Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Sunset Reports Out

I've not had time to read them yet, but three new "Sunset" evaluations of Texas criminal justice agencies were released today, including:
See also Sunset reports for:

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Facility Closures
Th e fi ve-year plan, as recommended, directs the Department to develop a master plan for facilities
based on certain goals, including serving youth close to home and locating facilities in areas with an
available workforce. Currently, both the Victory Field facility in Vernon and West Texas facility in
Pyote are located in rural areas that are not close to most youths’ homes, and TYC has diffi culty keeping
these facilities fully staff ed. Victory Field has 336 beds and West Texas has 240, but both are only
budgeted to house 96 youth. None of these beds are specialized treatment beds. On October 16, 2008,
the current youth population was 91 at Victory Field and 86 at West Texas. Closing Victory Field
would save about $11.3 million and reduce 246 FTEs, and closing West Texas would save another $9.0
million and reduce 179 FTEs, as youth are transferred to facilities located closer to urban areas where
staffi ng and services are more readily available.
Also, the Ron Jackson Unit II facility in Brownwood has been under renovation and does not house any
youth. Eliminating the staffi ng and other costs for this facility would result in an additional savings of
$5.1 million along with about 123 FTEs.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense to close West Texas. Even with the low population there, the morale is very low and no one respects management. Little improvement, if any, from the scandal days. A festering sore on TYC, it should be given to another agency that can use it properly.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense to have TYC undergo a major reform byt why TJPC. Granted there needs to be some tweeking with the agency but consolidating an agency that works with one that is broken does not make sense. Close the TYC administrative operations and place it under TJPC's direction, give them 5 years and the entire system will be fixed. Just my 1 1/2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

The morale is low at WTSS, because the pall of closure is hanging over them. WTSS did a better job than most, but we were damaged by one sociopath. All the talk about savings, though, is complete bulls--t. For every dollar saved closing WTSS, two will be spent somewhere else. My WTSS friends will know who wrote this when I say to the sunset advisory committee "be fruitful and multiply," but not in those words. (Thanks Woody Allen). That include you 8:38. I am proud to have worked at WTSS, and I am proud of all of you that put up with all the crap you've put up with trying to help the snotnose brats that no one else in the state really cares about. The management takes a lot of hits, but I think Wallace, Bill, Maria, and Willie are doing the best they can under the circumstances and they have my gratitude and my thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think I hear the fat lady singing up there in Vernon Texas and over yonder in West Texas and Brownwood. Gee, I wonder if the Texas Workforce Commission has enough checks ready for the HUGE unemployment lines that are about to form in those areas?

Anonymous said...

Did you have a particular "Cult Group" in mind there 8:38?

After all, what we read in the papers, especially from your former "Inspector General," who even wrote a book on it all, although unreadable, which really calls questions to the TEA and their quality assurance systems out there, why keep that facility alive? If the staff are that uneducated, what the hell are we producing in this youthful offender population?

Anonymous said...

Those are some bold recommendations based on reading past reports, visiting a sample of facilities & offices, and speaking with administrators and JJ professionals. Kudos to Sunset staff for a straightforward assessment of holes in Texas' "continuim of services."

I work for TYC. I believe in our mission, but I'm not wedded to our organization structure or facilities.

I agree with coordinating assessment tools/databases, treatment programs and aftercare services between TJPC, TYC, and courts. I believe it would help kids if we all be spoke the same language and shared access to services/treatment, information and progressive supervision. There are some important statutes that need to be changed to legally allow this level of coordination. Let's at least get that much done this legislative session.

I would caution decision makers to take a long, hard look at consolidating all of this under one executive administration, HR, IRD, purchasing, training department, etc. The realities of merging are not always cheaper or more efficient. (Would you merge TEA and the THECB to provide a better continuim of education services/successful outcomes for Texas students?)

Despite the extra beds, I think the TYC facilities issue is not an easy fix. The money you save closing one facility will only cover about half the cost of starting up something new, especially specialized treatment. The closer you get to a metropolitan area the more NIMBY issues; and you'll find it just as difficult to recruit and retain qualified staff, because the pay is not competitive. IMO, if it was so politically/economically feasible there would already be a specialized treatment facility in or near the biggest contributor to the JJ system, Harris County.

After some reflection, I realize why the report suggests the abolishment of both TYC & TJPC. The kind of cooperation I suggested above has been repeatedly suggested, recommended, or mandated for both organizations, but not fully realized. Perhaps this is, indeed, a historic opportunity to get all our ducks in a row!

Anonymous said...

The comment about the snotnose brats shows your own attitude about troubled youth. On one else in the state cares, so many at the institution also didn't care and failed to provide treatment to help these snotnoses. That was part of why things got so out of control....management attitudes of indifference and above the law, and why should I do my job; just because I get paid to do it..

The Dance said...

TJPC has what 150 employees at most? Yeah right they are gonna take this thing over...this is all about cutting salary and changing the TYC name to get it out of the news...actually think this isn't a bad idea...yawn....

Anonymous said...

10:45 It is so obvious that you don't work with these kids. Yeah, it's easy to be altruistic when you don't have to work on the front lines. One jerk, Ray Brookins, made these hardworking JCO's look bad. These people care about the kids that you bleeding hearts won't cross the street to help. F--k you, 10:45

Anonymous said...

I bet a TYC Psy would say guilt provokes anger? Why didn't I do more to help these kids? Oh well, pass the blame to another....the TYC motto

Anonymous said...

It's so amazing how many people who've never tried to work with these kids have an opinion about how it should be done. I hope there is a special place in hell for those who watch from outside and judge the people who did what they could while these anal apertures sit on the outside and judge.

Anonymous said...

The OIO certainly came out looking great in this report. It still amazes me how little funding they have compared to all other divisions of TYC.

Anonymous said...

2:14...what's your point? If it is to annoy someone, I think you've succeeded. Now go get a life!

Anonymous said...

8:06 - $11.3 million + $9.0 million + $5.1 million = $25.3 million. How much is it going to cost to build at least two new facilities so that West Texas kids can be close to home? Wasn't $25 million supposed to be appropriated to build one new facility in Harris County? Pyote is closer to El Paso, Amarillo and Lubbock than are Ron Jackson or Gainsville. Where's the money coming from? And let's talk about FTE's. 548 jobs lost. But those West Texas folks deserve to lose their jobs because it's their fault Chip Harrison and Ayo chose to cover up for Ray Brookins. The rest are just collateral damage. Yes, 8:06, your logic is right on for what TYC has become. I wonder how you would feel if it was your livelihood and family' welfare hanging in the balance? I'll bet that you're a Christian too. Thanks for your support.

Anonymous said...

You NEVER get a true picture of the savings or costs to the state in any spending bill. Repeat NEVER.

I have tried to study and learn just what the true status and treatment picture is regarding "the troubled youth" in the TYC facilities, but still a lot of the puzzle pieces just do not fit or make sense.

I am afraid the Sunset Commission and all state agencies are typical bureaucracies and controlled by politics.

99 percent of the game seems to be about presenting a rosy or rosier picture to the public about juvenile justice. The youth themselves are sort of superfluous or "collateral damage". They can put words out that make things seem right and logical and good, but rarely do those words comport with truth or reality.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are complaining now, but when the investigation was in process, many of you chose to protect Chip and Ayo, fully knowing they were part of the sex problems. Now you get stuck with the consequences that you helped create. Both of them are laughing now, on their huge retirements, as they watch you struggle, after covering for their predator sick behavior.

Anonymous said...

"stuck w/the consequences that you created". Bang! Someone finally said it like it really is. Lie with criminals and you get soiled. I mean the management, not our youth.

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