Texas better. The Goodship Texas is already at the bottom of the icy depths, all that is afloat are the lifeboats and they are being steered by incompetents and idiots.
< David T.

Anonymous said...

10:31,

You must be one of the ones I referred to. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Don: This "Special Prosecution system" for youth will not be effective. The system was put into effect several years ago for the adult system and failed. Of course that doesn't stop the adult system from continued useage.

There are hundreds of violations of inmate on staff and inmate on inmate assaults making Court prosecution impractical /nearly impossible. OIG will be forced to select the more serious violators to present to the prosecutor. He (or she) will then decline to prosecute most cases due to the volume.

"Re-inventing the wheel" looks great to those that have never seen the "wheel". Those square one's just do not roll very well.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

Bill B.

At orientation the youth are brought into a large room. Most information that is put out for the youth is what is required by the design of the the TYC program itself. Ms. Pipe and her associates have really put their heads together. The new coNEXTions is the ultimate in juvenile programming.

At orientation the youth view a movie,(or sleep). Most are slapping each other, flickin ears, or chewing paper. Most all of the youth have been on the dorms for a week or so, so they already know TYC is full of S---. Most staff that have to present orientation understand that so they have become very creative. Therefore, most orientation staff decided to have the youth view the Jerry Springer show instead of showing Ms. Pipe. Most youth will stay awake for that unless a fight breaks out over Jerry's show content.

Once the Jerry Springer show is off we bring in soda, pizza and doughnuts from left over's from night donations. We give each youth a TYC cut out so they can cut the pizza in the shape of the TYC logo. Some staff have brought in light sticks so the youth can twirl their cement like doughnuts around or use the long device to flick the pastry through the air.

The youth find this to be a real eye opener because most youth end up in a food fight, wiping their eyes clean continually. After those organizational skills are discussed we gather to clean up the room. Most youth are to exhausted, so the staff do it for them.

This is a weekly orientation that all youth must attend. It gives them an understanding of what to expect in TYC, TYC rules and how to obtain better coNEXTions upon release. After cleaning and the youth are returned to their respective dorms, they find their dorm staff asleep after gorging on the good food donations such as KC chicken, TEX-BQ, and sub-sandwiches. Those youth that become angry are then blind folded and made to play, "Pin The Good Hair on the Bald Head of the Governor."

The winner of that task gets ten heium balloons to suck on with two close peers. Each must then recite their TYC skill goals while walking like a Duck around the group room. We hope this gives you a better idea of orientation objectives.

Anonymous said...

Harris County prosecutors said they’re more likely now to try kids as adults because of the trouble at the Texas Youth Commission.
http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou071211_ac_juvyprosecution.6e2a1e4.html

Anonymous said...

It means that prosecutors, worried that sentences will be cut short at TYC, are now more likely than ever to try teens in the adult system so they’ll go directly to adult prison and stay longer.

Anonymous said...

Though the governor's office mentioned the numerous commissions and other public service of Munoz, it omitted his 11-month TYC tenure.

http://www.lubbockonline.com/stories/121307/loc_121307035.shtml

Anonymous said...

It is typical to learn something about the agency and what is coming down the pike from an outside source instead of "open communication lines" within the agency. This is news to me about a press release. How will John Q. Public take this information knowing TYC will not require youth to complete treatment? Seems as if we only want to present a facade to the public that we are making a difference when we are not.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION: the kids do have to do treatment. The joke here is that the unveiling of the "new" program is the fake. The new program is actully the old program and what you guys are NOT considering is the fact that TYC said is will "take effect in late 2008". So, what do the kids do until then? Well, the "treatment" of course. And all of us know, we have some kids that we don't like so we fake write ups and negative reports to try to keep them in there. We are not angelic, don't fake like we are. The kids will have to do treatment and inorder for ANY prosecutor to try to sentence a kid as an adult...the charge has to met the merits of being certified as an adult. However, let's sit back and watch what comes out of this new treatment. I guarantee that TYC Austin has not let those things go unnoticed. I know, because I have received different orders to tratment then what the manual says....so, they have their loop hole. No worries, those kids will remain in TYC and they will probably all be sent to TDCJ and then you don't think that a "war" is going to happen. Those big boys in TDCJ are gonna look at some of those boys as "there sons" and a massive riot is going to trickle down and justice and the oppressed will come back with a vengance. These stupid decisions and pickings will come back to haunt all involved.

Anonymous said...

TYC + Sunset 2008 = Problem Solved

Anonymous said...

"And all of us know, we have some kids that we don't like so we fake write ups and negative reports to try to keep them in there."

I never have done this and never "would" do this. This unethical at best.

Such mentality is part of what got TYC in trouble in the first place.

Just because you are "corrupt" does not mean everyone else is. If you are truly engaging falsifying documentation you should be terminated!

Anonymous said...

2:18PM, you tell-em. What kind of people do we have working in this agency.

Anonymous said...

2:18PM, unfortunately 12:20PM is probably on crack. However, 12:20PM is honest enough to tell how it is with youth that are all F--K-U-2:18PM you are probably one of those staff that think your making a difference in lives of the kids by your work ethic and I commend you on that. TYC is all corrupt. your ideals and values are what this agency needs. The problem is TYC needs about 5000 more people like you. The youth don't care about you and neither does the state. I don't believe there are 5000 people like you willing to work in this organization. Yes it is.....it is.....very SAD!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The comments on the Special Prosecution Unit not working are somewhat correct. The local DA's office prioritizes criminal prosecutions also. For example in some counties one can steal up to $10,000 in Social Security checks without fear of prosecution. In others one can defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars without prosecution. So one is never going to have crimes 100% prosecuted in any jurisdiction. It is unreasonable to expect anything different out of the SPU.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Howard. Both the OIG and the SPU are only going to be as effective as prosecutors and cops in the real world.

Anonymous said...

10:34 AM,

Thanks for linking to that Houston article, which explores the reasons why Harris County far and away leads the state in transferring juvies to adult court.

The article mentions TYC's current troubles as one reason, but this comes at the end of the piece. The concern in Houston isn't TYC's rehab program, but its earlier release of offenders.

It seems that the Harris County DA is fixated on locking em up in prison, regardless of what the facts show, if this article is to be believed. (By the way, this is the definition of ideology - holding firm to an idea even when the facts don't support it. See Bush, George W.)

There are so many deeply stupid statements in this article that it's kind of hard to know where to begin.

For instance, the DA justifies Houston's massive transfer record b/c of the spike in violent juvie crime 10-12 years ago. But then he says it's still the right way to go even though the rates have dropped dramatically.

He even says, in a moment of precious honesty, that the "best interests of the child" standard isn't the one Texas goes by anymore. Not exactly a newsflash, but nice to see it stated candidly.

Because I'm writing a history of juvenile justice, I've been asked many times by reporters about the history of the "culture" that allowed the abuses of last March to take place.

But the "cultural" reasons don't originate inside TYC only, they come from "lock em up" public officials and the electorate that supports them, eagerly, with fear, loathing, and vengeance in their hearts.

It's unfair, and unrealistic, to isolate TYC from the society that surrounds and shapes it. But this would require a very tough look in the mirror. Not holding my breath.

BB

Anonymous said...

Can anyone corroborate the statement Dementia made at a recent meeting in Austin regarding moving all the caseworkers under the supervision of the DOCS that TYC is trying to do too much with the youth and that if we can just teach them to brush their teeth, this will be sufficient? If this doesn't speak volumes for the lack of concern for the treatment and rehabilitation of these youth, I don't know what does. How can the governor and the lege support an administration that clearly is unconcerned about treatment and rehabilitation and whose only interest is warehousing the future population of the adult system? Do they not care about the kids at all? Another real good indicator that Demonica is stone idiot, is the statement she made regarding three sentenced offenders she refused to send to TDCJ. She said that if a kid (convicted of a crime and looking at transfer to TDCJ) will look you in the eye when you ask them if they need to go to TDCJ, they will not lie to you. Unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

BB,

I hope that you are wrong about "the electorate that supports them, eagerly, with fear, loathing, and vengeance in their hearts."

It seems simplistic to assume that the actions of Harris County elected officials actually reflect the will of the populace. After all, the Harris County electorate did defeat the bond expanding the jail.

I like to think that the tone of this story -- critical of Harris County's high numbers of youth tried as adults -- is actually more indicative of the hearts and minds of Houstonians.

Anonymous said...

While I don't believe that committing a youth indefinitely by increasing time and losing phases is the answer, I would have to say that this program sounds as if it went to the other extreme. The vast majority of our youth have "I don't care...I getting out regardless!" attitudes. They will care less if privileges are taken away. I fail to see where this will help a youth in a therapeutic manner, a mental manner, emotional manner and psychological manner. These youth are need of treatment...this sounds as if this will only focus on time having to be served. If a youth chooses not to participate, then so be it, he will get out once he or she approaches their MLOS. Where is the compassion and concern over helping youth that are need of treatment?

Anonymous said...

12:20- speak for yourself...not everyone is corrupt within this agency. I can't beleive that you would make a blanket statement like that. Your statement reveals your nature and shows that by your mindset, you should be investigated. I hope you will be.

Anonymous said...

12:20 you need to get some help!!! U must be Humphreys Boy or Popes Ho!!!Do U really work with Kids????U need to get some help ....

Anonymous said...

Regards to treatment for youth.

So there is no treatment for youth that our CO has planned for the new organizational revamping of TYC.
Does not mean that we as staff, educators, caseworkers and anyone else that works there has to stop trying to reach the kids. Sometimes all the programs in the world will not work for a kid, but one statement or conversation or just a good ole pat on the back can make a difference in their lives.
We can't stop just because a group chooses not to help. We are raising these kids, we are the only people in their lives at this point and time that can show them a new path to take. We can't loose sight of that, treatment plan or no treatment plan.
Tyc has not told us yet, that we can not talk with these kids have they? We don't throw out the entire wash because we have a spot that want come out on one dirty shirt.
Programs dont make the difference in the lives of these kids WE DO!
Some of these kids we have seen actually grow up in TYC and we are the important people in their lives even when the kid will not admit that to us. They know who cares about them and they know who is just there to get a check every month.
No treatment program, Make yourself one of those who really care about these kids and do what ever it takes during your day to let them know you do and take time to try to make them see there is a better way of life than the one they are leading now.

Anonymous said...

On another off the wall note.

Ok, TYC did not get the 4 hours of admin leave at Thanksgiving and all other state agencies did.

Anyone want a bet they do not give us the 4 hours on Friday before Christmas either! What a way to say, we appreciate all the work you do! Got a love it.

HA HA. Now don't anyone jump on this as us whinning, just some humor for the weekend!
Merry Christmas all.

Anonymous said...

12/14 @ 5:25 a.m. It is really sad and infuriating that we are paying Dementia so much money to make rediculous statements like that in public. Its disappointing that she is still employed with TYC and that the lege is doing nothing to better this agency by removing her from her job. Its insulting to those of us that care about the youth and have worked for years to make a difference. I'm thoroughly disgusted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

To all you TYC folks here is Joe's version of Let it Snow.

Well,condition's at work are frightful

and the boss is not delightful

and someday we'll all be let go

Let it snow
Let it snow
Let it snow

HO HO HO Marry Christmas

Joe

Anonymous said...

Joe, GOOOD ONE. Still laughing! Thanks for the humor, we all need it.

Anonymous said...

Except the idiot from Evins can't spell.

Anonymous said...

not only are you not getting 4 hours you are not able to do Feast day anymore. That sucks! I can't believe TYC still exists these days.

Anonymous said...

Is there a Christmas Party?

Anonymous said...

DaPope says:

bah-humbug!!

Back to work no parties for you...

Anonymous said...

You had a number of Ph.D.-level white females who sat and wrote programming and a concept," Ms. Pope said. "In theory, it looked great. But you didn't have anyone who tested this on the population

Think she is a racist? Turn the table and see what a statement like this would bring a FIRESTORM from good ole Jesse Jackson

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/121507dnprorehab.2b1a9ce.html

Anonymous said...

This has got to be the last straw, her remark about white females is totally unprofessional. Is she saying that black females would have done any better?

This same attitude permeates the field now. Our facility has a black supt, black secretary and black regional supt. The supt is a babbler who cannot speak in a professional setting and paranoid to boot. The secretary is not worth the title she has and has the same attitude if not worse.

The supt cannot make any decisions without consulting the regional who is all about retaliation and intimidation. It doesn't matter that are total idiots, guess if you're black you are in regardless. Where does Dementia get off making such a racist statement! I'm sorry but I will not stand for such comments. Our facility has never been racisit until now, thanks to Dementia!

But anyone that can state a youth is not lying because he looked you in the eye and said so, is about as ignorant as they come! I wonder if they were black?

I'm personally offended by her remark and the racisit undertone the agency is taking. I have lost total respect for Dementia and her "black push." All TYC employees should be offended!! As far as I'm concerned, the lege needs to show her the door and let it hit her on her A$$ as she leaves and then lock it.

MADDEN, HINOJOSA, WHITMIRE, GUV GOODHAIR, are we going to have to swallow this as well and call her a great leader, I THINK NOT! It a direct racisit comment on white females, not to mention all races. Wonder how Mary Wood feels about this comment? As head of HR she should be looking at firing Dementia, she is an at will employee!

I'm so offended and disgusted with Dimitria Pope! Get her out now before the agency folds because of her! WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO HEAR OUR SCREAMS! When she looks you in the eye, she is lying! The agency needs a competent, qualified leadership. Hired on their merits and their race.

Dementia, you have made me lose respect for black! Out in the field, we had an inkling of whre you were headed but now you have made it clear! We were hoping we were wrong, but we weren't. Your statement in the Dallas Morning News today is in black & white (no pun intended)for all the world to read. Get ready for the backlash and please don't bother to apologize for something you really meant! I hope people are standing in line at their lawyers offices!!

Anonymous said...

Hey dude, I'm black and I'm offended at her statement too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I have a correction on my blog at 6:48, 7th paragraph.
I meant to say:

The agency needs a competent, qualified leadership. One hired on the basis of their merits and not their race.

I was disgusted and terribly upset at what Dementia has done. I don't see her as a role model much less a leader.

Anonymous said...

Please people, you know as well as I do that she can get away with this comment, statement. Now if a white had made this comment yes you are correct the media would have jumped all over this as well as the groups that state they are for equality but in reality they are keeping things stirred up amongst the races to justify their positions of power.

Any person of any nationality that makes a statement like this is deep down inside a racist. Sometimes these comments come out naturally for them and they do not think what they are saying based upon their feelings toward the ones they are talking about. It comes naturally when your around those that you feel comfortable with and that is why you will always see a shift of hiring practices and comments like this from a person like the Pope.

Anonymous said...

If anyone believes that the legislators or the gov. will act on this statement is out there in never never land. No one will comment or print another word about this. It will go away as fast as it came.

If those in the field think that they will ever retire from TYC in next 10 years are dreaming too. This agency will be gone within the next couple of years.

If Good hair thinks that he can overlook this and start his next carrer move, he want get my vote that is for damn sure.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 6:00 on 12/14 . . . we didn't get the 4 hours off on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, nor will we get 4 hours off before Christmas . . . but, all employees received an e-mail allowing 'administrative time' to attend a funeral for a QA PO; the time will be adjusted. I didn't know the individual,so didn't go. Wonder if I still get my 4 hours off? Maybe I can use it on the Friday before Christmas break?

Any one else??

Anonymous said...

Ms Pope seems to think that Hispanics are not minorities; e.g. Linda Reyes and Corinne Alvarez?

Anonymous said...

Actually Linda Reyes is a Norwegian who married an Hispanic. But Corinne Alvarez-Sanders is certainly Hispanic.

Months ago at the Blue Ribbon Panel meeting she blamed the TYC problems on white males. One thing's for sure. She'll never blame anything on any TDCJrs.

Anonymous said...

The DMN has another front page article on TYC. As expected, D'Pope is patting herself on the back and telling them all is well and she's turned the ship around. I'm not sure if the fact that she pats herself on the back offends me or the fact that those reporters put it in print!

Anonymous said...

I fear Dr. Reyes and Dr. Alvarez-Sanders true ethnicity is lost on Pope. She doesn't deal with issues that complicated. I suspect for her, if you are not black then you must be wihte.

Anonymous said...

The Pilot program of CoNextions is working just great in Al Price! They've capped the population there, poured enormous amounts of resources into the program, and it is working like a charm. NOT!