Saturday, June 21, 2008

Isett: TYC could be 'sunsetted'

Not much detail in the article, but the Lubbock Avalanche Journal reports that Sunset Commission Chair Carl Isett says the Texas Youth Commission may be either "phased out or restructured," as well as the Texas Transportation Commission.

Sen. John Whitmire has been proposing to "abolish TYC," but like Isett hasn't given precise details what that might mean other than to shift responsibility for managing most delinquent youth to the counties, presumably funded from the state budget. By the end of the year, however, Isett's Sunset Commission will make suggestions that are much more concrete which will lead directly to legislation in 2009.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why not place TYC under TDCJ? Let those little thugs get their lunch in a different kinda way. Sunset TYC into TDC's care. Yeah, that's the answer.

Anonymous said...

LORD NO! TDCJ can't even find their own rear end to wipe it and smells worse than TYC. Why don't you just line the youth up and "shoot" them!

Go back to your crack pipe and come up with another idea.

7:36 am ....I hope you are being sarcastic!

Anonymous said...

Let the sunset. These turds need flushing. Hell, all they have really done is create good ol boy part 2. The Waco cowboy is showing his ilk and it will not do the trig that tyc needs. He needs firing. So just flush the toilet.

Anonymous said...

The whole purpose of bringing in needlehead was to sunset TYC.
TYC was done in by dementia and bronco billy -- who knows what will follow?

Anonymous said...

Trolling has already started on this blog. If you work for TYC then they need to sunset you. What happen to having a blog to discuss issues, no TYC has to bad mouth people from the get go when a topic pops up.
Maybe it is time they fired everyone and start over. Constantly proving that there are those out there that should not be working with kids.
Stop it people, you will be standing in line waiting for a hand out if you loose your job. Think ahead! I would not blame Scott if he stopped blogging about TYC altogether. If he does it is because of the unprofessionals on this tyc blog.
Ps. Keep your negative response to me, I am not coming back to read your insults, you will be pissing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

IMO, abolishing TYC and placing the "hard core" youth in TDCJ is the solution that has been "on the shelf", for years.

TDCJ Has the Youthful Offender Program (at the Clemens Unit if I remember correctly) for those youth who are 15 or older.

Close the facilties that should have been closed earlier. Use a basic thought process to determine the facilities that could be used by other agencies and transfer the facilties.

Provide TYC staff the opportunity to transfer to other state agencies (if qualified).

The TYC budget is just not producing required results. The lack of "action" from the TYC administration is a major indication that TYC will continue to degenerate.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

If they have to restructure it, putting it under the Juvenile Probation Commission would make a lot of sense because the goal would be to keep them OUT of TYC. If it goes to TDCJ we just get warehousing.

Anonymous said...

Ref. 9:15's comment:That certainly is a step in the right direction (IMO).

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

The irony in all this is that the more the liberals whine about TYC, the more likely the state will sunset it and place these youthful offenders under an agency like TDCJ where rehabilitation takes the form of sitting in a single cell 23 hours a day. You thought a BMP was hardcore, you haven't seen anything like good old fashion warehousing yet. Keep whining liberals, and you'll get something unintended, but very cost effective. They call it "time therapy" over there folks. And that's all it is; time, and a lot of it.

Anonymous said...

To 9:39:
The majority of incarcerated inmates in TDCJ DO NOT stay in their cells 23 hours a day.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

don't do the crime if you can't do the time. mom and dad were wise.

Anonymous said...

Like he or she said 8:51, flushing the piss and poop probably needs to be done. TYC only has about 2k youth under roof now wasting tax dollars. VFCA and WTSS are closing THIS year. No other facility be it a state school, a halfway house or a parole office and I mean none are effective and viable, so close and push those dollars to TJPC. This takes care of DOJ, quiets Whitmire, quiets the ACLU, stops abuse of staff and youth, reduces/removes Worker's Comp (real and fraudulent), hell it takes care of a lot of things.
Call me happy to be gone.

Anonymous said...

Retired 2004, go look at B and C row at TDC's Clemmons Unit and tell me they don't spend 23 hours in their cell. That's your youthful offender program. That's where all your TYC boys go. Those are the disruptive ones, and the majority of today's TYC population would fit in those rows. And the ones on A row, tell me, what kind of rehabilitation are they getting?

And yeah, mom and dad were right. So keep whining liberals.

Anonymous said...

The Youthful Defender Program at TDCJ is hardly more than a name. They have the resources to handle only a fraction of young inmates who are sent to TDCJ and then only a fraction of those get any actualy treatment. The TDCJ RED group has been critical of that program for years. The legislature is aware of the porblem but continues to ingnore the funding needs. It is a problem that will only be compounded by SB 103 requirement no 19 year olds stay in TYC. Already more youth are being certified as adults and sent to TDCJ. The Youthfull Offender Program couldn't handle the population before and it sure won't be able to now.

Anonymous said...

Not only the role of TYC has changed over the years and all the mess that has now surfaced to the top. What is the saying what comes around goes around. The old TYC came under fire many years ago(the Thurman case)and changes were made that we see today in TYC.
I have been with TYC for a long time and the other change is the type of kids TYC is getting today. The kids have changed also.
You now are getting gang bangers and real not "wanta bees" in TYC.
I think the legislators should be looking at that and ACLU and Advocacy groups. IMO, they are still looking at these kids as the sweet boy,girl next door that got into a bad deal. Some of these kids will kill you, if you look at them wrong.
What are these groups doing to us, they are turning the reins over to the youth with all these rights and privilege systems. Just this week another kid beat another kid so bad he was taken to hospital. These are violent offenders that TYC is dealing with and the communities will suffer if they are turned back into society. How many of the ACLU or Advocacy, Legislators kids, grandkids will meet up with some of these kids in the schools and streets?
TYC does need some changes but the ones making those changes needs to know what we are Really Dealing with in TYC Today.

Anonymous said...

How much of the violence seen in TYC is the result of children being in TYC? No one wants to be in prison. Prisoners are regimented to the point of violence by a rule driven agency that has no resemblence to an open society.

TYC is prison.

Children need to go to school. There is no resemblence between TYC and school. Perhaps there does need to be some serious change.

Anonymous said...

TYC does not make the Youth committed to TYC violent. Such a thought is naive.

Anonymous said...

In fact many of the youth respond very well to a sense of structure. Structure can provide security. Lack of family structure and security is part of why the youth in many cases have become parentified, don't respect authority...

Also, TYC school do a very good job of educating the youth, who often don't attend school in the free. TYC classes are not regimented like a standard classroom and allow the youth to progress at their own pace.

Problems with TYC were largely administrative. It grew too large, had poorly trained staff, lost too many experienced staff, and became too "corrections" oriented.

Like many of the youth TYC had "some" administrators and staff who equated "fear" with "respect." In other words, if you swim with "sharks" you better be a "shark" and not a fish. Too many forgot that the secret to TYC's success was to "Firm, Fair, and Consistent."

Anonymous said...

As long as were drifting out to sea we might as well become "Sun-setted". I mean what are we doing, what treatment program do we have (CoNextions or TTP)?

We moved a superintendent from Corsicana to head up CoNextions even though we had treatment specialists who get paid to come up with treatment programming in Austin.

CoNextions has been implemented now for 9 months, and it's not working. We have sent our treatment staff to Florida and Colorado over the past 2 months to observe their programs, why? Wait a minute CoNextions does not work.

And you wonder why TYC will become a tequila sunrise soon, just drink up and wait.

Anonymous said...

There is always a sunrise after a sunset.

TDCJ applies to relatively few youth in TYC. Only about 500 are sentenced offenders.

I am curious to see what they intend to do with the others in "the counties."

You will not be able to simply do away with a rehabilitative/ correctional institutional/ residential system for chronic and severely delinquent youth.

Anonymous said...

CoNEXTions has not been implemented anywhere for 9 months. It is not even implemented in all the facilities at this time. You don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

If the State was really concerned about overcrowding TDC and TYC, then they would spend MORE money before the gates. What I propose is better eductaion and more money to properly fund Juvenile and Adult probation to help offenders before they are "worthless and need prison." Currently probation officers are poorly paid and have caseloads that are too large to spend necessary time with offenders. There have been numerous studies that prove smaller caseloads are conducive to better results in rehabilitation. "Project Spotlight was proof that an officer who spent more time in the offenders neighborhood and home had better insight in how to help the offender better him/herself.

Anonymous said...

I would like to respond to 1:18's comments.

First, "children" is not a good word to use when talking about the students at TYC. I believe most people see the word and think of their own kids and the kids next door. Kids who go to church; kids who play Little League; kids who are in Scouts; kids who speak respectfully to adults; kids who...well, you get the idea. The students at TYC are not the kids next door unless you live in the hood. I have listened to numerous students tell their autobiographies and the conditions these students grew up in are horrible. They have experienced things beyond their years. I have worked with students who have been shot, beaten, sexually assaulted, and more before they came to TYC. Because they were so young when this happened to them, they did not know how to deal with the situation and do not know how to deal with the resulting emotions. Prior to coming to TYC, violence was the response to most of the situations in their family life. Violence is what they learned and violence is what they use. They may be young, but most of them never had anything that we might consider a normal childhood, so please, stop calling them children.

I agree, no one wants to be a prisoner, but I know students who want to stay in TYC because it is the first time they have had people in their lives that truly care about them. It is the first time they got three meals a day. It is the first time they received medical attention. It is the first time they received counceling from a professional case worker and a psychologist.

Next, TYC is getting students who have committed felonies not misdemeanors. Students who have committed felonies tend to be more violent that those who have committed misdemeanors. It is their crimes that removed them from open society. They need to be taught how to properly function in open society. 1:18, your parents taught you some very basic rules and social standards that allowed you to function in open society. Most of these students had no rules and they learned anti-social standards. It is now left to TYC to teach them the bacis rules and social standards.

I refer to all the youth in TYC as students because they are required to attend school. However, I strongerly disagree with the notion that TYC school should be just like public school. Most of the TYC students are two, three, or more years behind where they should be for their age. It doesn't relly matter if the reason is the school failed to meet the student's needs or the student failed to see a need for school, the result is the same. To make TYC into another public school is stupid. TYC should offer all of the courses that are required for a high school diploma because there are some students who want a high school diploma. However, there are those who will never go back to high school and for those, TYC offers GED classes and vocational classes. Some of the vocational classes allow the student to earn a certificate that can help them get a job in the free. TYC must meet the individual needs of each student. Most TYC students need one-on-one help. This does not happen when you have 22 students in a classroom. It rarely happens when you have more than 10. Some of the TYC students are very smart and can learn the material. The problem is very few of them had someone at home who taught them the importance of an eduation.

I have to agree with 1:18; there must be serous change at TYC. In many respects, TYC was a better agency before the lege got involved. There were problems, but none of them were studied before massive changes were made. A lot of money was spent on what amounts to a dog and pony show--fingerprinting, video cameras (that no one monitors), and uniforms. A lot of the changes that were made have not found their way into the GAP. If policies needed to be changed, then the GAP should reflect all of those changes and not just some of them.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. After sunset, it gets real dark and it stays dark for a long time. Will we be stumbing in the dark trying to rehabilitate the juvenile delinquents of Texas? I hope someone lights a candle, but right now, I don't think anyone knows how to strike a match.

Anonymous said...

Sunsetting TYC will be simply sweeping the problem under a rug. That will be good for the politicians who authored the problem to begin with. The problem will still be there and it will rise like a Phoenix to be bigger and badder than it ever was. How can people who caused the problem fix it?

Anonymous said...

01:39 has lerched, uncontrollaby, into the truth.

Anonymous said...

I agree that TYC needs some change and that the youth in TYC are serious offenders who would not hesistate to hurt employees or peers. Putting us under TDCJ is not the answer, they've made a mess of their prison system. They've had more scandals than TYC could ever catch up with but who is screaming to have them shut down? Let us not forget that the some of the mess we are in was created by the TDCJ employees hired under Pope and those that remained as employees after her demise. Wake and smell the coffee, it's starting to become bitter tasting!

There are a lot of trolls on this blog that are very negative and continue to predict gloom & doom for TYC and the closure of facilities. IMO, the top heavy central office administrators should be placed in the field for a good 6 months to a year so they can experience what employees and youth actually go through to make it even one day in TYC. This is the only way they will be able to roll out a treatment program that makes sense. Depending on written reports or stats is not the way to go. One blogger is correct in stating that "children" is not the term for the youth in TYC. They are juvenile offenders!

The outcome of our sunset is out of our hands. Trolls calling for the closure of TYC or certain facilities are just that, TROLLS.

It's obvious to me that the current staff at TYC have been holding the fort because they know what they are doing! It's certainly not because they have a guiding force or a treatment program in process! Yes, we've had some very bad apples in the barrel but you don't throw out the good ones for the sake of the bad ones!
I applaud all the TYC employees with tenure that have not called it quits in spite of the bad PR TYC is receiving from reporters, ex employees or trolls who think they know what should be done with TYC but haven't a clue! Hold your heads up because you are doing a job that is very hard to do and some wouldn't last a day dealing with the type of offenders in TYC.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 8:36. I think we have a few current employees trolling their digrunteled attitudes here, especially one former acting superintendent who seems to have it in for "the Waco Cowboy."

Having worked directly with these kids, I can tell you that the majority of them have had previous treatment attempts on probation and have failed their programs. There are a lot of reasons why they were removed from prior placements, but the number one reason they were removed was for disruptive behavior, or "failure to work the program." If probation and community based treatment programs failed them then, then what makes anyone think anything else is going to change now? TYC is "it" at that point, and all though many of our youth continue to fail in their programs, we don't kick them out until they have at least done their minimum length of stay, and many still stay after that time.

I think people are overreacting to a sunset threat. Sunsetting an agency doesn't mean shutting it down. It can also take the form of repurposing an agency, and that's what I think is occurring. We're sort of doing that now, kicking out misdemeanors, moving kids in medium restriction programs and not making them wait until their MLOS is up (or 3 months prior to it's expiration) before they can move into a less restrictive setting, and so forth. It's going to be a few years to identify areas and placements. But I don't see an end to the high restriction TYC Institutions because the bad of the bad need a cell, and well, we're not running short on those kids.

So, screw these trolls. Don't let them scare you into thinking all this nonesence "doomsday" bullshit their spewing here. Take care mon amigos.

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is that the guy from Waco (if its who we think it is) is on his way out. Heard he's already pissed down their backs. Any truth to that?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely none whatsoever. That maybe "you know who's" wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

Can anybody tell me who's idea was it in the first place to come up with the size of the institutions TYC has right now. Can anybody tell me who's idea was it to place the institutions where they are right now. Can anybody tell me who's idea it was to fund the TYC agency with the dollars it alloted and then ask for cuts to the budgets (give money back). Can anybody tell me who's idea was it to make it seem like everyone that worked for TYC was a child abuser, make it so hard for TYC to hire good people with intergity. I thought this was America. You would alsmost swear that TYC is another Iraq. They have gone into the agency wrecked it and don't know what or how to get out without destroying the whole thing. Hundreds of people's lives destroyed (staff and youth) for what???? GOD BLESS US ALL!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we need Turmans Mountain View State School back on line. It was able to hold 40 to 45 on a dorm with 16 dorms and a very nice crises intervention center. The boys and guards wore uniforms in a double fenced campus, the whole bit. There was schooling, and shop and the harvesting of caliches. The “staff” were well trained to handle the “students”. A true place for real juvenile delinquents and what should have been the real monument to Turmans legacy instead of that silly little law suit. LOL to keep from COL

Sheldon tyc#47333

Anonymous said...

3-4

Wow, I'd hope something like the first post here isn't true. Been away...

But it's going to take those who have been war torn by this whole mess to prove we're able to work with those who choose to work with us for meaningful change. I think we can do it, just takes time, and meaningful change for the better to get the trust back. I'm not worried about sunsetting the TYC. I just want a real change.

Getting rid of foul playing support of goats in Central Office "Residential Programs" such as this .... person who runs from kids is a start, and this MV queen who was walked out of two facilities given their "OK" on how they treated children of this state... is a start. Neither have a clue, but neither had a mix in how decisions are made, and neither cared. And that mentaility, is our demise.

Can we start with an Executive Director anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

1:39....you are right on the money. I've been with TYC for 11 years now, and it sounds like you've been there a while too. You've made more sense than any other commenter to the TYC blog string.

GOOD JOB and very well said!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like those with comments on TYC have never toured TYC sites.
Keep in mind TYC is for children/youth not adults, TYC should not be a version of TDCJ. After SB 103 was passed, it seems that it was ignored, dispite the millions of dollars poured into TYC.
If TYC can't get itself in line with SB 103 with a boat load of cash then something is very wrong with TYC. Nedelkoff is either a lap puppet or a wall shadow. He speaks more to he news media than his own staff. Why can't he speak directly with TYC employees instead of using the newspapers.

Anonymous said...

1-2

3:52am where do you get millions of dollars poured into TYC? Well you forgot to mention we had a "Acting" ED in charge, a loaner from TDCJ who spent the majority of these millions when she was steering the boat.

I can honestly state Teas has some very "Slow" political leaders but cannot in anyway see TYC becoming sun-setted. The counties do not want these youth and even if they did, do not have the infrastructure to house them. I do see a name change and a new ED coming on board but this will be the extent of the sunset commission.

Anonymous said...

The lege actually cut the budget of TYC, drastically. The show trials were just that - smoke and mirrors to divert attention from what was really going on - Texas politicians do not want to spend money on rehabilitation of delinquent youth. That is the real bottom line.

Anonymous said...

7:44,

You need to read the Appropriation Act. Your statement on TYC funding being cut is dead wrong. I covered that on this blog months ago with facts and numbers.

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

The answer for TYC is to strike a balance between corrections (control) and treatment. Without control, treatment will not occur, plain and simple. In a year and four months three attempts have been made to "right the ship" and all have yet to produce a single tangible result. We have no control, we have no treatment program. Conextions is a joke. They've been field testing it for months and still can't get it right. If you don't like how it looks today, wait until tomorrow, it'll change. What we do have is monstrous, functionally useless beauracracy in Austin. These so-called experts haven't done much more than jockey for personal power and bicker among themselves about who knows the most about juvenile corrections and whose ideas are the best. And they keep on coming...it is rumored that we're getting some guy from Louisiana as a new Regioanl Director and giving him the Superintendents house at Giddings. What a plan! And then there's regionalization. Regional Directors, Regional Maintenance Managers, Regional Business Managers, Regional Network Specialists, Regional Human Resources. Most of them are provide little support to their regions, but always seem to find time to go on vacations. Victory Field and West Texas are still on the chopping block making recruitment a real challenge. Suddenly, Sunst doesn't sound too bad.

Anonymous said...

And why do we need all these regional positions? What is Central Office for? A waste of tax dollars.

Annonymous said...

Well, Evins had a "disturbance" last night. At least one staff went to the hospital, one dorm had alot of damage, and staff are near their breaking point.

Anonymous said...

To 10:11,

What Makes you so sure Victory Field and West Texas are on the chopping block. Do you know something I don't know?

Anonymous said...

To 10:11,

What Makes you so sure Victory Field and West Texas are on the chopping block. Do you know something I don't know?

Anonymous said...

Sorry GFB readers...I didn't intend to submit the same comment twice...not sure what happened.

Anonymous said...

Is there a name for this guy from Louisiana?

Anonymous said...

Has anybody heard who is going to be the new superintendent or assistant at Al Price

Anonymous said...

The only reason the populations at both Victory Field and West Texas are going down to 96 is based upon closure. If you have not figured this one out then go read the appropriations bill again. Neither were funded past August and all maintenance projects have been "put on hold".

And last but not least, why is TYC bringing in outside people to run these facilities when they know they will have two facilities shut down and no where to place these staff after closure?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, 8:12 that's a VERY interesting comment. Where can I find this appropriations bill 8:12? I'd sure would like to read it.

Anonymous said...

To 6/28, 7:33 - I know no more or less than anyone else. But having been through a facility closure, all the signs are there. I truly hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

7:33 - I too have need through a facility closure and let me tel you - the writing is on the wall - RAED IT!

Anonymous said...

Scott: I waited to see if anyone else had the same reading as I did. In reading the link to the Avalanch Journal, I never found the quote "Isett: TYC could be 'sunsetted." In fact, I never found Isett making any reference to TYC. Even the reference to TYC being before the Sunset Commission is not a quote. The rest of the story is about TXDOT.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"phased out or restructured" were the words the reporter used on TYC.

My headline may incorrectly imply sunsetted was Isett's phrase, when I put it in quotes because it's such an odd, insider-baseball usage. Sorry if that caused confusion.

Taken with other comments by legislators about "abolishing TYC," etc., however, I framed the article the way I did because the reporter took away from the conversation that the agency may be "phased out."

Anonymous said...

I like angels gold very much because it is very useful. In fact at first sight I have fallen in love with angels online gold. So no matter how much I have spent to buy angels gold, I never regret. Because of cheap angels online gold, I meet a lot of friends.