Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Vendor that employs TYC conservator won't bid on state contracts

While this announcement would have been better received when his appointment was declared, the Texas Youth Commission's conservator says the Florida non-profit he works for will not pursue contracts with TYC to house young offenders.

When Richard Nedelkoff was first appointed conservator, I wrote on Grits about "One potential conflict of interest not reported in initial press accounts: Eckerd is one of the private contractors competing to take over TYC's role housing young offenders (10-13 year olds), and Nedelkoff personally was involved this summer in soliciting the Texas contract, which would have been the company's first in the state."

Thankfully, according to the Austin Statesman ("New conservator says company withdrew bid on state contract, Jan. 9), the new conservator recognized the conflict and took steps to resolve it:

Eckerd withdrew its proposal in December, when Nedelkoff was appointed to the Texas job.

"I knew there would be a perception of a conflict ... so to remove that, Eckerd withdrew," Nedelkoff said. "It was the right thing to do. Eckerd will not be pursuing business with the state."

In recent months, before Nedelkoff was appointed, agency officials were criticized for awarding a no-bid contract to a politically connected Austin firm, AutoGov Inc., to provide software for classifying and tracking incarcerated youths.

Eckerd provides highly regarded programs for at-risk and incarcerated youths, operating residential and community-based programs in 10 states.

Youth Commission spokesman Jim Hurley said officials are evaluating a dozen or so responses received from bidders. No date has been set for awarding the residential-services contracts.

Of course, that begs the bigger question: Given TYC's lack of oversight of its private vendor at the Coke County facility, should TYC be privatizing more youth detention services at all? I'm hoping once Nedelkoff wraps his brain around the scope of the problem, he'll put the kabosh on that ill-considered plan.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grits -
This is good news that they are addressing the conflict of interest issue. I have to disagree with you however on the inherent ills of TYC contracting for private beds. TYC NEEDS to contract for some of their capacity. Small contract programs can serve youth with special needs for whom TYC does not have an adequate program or space. They can also help relieve the population pressures at existing TYC programs so that those programs can run better staffing ratios and operate with more safety and effectiveness. It goes without saying that the contract programs need to be monitored effectively and held to reasonable standards. Of course TYC needs to be willing to pay what it costs for these small programs to be financially sound without skimping services. That means these beds will cost more than the large TYC institution beds. Our state officials need to accept and support that. TYC is a long way from being able to operate what many agree would be preferred - numerous, smaller community-based programs. I don't see anyone proposing the kind of major reorganization and funding necessary to build a bunch of 48 or so bed TYC facilities all around the state. At the risk of being redundant, I'll say it again - the best path for TYC is to down-size existing TYC facility bed capacities to what the available work force can properly care for and offset the resulting bed loss as needed by the prudent use of small, well-monitored contract programs.
>Don Brantley

rage judicata said...

Gotta hand it to them, this is the right move.

Be nice to hear at least a peep out of this guy though. Where's he been, where's he doing?

Anonymous said...

This was a good move by the new Conservator. Now he needs to listen to staff and lay off the crappy looking black pants. In fact, the whole uniform thing is just a bad idea. There needs to be more of a push to the middle. The Agency has gone way to far to the correctional side, and there needs to be a push back towards treatment, any treatment, some kind of treatment, please? Also, the Conservator needs to get out and talk to staff about things and listen to their ideas. Just maybe he may be able to learn a few things that can improve the Agency. My last piece of unsolicited advice to the Conservator would be to learn everything you can about Jay and Ed, and how they did the job. Then, do the exact opposite, and you will be a huge success in TYC. If you need any more advice, feel free to blog your questions, and we will help you out. ;)

Anonymous said...

12:34: you forgot the most important step for the conservator... we need to make sure he READS grits (without comprehension or corruption difficulties)... at least until staff feel safe enough with him to tell him what he needs to hear vs what he wants to hear.

rage judicata said...

This was a good move by the new Conservator. Now he needs to listen to staff and lay off the crappy looking black pants.

Really? The most urgent thing he needs to do after eliminating the potential conflict of interest is change the pants? That's step two in your book?

Anonymous said...

I did not post the first post to the black pants but I do have something to say on the subject that might but probably will not make a hell of beans to you.

The uniforms are more than just something to wear to work paid for by the taxpayers of this state.
They represent power over the kids.
They do not represent someone who can help the students understand that there is a better world outside of a jail.
They represent a Jail setting to the kids and may remind them of the past where the family member was in total control of them. Those who were beaten or molested by a family member. Reaches back to the power over others.
They are a tremendous waste of money by the state of texas that could be used to help kids.
There are many more issues that a tucked in shirt and uniform causes. I will give you one more. Sex offenders, young hormonal kids, watching a woman bend over at a desk in school and nothing to cover your butt up for those eyes to stare at, if you get my drift.

That sir, is the main issues with these god awful uniforms and most women that work at TYC feel degraded in them. Do not tell me to find another job, because I am looking and I will leave TYC over the Uniforms and many of my co workers who are women feel the same.

Anonymous said...

I somewhat doubt that ethical enlightenment has struct the new conservator but rather the the limitations imposed by politics and the law. Chapter 669, Government Code, requires the Legislative Budget Board to bless such a contract and the holding of a public meeting to justify why it would be necessary to award a mega dollar TYC contract to a company headed by the person making the decisions for TYC.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

So - Howard, this announcement is just "spin". Pity.........

First impression of this guy isn't looking too good. Clearly TYC needs far more than a spin-meister!

Anonymous said...

No Rage, step two would be to contact you and pick your brain because we all know you are overflowing with the knowledge and wisdom to straighten out this Agency,

12:34

Anonymous said...

I just wish the new Conservator would take a close look at OC usage at each facility and read the justification for this usage. Does it meet the current policy expectations and if not why has it been allowed to continue. I fully understand TYC had a public hearing over this and submitted their policy revision for GAP.97.23 to the Texas registrar, but it has not become policy yet, and if so it has not been sent to the field.
So, spraying youth inside the security unit must meet two criteria, imminent bodily injury to staff or youth. Spraying youth for not abiding to dress code, talking in quiet time, etc, etc. Please ask for all instances of OC usage and you decide for yourself if the local administration and the Regional Directors are providing sufficient over sight. Then decide if this was directed from the top.

Breaking policy and the law to abuse youth out of convenience is not treatment or ethical. But, why should I speak of ethics with this agency?????

Anonymous said...

I agree that uniforms are not the correct enviroment for youth that are incarerated. I also understand that treatment is a non-issue with the current administration (CoNEXTions). I believe Ms. Pope was quoted as saying "TYC is trying to do too much for these youth, if we can just teach them to brush their teeth we are doing something."

Spoken by a true visionary :}

Anonymous said...

You know these uniforms are going to be real helpful in hiring professional staff for the near future.
Treatment,Education,Adminstrated staff,JCO staff will just be biting at the bits to come to work for TYC to wear them..

It really seems that they are trying to run off as many people as they can at TYC so they will have a just reason to shut the place down.

The rumor is that we are changing over to TDCJ in the very near future. Even the kids are saying this is happening. I know we are run mostly by X TDCJ people now, so I guess if this is true things will really change.

Anonymous said...

There's also a rumor that Humphrey has been fired, and Pope and Neel are soon on their way out.

WHICH IS IT?? Ugh.

Anonymous said...

The current problems with TYC and you folks are talking about uniforms? Nutty, just plain ol' nutty.

Plato of the South Plains

Anonymous said...

9:27, you are a very selective reader. What about the other complaints?

Anonymous said...

9:27 that is something that most can not grasp the effects of uniforms on TYC KIDS. Its not about a uniform it is about what it represents to those who are locked up and especially to kids.
This seems to be a TYC problem that most want to overlook. I do believe it also was an issue back in the day of the law suit that was against TYC years ago. If you read the lawsuit, you will find that they at that time were not only pepper spraying kids, they put all the staff in these guard uniforms. I think the courts declared this to be wrong also.
So its not just the uniform as it was back then , it is the (once again) what it represents to kids.

So please stop making it a personal issue and that is all we are complaining about. That is a untrue statement. Do some research, ask a professional about the impact this might have on a youth. It represents power and control over someone. Think about what you think if your driving a car and maybe speeding, all of sudden you see a police officer. What is your first response to that? Could it be OH shit, is going to give me a ticket? That is the response a kid sees when he is contact daily with a uniformed staff. Maybe? power over him, Control of him constantly, unfriendly, fear?
Never mind, you will only see what you don't know.

Anonymous said...

Rage must be a TDCJ employee or a Dementia crony. He/she is obviously not TYC literate and has not walked in our shoes. His/she's contributions are quotes and sarasm which are in stark contrast to Dementia's mentality of TYC and the youth entrusted to our care. It's like listening to Dementia's personal assistant MN, could it possibly be?? Hush me up!

Anonymous said...

The new conservator sounds like an ethical person. Uniforms may not be his priority but hopefully after he gets into the grind, he will do away with them. Just like we can hope he escorts the TDCJ regime back to Huntsville or whenever they came from.

The Evil Dr. Papschmear said...

A man of principles...ethics... integrity? What are you doing in TYC with the likes of Dementia, Mickey, the Humpster and Ayo? Look closely and you will see that beneath all b.s. and the "Yes sir, Boss's" that you are surrounded by a bunch of self-serving, inexperienced, ineffective buffoons who thumb their collective noses at concepts like treatment and could care less about the delinquent youth of Texas. Their only concern is personal power and the big paycheck. If they have done such a great job, why is TYC still struggling to safely staff the majority of its facilities after nearly a year? Will it take a staff or youth being killed to make you open your eyes?

rage judicata said...

Howard:

Sure, they could have done it, but they're taking their name out of the running for any contract at all. This day and age, the conflict would have been ignored by the current admin. and they could probably have gotten any contract they wanted.

I'm glad there are checks in place to protect against this situation, but I'm also glad they've made it to where it's not even an issue.

That's more than just lip service.

Whether or not he is effective remains to be seen. If nothing else, I hope he changes the pants.

Anonymous said...

Hasta la vista, Humpster.

DMN article: TYC executive Billy Humphrey abruptly leaves agency

Anonymous said...

maybe the rest of TDCJ will be next........all the way down to HR.

Anonymous said...

One slap on the back for Nedelkoff!!
Thank you SIR

Anonymous said...

Rage,

I am glad that I do not live in your political world. Your view that the membership of the LBB is so corrupt that they would go along with a corrupt bargain but the conservator is more pure than Ivory soap is interesting. Do you also believe that Bill Richardson will be the next President?

Howard A, Hickman

Anonymous said...

So, who will be next? He can't just stop with one...can we dare to dream it will be Dementia? Maybe he'll make her fire all of her cronies and then he'll fire her...that's kind of how she did it, right?

I hate to get too excited, but I just can't help myself:)

Anonymous said...

I really do not want to wish ill will on anyone but lets look at some of the "Appointments" of field administrators that Pope, Neel, and Humphrey placed;
Chuck Jones
Ayo Ominimi
Melody Viduarri
Sylvia Martinez
Gwan Hawthorne
Wanda King
Luara Braley
Jerome Williams
Wallace Brown
Paul Bartush

Could this be the Purge Part II?

Anonymous said...

How nice it would be to have a real leader in TYC and get this agency back on track. To make us all once again proud of where we work and putting the kids first and doing what is truly right for all.
As Martin Luther King said " I have a Dream" I have a dream too, a dream that TYC will once again be restored to glory and all the evils will go away.
Let us do our jobs and put smiles back on our faces that the scum bumbs took from us.

rage judicata said...

Howard, I never said he was pure, I just said he took a step in the right direction. Neither did I say the LBB was corrupt, just that I wouldn't put it past them and the administration to approve a deal that was required to go before them due to an apparent conflict of interest. That's what that procedure is for, right? To approve contracts and agreements where a conflict exists? So they aren't per se improper or corrupt, just a review process with some leeway?

So now that we have established what I didn't say, let me repeat what I did say: That the new conservator did the right thing by removing his company from competition, even though there was a conflict review process.

Getting rid of Humphrey seems to be another good step.

I agree that this guy should probably have introduced himself publicly and told us what his plan is by now, but maybe he's spending his time actually producing results.

Let's just sit back and see who else departs. So far he's doing everything right.

Anonymous said...

RE: 0613

Out of that list I would keep Paul Bartush...

Word out on Lamar St. is BlueBell Williams is going for sure...

Anonymous said...

One small step for TYC, one large step for the kids. Teresa Stroud and Jeff Berry are just two of the many that the Humpster and his pal Ayo tried to screw over. At West Texas, things had begun to turn around and bam!...Davis and Hollis were suspended for the bomb threat that TYC all but refused to investigate. (If you read the Odessa paper, the suspensions were carried out with the knowledge and blessing of Dementia, who denied it in front of thr Senate.) Davis demoted (voluntarily, I might add!) and although Hollis is back in Pyote, he has been rendered basically ineffective by Ayo and Wallace Brown, who allow him to inspect dorms and pick up trash. More of these TDCJ thugs need to go and so do all of their bogus appointments (Chuck, Jerome, Melody, Gwan (what the hell is a Gwan anyway?), Haider, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, etc. It's amazing what one man is a little bit of ethics and integrity can do!

Anonymous said...

The conservator introduced himself to TYC staff and told us he would be visiting each facility. Getting rid of Bronco Billy has given him the respect of many. When he walks d'Pope out the door he will have us eating out of his hand. Then he can continue with the list 6:13 p.m. posted and continue cleaning our agency! We are headed toward becoming proud to work for TYC, you all wait and see! Hopefully, we can start coming to work without being threatened by some incompetent superintendent or regional superintendent in meetings or their offices!!

I'd like to thank the man upstairs for giving us a conservator with juvenile corrections experience and ethics to boot!

Anonymous said...

The Conservator is a formal federal guy. He could give a shit less about Elmer. Watch, Pope and Neal are going to be gone next. And there aint a damn thing Elmer can do bout it... no influence over the federal guy Elmer. With that, kiss my ass!

Anonymous said...

Bronco Billy and his Wild West show has left town.

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that, however he left behind Dementia, the show's main attraction!! What a bummer.

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