Sunday, November 09, 2008

Layoffs, re-org at TYC Central Admin

According to Mike Ward at the Austin Statesman:

Twenty-three jobs have been eliminated at the Texas Youth Commission’s Austin headquarters and 12 other positions will be frozen to save $1.7 million, officials said late this afternoon.

Seven employees are being laid off. The rest of the cuts are in vacant jobs.

Jim Hurley, the agency’s spokesman, would not discuss who was laid off.

“We’re not commenting on any names,” Hurley said, noting that the affected employees were given notice yesterday. “This was middle to top level.”

The layoffs will become effective at the end of November, officials said, and are part of a management reorganization — the fourth in two years at the agency.

In an email to TYC staff announcing the changes, Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend said:

One of the hardest jobs for any administrator is making tough decisions that affect our friends and colleagues. No one wants to see any of our coworkers displaced; however, we are confronted with the reality that our current funding level simply will not support the number of positions we currently have in the central office.

At a time when our youth population has been reduced by more than 50 percent, we must acknowledge this changing dynamic requires a significant reduction in central office staff to restore proper balance. After an extensive review, I have instructed the Human Resources Department to conduct a Reduction in Force (RIF) and eliminate twenty-three (23) positions from the central office payroll effective November 30, 2008. I have also instructed HR to freeze an additional twelve (12) positions which are tied to the TYC youth population. Unless there is a significant increase in the TYC population, these positions will be eliminated at the end of this fiscal year. This will result in a net reduction in our budgeted central office personnel costs of nearly $1.7 million.

I have done my best to ensure as few people are affected as possible. The good news is that a majority of the positions to be eliminated are empty. However, seven positions are currently filled and those employees will be adversely affected. We will do everything we can to assist those employees in finding new jobs.

UPDATE: Expect more layoffs to come: In the first exceptional item (pdf) in TYC's Legislative Appropriations Request submitted to the Legislative Budget Board in August, TYC proposed to "reduce agency staff by a total of 172 FTEs each year of the biennium, including 120 Juvenile Correctional Officers, 30 Central Office Administrative staff, and 22 Parole Services staff."

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the RIF at Central Office is just the tip of the iceberg. I expect a facility closure will be next.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 5:45 just the beginning of the end for several facilities. CRTC, Vernon, are in the hot seat.

Anonymous said...

it's about time, we have grown so much (top heavy) under Pope and no one seem to care (legislator from Houston). And now we have someone who realizes this and will begin the process no one else wanted to do. I would say another 400 employees lose their jobs or current jobs that sit vacant and two facilities will close over the next 30 days.

Anonymous said...

We all know that many positions in Austin were created for 'favorite people'. The wasteful ones need to go. Those protected in the past should now worry, as Cherie weeds out the kiss-ups who only occupy space.

Anonymous said...

This woman is all business. Call me a polyanna, but I finally have some hope for some real change.

Anonymous said...

Holy Moses. The new director must have read "Raped by The State", or just followed the hallway odor to the proper OOL's, that needed her attention!

Anonymous said...

I think I heard Whitmire tell the conservator and maybe Cherie to reduce the size of CO. She does not deserve the blame or credit for this action, IMO.

Anonymous said...

One should not take blame or credit, but rather good old common sense for taking action.

Anonymous said...

She is all business as 8:33 said. We should back her all the way. This is the new TYC we hoped for.

Anonymous said...

Well, I agree that she is trying to build a better mouse trap. Grits left out a part of her email though, which raises somewhat of a question. She hired two new people into upper level positions. From their job titles, I am wondering if they were absolutely necessary, given 7 others were let go. I guess I am just questioning her timeing on it. It makes it hard if you are one of the seven being let go to fully believe that it is a matter of economics and streamlining, when you turn around and put back two new positions. But I guess that's called "dealers choice".

Anonymous said...

This action was needed. TYC now has a leader.

Anonymous said...

So, who all got rif'd?

Anonymous said...

How many campuses are "exploding--imploding" right now?

Anonymous said...

Everything is okay fine now. Things are looking positive and hopeful. Let's give Cherie a chance. Nothing to see here anymore. Just move on.

The legal cases against the top administrators who were most culpable are apparently being "put on hold" by the Texas Attorney General.

Let's get the names of those defendants out loud and clear.

The Attorney General is just "dragging their feet" and the problem is that crime is not a crime so that agency's criminality will continue to go unchecked.

The crimes committed by TYC officials were often of a nature of "failure to take action". You have to prove "what did they know and when did they know it." Seems to me those "sins of omission" have always been easy to get away with and never be legally punished.

I believe the adult prisons in Texas are every bit as corrupt as the TYC and have been for decades.

I hope having a positive hopeful outlook on the new top administrator does not translate to letting all the people in the state agencies and Texas legislature off the hook and just sweeping the past under the rug?

There is a terminal malignancy over the entire TYC that has metastasized to the top level of Texas government and really also to the U.S. Executive.

Several of the top administrators of TYC are still alive and now "moved on" or "retired." I want to see those people locked up for a very long time. Then and only then to we have reason for hope.

The people at the governor's office, and the state represenatives and senators who tried to keep all this quiet and make it all go away need to have their names named widely and publicized and kept in the public eye.

"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice for they shall be satisfied."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Please stay on topic, people. This comment string is not the place to whine about administrators at your unit, and I just eliminated such a comment.

I cannot police these strings constantly (or I'd never have time to write), so TYC commenters please assist in self policing. Most people here are constructive, but these few who just want to rant about their own unit need to start their own staff blog for that or go to www.thebackgate.org message boards - this simply isn't the place for it.

Anonymous said...

"All we are saying...is give peace a chance." ~John Lennon

Anonymous said...

Why so secretive? The names will eventually come out. WHO was layed off? Will it help or hurt the TYC?

Anonymous said...

If you see the update, of the staff being eliminated, the writing is on the wall, TYC will be reduced to a fraction of its former self, or will be under an umbrella with another agency (i.e. TDCJ, TDPRS, TJPC, etc.).

Anonymous said...

12:31PM: Of the two hired, Dr. Jeffords's skills and experience would be hard to duplicate from the pool of CO employees. If for no other reason than to make sure we are not comparing apples to oranges when words like "recidivist" are being bandied about. Would be nice to have a sense of professional ethics in place as well. In concert with that, we need an extraordinarily skilled person for Legislative liason. Even if Sunset or the Leg on its own decides to put TYC under another umbrella, it might be a good idea to have the right ears listening when we try to tell them which one is most appropriate.
I can sincerely wish those who got riffed find good work quickly...doesn't matter if they came from TDCJ; neither they nor their families need to be in the unemployment line just because they worked for TYC.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that last comment. Chuck Jeffords was one of the states best, and it sure sucked to see him go. To see him back gave me a reason to cheer. The EC is an improvement from the last three ED's - Pope, Owens, and, we'll forget his ass that got us to this, but she's sure is in line Robinson and Jackson, both of whom mentor her today :) surpise! It's Obama like, time for a change!

Anonymous said...

cancur. Even though those other people came to TYC thinking they could 'save TYC', but then realized that TYC was beyond repair; even they need support. So sad that the TYC management allowed TYC to sink so low. Too bad that these folks don't get to visit the inside of a prison, for an extended time. Perhaps then, they would realize how they ruined the lives of countless youth, good employees and undermined the public trust; let alone destroyed a once proud commission!

Anonymous said...

0723....why be shy. Everyone knows when DH and his family came into power, the agency went to hell. He and his thu...s promoted sex abusers and covered for others abuses. How he and his cronies stayed in power so long is beyong belief. Corruption always has an end, but he sourly effected so many other good employees; before the truth came out. Thanks to those who brought out the truth. The extra tragedy is....he and his cohort pals draw state money and laught about the whole scandal they created; and got away with.

Dallas is Choking Damit! said...

Inappropriate Grits: It needs to go to the "mosh pit."

"Holy Moses. The new director must have read "Raped by The State", or just followed the hallway odor to the proper OOL's, that needed her attention!"

That's really inmature, and only invites a counter, and if you want focused replies, I'd suggest removing because it'll provoke another round of off-topic remarks by field and retired and/or current CO staff responding and whoever this person is. It makes it difficult to assess what the professionals are saying for those who've been watching on the outside.

No more "Joe's" if you recall that experience. - I'll send you an e-mail when it comes up again since we need to police ourselves. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It makes it difficult for professionals. You must be talking about yourself, and probably in a dream world. The so called professionals got TYC in the shape it's in now. Go figure that!

Anonymous said...

Leticia, Christine M, Alphonso at the top.

Anonymous said...

Are we on topic here?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr sensorship. This is about layoffs, etc in TYC. Who else got the axe?

Back Gate Staff said...

We don't know who got the axe? Why do you care? You seem like a little sickly person wondering out loud to be honest. Don't bring your bullshit to the back gate either because we will delete you and your none-sence ideas as well.

Anonymous said...

"Holy Moses. The new director must have read "Raped by The State", or just followed the hallway odor to the proper OOL's, that needed her attention!"

I believe Randy Chance has every right to promote his book anywhere he can, but before you buy it, I suggest you read the reviews at amazon. I would ignore Texas Lawyer, though. It is obvious that he didn't read it.

Anonymous said...

The topic is lay-offs at TYC. These three folks were affected by the lay offs. Please bring other discussions elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Reporting directly to the Exec. Comm. are General Counsel (includes Youth Rights and Release Review Panel), Inspector General, Internal Audit, Gov't Relations (Government Relations is the "new" position at the top,replacing Chief of Staff), Public Affairs, Dir of Admin Services -Robin McKeever(Training is now back under HR and HR is under the Administrative section. Also in this section is Finance, IRD, and Research (Chuck Jeffords is replacing Christine McCormick. She is taking another position at TYC I hear). Residential Services has assumed Parole, and Contract Care along with Community Justice and Re-entry are in this section. Treatment has five departments: Health Services, CoNEXTions, Client Management, Specialized Treatment, and Education/Workforce Development. Not yet organized is Policy, Accreditation and Quality Assurance section.

Coming soon is "right-sizing" the residential programs which will probably result in more job losses. Since all current open positions are "frozen" every effort is being made to move those who lose their job into another TYC position.

All of this makes good political and business sense, but difficult for those who now into the fourth reorganization in 18 months.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the layoffs are still top priority when the LBB analysts predict an increase in youth population over the biennium.

Anonymous said...

Hey 10:01, what I'm seeing is ALOT of kids released to parole are actually are going back in institutions because they're absconding on parole. I think they should reconsider massive layoffs in the field until they get a little more data on revokees and new commitments. You have to account for revokees along with new commitments, and then take a look at how many of these kids go on parole right on their minimum. Go look at the trends and you tell me if you think it's wise to lay off so many JCO's with no contracts in place to take these kids. And if that's the case, and they want them closer to the big five counties, they had best poney up the funds because you saw how much we were going to pay for Eagle Lake beds? A lot more than we pay per kid in TYC facilities, and the closer you get to those five counties, the higher the cost will be. Watch.

Anonymous said...

Just being fair: One review by the Pyote person who was involved in abuse, and his relative , both posted the same day; are obvious slams as revenge against the author. They both have reason to trash the book. The other two reviews back this up.

Anonymous said...

The Texas Governor appointed all of the people to lead TYC into the ground. If you think the new leader of TYC is any different from the past list of experts is any different then you are out of touch with reality. I have said this very thing after each new appointment of a savior for TYC and gotten blasted for it. Each time I have been correct in my opinion no one should expect much positive change. Layoffs are coming to many at TYC to bring it in line with SB-103 as well as numerous closures of TYC facilities. There is money to be made at the expense of the tax payers by big business in the private prison business. After it all goes to hell the tax payers get to rebuild the prison units and pay off the law suits.

Anonymous said...

That has absolutely nothing to do with this topic. Please blog about that elsewhere. This issue TYC is facing with these proposed JCO layoffs is far more important than some stupid book review.

Anonymous said...

That was meant for 12:01

Anonymous said...

10:27 - I think that's the reason they're bringing Chuck Jeffords back. He'll be able to articulate all that with his research. That doesn't mean ole' Elmer will listen though.

Anonymous said...

GFB: The LAR piece you posted said:

"reduce agency staff by a total of 172 FTEs each year of the biennium, including 120 Juvenile Correctional Officers, 30 Central Office Administrative staff, and 22Parole Services staff."

So that means 344 layoffs during the next biennium, and 240 of those are JCO's. That can happen by just by attrition alone. Is that right or am I reading this wrong? If the goal is to get more kids back in their communities at home, why in God's name would you want to reduce parole staff? Hell, you'd think they need additional resources if that's the case! That really doesn't make sence unless they are moving to contract out parole as well, which has been discussed before.... which may be the first step in a merger with TJPC?

Someone w/knowledge of that LAR in Central Office needsfess up to what's going on here. I think I've about had it with these surprises.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

No, no, no!! Just 172 total. (As if that's not already a lot.) It's a biennial budget so they're saying it would reduce the FTE amount by that much in both budget years.

Good point to the commenter above about the LBB population projections vs. budget cuts. I don't know how those two figures square.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least it appears that Cherie may be going about this in the right way by laying off folks, instead of the way Kimbrough did by kicking employees to the curb with no respect for them or their families. But, hey, all that will be worked out by the lawyers, right Jay ;)

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but we are really hurting in Crockett. Who or why was RS placed as the acting Superintendent?

Every day brings another assault and our fearless Superintendent and Assistant are never seen or heard from.

If you want to reduce staff close us down, at this rate it will soon happen.

Anonymous said...

GFB:

Thanks for clearing that up. But once again it seems like we have to come here to get answers. But still, am I one of 22 parole officers going to get it? I wish someone would just get it over with and tell us who is going, like what facility is going to get it and when, and what parole areas will get it. It's just horrible timing with the economy and all. I wished they'd just come clean with it so we have time to try and re-start another career.

Anonymous said...

3:02 and GFB. Good questions about the LAR. Cherie isn't using the LBB's projections for these decisions. She is planning regionally and based on what she wants to see and who she wants around her. LBB's numbers are not by region and are only based on a partial fiscal year (2007) at that. She is cutting vacant positions first. So, parole, you may want to tally the number of vacancies up first. The rest may go through attrition. Those left will have to work even harder, sorry to say.

Anonymous said...

In regard to the layoffs. wouldn't it be best to remove the insiders who promoted the TYC corruption, covered it up and protected their like minded friends? Too many of these still lord it over the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

3:20, RS is at Crockett because he is in the pants of RC. TYC's motto should be TYC - it's not about what you know, but who you blow.

Anonymous said...

This TYC mess will continue to go on and on until a new Governor is elected in 2010. If you can hang on until then, maybe things will calm down, but as long as Perry is trying to hide his ass from the fact he knew what went down at WTSS, there will be NO REFORM. READ MY LIPS: HUTCHISON in 2010.

Anonymous said...

lol! READ MY LIPS: TERM LIMITS! THAT'D COVER ELMER AND THE GOV!

Anonymous said...

GFB,

I sound stupid for asking this but I keep hearing about regionalizing TYC, and I really don't understand what that really means. I know we'll have three or four regions, but what exactly is going to be different from this model vs. what we're doing now or rather what we did before the conservatorship? Is this only a way to keep kids closer to home? They will have to be assigned a program in their home region? What if they're capital offenders and their region doesn't offer that service? What if they're sex offenders and have that treatment need but his/her home region doesn't offer those services? Same with CD treatment. Then what? Maybe one of the CO people can explain this since our supervisors don't even know.

Anonymous said...

I think the goal is to have specialized treatment in all regions, and enough for all with the need. Sounds unrealistic, but that's the goal.

Anonymous said...

Here's a thought, everyone that believes that Gov. Perry knew about the WTSS sex scandal shortly after it happended, but did nothing about it until it hit the media should write their Senator and Representative and request a Legislative investigation to see if Gov. Perry failed the citizens and youth of the State of Texas. Wouldn't the findings be interesting?

Anonymous said...

It would just be covered up, and you could call that "Round 2."

Anonymous said...

They are looking at keeping certain programs centralized, such as capital offenders and sex offenders, but placing the majority by region. General offenders would be regional. The agency couldn't afford to put all specialized treatment in each region.

Anonymous said...

You bet goodhair's staff knew. The budget analysts who had the agency assigned to them, one of them was Alfonso, knew. The staff could have done more to get the situation taken care of without hurting the governor. It just wasn't done.

Hollis Rules said...

Billy Hollis - a Texas Hero. He's the one who opened it all up. Thank you Billy Hollis! Alone, you saved many by calling it out as it occurred, being brave enough to do so, and so thank you amigo. Billy Hollis challenged the Central Office and won. No other put himself on that line like Billy Hollis. He deserved your praise, and he got it. Hollis/Palin in 12. (even though hollis is a hippy - he's a good man and not a racist red). - I credit Billy Hollis, Swanson, and Blanskee with TYC reforms.

Anonymous said...

That is interesting 9:06, and it makes a lot of sense too? I know Giddings is the location for capital offenders. What is your best guess on the location for the sex offenders since they don't have a current location?

Anonymous said...

Correction: My first statement was intended to be a sentence, not a question.

Anonymous said...

10:24: I don't know about the sex offenders. If I had to guess I'd say Giddings for them, too. Depends a lot on where the resources for the treatment programs can be found I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Regional services means having as many services as feasible in each area of the state. However, with the dearth of qualified SO therapists, this program may need to be located in major metro areas. As for CD and MH, those will probably be possible in each region. Mostly, it will apply to internal support services. As to the contracting of program services, I'm nor sure of the justification for continuing to look at contracted residential care since it now is more costly to run. It is, however, very costly to start up these programs even within the state system, so perhaps the cost balances out in the end.

Anonymous said...

10:20,

What reform? Show me the convictions of the perps alleged to have started this whole mess. If there are no convictions against the two alleged perps from WTSS, will Hollis, Swanson, and Blanskee look like the three stooges?

Anonymous said...

Bill deserves credit for his courage, but I'm sure he'd appreciate not getting the blame for all the crap that has taken place since Blakesee covered the story. By the way, the WTSS story was all over the local news soon after it occurred. If it was covered up by anyone, it was the MSM that didn't pick up on it until two years later.

Anonymous said...

10:20 said
Billy Hollis - a Texas Hero. He's the one who opened it all up. Thank you Billy Hollis!

Yes, maybe so.

However, in most cases those who wouldn't go along got it from all sides. In most cases, nobody seems to care what happens to those who wouldn't go along with the corruption. We are too busy rewarding the dirty insiders.

Anonymous said...

Billy came in way late! When he was at San Saba w/Brookings, as he engaged in sex abuse there; why not act then? Why wait until youth were abused at WTSS? Yes, those who fought the criminals in charge were bashed at the time. How come Billy got promoted? Think about it.Hero? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read or hear that others brought out the TYC corruption before Bill came along? Could be wrong, but don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for. All the back stabbing, negative talk, lack of support, etc. may come back to haunt TYC. Here is the link to the Sunset Report which recommends the ending of TYC.

http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/81reports/tyc/tyc_sr.pdf


http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/81reports/tyc/tyc_sr.pdf

Anonymous said...

It recommends merging with the Juvenile Probation Commission with a new 11-member board.

Anonymous said...

READ MY LIPS:

BILL HOLLIS IS A FREAKING HERO, AS WAS THAT VOLUNTEER, AS WAS THAT RANGER, AS WAS VIDUARRI, AS WAS MANY MORE, INCLUDING BLANSKEE AND SWANSON, THAT FINALLY NUTTED UP AND WERE NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING THAT MAY HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF WHAT THEY SAID AS CURRENT EMPLOYEES TO HARRIS' ADMINISTRATION AND REVEALED. I SALUTE THEM ALL. - Thanks guys if any of you read this because you, and only you, DESERVE IT. THANKS FOR BEING WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE - BRAVE.

Anonymous said...

We need a correction on the blog: check your history 3:36 - Billy wasn't at San Saba when Brookins was there. That was Lydia and then Marian Deans. Marian was Lydia's assistant and then when Marian became superintendent, Jimmy Flinn became her assistant. Pervert Bookins was the DOS then.

Hollis was never in charge at San Saba when Brookins was there.

To the next post, yes there were warnings from several, but they had now power to effect a change when Dwight Harris simply didn't "want to hear it." I am not kidding either. That's what was bullshit, and should be the headlines next following the Brookins/Hernandez trials.

Anonymous said...

Someone is afraid their job is about to be eliminated, so they are sucking hard at Hollis, to save their butt! Typical TYC insider that was part of the problem in the first place!

Anonymous said...

Sorry 8:04 - I'm retired now and still a "nigger" according to you, and know the history. I was there.

When you put something out there, at least check your facts.

Anonymous said...

The more who caused the troubles and retire, ...the better for the ones left who must clean up the mess.

Billy R. Hollis said...

11/12/08-8:04 pm - I am available to discuss your comments face-to-face at your convenience.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Blubber. Anyone who has ever worked inside an institution knows when big sexual incidents are taking place, plus anything other that is a big deal; people know about it. Getting people to talk is the problem. There are those involved, those who just watch and state nothing, those who activly cover-up, and those that simply don't care. Even though not in charge, if you watch and allow it, you are part of the problem! That is what brought TYC to its knees, which many wanted to see.

Anonymous said...

Hey Billy - he didn't have the balls to stand up and acknowledge what he alleges now back then and yell to the f'ing world (like you did) when he was employed there, so I doubt he'd come to your calling despite the fact he's right down the road from you. I'd ignore the "Rant."

Anonymous said...

Idiots just won't go away!They don't know the whole story, but pretend to..., to impress themselves.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is with several facilities in the "hot seat" someone needs to look a little closer at gainesville. GNS has slowly become what we would go assist other facilities with. Change is always welcome but with all the changes headed our way employees are dropping like flies....and I'm referring to supervisors. Someone please help!!!! Somewhere along the way we lost focus and vision on what are true responsibilities are. Current leadership will ruin GNS and lead to something catastrophic. GNS is one big "incident" away from students and staff getting seriously injured. "CYA" is more important than doing what is right.

Anonymous said...

"CYA" and the 'Code of silence" is rampant throughout TYC. The virus consumes line staff and administrators. You lie and cover for me today and I'll return the favor-code, when you need protection. The youth see it and learn the code to take back home and to the streets. Really good rehab. You're not alone at Gainsville....there's plenty employee bad-good ole boys still in the system.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree. See a psy - they're tripping over each other at the pyote site. You appear to need a lot of help!

Anonymous said...

Ok.

Anonymous said...

I heard there were more psychologists at the West Texas Ranch, than there are youth? Does anyone know if that is correct? The youth must be receiving valuable treatment?

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows there is more to the story than what you indicate. TYC buys and pays their administrators, that's a fact. They don't go away and simply return...all forgiven. That's the thinking that brought TYC to where it is now. Grow up and stop trying to veil the truth! Anyome who kept up with what happened knows you all full of crap.

Anonymous said...

Does MHMR exist in West Texas? Does it cover former state school employees?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Hey folks, Bayes, Lydia, Hollis, Crockett etc., are far off the topic of this post so please just stop. REALLY. STOP!!!

I swear to God I've considered just eliminating comments on TYC strings, and at a minimum I might start shutting them off after some arbitrary cutoff like 25 or 30. You people need to take this crap somewhere else.

And to those who find my comment here confusing, it's because when I'm done I'm going to eliminate at least the most recent offending comments and shut off the comments on this string.

Grow up, and get over all these old, petty feuds that frankly just don't matter anymore.