Friday, February 22, 2008

Whitmire: "If you don't want to get sprayed, do what they tell you"

UPDATE: Here's the link to archived video from today's hearing.

Perhaps the most contentious moment so far from today's oversight hearing on the Texas Youth Commission involved the agency's contentious pepper spray policy, when Sen. Whitmire complained that critics of TYC's pepper spray use had "demagogued the issue to death," declaring that "the people who I listen to and I trust" tell him it was important to keep pepper spray in the "arsenal."

Asked his position on the topic, Conservator Richard Nedelkoff replied cautiously that in other states like California, "somebody" ... "like the federal government," would come in and tell the state they couldn't use OC spray, and said he wanted to look at what happened in those cases and what policies they implemented in response. Whitmire replied that he didn't care what they did in California (and by implication, what the federal government tells him).

I wonder if the Senator will care if the feds impose similar conditions under the new Agreed Order? His friend and recently deposed executive director Dimitria Pope didn't really care much for court orders, either.

Until then, as far as he's concerned, Whitmire said, "If you don't want to get sprayed, do what they tell you."

Alright, then! I'm guessing that won't turn out to be the final policy.

MORE: Emily Ramshaw at the Dallas News covers this aspect of the hearing, and attributes a stronger position to Mr. N opposing pepper spray than I took from his comments at the hearing today. Apparently agency spokesman Jim Hurley clarified after the hearing, which I couldn't attend (babysitting duties), that the policy published last fall in the Texas Register and which was awaiting final approval would not be enacted by the new conservator:

Mr. Nedelkoff "wants to use other measures, and much better training, to dramatically scale it back," said agency spokesman Jim Hurley, following a nearly four-hour hearing where lawmakers quizzed the conservator on everything from the qualification of TYC staff to whether certain youth lock-ups should be closed.

Pepper spray "is still in the arsenal. But the policy that was in place, he's pulling it back."

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'd rather use a nightstick.

Anonymous said...

Since the Senator loves OC spray so much, I'm surprised that he hasn't thought to arm hapless legislators with it too. It would provide excellent protection against "demagogues." Think of all the hot air that could be saved! It's practically a conservation measure.

Or he could just go on playing the victim. Everyone knows he's just a poor Senator, while lowly juvenile justice professionals, youth advocates, and social critics clearly wield all the power. Can't these fools who actually work with youth see the runaway success of the OC spray policy as clearly as the enlightened inhabitants of the Ivory Tower of the State Capitol?

Between John Whitmire and Chuck Rosenthal, the city of Houston has really amassed a stunning electoral record. What gift will they bestow upon Texas next?

Bill B.

Anonymous said...

Whitmire: "If you don't want to get sprayed, do what I tell you"

Anonymous said...

Too bad the powers that be couldn't have been sprayed for refusing to do what the court told them to do.

Or is obedience to authority only a concept for those who are incarcerated?

Anonymous said...

Elmer probably drinks the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, poor senator my arse. Owns a million dollar plus home in Houston and $400,000 apt. in Austin.

Anonymous said...

3:23

States are subservient to the federal government?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Believe it or not, Bill, and all, I like Whitmire and would support him if I lived in his district, warts and all. He's been a bigger plus than detriment for the justice system in the big picture, by far, particularly when you consider where some of his senate colleagues would like to take things.

He's just got a big ego, a quirky personality, and personal stakes in the last administration that seem to bring out his dark side. Maybe now we can get past some of that.

Quien sabe? You take the good with the bad. Like most of us, Whitmire's greatest strengths are also often his biggest weakness, and most of us don't have our personal foibles play out under the glare of the camera in the committee room. Catch me in my worst moments and I'm sure I'd look just as bad.

What can you say: Texas politics is a contact sport, and he's a player. I'd rather have him on my team than on the other side!

Anonymous said...

For once, Whitmire has it right. The utilization of OC is safer for the youth and the staff. Afterall, is that not the goal?

Anonymous said...

He's an AS! Get rid of him. I WOULDNT want him on MY team.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Barry Bonds is an ass but I'd let him bat cleanup any day!

Anonymous said...

Grits,

I'll take your word for it... although it sounds like you are making less than an affirmative case for him.

What can I say, the guy really has an uncanny ability to push my buttons.

I guess I'd better learn to make nice since I'm now definitely moving back to Texas this summer.

Bill

Anonymous said...

Then I am your opposite. I WOULDNT want Barry Bonds either. I stand for character, not his ability.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To 3:32 - I agree OC spray should be part of the use of force continuum, but see little reason for the proposed policy expanding its use beyond extreme riot-type situations.

The fact is, no county juvenile detention facility in the state uses pepper spray (they also tend to have 1-8 staffing ratios, which keeps the issue from coming up). In addition, wherever the feds have entered into consent decrees with states, they've reduced or eliminated pepper spray from the "arsenal." (Gotta love the terminology: Everything's a "war these days, isn't it?)

The federal agreed order over Evins contains provisions that IMO will probably result in codifying the restrictions on pepper spray use enshrined in Morales v. Turman. Under Dwight Harris, the agency's policy was even more restrictive than the Morales settlment, so there could still be greater OC spray use than in the past under that framework. But Pope's "Spray First" policy was a blatant substitute for providing adequate staffing, and boldly violated the Morales framework.

The irony about that Advocacy Inc. lawsuit is that she probably could have changed the policy under her own authority, but she and her general counsel didn't understand the agency rulemaking process and got caught for not complying with their own procedures. If she's just published her Aug. 2 directive on OC spray in the Texas Register, waited a few weeks, then enacted it, IMO that would be the policy in place today. She just wasn't capable of managing those processes like a high-level administrator needs to be, an she paid the price for it.

And Bill, I can make a strong "affirmative case" for Whitmire, who I've watched now in the process for many years. The folks who were caught up in the Tulia drug stings, for example, basically consider him a hero. In the adult system he opposed many bad enhancements, spearheaded with Jerry Madden the overhaul of the probation system (a much bigger deal IMO than most people realize), and the amount of bad legislation last year alone that passed through the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee that he never let get through his makes me give him a lot of credit.

His position of Chair also makes him a gatekeeper - legislation from 4-5 House committees all must go through his to pass - and sometimes it's just as big an accomplishment to stop or mitigate a bad thing as it is to achieve a good one. I've seen him do both, many times.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with your assessment about Whitmire, Grits. Folks who have only known him through this TYC issue and in defense of Pope have known him at his worst.

He, along with Hinojosa, McReynolds and Harris, were my heroes during the session when, IMO, the Joint Committee seemed to be in fine, aggressive fact-finding form.

It's just as soon as Dimitria was placed in charge, he rolled over and turned from a lion of an oversight committee co-chair to a lamb, who took much too long to admit that a close friend of his was doing a terrible job. At least you can say he's loyal (or she has something on him, one of the two).

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm not trying to make excuses for boorish behavior, BTW, and Sen. Whitmire exhibited some today as the hearing dragged on. I just think it's important to give credit where it's due, and having watched him for many years and judging the totality of his record, I'll take him any day over any alternative I could see emerging from his district.

On Barry Bonds and character: The day he's convicted of perjury (which I'll bet dollars to donuts will never come) I'll retract it; until then he's never failed a drug test and is innocent until proven guilty.

Whitmire, by contrast, is at most guilty of sometimes being a bully, but that attribute can be as important to success in politics as a home-run slugger on the baseball diamond. Politics is a tougher game than baseball, by a country mile.

Anonymous said...

I think OC should be used with caution, however I believe that it should be utilized for more than just riots. For example, if you are left with no option other than a use of force in a cell, then I believe that OC should be utilized prior to the Use of Force. The cells, excuse me, rooms are not large enough to safely conduct a UOF.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal with pepper spray: right now, and until the staffing levels increase, it is and will be a necessary evil. And I certainly agree that it alone should never be substituted for staff. However, a complete withdraw from it now will result in more workers compensation claims which will further create problems with our ratios and probably scare off any new staff.

I would hope that as our ratios increase consistently, the problem will take care of itself because hopefully, we will have more tenured staff staying on in the future. Currently, I still believe it's necessary today with the hopes of complete elimination except in large scale disturbances, but I don't see that happening until we get the turnover rate down and our JCO retention up. Doing a radical about face with many facilities still in chaos is not wise.

Anonymous said...

4:03 is incorrect in saying that the pepperspray policy under Dwight was more restrictive than Morales. It was less restrictive than Morales.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

A proverb for Whitmire:

He who supported daPope
Must of been on some kind of dope

Anonymous said...

Yes 5:40 - the whole idea of expanding its use was to be a stop-gap measure and never a long term solution. That was until Billy Humphrey and Pope expanded it beyond that rational. It was never meant to gain compliance of kids who refused to come out under their beds and other non violent situations, where the kid was already restrained in handcuffs or physically restrained.

Ideally, this stuff should be reserved for the most violent offender, riot or not, who has the propensity and has historically injured several people with his/her violence. We need to do a better job of prosecuting those 17 and above who are engaging in this behavior and hurting people when they clearly have the upstairs facilities to know better but continue with their criminal pathology.

Whitsfoe

Anonymous said...

Grits,

I didn't know any of that, and therefore stand corrected. Still not ecstatic with his recent performance but sounds like it is an exception rather than the rule.

BB

Anonymous said...

When did the OC spray, which is not as stout as Pepper spray the police carry, start getting referred to as pepper spray? Grits or Hickman, please research and give us the strength of OC vs. pepper spray

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would they want to even think about Corsicana as a possible closure? It's close to Dallas/Ft. Worth, it has a very rich tradition of volunteers who come in and mentor a population of special needs kids, much less, some of the most dedicated employees who are very much dedicated to the cause?

I bet the old Corsicana orphans like me get involved. I would hope they would. That includes a few very famous orphans, like former TYC E.D. Ron Jackson.

I really think it's worth the investment to refurbish the buildings. Corsicana holds a special place in many hearts. That was home to many, and the homecomings, the little grave yard... don't give Corsicana up. That would not be a good idea. The orphans had children, and those had children, and so on. That place has a rich tradition of producing. I hope they are not on the list. Shoot.

Anonymous said...

To 6:37, OC spray is the same as pepper spray. OC stands for Oleoresin Capsicum. Capsicum is the genus name for peppers. Oleoresin refers to plant derived oils/resins.

You don't need a biology degree to know they're the same thing. Do a simple Wikipedia search.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_spray

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"We need to do a better job of prosecuting those 17 and above who are engaging in this behavior and hurting people"

That's true, Whitsfoe, but IMO even more important for actually preventing violent behavior is doing what Nedelkoff advocated today: Tracking best practices from places that have been through this before, and using each incident as a learning tool to identify systemically how the incident could have been defused earlier in the process.

If you didn't get to listen to him (and I was partially distracted by babysitting a 16 month old), Nedelkoff had a good discussion about that that Whitmire simply didn't want to hear. But I thought it sounded like a smart, systematic approach.

Despite what some may think, I'm no pansy on this subject and if it were me on the job I'm sure, frankly, I'd also rather use a nightstick (which may mean I'd be ill-suited for the job - perhaps I wouldn't pass the psych exam. I'll take it if Sen. Whitmire will!) But Pope's policy went well beyond reserving OC spray for extreme situations. Her rendition amounted to what the senator said: If you don't want to get sprayed, do what you're told.

On OC vs. pepper spray, I think thy get interchanged as euphemism. I agree with the technical distinction you're making, but as a writer, most people don't know OC spray, and everybody knows "pepper spray."

Anonymous said...

The pepper spray debate is self perpetuating because Dimitria and her advisors put it into place to serve as a poor substitute for sufficient staff ratios. At the same time, staff ratios weren't going to improve because TYC employees had abysmal morale, were lacking in central direction, and felt ignored and unappreciated. Nothing was going to improve until employees and prospective employees felt like TYC valued them.

Anonymous said...

Well 6:49 It does not sound good for Corsicana. I can not see where the buildings are in that poor conditions, but maybe they are. I think what will get Corsicana is the lack of health care and professional treatment needs. Whitmore has said in the begining of this mess that Corsicana is a Joke! So we will just have to wait and see if they want to keep Corsicana alive and well for the future.

Anonymous said...

You know Whitmore may have sealed the deal for Corsicana by just saying he wants a decision on what should be done. Do you think people might get scared and start jumping ship?

Anonymous said...

There are many justifications for Corsicana. They are so strong, CRTC will possibly get the resources it needs to do what staff there are capable of doing. No one has called for its closure.

Anonymous said...

No one said that are closing Corsicana, it is just up for review to either be rebuilt or closed is what they said in the subcommitte meeting. The conservator will decide on the best practice for CRTC and report his findings to the committee.If your interested in hearing the info Grits has the link posted.

Anonymous said...

"The Senator" seemed well informed on certain TYC matters, such as the file on Martinez (Evins). It makes me wonder if his close friend Dimitria has been keeping his ear busy??

The hearing did nothing but panic employees and the public when faciity closures were mentioned. If we start losing employees in Vernon, Corsicana and Pyote no one is to blame but Whitmire. He seems to have a personal agenda against WTSS but I suppose that if I had been caught on tape being told about the 2 WTSS administrators and their "extra curricular activities" with the youth and I had not acted immediately on it, I'd want to shut them up and close them down too!! It's shameful that a Senator, totally informed about the situation, now places the blame on the WTSS facility as a whole instead of himself, the lege and the gov who all failed to act immediately on the matter. The location of our facility is not the problem. The problem is the political games being played at our expense and the relenteless refusal of our elected officials to accept responsiblity for what happened at WTSS. The systemic disease, except for a few that still remain (Regional Supt Ayo and Supt W Brown)and those brought in by his close friend, has been cut away and dealt with. Let's get on with the business of rehabilitating youth and reforming the agency.

Whitmire support Nedlekoff and let him do what he was appointed to do, reform the agency. Guide him, offer him advise and give him constructive criticism. He is not to blame for your close friend being in over her head and driving our agency into the chaos we now have to deal with.

WTSS employees are not pedophiles or child molesters. Come out & meet us, we're a great bunch of folks. Tour our facility and meet our youth. Get out of that ivory tower and mingle with us! We love company.

Anonymous said...

Grits, you lost me with your defense of Whitmire. The man is a table pounding bully in a position of power, and bears primary responsibilty for some incredibly misguided steps that greatly harmed some very good people without improving TYC and its care of youth, including but certainly not limited to the loss to the agency of good public servants like Neil Nichols and Emily Helm, and the incredibly stupid discharge of all correctional staff with a felony regardless of clear evidence of rehabilitation and good records with the agency of serving our youth well for many years. As a result of Whitmire's gross overreaction to some very real problems, the agency was demoralized, many careers ruined (only a very a few for good reason), recruiting greatly harmed, and a lot of dedicated employees placed in great fear of termination, even criminal prosecution, for trying in good faith to do their jobs. Our conference rooms were filled with officers with guns, one conference room with signs posted for weeks saying "quiet, polygraph in session".

You say his overall record makes up for the witch hunt he drove and the careers he ruined without justification? Does Nixon's record as a whole of public service make up for the harm he caused to the office of the president? Does Alberto Gonzales' career as a lawyer and loyal advisor make up for his role in tarnishing the human right record of the nation? You going to give hitler a pass because he turned around the German economy and made the railroads run on time?

TYC got to where it was, IMO, largely because Whitmire and his buddies, and Perry, and Bush before him, would not adequately fund juvenile corrections, determined facility locations on politics rather than good business judgement, etc. And then all acted surprised when news broke of a pedophilia investigation at the WTSS. The fact is that Whitmire and the governor's office had been informed at the time, back in 2005, of the investigation at WTSS, and Whitmire had no concern. That the agency had worked closely with the Rangers, and had tried hard to get the accused administrators prosecuted. That the educator had been hired by a charter school without ever checking references with TYC. That TYC had already taken steps, such as it could with its resources, to reform the youth grievance system so that facility administrators could not so easily cover up youth complaints.

There certainly were reforms needed, and administrators who needed to be replaced (and some dumb promotion/retention decisions made, IMO due in large part to a disfunctional HR department) but the agency did not deserve the s**t storm that Whitmire instigated and drove.

You get what you pay for, and the for many years the mandate from downtown was to cut the budget by x% each year regardless of need. Now Whitmire wants to thwart the concervator's need for budget authority to hire a good executive director into the toughest job in state government? Senator Whitmire, there is not a single person in state government who is overpaid. You get what you pay for, and TYC needs a budget that allows it to attract the best ED possible (and, of course, to compete for good employees with TDCJ, the oil industry, etc., and to hire enough investigators so that allegd mistreatment can be addressed promptly).

So I do not have such a charitable view of Whitmire's overall record, and disagree that it makes up for the his role in driving the agency into the ditch then getting his friend Pope put in charge of it (what a disaster she was). Intimidation and bullying is not good leadership. Playing gotcha politics with juvenile justice is not statesmanship.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

First, I've criticized Whitmire plenty on this blog, and I'll guarantee he thinks I'm one of his harshest media critics.

However I've just been around the block a while. I'm as passionate about what happened in Tulia as TYC employees are about their jobs, and it's true he was a real hero in that case and the legislative aftermath. And on the adult side, I think very few people in the state understand the full import of the work he and Jerry Madden are doing together.

You lose me when you get to comparisons to Hitler. My old boss at the Daily Texan, Mike Godwin, would have something to say about that.

There's not a single politician in the capitol I agree with all the time. But there are too many important issues out there to just cut off relations because they screw you on one topic.

On TYC, if you can show me a single politician over those years who was GOOD, who wasn't ignoring the agency and cutting the budget, I might have more sympathy. TYC was an underfunded, ignored step-child and liked it that way. That's why the admin did everything it could to fly under radar. NOBODY was doing a good job, but he's got 30 colleagues who you could also point to. And most of them, if they were calling the shots, would make decisions that are a lot more regressive, even than what he and Pope supported.

Just my opinion. If I only knew him through TYC topics, I might think as you do.

FWIW, the other reality here is that he's in a safe Democratic district, and he has $3.5 million in a campaign war chest, the most of any incumbent senator, which means he's not going anywhere! So in the long run, you'll probably just have to learn to deal with him.

Anonymous said...

Elmer is obviouslymore mentally ill than I accused him of being in an email I wrote to him. The people in Richardson need to be made aware of his demagoguery and personal delusions so that governemnt in Texa can live past him.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Whitmire's from Houston.

Anonymous said...

Grits, why do you say, "TYC was an underfunded, ignored step-child and liked it that way?" What evidence do you have of that? What's the implication there? This will probably earn me another rude comment about your anatomy, but I have to ask how you know TYC liked to fly under the radar.

Wow, 7:07 AM, great post.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I can sum up that statement in five words, 8:38: Dwight Harris and Lydia Barnard.

TYC admin during the period leading up to the meltdown ignored and downplayed problems even though all the evidence (except the sexual abuse) was available to anybody who looked, as the feds' inquiry into Evins demonstrates. Staffing, increased violence rates (both youth on youth and staff on youth), highest worker comp claims in the state, but agency officials didn't behave as though they were managing an agency in crisis, even though, it turns out we know now they definitely were.

Anonymous said...

You can add Elmer et. al to those five words grits. The tape doesn't lie. Who downplayed what when in 2005, John Whitmire and the whole committee were informed of what was being alleged at the WTSS? Whitmire's response was "brief us later." Again, the tape doesn't lie. And Elmer Fudd has mud on his face because of it.

You can also add Rick in the mix. Nothing pisses TYC staff off more than the fact this agency has been battered and seriously abused when the fact is we told them everything of what we knew. We can't be held accountable for the lack of prosecution.

So with that, Elmer et. al can kiss my ass.

Anonymous said...

You're pretty impressive 7:07. There is nothing Whitmire could ever do to remedy the disaster he created in the TYC. He ruined many innocent people's lives, such as Neil and Emily. To think these two had no interest in these kids is a complete fallacy. They championed the cause for kids and their constitutional rights. I'd even throw Howard in there too. We lost dearly in our legal department. But we still have Roe, Kennedy, Poteet, and Davidson, so thank God for that. But we'd really like it if Em and Neil would come back, if anyone's listening.

Anonymous said...

"On TYC, if you can show me a single politician over those years who was GOOD, who wasn't ignoring the agency and cutting the budget, I might have more sympathy. TYC was an underfunded, ignored step-child and liked it that way. That's why the admin did everything it could to fly under radar. NOBODY was doing a good job, but he's got 30 colleagues who you could also point to."

This statement has a longer shelf life than you might imagine. It basically covers the entire history of juvenile justice in Texas, and is one of the main reasons that the Morales v Turman case was needed to change TYC back in the 70s.

Indeed, the Evins lawsuit referenced on another Grits post sounds nearly identical to a case that directly preceded Morales, in which an inmate was hospitalized with broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and "a bootprint across his chest." He was in a coma briefly.

At first, TYC blamed the incident on "a Negro boy with sexual motivations," but ultimately the truth came out in a legislative hearing, and then in the media. (This was early 1969).

And nothing was done about it. The kid was put back in TYC once he recovered. The kid's stepfather visited him only to be greeted by the very guard whom his kid had accused.

Why was nothing done? Because the lege and TYC's director were happy to let the agency muddle along, with most of the agency's funding coming from new facilities built in, shall we say, "key" legislative districts. Publicly, few legislators believed such abuse stories, although there were some who did and fought unsuccessfully to change things.

Ultimately it took federal intervention to get something done and I stand by my earlier prediction that the same thing may yet happen in Texas unless drastic steps are taken. IMO, Nedelkoff seems to present the last genuine chance at "indigenous" reform... if he turns out not to be what he seems, or if he is unsuccessful at bringing TYC into the late 20th century (nevermind the 21st) due to politics, then it's only a matter of time.

My sense from the Whitmire debate on this thread is that his performance in this affair has been pretty poor, but that he has shown the ability to get behind important reforms in other criminal justice matters. And he isn't going anywhere. But he needs to be convinced that the recent course of TYC has been disastrous, and that the state has been essentially repeating the same mistakes of the last 100 years, and has to change course.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

6:57 If people are judging you all for a couple of sick idiots that caused this entire mess then they are no better than the two sex offenders!
I hope I am speaking for the rest of TYC Staff that we know you are like most of us, dedicated staff trying to hang on to jobs that we want to do and not have to do. I admire the ones that have stayed at your facility and held things together after the fact.

Whitmire threw out his bomb on the closing of more TYC facilities and he did this for many reasons and none of them because of kids. Just my thoughts here and they are not worth much.
But if your wanting to downsize TYC more, pitch the bait of closing and watch the staff disappear and then it becomes easy to pick and choose who goes.

With not enough staff to operate the legislator over that community does not have a fair fight to keep his county alive with a TYC facility. Make sense? Whitmire gets his way.

Money is another factor,will the legislators give these places that are not rated 8-10 on a (scale of 1-10)the funds to rebuild them next time around? Here again Whitmire gets his way.

Damage control has already started at CRTC on the issue of it closing. But will it be enough to make staff want to make the 50-50 wager on their jobs? Will they believe what they are told based on past experiences of other facilites?

The talk and rumors that will fly will not help the hiring of new personal over the next several months once again getting that staff ratio down. The ground work has been laid and we will have to wait and see what is next.

Whitmire did this on purpose, he has a plan and he intends for it to follow thru.

No one in their right mind with the staffing problems we have now in TYC would say close facilities for all to hear if he did not have an agenda behind those words. He knew when he started spitting out names of facilities that need to be closed what he was doing. He was setting them up for failure.
He knows that staff will start jumping ship.

Anonymous said...

Most of us in TYC were guilty of sitting idly by when Whitmire was doing a trash job on DPRS. DPRS certainly had problems - again due to the reluctance of the lege to spend money. But like with us, he trashed the good along with the bad, and created "reforms" that were hardly reforms. Next session, we, like DPRS before us, will be old news as he goes after yet another agency.

Unfortunately, most voters think that state employees are all lazy, corrupt and stupid, and, unfortunately some who have posted here have done nothing to disabuse them of this fallacy. Therefore, Whitmire is an invincible hero. Too bad Scott is one of his admirers.

Anonymous said...

Grits, please don't make excuses and rescue for Whitmire. I do believe you when you say he has done good things, (very few of us are all bad or all good) but that does not give him a pass for his behavior. As a politician he should have the self control to treat others in a civil manner. I have spoken in front of him and watched others do so at hearings and if he did not want to hear what we had to say Whitmire treated many of them and me like we were something he found on the bottom of his shoe. When I worked for TYC I would have been gifted with disciplinary action if I treated students with the same disrespectful manner which seems to be Whitmire's forte'. JCOs I supervised were not even allowed to use the phrase 'shut up' when speaking to students, and comments a student considered to be 'mean' or 'hurtful' resulted in staff defending themselves from a grievance filed not only by the student but sometimes from other staff who were present. How ironic when Whitmire is given a pass for the same unprofessional behavior for which I observed some TYC staff punished.

If McReynolds, Madden, Pena, Harris , West and Williams can treat the public attending legislative hearings in a civil manner, Whitmire should be able to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Grits, I think my comments at 7:07 this morning sparked some great discussion, some of the best I have seen in a while. I agree with almost every comment it generated, including your own comments, and specifically including your criticism of my crack about Hitler as an example of "Godwin's law" - great stuff. Thank you!

You later added, about Whitmire, "If I only knew him through TYC topics, I might think as you do." I do only know him from TYC, and I stand by my perspective that he is a table pounding bully with a dangerous amount of power who unfairly whipped up a media storm that kept TYC on the front page of the Austin paper every frigging day for well over a month, ruined lives unfairly, and eventually resulted in the "reform" of Demetria Pope, Billy Humphrey, his best supporter Mickey Neel. TYC did not need friends like that, and it was largely Whitmire's fault, from where I sit. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"I do only know him from TYC, and I stand by my perspective that he is a table pounding bully"

That's totally fair, I respect anyone who's observed this process and been led to that view. It's understandable and sad.

And to 2:14, I've been on the receiving end of the same behavior before, and it's no fun. (The worst I've ever been treated at the Lege, though - ruder even than what Whitmire dishes out - was in front of a committee Steve Ogden chaired.) I won't make excuses for how he treats people sometimes from the dais. (As Whitmire constantly interrupted witnesses at the hearing, I kept thinking about his "New Years' resolution" he said he made to "be a better listener.") I just see what's happened with TYC as a sad aberration from his best self, and I'm hoping with Mr. N's calmer hand on the rudder it will be possible to turn things around. If the Chairman sees he's being successful, I think he'll jump on board.

Anonymous said...

You're a noble guy Henson. However, I think like Obama: it's time for a change. But I have to accept Whitmire has 3M in the account and defeating him is doubtful at best. So I guess I'll be looking at his head for awhile.

I'd like to pepper spray him nonetheless. :) - Whitsfoe

Anonymous said...

Emily Helm used to make us miserable over alleged mistreatment and youth complaints -- which means she was doing her job! She is one of several I can think of that TYC needs to have back.

Anonymous said...

Who is B. Collier? and where is The ED?

Anonymous said...

2:36,7:07 - some of the best commentary I have seen on this blog regarding Whitmire...you nailed it! I, too, have appeared before this committee and it was by far one of the most degrading experinces of my life. He tried to make us feel like something WORSE than what you find on the bottom of your shoe! I needed two Xanax just to calm down enough to sleep that night.

His comments regarding facility closures and 'ratings' was irresponsible and I agree, he had a plan and was carrying it out at the hearing. He knew exactly what he was doing when he made those comments.

I don't about everyone else, but I am just plain tired...tired in body, mind and especially spirit. I'm tired of wondering if TYC will ever find it's way again, if our facility will remain open, will we ever have a treatment program, what will happen to our youth and I have to admit I spend alot of time hoping one of those who has been released early doesn't end up living in my community, because I truly believe in my heart that a lot of them were nowhere near ready to go home when they were released. I admit, some had no business in TYC, but many have no business OUT of TYC.

So, if we close, so be it. I'm tired and we have been fighting the good fight for a very long time. We have difficulty recruiting employees not so much because of the oil field, but because people don't want to commit to TYC if we're closing...what's the point?

Senator Whitmire can kiss my ass...he's nothing but a bully and a blowhard. And if the democrats in Harris county want him, they can have him...and please God, let him stay there.

Lastly, I think his comment about taking the psychological is a good idea...maybe his self will be revealed and he can be put away somewhere...how about Corsicana?

The Evil Dr. Papschmear said...

I understand that Whitmire (some say it is being proposed by Nedelkoff himself!)has called for the closing of Victory Field, Corsicana, Sheffield Boot Camp and West Texas. I imagine that Nedelkoff will soon make his plans known and bear responsibility for them, but I find it interesting that Whitmire made such a stink about why SBC was still open with only 19 kids on site, when that situation existed when Dementia was running the show. Why wasn't it an issue then, Whitmire? Just like 2005, you knew what was going on and chose to ignore it! Go have a drink, verbally abuse another barmaid. It's about all that you can handle. And Grits...no matter how many "atta-boys" one accumulates, "one oh shit" wipes them all out.

Anonymous said...

Grits,
I am with 7:07 and Bill Bush. Aspects of SB103 are fabulous, others are ridiculous. TYC did not fly under the radar, they just knew there was no hope of anyone paying attention or funding appropriately.

Anyone who is on the oversight committee who really says "if they don't do what i say, spray them," needs to be replaced. He has no clue, his position is mired by personal contacts with Pope. It is hopeless if that is the mentality of the primary voice on the oversight committee.

Anonymous said...

i understand peoples frustration with what seems to be another round of statements like...

i don't know, we are studying that...

but what else would you expect after 60 days? Thankfully he is actually developing a plan and has brought in resources to assist. He is taking on many issues and needs some time. hopefully he will hire the new ED soon...

Anonymous said...

7:30, and anyone else that can help me out here.

Our next session for new biennium will begin in Jan. of 2009? (7:30) you asked about Corsicana? The info we recieved is that we were budgeted for this biennium.

Now with that said, we could not be budgeted for the next biennium session which would begin in Jan. 09 and end in May of 09? Am I correct with my dates?

So Corsicana could be closed by/later than Sept of 09 if they choose not to fund or rebuild it.

Do I have my dates correct here?

Anonymous said...

Scott, do you also think that Whitmire should be given a pass for getting the barmaid fired for doing her job? How about his bullying tactics when he was the one who owned the bar and didn't want interference from the TABC?

Isn't it strange that the two major facilities built for clearly political payoffs in the last 25 years were Evins and Al Price? Both fitting the regional approach, both repeatedly getting tagged for abuse and/or neglect, one getting a DOJ lawsuit, and NEITHER mentioned by Whitmire for closure? I guess noboby noticed that closing VF, WTSS, SBC would leave no facilities for males West of Interstate 35? And we already have the situation that the families of female students from El Paso, Amarillo, Lubbock etc have no chance of being close to their child.

Bill Bush: Please explain again how the benefits of regionalization is working so well at Evins?
Sorry I have to go back to anonymous. Whitmire's history of (successful) bullying and retaliation make it too dangerous to even use a nickname that I have used before.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'll take a stab on Evins - it's a large facility that's understaffed and doesn't follow any other aspects of the regionalization model like small facilities and rehab oriented programming.

As for Whitmire, I'll only add that I've criticized him when I think he deserves it, including fairly sharply in this post, and I don't do it anonymously. Plus, I can tell you he's been displeased with some of my criticisms, both of him and Pope. (I'm sure when he mentioned "demagoguing" it was in partial reference to this blog!) I've been consistently disappointed in his behavior throughout the TYC mess, and I've said so. If I can also remember some of the good things he accomplished - including last session on the adult side - that's why I'm not willing to give up hope on him. That, and the fact that political reality dictates he's just not going anywhere, so we'd all better learn to make the best of it.

Anonymous said...

What most of you folks do not realize is that the facilities that Whitmire and other in his group keep referring to as ones that should be closed are all contracted to TYC (not Corsicana).
Sheffield, Victory Field, and West Texas do not belong to TYC. When Ms. Pope was still in office this was brought up and now that she is gone the same plans are being looked at.

The only real hurdle facing Nedelkoff is if he closes any facility where will the excess youth go, currently TYC is overcrowded and the existing facilities cannot take anymore youth.

Whitmire wants Nedelkoff to take the bullet and now rate the facilities so he can be blamed for closing one or more of them. But without more contract beds this task would be suicide.

Sheffield needs to be closed at this point but this never should have happened. The reason it is in this situation is based upon all the rumors that it would close and employees just moved on based upon these rumors.

Anonymous said...

As far as facility closures go, why keep McFadden Ranch open, only 48 kids are housed there.It seem's to be more of a drain to TYC morale then other larger facilities. Besides,with the medical abuse issues and spring coming soon, wonder if they are going to try some old fashioned remedy for snake bites, that place is crawling with copperheads.

Anonymous said...

EVINS
Whitmire said he wanted to know how the Evins Unit got tied to long tem contracts of some sort. I guess these contracts keep them off the choping block.

Anonymous said...

8:36, he was talking about Beto House, not Evins.

Anonymous said...

7:20 a.m./2-24, being a contracted facility is not a reason for closure. Of course, IMO, political decisions aren't ever made with a great deal of sense anyway. Where does Nedelkoff purpose to build the facility that will house youth West of I-35 and whose district will it benefit? Let's get real, Schaeffer House, in El Paso, can't find staff either. If a full fledged facility is built in that area, Nedelkoff will need to show them the money. The cost of living in big cities is quit higher than rural areas, medical care inclusive.


Victory Field's closure has been talked about for several years due to the dilapidated condition of the buildings. I don't want employees anywhere to lose their jobs but folks face it, we are political pawns with no say so.

Sheffield should have never been, as one commentor stated. It should close and WTSS should absorb those employees and youth. Easy fix.

Corsicana needs to be rebuilt because they are a specialized treatment facility. It's needed badly for those youth who will benefit from treatment there.

West Texas should remain open, it houses youth West of the I-35 and we offer dormitory style living arrangements for youth. The only reason we are having trouble staffing our place is because the public is under the assumption, we will be closed. Whitmire's call for closures, will only exacerbate our recruitment efforts. Thanks for that! Employees will, once again, start exiting in search of job security. I don't blame them, they have obligations and families to support.

I for one, have been through the worst 2 years (since my employment at WTSS some 20 plus years ago) because of 2 deplorable administrators who were a poor excuse for TYC employment. I can't understand why the HR department in Central Office did not find out about their past? Who the heck did the references on these two?

I've lost the fight and the war is just begining. I'm exhasted mentally, physically and spiritually, as most are according the comments being made on this blog. I have sent in suggestions for improving TYC-WTSS and have fought tooth and nail to keep morale up at WTSS and keep it open. I have written legislators and sent emails till my fingers tired. If Nedelkoff is going to close WTSS, by gosh, he better just lay it on the table when he visits the facility on Tuesday, I am tired of deceit, unethical employees, poor management and incompetant superintendents, hungry for the power they once had. Which is the reason we are in this mess to begin with. The power was wielded in evil ways!! It should never be given back to them!

If Nedelkoff wants to get rid of WTSS because we are contracted, by darn, build a new facility in the thousands of acres available in Pyote. Our lease with UT-Austin is almost free considering the amount of land we lease from them. I am truly struggling not to become a former employee! Done all I can for WTSS and it feels for naught, it's obvious my efforts went South and I did not make a difference. Truly sad and heartbreaking, I never wanted my coworkers out of a job now or 2 years from now.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 9:41 - counldn't have said it better myself. It must be nice to sit in the ivory tower (The Capitol) and weild the kind of power Whitmire believes he has (and other must believe it too or he wouldn't have it). Gee, if WTSS had 3.5 million in the bank for use on our whim (say wining and dining those who could help us) we might feel a whole lot more secure in our position too. But unfortunately we don't have the same perks as the illustrious Senator from Harris County. Did anyone else notice how many members of the joint committee are from Harris county? Take a look - although I have to give Dutton some kudos for his part on Friday!

I hope Nedelkoff makes a decision about us soon - I am ready to either sh&% or get off the pot (pardon the crude analogy)! We all have lives and families and we're tired in living (or existing) in a stage or perpetual chaos! Its exhausting! The youth are beginning to figure out that things are changing, and not necessarily for the better. I also believe the majority of them know that this is beyond our local control. I hope Nedelkoff will take the time to speak to our student council, our youth leaders. These kids know the real deal and many of them have been at other facilities and county juvenile lockups and have some suggestions of their own as to how some things need to change. Has anyone bothered to ask them!

Nevermind, it doesn't really matter I guess. TYC is a sinking ship and we have our wonderful legislators to thank, along with Dimitria and her TDCJ dummies. Did anyone notice that the wonderful Mary Woods never did ask for more money to increase salaries. What a dumbass - Whitmire himself sat right there and asked AGAIN what do you need? She went off on some bullshit rant about career ladders and such and never said, we could use additional funds to increase salaries for TYC staff.

Mr. Nedelkoff, please do us all a favor and send her packing - what a waste of office space! Not to mention you can't get a phone call returned from CO HR - no one knows anything, so why return the call?

I'm ranting again - I guess my lack of sleep is finally catching up with me.

Anonymous said...

Sheffield, West Texas, and Victory Field are full-fledged TYC facilities...they are not contract facilities.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, please look again. These facilities are leased property and do not belong to TYC. Why do you thik they keep coming up in the round of closing. Dont post unless you at least know what your talking about. Hell, contact your Legislator and ask him/her if they are leased or owned, they'll tell you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

We lease the land at SBC, but the new building in state owned, and what a waste of tax payer monies building that new facility with those new houses only to see it go a few years later. We warned them not to build it, but Irran ISD and all it's greed, wanted to count those kids in the ADP. That's why SBC was expanded.

Anonymous said...

I'm retired now but if I recall correctly, WTSS is on leased land from UT-Austin. The buildings are not owned by TYC but TYC has to maintain them. Am I wrong??

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, the lease on WTSS is very low - something like $1 for 50 years or something like that...I know someone out there knows the exact amount. Its some ridiculously low amount that the state pledges to UT for the use of the buildings and a huge amount of acreage. I remember hearing it discussed once, but didn't pay much attention at the time.

Anonymous said...

Yes, TYC pay a dollar a year for the land/buildings at WTSS, Yes the new dorms at SBC belong to TYC (but the rest belongs to IRAAN ISD,. But the fact reamins on all three mentioned TYC facilities is that TYC can walk away at any time and not remodel, etc. As stated they do not belong to TYC.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought here.

Downsizing TYC has been on the table for a while. Could this be the way of doing this.

Close the TYC facilities Whitmire mentioned in the hearing, fill up the rest including Mart One(he mentioned the number of kids there) and turn the new commits back to the counties to tend to for the lack of space in TYC?

On Corsicana, if you really listen to what Whitmire said, was not interested in boards and concrete? So he is not interested in rebuilding it at all, he wants it gone because he believes it is unhealthy and unsafe for kids, because it has TREES. I understand why he said that about the trees.

One other thing I got was that he and the former ED, Harris had already talked about closing San Saba before the Legislators met. Seems as this deal was done long before the people were informed.

I am like someone else who posted on here. Just get it all out in the open and do it or don't do it, but don't drag your feet letting people know. They are going to leave anyway out of fear of the legislator closing, so if your not going to close one of the ones mentioned you better say so now or you will be closing it due to staff problems.
I work at one of the mentioned facilities and I will be getting my resume ready and start searching for stable employment. Not waiting for the ax to fall or not fall. There is life after TYC.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't want to get sprayed, do what I tell you." That sounds very much like what he told poor Dwight all those years.

Anonymous said...

1:53 pm--get YOUR facts straight. Legislation passed this year turning Vernon South campus (Victory Field) over to the Texas Youth Commission.

Anonymous said...

S.B. 103-
SECTION 24. Subsection (a), Section 551.008, Health and
Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(a) The department may transfer the South Campus of the
Vernon State Hospital to the Texas Youth Commission contingent upon
the agreement of the governing board of the department and the
executive commissioner [governing board] of the Texas Youth
Commission.

Anonymous said...

Grits - Politics aside,how can we support someone who talks out of both sides of his mouth and who has no clue of the big picture of TYC ....Whitmire? He constantly repeats himself, talks during comments from other comittee members' makes inappropriate comments reflecting good "ole boy opinions and I am on aboard with Pope" comments?

Anonymous said...

I worked at Coke County and was witness to the lies TYC fabricated. If your facility is being investigated may God be with you. And, be careful what you say. TYC "investigators" have a knack for turning your words around and reporting half-truths. However, OIG employees seem to be more honest. Oh yeah, make sure there is no bath soap in the shower area the investigators will be convinced it's a chemical… Heck, just watch them VERY closely, they tamper with things and lie. But, then again TYC does seem to cover their backsides, so you just might be safe if you work for a facility they think they run.

Anonymous said...

who are you people that are constantly whining and telling others how to run their facilities and not let them use pepper spray? Obviously you have never been a JCO or you would understand the importance of having pepper spray. We can't physically fight these youth every day! Kids that are over six foot and weigh 200 pounds are hard for a 5'5" woman to restrain. And don't say that someone that size and gender shouldn't work at TYC, someone's got to do it and most of the male interviewees can't pass the criminal history checks.


When is the last time any of you who are constantly complaining had to wade into a gang fight and break it up? Or watch one youth be stomped by four others who have no regard for anyone except their gang members. Human life means nothing to some of these guys. Stop thinking of them as rosy cheeked little cherubs!

There are excellent JCO's who care and don't abuse kids, file charges on those jerks who abuse them instead of giving them the option to quit or be fired!

I've put in over 20 years, tell me I can retire with full benefits and I'll leave today!!!

God know TYC is going to hell in a handbag and I don't want to be assaulted or fired before my 3 years is up.

Most of these kids families have criminal histories and are gang bangers. TYC is just a rite of passage in their eyes.

Anonymous said...

I really love someone stating things about the ownership and lease payments for WTSS, VVF, and SBC and sounding like they know what they are talking about. They are all wrong about ownership and lease rates. Believe me, I signed off on the agreements. As I have stated before the speculation on closings is just that - speculation. The primary consideration for closing any facility is going to be staffing, not if it is owned or leased. So explaining or worrying about ownership is a waste of time. Worry about staffing ratios and you are much more likely to forsee any facility closing.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

Howard your words of wisdom are great but, who added or expanded some of these existing facilities with 96 bed dorms and did not worry at the time about staffing ratio's??

Let me see, Evins, Brownwood, Crockett, Giddings, now if these 96 bed dorms go away (like they should) then these facilities will not have any issue with raio's, but of course no one will accept the responsibility for adding these to existing facilities. Funny thing I did not hear any mention of this at the hearing last Friday!!!

Anonymous said...

Seems Billy (Bronco Billy) Humphrey has landed a job at UTMB's CMC (Correctional Managed Health Care) in Galveston. Wonder if he'll be in charge of pepper spraying the patients.

TYCinmyrearviewmirror said...

9:07 am- TYC people got knifed in the Coke deal, too. Or did you forget that? People that had been with TYC for many years....
IMO- that is one the POPE is also to blame for..... she cut the agency's nose off to spite it's face and the agency never looked back. It is a shame to lose an employee of 30 years, 20 years and 15 years and be too stupid to realize what you are doing......
Who knows, maybe she and the agency did them all a big favor??

Anonymous said...

NO Grits I did not forget. I was privileged to work with Ms. Para among others. No need to get snotty.

TYCinmyrearviewmirror said...

It is Ms. Parra, not Para.

Anonymous said...

The primary consideration for closing any facility is going to be staffing

I agree. We're about to lose a great JCO. Gets along great with staff and kids. Kids seem to have a lot of respect for him. I don't think TYC has made any effort to keep him. You would think to keep the good ones they would offer a promotion, a raise, something, anything, but nope, going to let him walk.

It has a domino effect as so many others are now determined to leave too, not to mention less .. one * more * staff.

TYC really blew it when they walked off all the staffers for something in their past that was known when they were hired.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, alot of good staff were lost for a variety of poor reasons. The state as a whole has suffered and sad to say, the suffering is not over yet. As a whole, we need to vote and vote wisely. If you can't conscientiously support any of them, then a true citizen of the republic has the duty themself to run for public office and help sweep out some of the trash that we currently have sent to Austin.

Anonymous said...

Politicians are very careful about who and how they endorse, and how and who they don't. But apparently incumbent State Rep. Jerry Madden of Plano has been playing fast and loose with his endorsement list... And Attorney General Greg Abbott is rightly unamused.

In a tight political primary fight centered on criminal justice issues, Mr. Madden has claimed he has the support of Attorney General Abbott, a popular Republican. The problem is, the A.G. says he hasn't endorsed Madden.
Now, that alone should raise eyebrows. According to the Dallas Morning News, Madden claims he thought he had the endorsement.

The AG's people told the paper, "Attorney General Abbott never gave his word or any other indication that he would endorse Jerry Madden in the Republican primary... To the contrary, Madden supporters who sought General Abbott's endorsement at Madden's request were repeatedly told that the attorney general had not and would not take a position in that race."

That's something of a political smackdown. But, remember, this is a race about criminal justice issues.
But the AG's folks didn't end with the smackdown, they gave a one-two punch: "Jerry Madden has consistently taken positions that are at odds with the conservative, law-and-order record General Abbott has earned in his five years as Texas' chief law enforcement official."

Challenging Madden is Jon Cole, who wears the mantle of a fiscal conservative and answered our questionnaire with flying marks.

While Madden has long been considered a conservative, his failing 68.7% showing on our scorecard gave us pause, which is why he didn't get our endorsement. And since the campaign issues wouldn't be on fiscal policy, like the AG we chose to stay out of the race. And still do.

Anonymous said...

Region three's CT Terrell unit nears implosion! ....

Correctional supervisors demand overtime pay thats being denied, what does TDCJ and the federal government say?

EEO complaints run rampant, OIG proceeds with investigations of wrong doing, whats next ? Did Texas legislators amoung others finally demand the inquiry after gross inaction by agency administrators ? The Backgate gets newly released updated information you may find hard to believe. Check back soon for the full story!

Anonymous said...

This is the same conservative AG who refused to take the West Texas pedophile case... 'nuff said on him!

It would be a terrible shame if Jerry Madden were to be defeated. He has been a voice of reason in the circus that Whitmire has been conducting.

Anonymous said...

Closing facilities does not solve staffing problems. It will only exacerbate them. Word is Giddings continues to be 60 or more over its budgeted capacity. Nearly 20 percent...

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if your even considering closing a TYC facility and you have not made up your mind on which ones to close but have some on the chopping block like Corsicana, Why in the HELL would you continue to HIRE people, knowing that they might be let go in a few months? Why would the state mess with people's lives like that just to have a warm body in a room? Put people thru all this training and then lay them off about the time they are trained? Now does this make any damn sense?
Waste of money, Waste of these people's time and livelyhoods. Come on People stop messing with more lives.
Take Teachers, hire them now and then tell them later your closing? Then they can't find a job because of the school year is not over?
Hiring JCO staff to assume they would move their families to work for TYC somewhere else. Damn Shame.

If your considering a place, then stop the hiring until your decision is made!

Anonymous said...

The problems with hiring staff right now for TYC are as follows;

No one knows which facility might be close.

Continued bad press about TYC.

Current employess going home telling people they ahte their jobs.

Some management issues at some facilities.

Corrupt Regional Managers.

No real plans to deal with youth.

Past leadership issues that placed us on the wrong path.

Did I mention TYC has not announced who if anybody will be closed tomorow!!!!!

These have to be answered and quick.

Anonymous said...

there are problems at every TYC facility. From the top to the bottom. The only thing making them look good is the JCO staff but that's about to change. Tenured staff will be leaving and there will be no one to train the "new hires" and I guarantee you that PSW's, PS's, Asst. Supt. and Supt. couldn't run a routine if their life depended on it or maintain behavior. Ask JCO's how to fix some of these problems and you'll get answers. Stop thinking that just because they don't have college degrees that they don't know what they are talking about!

The mission statement of TYC used to say the TYC recognized these individuals as their most valuable asset...but they took that out of the new one.

When TYC has to shut down due to no on wanting to work there then all of you holier than thou people can figure out where to put the gangbangers, the arsonists, child molesters, rapists, car thieves, murderers, burglars, etc. I just hope it's in your neighborhoods and not mine.

Anonymous said...

Wrong! The problems at most TYC Institutions start at the bottom. Poor applicant pools trained by entrenched crappy JCO staff that have a sense of entitlement somehowe ingrained into their small minds. Just think of that marginal JCO IV who has never applied for any supervisory slot. All they do is bitch and moan, but never step up to the plate to truly make their facility better. These folks spoil and corrupt all who enter through the gatehouse if they can. If they can't corrupt them, then they set them up and those good ones get burned. So, don't think poor little ole JCO staff. Some of you may be good, but the bad ones really make it rotten for the rest. This is why the DOJ is investigating and suing TYC. JCO staff screwed the pooch not admin.

Anonymous said...

10:01 & 12:32:

You both need to freaking grow up. There are good people and there are bad people in all positions - not just JCO's, not just Case Managers, not just Admin. It takes everyone working together to get anything accomplished. You both seem hell bent on working against each other. Teamwork is a concept you both need to learn. The people at the regional offices are blaming the people in the field and vice versa. Everyone is going to have to work together to improve TYC. Even before the West Texas Scandal, TYC was better equipped to work together in all areas than it is now. Everyone is playing the blaming game and nothing is getting better. And it will not get better until everyone grows up and works together.

Anonymous said...

It's official. Sheffield is closing at the end of March, Victory Field and WTSS are staying open through at least the bienium.

Anonymous said...

Better not allow barmaids in Austin to have OC spray!

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