Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Federal judge rejects TYC settlement on Evins unit in South Texas

The settlement agreement proposed between the Texas Youth Commission and the US Department of Justice didn't pass muster with the federal judge in charge of the case, reports the McAllen Monitor ("Judge refuses to accept settlement in Evins youth prison's civil rights case," March 18):
The state and federal governments are set to head back to the negotiating table, after a federal judge refused Monday to accept a settlement agreement over civil rights abuses at the Evins juvenile detention center.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa urged both parties to come up with a specific timeline for suggested reforms and criteria for evaluating the youth prison's progress.

"This is a discussion between the federal government and the state government with this court in the middle," Hinojosa said. And the court "is the lease equipped to manage a prison system."

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Evins and the state after an investigation revealed employees failed to protect inmates from staff abuse and youth-on-youth violence.

The Justice Department and the Texas Youth Commission - the state agency charged with overseeing Evins - reached a tentative agreement to the lawsuit in February.

In the proposed settlement, TYC officials agreed to provide youth inmates with safe living conditions and ensure they were protected from violence.

The commission also consented to other stipulations requiring that agency staff only use restraint to maintain security, provide adequate staffing levels and develop procedures to allow employees and inmates to report abuse without fear of retaliation.

But while the parties agreed to give a federal judge oversight of reform efforts for the next three years, on Monday Hinojosa said the proposed settlement did not adequately address what would happen should the Justice Department's demands go unmet.

He urged both parties to either settle their dispute outside of his purview or return to the court next month with a more detailed plan.

I'm sure administrators at TYC think this amounts to one more additional headache, but it sounds like the judge's main concern is putting extra teeth in the Agreed Order. That can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. See also coverage from AP.

120 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good! The Judge clearly understands the difference between a willingness to improve, a demonstration of the ability to improve and ------ actually making improvements.

The negotiations need to include a clear description of required improvements, timelines and clear milestones along the way for completion of improvements.

Stiff financial penalties for failure to meet the milestones should exceed the cost of the improvements. That way the politicians will understand it is going to cost less to do the right thing.

Taxpayers need to understand that "tough on crime" is not free!

Anonymous said...

If the state and federal governments agree to a settlement, and a Federal Judge disagrees, then I see a lack of understanding on the issues involved from both parties.

Both sides should know with any settlement agreement, there needs to be certain control measures to ensure the agreement is adhered to, and certain time constraints so the issues don't linger forever without any consequence.

IMO, that Evins facility should be considered for closure given its 10year history.

Whitsfoe

Anonymous said...

I'll 2nd that! How does the parlimentary procedure proceed?

Anonymous said...

Grits,
Any thoughts on the current state of the agency. I am getting a little frustrated with the new conservator. We have people clearly in it way over their heads in the treatment/case management division. This hasn't been a major focus because of all the JCO staffing issues. But these people have been asked to churn out a new treatment program and they have absolutely no clue what they are doing.

Help!

Anonymous said...

Evins needs Eddie, not Vidaurri. MVd needs to move on as she is part of the federal suit. She's just a fish with a "Bronco Billy" on her back. We never respected her at Evins. She deserves to defend a lawsuit here in the Valley. She was WORTHLESS AND PROMOTED ABUSE.

Anonymous said...

They haven't seen a lawsuit yet. Just wait until the Al Price unit takes TYC to federal court--I can't wait. They already have messed over so many people's lives there and it's due time for paying up. There have been so many wrongful terminations of vested employees and also cases that have gone to court and TYC lost to them. I can't wait for our day to finally be able to tell the truth and get PAID--MILLIONS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Are these settlement conditions really "reform"? Quoting:

"In the proposed settlement, TYC officials agreed to provide youth inmates with safe living conditions and ensure they were protected from violence.

"The commission also consented to other stipulations requiring that agency staff only use restraint to maintain security, provide adequate staffing levels and develop procedures to allow employees and inmates to report abuse without fear of retaliation."

These are minimal requirements for maintaining the status quo, not "reform." Tinkering with the existing machinery.

I'm not saying it is "wrong" to do so, just calling it what it so clearly is.

BB

Anonymous said...

Hey here's the real good news, Pope is up for a big job in tdcj!! Reward for a job well done. The settlement is a very minimal step, reform does need to happen on all levels. There absolutely need to be benchmarks and specific individuals must be held accountable for implementation of changes.

Anonymous said...

Are you surprised 6:35?

You knew that Elmer wasn't going to leave her out there without a job (as both deserve)

Anonymous said...

Please stick to the issues here on this post. This is about the DOJ lawsuit, not dapope. Let that dead dog lay. That said, Whitsfoe said it very eloquently when he stated that closure for evins was a good solution. Given its track record and its location in the county seat for Texas corruption nothing better suits the state than locking the gates and walking away. This place will never, I repeat never, be a viable operation in any sense of the word.

Hinsfoe

Anonymous said...

Yes, TYC employees on each campus need to be able to talk without fear of retaliation. This will likely never happen. The TYC culture is still owned by the pack of special ones who were promoted by the ones who got caught. They are loyal to the culture of corruption and still watch each other's back. As they see it, so much still needs to be covered up or the whole sorry story (the other chapters) will be revealed. It would be interesting to look at the connections that exist across TYC today.

There is still a culture of denial and cover-up and the same group of insiders still call the shots despite some changes at the top.

Also, when will someone look at what is happening with HR at the facility level? This is where the culture is frozen solid in the old pattern.

Anonymous said...

Never a more true statement than at Evins. The assistant supt's wife works in HR and while she is not qualified to be the HRA she is the HR Specialist by default. She does indeed wield (read that swings a blunt instrument) influence albeit warped. There is no confidentiality for employees here and everyone knows everyon's medical information around the campus eminating from her office and chisme. Just another reason why Evins is as screweed up as it is.

Anonymous said...

The reason why Evins has always been in bad shape is what we are currently doing now to all facilities, it's called regionalization.
Of course the experts will never say this but those of us who have worked for TYC have always known that Evins has alaways used this model to keep the youth in the valley in the valley.
Then you get the youths high-school friends, aunts, uncles, etc, this is where the corruption comes in.
But all the ones that really think they know about juvenile justice will state we need to keep the youth in the same area so their family can visit more easily, regardless of the consequnces. We created this monster and were doing the same at every institution.

Anonymous said...

10:34, it seems that several posters here, probably many Evins staff, have expressed similar views. That a major problem with Evins is that valley youth are kept in the area, and that proximity to the home community actually causes more problems.

I wonder whether this is an insoluble problem, though, which gets to my question... and I'd be curious to hear from people with first-hand experience with Evins on this one.

Is there any circumstance under which valley youth could be kept in the area without these problems? What type of facility or facilities might create a more constructive environment? Or is there nothing that can be done?

Surely there must be some local people in the community who could potentially take a leadership role. Is the entire community complicit in juvenile crime / gang activity?

Just to be clear about my interest in this question: I'm finishing my book about the history of juvenile justice in Texas, and this exact question has been front and center as early as the 1920s. So it would be useful to me to hear people talk from first-hand experience about why keeping juvies near their communities does or does not work. I suspect Evins and its relation to the valley / borderlands is a unique case for a number of reasons.

Thanks, your replies are appreciated.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Bill,

My direct involvement with Evins was limited, so I speak based on what I have heard from some of their staff and youth in the past and from more general experience with rehabilitation of juveniles. From my perspective, the answer to successfully keeping youth in their home communities is part and parcel with the benefit of doing do - a shorter, intensive treatment program that incorporates the family and extended community in the rehabilitation of the youth. If you can get family buy-in that a program might actually help their youth (or at least not do harm and take them away for years) and they can see a way to be a positive part of the process, then many of the potential problems can be averted. Dealing with the remaining problems really becomes a part of the rehabilitation process - better dealt with then avoided by distance. I know this is a very tall order. No one said it was an easy job. But this is the best way to produce gains that last beyond incarceration. All of this being said, there will always be those families/communities that cannot be positively engaged and who continue to thwart rehabilitation efforts. If this situation continues after legitimate efforts to engage them positively, then some youth may not be able to stay that close to home. But this should be a calculated rehabilitation decision, not a matter of convenience for the agency/facility. TYC has a lot of work to do to put the treatment programs and resources in place to make this work.

>Don Brantley

Anonymous said...

I believe all of us who have worked for TYC over 10 years would say that it is extremely imporatnt to involve the family. But this experiment has been tried for over 10 yearss at Evins and the results speak volumes.
This has little to do with convience for the agency but rather the best intrest of the child. If history is any indicator then please lets use it when we have seen a failed experiment in the Valley.
If familes really want to be part of their childs rehabilitation then yes they would drive regardless of the distance and TYC also has resources to assist familes with bus fair and pays for their gas (volunteer council).
But for TYC to continue the current practice is criminal tosay the least. This is the Big Bang theory where some believe one way and others another way, but any true indicator wouldbe to look at the history of this facility and then you can determine if keeping youth close to their communities is truly rehabilitative?

Anonymous said...

Bill: Back in the "good old days" we used to place kids by these priorities: 1) what the kid needed
2)close to home 3) empty beds. #1 would cover either of the options of being close to family a) good idea, family involvement, growth etc vs b) get him away from anti-social enviroment and provide skills to avoid being drawn back in. #2 might be the answer for Evins...not "at home" but "close to", such as Corpus Christie, Victoria or even San Antonio areas knocks several hours and miles off trips from the Valley, allowing contact and interaction, but also avoids the local corrupton influence. And, of course, #3 will always be an issue, as populations fluctuate as to which counties are supplying the most kids this week/month. With #3, kids could request transfers closer to home and this became a motivator to showing stability if not progress, so receiving facility would want to accept them.

Anonymous said...

One solution might be to provide smaller, pre-release facilities closer to the urban areas, as well as more half-way houses. That way, kids could be transitioned to facilities closer to home during the final stages of their incarceration as part of a re-integration plan. Kids whose families are not in the picture ( a large proportion, unfortunately) could be prioritized for the half-way houses and independent living preparation. That is currently done, but there are not enough bed-spaces in half-way houses. Harris County has not had a half-way house since Richmond house closed almost 20 years ago. NIMBY has been in play there. Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Don, maybe you can respond to this idea.
I wonder if it would be productive and postive for TYC to parnter with a Jr.College in one location that we currently have a small facility in the same town.
Send the kids that have a GED or High School Diploma to that one main campus and enroll them in college courses from that town or trade courses that they will get a certificate in.
This would be an incentive for kids to continue and recieve GED's or Highschool diplomas. They would have special privileges along with intense group theorpy before releasing kids back to the free world. We would give them a good headstart to become successful and we would be focusing one on one with the ones that would soon be released.
One other hope would be that we would be taking them out of the negative atmosphere that they are currently in and have strict guidelines for them while they are in the pre release/college prep campus.
Would this be a major benifit for the kids to get a jump start on not returning to crime?

Anonymous said...

correction: should say,after instead of and GED or High School diplomas

Anonymous said...

Just a tad bit off the topic, but you just have to dig this conservator. This is a prime time example of when you treat your people well, and respect their hard work, the people will work hard for you:

TYC Staff:
In order to allow as many TYC employees as possible to enjoy the holidays, we are granting each employee four (4) hours of Administrative Leave at noon on Good Friday, March 21, 2008. Skeleton crews are required to staff the offices for the remainder of the day. As the Conservator of TYC, I would like to extend my appreciation for the hard work and dedication that TYC employees exhibit on a daily basis. It is my wish that each of you and your families have a safe and pleasant holiday.

Richard Nedlekoff

Pope should have learned from this guy. People will bust their ass for his recognition of their performance. This is the kind of stuff that turns the employee moral around. And it's not the time off, it's the fact he's recognizing our struggles and appreciates his employees efforts. We haven't seen that since Robinson.

Anonymous said...

Dwight Harris used to send e-mails exactly like this when granting time off. Only daPope didn't.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree with 6:45p.m. Dwight Harris always appreciated his employees, and was genuinely sincere about them too. Dwight Harris also fought for employee rights too. I'm so glad I left right after Dwight left--it seems like the devil done took over that institution. See what happens when you mess over GOD's people--GOD don't like ugly, and all this evilness is happening for a reason. The Al Price unit has been taken over by the devil himself. The reflection of that unit today is why it's in the turmoil and chaos they have to deal with on a daily and contiuous basis. The whole administration has gone to hell in a hand basket in less than one year. Say what you may but it's a reality statement. GOD Bless all my friends out there in the trenches @ Al Price and keep the dream alive--you know who you are.

spearshaker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

9:10 I respect your feelings but I am not naive. I know first hand what we are dealing with in TYC. I think that this idea is way to far fetched and TYC would never do something like this.
We need something other than what we have now to convince the select few that they are or could be something of worth. Most of the kids feel that they have no other road but the one they have traveled. They will continue to believe that unless we sew the seed in them that they can change and they do not have to be what their past was like. There is another life out there they can live.
Sometimes all it takes is one person to give them that foothold to believe in themselves and let go of the past. They can not move forward until they move past what has been for them.
They do not believe that they are college material or that they can never afford to even go to college.
The mentally ill or challenge kid has a hard road to plow and I understand that fully. I work with the mentally ill everyday. But even in that mix , there are a few that could fit the bill of a college student.
We can not ever assume that they will never be more than what they are now.

Anonymous said...

Spearshaker you are wrong. The percentage of youth in TYC who experience severe abuse before age 2 is minute.

Most of our kids are not budding borderlines or antisocial personality disordered. We do have our share but certainly not most.
I think these personality features are exaggerated in punitive environments like TYC where youth have to behave in desperate ways to get their needs met. This environment makes it easy for youth to lean on negative anti-establishment attitudes.

The problem with regionalization of facilities in Texas is the lack of funding for community based programs to help support families.
Texas consistently ranks among the worst of states on issues like poverty and mental health care. Missouri is among the best in these areas. Having strong communities clearly has an impact on the effectiveness of more regional/community centered rehabilitiation programs.

spearshaker said...

9:45 & 9:48; I stand corrected.. Put it down to a rough day...

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with Al Prices Administration? They seem to be doing a good job, but please look at Administrators like Ayo who was the Superintendent here for 2 months. He spent all of his time trying to look good for Ms. Pope and Billy Humphrey. He bought all new office furniture even though the stuff he had was new, it was turned down and Ms. Pope came back an approved it. Yep, I am sure he misses that fact Ms. Pope and Billy have left the agency, but he got what he wanted, a higher paying job.

Anonymous said...

Ayo, I remember him back when he was at West Texas as a PA, thought they did away with him. He's still around with TYC? They must really be hurting.

Anonymous said...

Get real, Dwight Harris could only hold a finger in his anus as compared to a Nedelkoff class act. Dwight Harris could compare nothing to Robinson and now Nedlekoff. He sold us out.

Anonymous said...

Ayo, amazing how that name is stomach churning to many. He views himself as the big man at TYC. Not surprising he got new furniture while at Al Price. He commands offices equivalent to a certain oval one! A true legend in his own mind. Hope he meets all those people he stepped on, trying to get to where he is now, on his way down like so many others have. That would be sweet justice.

Anonymous said...

5:19 -
Regarding your idea about a Jr. College, pre-release program - This sounds more like a halfway house type program. If the youth can attend college classes off-site (or even on-site for that matter), then they generally don't need to be in an institution.
>Don Brantley

dirty harry said...

Well, back to the original subject:

Evidently, things haven't changed much. Thursday, a JCO at Al Price was arrested for having sex with one of the youth. Evidently, the thousands of dollars spent on video equipment did nothing to catch them in the act, since it occurred quite some time ago. The only reason they were caught is because the JCO turned themselves in to the local police.

Anonymous said...

Some time ago, what a year, 6 months?? Not all of this equipment was up and running at this Unit until about 3 months ago. They had some of it going but not the entire campus.

Anonymous said...

Staff at Crockett charged with tampering with a document...something about the 225 doesn't match the video. No injury, no restraint, the kid was only sprayed. Give me a break! If this is the criteria, there will be many many more arrests. Sounds like the same ole TYC witch hunt.

Anonymous said...

Tampering with a document? What about all those "documents" reviewed by supervisors or in meetings and then changed. Are all of those facing the same charges? I doubt it.
I agree with the witch hunt comment. They are ruining lives at any cost while the facilities continue to have MAJOR problems that no one is addressing.
I hate to say it, but TYC continues to reward those staff who do nothing but hide and collect a check. Those who step out and try to keep situations under control and try to keep people safe - get rid of them. How sad.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has sex with a youth deserves to be arrested. I know about the Crockett situation and it is very wrong on many levels. Someone should step in an stopoe what is happening to that person. She lost her job and is now cahrged with crimes. And for what? Being the ONLY ONE who helped keep control of the campus while Bluebell was "in charge". TYC will pay for the way it treats people. There are way too many to name that are in this same boat. Even if you don't care about the individuyals, it sends the message to existing staff that they should be afraid to make decisions, act, etc.
Any company or agency that treats its staff this way, will only last for so long. Someone better step in and right the wrongs TYC has done.

Anonymous said...

The TYC law suits won't be settled for years and the taxpayers will pick up the tab. Good job Gov goodhair.

dirty harry said...

Anonymous said:
Some time ago, what a year, 6 months?? Not all of this equipment was up and running at this Unit until about 3 months ago. They had some of it going but not the entire campus.

3/21/2008 04:51:00 PM
- - - - -

This woman was employed until March 7, 2008. What do you think the chances are that her last time to have sex with this youth, or any other, was October of last year? From what I'm being told about the camera system, defeating it isn't all that hard. The cameras are not monitored full time, so nobody actually sees what they see, unless they go back and review the tapes at a later date.

Anonymous said...

I dont know who bluebell is but if anyone commits a crime regardless we should not justify their behavior by pointing fingers. This blog where someone makes a comment and then the same person answers their previous blog is crazy (and obvious). I have worked at Al Price for 3 years now and can say we have had many issues and if anyone commits a crime they should pay. Last time I checked we are trying to rehabilitate youth for crimes and this blog people think it's alright to justify their behavior or their co-workers when they do wrong. If the person did no wrong it will come out in the wash, if they did commit a crime then let the criminal justice system handle it. TYC has nothing to do with grand jury indictments and filing charges, only law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

11:15am - THen TYC needs to educate their staff about the law enforcement procedures and not set them up for investigations with OIG and abandon staff in the process.

Anonymous said...

11:15am - THen TYC needs to educate their staff about the law enforcement procedures and not set them up for investigations with OIG and abandon staff in the process. And we that know the situation hope IT ALL comes out in the wash, but lives can be destroyed in the long process. To be charged with a crime is sometimes just as damaging as being convicted. Hope this never happens to you.

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about the Al Price or Crockett situations, but I know that TYC employees were victims of witch hunts last year. They were conducted for the benefit of the media, and right now the media have other things to dwell on. I also am convinced that if I were a TYC employee under investigation by the OIG, I would not want to be interviewed without an attorney.

Anonymous said...

Hope this does not happen to you!!!!

Once again, quit blaming and pointing fingers. I have no idea what your referring too but from reading your blogs it appears that your justifying criminal behavior. All I said was if the staff did not commit a crime then why worry about it but if they did commit a crime what would you prefer law enforcement to do?

I'm not perfect and I have been in more than one physical restraint, I have been investigated by the OIG and like the idea they are on our campus. Yes, TYC did go through a witch hunt period a year ago, but that is not the case now.

Anonymous said...

Staff falsify 225s all the time as get-backs, or to justify their own behavior. A 225 is an official state document. Falsifying an official state document is a State Jail Felony.

There- you have been informed. Quit doin' it, and if you don't quit doin' it, don't complain if you get charges put on your butt. The excuse that "everybody" is doin' it just doesn't fly.

Anonymous said...

Crockett is a sad situation all together. TYC would be better off closing the place down and starting over somewhere else. The staff are never satisfied, and if they don't like someone, they make stuff up on them to get them into trouble. Unfortunately, in many case, Central Office falls for the garbage. They have unjustly ran off some of some of the most intelligent Administrators and/or supervisors TYC has ever had. And no, I am not referring to Rey Gomez and Jerome Williams.

Anonymous said...

Well, sure hope you are talking about Freeman and Nicholson. Because then I'd have some doubts about your ability to engage in rational thought.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the infamous, ubiquitous, "They"! Whoever this They guy is, he is a mighty bad hombre. They persecuted people in Marlin, then They moved on to McFadden Ranch, They has also worked in Corsicana, at Al Price, Gainesville, and now Crockett. This They guy really gets around. Maybe the OIG can catch him doing his dirty work...

Anonymous said...

Freeman and Nicholson were the best thing that ever happened to Crockett, they cleaned the place up and got rid of a bunch of slackers that didn't do their job, and at the same time ran a safe campus for the youth and staff at Crockett. 9:59, you must be one of those slackers, go back to stocking shelves at WalMart. Freeman and Nicholson are probably glad to be out of Crockett, and I'm sure that they are doing better without people like you in their lives. 11:24, you must be a little slow, but I will spell it out for you. "They" are the worthless people that came in from TDCJ (including the ones that remain, and the ones that are gone)that caused more havoc and sunk TYC to a level that made Dwight look like a freakin genius. "They" also includes that spineless butt kisser lap dog for Gov. Goodhair, Jay Kimbrough. And let's not forget "they" are also some long time TYC employees who jumped on the bandwagon with the TDCJers because they were too scared to stand up for themselves and do what was right. Any questions?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 1:28, Freeman and Nicholson were the best we've seen at Crockett in the last few decades.

P.S. Mr. Nedelkoff, please don't make any bomb threats, we don't want to lose Mr. Davis, but you can send that two-faced Ms. Gibbs packing with the Pope & Bronco show.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Freeman and Blu were the best. The best at harrassing people and firing employees withouth just cause. They were the best at hiring unqualified supervisors. They were the best at covering up abuse. Wow, they were great.
They were able to do this for so long because the TYC system was corrupt from the bottom up. Nedelkoff would have to be insane to bring those two back. Some may say that they got a raw deal, but what about all of the people that they screwed over during the years that they were at Crockett? Freeman never cared about anyone because he was a sociopath and only looked out for number 1. Blu sold out to the devil (Freeman) and now he is paying for it. He is now working as a probation officer. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Anonymous said...

9:10,

Which of the three groups do you fit in? You sound bitter, you must be one of the ex-TYC slackers that Freeman and Nicholson kicked square in the ass for not doing their job? Or are you one of those TDCJ suck asses? You are right about one thing, Nedelkoff won't bring them back if he is smart because either one of them could fix this screwed up agency in one day, and then Nedelkoff and his out of state groupies couldn't get all the praise.

Anonymous said...

Blu is a PO? Good for whoever landed him, they have a wonderful man that does an excellent job working with young people. Keep up the good fight, Blu. God will continue to bless you, we know you never sold out to the devil.

Anonymous said...

10:36

From your inane rambling you represent what kind of loyal fanatic Freeman enjoyed hiring. The man's narcissism knows no bounds.

Freeman did "clean up" Crockett but he did it the wrong way. He did so through fear, intimidation, and cronyism. He micromanaged every detail of the campus with his chosen henchman. This is great if you are lazy and don't like to think...just be the yes man or woman and don't cross him.

This is not good management and the problem with this style of leadership is when the autocrat and cronies are gone there is no one left who has a clue how to run a campus. Everyone who might have a lick of intelligence was already let go (so he could stockpile the ladies. Remember tuck in that shirt so he can see that @$$.)

Sorry, if Freeman was so good at his job then the campus would be running smoothly, now.

Freeman was "molded" at the foot of Clay. Clay's promotion resulted in Freeman's rise from obscurity at Corsicana and how TYC crumbled.

Anonymous said...

In Saturday's Austin Statesman there is an article under "Lowdown on Higher Education" regarding "retaliation alleged." I noted in the 5th paragraph some familiar connections: One of those involved went to A&M as Chancellor (similar track to Kimbroughs), and another was Gov Goodhair's chief of staff among other titles (Royal comes to mind). No matter how imcompentent the guv is, shouldn't he realize by now it does not look good for his office to be involved in so many inappropriate actions. Remember, he named Kimbrough from his own staff, who named Ownens who was named in the cover up of sexual harassment at TDCJ. Somebody else, please read the Statesman article and tell me it is not that blatant payoff (again).

Anonymous said...

01:39:00 PM
You are totally correct about Clay and Freeman. The cronyism was the downfall of TYC. People should get promoted only if they are the best qualified, not because they are friends with the right people, or the right color or gender. Freeman and Blu only promoted the ones that they could use as puppets. I saw lots of good supervisors run off because of Freeman wanting to put his "henchmen" in their place. The only way that Crockett and the other facilities can survive is if they get hard-working, ethical people into those administrative and middle-management positions. We have had enough of unqualified bozo's coming in that don't know a thing about juvenile corrections.

Anonymous said...

Shows how little you know. Blu never bowed down to Freeman. In fact, anybody that works at Crockett can tell you that in the first part of 2006, Freeman had Blanche Quarterman and a few select supervisors doing all the hiring, and Blu was not one of them because he stood his ground with Freeman on the stuff that he was pulling on the Campus. Blu was booted because he worked for Freeman, but in reality, Blu never did any of the unethical garbage that Freeman wanted him to do. Anyone that knows Blu, knows he is a man of integrity who was excellent for TYC, but unfortunately was paired with the likes of Don Freeman. Blu, wherever you are, if you are a PO or you are in the foodstamp line, know that there are still people at Crockett that love you and miss you. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Again, I heard that Blu made a conversion and may have changed for the better but that does not excuse or make him no longer culpable of his past behavior. Blu was and is not innocent and reaped some of what he sowed.

I do hope he has changed for the best and can be a force for good in the future.

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes, if we all reaped what we sowed, if that happened in every case, wouldn't natural justice be so beautiful. Think of what all many of us would have to go through. Many have cast your stones at a man (Blu) that has done far less than some of those casting the stones. Let's all pray we don't have to reap what we sow. May the grace of God be with you all.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so you believe in cheap grace!

Anonymous said...

To 9:10am,

Have you heard the one that goes, the bigger they are, the harder they hit back? Brace yourself because you won't see it coming.

Anonymous said...

3/23 @ 11:24 pm. Don't you dare say that people "persecuted" people at Mcfadden Ranch! If anybody did ANYTHING they allowed Cooke and her corrupt crew get away with NUMEROUS crimes and policy violations, and by crimes, I mean falsifying and destroying state documents. Interfering with investigations, medical neglect, sexual abuse, violating the whistleblower act by retaliating against those employees with enough balls to come forward and call them out on these things. PLEASE...if you are going to act like the staff at Mcfadden are innocent "victims" in some witch hunt, get your story straight first. When the real story comes out at McFadden, you will think West Texas was a fairy tale.

Anonymous said...

10:45,

My grace as yours was paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. May you someday accept this fact before it is too late. If you can tell me where you are, I would be willing to direct you to some wonderful Christians that would be willing to discuss this with you. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, very self-righteous of you.

Glad Jesus came to spend time with us ordinary sinners rather than those sanctimonious pharisees and sadducees who live above the rest of the world. Amazes me, that you judge me not a Christian.

Also, I wasn't aware that sin was ranked or accounted differently and that all sin is abhorrent to God.

Grace and forgiveness don't necessarily absolve us of the worldly consequences of our actions. Hopefully, Blu has changed and his change will bear fruit.

P.S. Christ and I are just fine.

Anonymous said...

You are the one that called it "cheap grace". Glad to hear you and Christ are fine. I assure you that the Lord's grace and forgiveness absolves us of all that is in this world including its consequences. I never judged you, but coming from one that terms God's grace as "cheap", will lead even the most devout Christian to wonder about the sincerity of you and your relationship with Jesus Christ. I do pray you know him well.

Anonymous said...

So, what's up at McFadden? Is Cooke still there?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cooke is still here! It boggles our minds to how she has been allowed to get away with some of the things she has done! Its almost like she has a certain set of laws that apply to only her!I believe with everything in my being that if ANY other TYC SUPT had allowed bleach to be used on a student because they tried to cover up the fact the kid got poison ivy working on an employees house (3 crimes just RIGHT THERE!) They would be taken out in hand cuff's to a waiting police car...not Cooke, she remains in place! WOW! Says alot for Corrupt government doesn't it?????????? I dare Governor "Goodhair" or Whitmire to run for a higher public office while allowing this monster to remain there torturing those kids!! I have done all I can do! I have reported it, filed grievances...yet nothing happens...ever!

Anonymous said...

To 6:52 - go back under the rock you came from and quit trying to stir things up. We dont need people like you on here.

To 8:29 - you ought to be an author the way you spice it all up and make it sound like Cooke is a loose monster. Good luck on your book.

Anonymous said...

what do you mean by making her sound like a loose monster??? If you are so defensive of her...you must be one of the ones that will lose their job when the cover-up comes out in the light! If Cooke is so "innocent" as you claim of these "allegations" make her PROVE IT!!! Polygraph tests are easy...and I do believe she has declined the states offer on several different dates. Come on! Bring it on Cooke...PROVE you didn't have anything to do with this abuse at Mcfadden!!! Now..might I suggest YOU go back under your rock, or better yet...back up Cookes ass where you came from!

Anonymous said...

It looks like 11:02 got no response. I guess thats what makes those sick people at McFadden keep their mouths shut, threaten them with polygraphs!

I for one, would love to see Cooke take a polygraph. You would think if a person wanted to clear his/her name.....that would be an easy way out, right? Come on Cooke..if you are speaking the "truth" take the test.

Anonymous said...

8:49, maybe a book will be written about this mess.But only after the state has paid millions to the youth and staff that had their civils rights violated. Not to mention the money paid to the youth who were abused. If there is documentation and witnesses to support this alleged abuse,I hope the victims see justice in the end.That, and some well deserved prison time by some of the staff responsible, can be the only satisfactory ending to this story

Anonymous said...

when you consider the definition, the mere expression of the idea that the grace of God is either cheap or i don't know, expensive, is laughably ignorant.

Anonymous said...

To make it more clear, grace is something given, not bought or earned. So yes, may the grace of God be with us all, or would you rather the grace of God not be with some people? if those are the beliefs of these so called "christians" then may God be with them because they along with everybody else, will need it.

Anonymous said...

9:09,

You are laughably ignorant and can use all the grace that anyone or any God is willing to give you. Shut up already with your rambling.

Anonymous said...

The point is to say that Christian's cheapen the concept of Grace. Grace in itself an interesting concept. Under God's grace a man may sin freely, however, through the transformation of Grace he no longer desires to do so. True faith through Grace bears fruit. Meaning that one's actions will follow suit.

May the many who have felt wronged by Blu have the Grace to forgive him his past actions and may Blu have the Grace to accept responsibility and be accountable.

Also, while I may be forgiven for my sins this does not mean I am not accountable for my actions. If I murder someone I may well find forgiveness through Grace, however, I might still serve 20 to life.

Christian's cheapen Grace by trying to whitewash (themselves)of any accountability. "Cheap Grace! and a self-serving faith."

Again, I hope Blu has truly changed and that his change bears fruit.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you care, you responded. And I have never felt threatened by Blu no matter how bellicose he might have been.

So, does two people beating on each other turn you on? My, you do seem to have a few issues!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Some moron just wrote (and I deleted it), so and so "should have kicked you in your mouth after he kicked you in your ass," among other obnoxious and threatening comments.

Y'all, nobody but cowards says stuff like that anonymously. If you want to push somebody around, I'm 6'1" 235 lbs., mean as a snake, and not hard to find at all. If you want to kick someone's ass, come find me and let's roll, I'm in a bad friggin mood anyway from a few anonymous TYC jerks like this guy abusing these comments and making this an inhospitable place for everybody else.

I'm serious folks, many of y'all have been around the kids too long because you're behaving like you're 12. Grow up. And if you want to threaten somebody, come threaten me and see how well that works out for you.

Anonymous said...

9:32,

What actions should Blu be accountable and accept responsibility for? He took a polygraph and passed, and TYC still did him wrong. So, sounds like Blu was man enough to step up and do the right thing. Even when TYC printed lies about him in every newspaper in the state saying that he was suspended for abusing youth. When TYC couldn't find anything that he did wrong they unjustly tried to force him to move across the state to a facility that was closing, and they knew Blu wouldn't go because of his custody arrangement for his child. To this day, Blu is still being prosecuted in the court of public opinion. Maybe he will get the chance to see what a real court has to say about how TYC did him. Good luck Blu, you are still a class act in my book.

Anonymous said...

You must feel threatened, or you wouldn't write the lies you are writing, it is laughable to say that a caring and compassionate man like Blu is bellicose. It wouldn't suprise me if you were fired from Crockett for incompetency and now you are projecting your anger on Blu. Get yourself some help before it eats you up.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I know we have some morons that work for TYC but a lot of these posts are from ex-TYC staff and or bitter people that may or not have any conextions to TYC other than having a child with us. I guess what I am saying is were not all a bunch of cowards that post crap about others (unless it was the Humpster or the Pope).

"Chuy"Documentation Requirements.


When sick leave of more than three (3) consecutive days is taken, the employee must provide to the human resource office a physician's statement certifying the medical need to be off work, the period covered by the medical certification of need to be off, the date the employee may resume working, any restrictions on work activities which apply, and the duration or expected duration of any applicable restrictions.


Medical recertification must be provided upon any significant change in an employee's condition, and every 30 days so long as the use of sick leave continues; provided, however, that if the period of absence is designated as leave under the FMLA Leave or NFM Leave policies, the form and frequency of medical certifications and recertifications will be controlled by the applicable leave policies.


If a physician's medical certification fails to indicate the date upon which the employee is released to resume work, or to resume the performance of certain duties, the employee is not allowed to resume work (or resume the performance of restricted duties), until the employee's treating physician certifies that the employee is able to resume work (or to perform the duties subject to restriction).


With advance notice to the employee and the agreement of the appropriate human resources administrator (HRA), a supervisor may require written medical certification of the need for sick leave of three (3) days or less.


If reasonable grounds are believed to exist to question an employee's fitness for duty, or if additional information regarding a medical certification is deemed necessary, the appropriate HRA, in consultation with the assistant deputy executive director of human resources and the deputy general counsel, or their designees, may condition the employee's continuation or resumption of work upon submission of medical certification of fitness for duty, or upon the employee's examination by a physician selected by the agency.
"Chuy"

Anonymous said...

Gosh Scott, I feel threatened by your comments and your size. Easy big boy. Sorry if you viewed it as a threat, I was simply expressing an opinion. Which I might add is somewhat less inflammatory than other thigns I have read on this blog. But I will play nicely so as not to cause you to be in any more bad moods.

Anonymous said...

Chuy, why are you spouting off policy regarding sick leave documentation? Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

9:32 You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I respectfully disagree.

9:54 You are off base. So far I haven't actually said anything negative about Blu other than I hope he has changed. Blu was responsible either through direct action or inaction for the behavior of those he supervised. I have good reason to believe that Blu's action in the past have not always been pristine. Since my interaction with Blu has been limited over the last few years I hope he did make a change and stand up to Freeman. If he truly did this then he earns points in my book.

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

I agree, all of you have said enough.

Anonymous said...

I want to know whatever happened to all of those people that came from all over different units and they formed this committee called P.D.A. Behavior Mgmt.Specialists(Professional Development Academy) or what not?? They can't even spell Professional much less even have it in their own make-up. Such people like Laray Wilson and Dave Davis--all I have to say is they were the BIGGEST joke of all of TYC!!! All they did was waste taxpayers dollars to go all over TYC campus's and observe. If you ask me gasoline is too damn expensive for me to support these fools to fly all over and stay @ expensive hotels. Not only that but half of them ended up down @ Mardi Gras in Port Arthur in 2006 after the Al Price unit returned from Hurricane Rita. Did I forget to mention that these kids are still at an all time high for recidivism of 80%, it's the headline for TXCN? TYC should be shut down and turned over to the feds or to TDCJ--hell that's where 80% of these kids end up anyway.

Anonymous said...

Man I agree with you Henson. Just slice these idiots up. It's gone beyond banter and it really serves no purpose. I'd be pissed too. They seem to be using your blog as an attack on one another which I don't think you intended it to be. Maybe they'd be more well rounded in criminal justice issues if they'd read about other issues besides TYC. I see why you're not posting much TYC reform issues here any longer. And I can say I don't blame you. - Whitsfoe - Peace and "Free Tibet."

Anonymous said...

3/24 7:16am hit the nail on the head. After watching Ms. Gibbs closely, I think we have only seen the beginning. Don't let the sweet, innocent idiot act fool you. It is pretty entertaining watching her fumble aroudn campus thinking a smile will fix anything. She finally realizes she's in over her head. Go back training or secretary or whatever you were before coming to TYC to be with your boyfriend - I'm sure he can get you on with UTMB.

Anonymous said...

LaRay and Dave's Behavior Specialist did more hands on training than any staff in TYC history.

Anonymous said...

What program does TYC have now that teaches staff how to manage students behavior since Walenta and his team did away with the PDA.Behavior Specialists that Dave and LaRay trained?

Anonymous said...

The sharks are circling Gibbs since she backstabbed one of the Crockett clique. It's only a matter of time. As for behavior management.....what behavior management?

Anonymous said...

Yeah right 3/27/08 8:51 about Laray Wilson and Dave Davis and there hands on training. Yeah there hands definately were on except not on the training but more on the ladies--Did he ever bother telling you that he was barred from the Al Price unit for all his fraternization issues--I'm sure he would luv to tell you that!! He makes my skin craw and the very thought of him would make anyone gag!! His only hands on training was the one on the ladies!

Anonymous said...

Who did Gibbs backstab? Sounds like she is fitting in well at Crockett. Backstabbing has been going on at Crockett for years.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I have an idea. Why not block commenters who write threatening or hostile stuff? Zero tolerance should send losers packing to another place to waste other people's time. Your website is too good for the likes of them!

Anonymous said...

my my 326 you sound almost like a communist

Anonymous said...

Just call me the Gestapo who would like to run the A-holes off this website.

Whatever it takes.

Anonymous said...

Guess what LaRay and Dave are reunited at AL.Price again and doing a fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, some smart judges have figured out how to legally keep sending misdemeanants to TYC. It's called recommitment. That's right, if a youth has already been committed in the past to TYC, and if he has not passed his 19th birthday, he can be recommitted for new crimes he commits - even if the new crime is a misdemeanor. We're gonna have misdemeanants in TYC for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

Now folks can howl and complain that TYC is still holding misdemeanants "illegally".

Anonymous said...

aren't you?

Anonymous said...

I think this makes some good fodder for Mr. Ward. Keep your eyes on the Austin American Statesman. If he finds out about this, he'll have another nail for the TYC coffin. Go Mike!

Anonymous said...

What percentage of youth committed as felons these days are general offenders? Are we seeing a rise in numbers of DSO's? Did SB 103 actually create a system where youth will actually be REQUIRED to spend MORE time because there are more felons with longer MLOS and MPOC?

Anonymous said...

A lot of burgulars and car thiefs.

Anonymous said...

We are still getting a goodly number of new misdemeanants because the judges are revoking their probations. This, in addition to the re-commits. But, of course, it is all TYC's fault! We are just a bunch of terrible people.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much the crappy jco staff on dorm 4 cost the state in the j galoway case?

Anonymous said...

Joe won't dare testify in Federal Court. There are severe penalties for perjury.

Anonymous said...

The case was settled but for how much??

Anonymous said...

345K

Anonymous said...

try 10% of that figure and you would be a lot closer.

Anonymous said...

Joe's lawyer is a pretty good guy. When he saw the evidence that TYC had, there was no way that he was going to allow his client to take the stand. When TYC made an offer that was about 1% of what they were asking for, (and about 1/4 of what it would have cost TYC to win in court) they took it and ran. The poor lawyer must have made about minimum wage on that deal!

Anonymous said...

nope, it's 345k

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Believe what you want.

Anonymous said...

ask anyone of the persons named in his lawsuit that just recently received the settlement letter from the lawyers. i'm talking the ones representing the state employees that tyc did not want to cover. there were a bunch that did not get represented by the ag. ask em

Anonymous said...

I did. It was slightly more than 10% of the figure you are quoting.

Anonymous said...

Actually, make that 13% to be more exact.

Anonymous said...

In this J. Galloway case, what unit did this occur on??

Anonymous said...

you guys are in denial

Anonymous said...

the lawyer made 25k in this case. he got 15k from joe, and 5k from each of the others named. what a shame the stinkers from the valley cost the state that money.

Anonymous said...

You guys are all blowing smoke - for what purpose I don't know - obviously you have some point you are trying to make. Joe did not walk away with much money, nor did he deserve to. I'm disappointed TYC settled at all, because they could have won on all counts; but I understand the reasoning - it was much cheaper to settle than to tie up a bunch of lawyers in trying the case.

Anonymous said...

you guys are in denial

4/25/2008 10:00:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Joe bought himself a new car and says he is out looking for a job.