Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sunset: TYC's treatment programs failing miserably

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series analyzing highlights from the Texas Youth Commission/Juvenile Probation Comission "Sunset" staff report released last month. The Sunset Commission will meet on Monday, Dec. 15 in Austin to receive public comments regarding the report.

Some of the most critical sections of TYC's Sunset Commission staff report (pdf) relate to shortcomings in the agency's treatment programs. Although these criticisms were described as part of a recommendation to merge the agency with the Juvenile Probation Commission, I'm not sure exactly how either merging the agencies or shifting some of the kids to county control will directly improve limited treatment access or low success rates. Even so, by the measures Sunset staff looked at, TYC's treatment programs - both general and specialized - can only be described as a colossal failure:
TYC cannot ensure that youth with identified needs receive treatment or that treatment programs are effective. The Youth Commission identifi es more youth in need of specialized treatment programs than it serves, as shown in the chart, TYC Specialized Treatment Enrollment and Completion. For example, of the 284 youth TYC identified as in need of sexual behavior treatment programming in fiscal year 2007, only 46 percent were enrolled in such a program.

Furthermore, only 50 percent of the youth enrolled that year completed the program. Despite the documented need for more treatment, in fi scal year 2008, the agency only used 61 percent of its specialized treatment budget. TYC received funding for an average daily population (ADP) of 934 specialized treatment beds, and only served an ADP of 571 youth, leaving 363 treatment beds vacant. While the agency explains this as a result of its reduced population, staffi ng vacancies, and closed facilities, failure to use these beds meant that youth in need went untreated.

Internal policies and practices may contribute to low enrollment and completion rates for specialized treatment. Youth identifi ed with multiple treatment needs typically only receive residential treatment for one of their needs. TYC’s case management standards require youth to be removed from some treatment programs for behavioral problems or failure to progress, which may prevent the most troubled youth from receiving treatment.

The Youth Commission’s specialized programs show low success rates, and the general treatment program cannot be evaluated yet. Recidivism data for these specialized treatment programs has not always supported the programs’ effectiveness. For example, in 2007 youth who completed sexual behavior treatment had higher recidivism rates than youth who did not complete treatment. TYC notes that it has recently adopted a new, research-based chemical dependency curriculum that it hopes will be more effective, but its impact cannot yet be shown. (pp. 16-17)
A chart on page 17 of the report informs us that while 71% of TYC inmates who need chemical dependency treatment get it, that number drops to 32% for offenders with mental health needs.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you do when you have a bipolar youth who has mental health issues, but his aggressiveness and assaultive history make him dangerous to the other youth in the MH program? At some point, don't you protect the other youth? Sometimes, you can't have your cake and eat it too. You have to make choices.

Anonymous said...

Go figure. How much does a LCDC make in TYC? How much does a SOTP make? Why would anyone want to work in that agency with that salary when we can go to the private RTC's and earn double that and have the same, if not better benefits? It's very simple: you really get what you pay for, and that's the case here.

Also, do you recall when they fired several LCDC two years ago on the felony sweep? I don't see that in the Sunset report.

Earlier we asked, why do we need a "Sunset Commission" when we already have John Whitmire? Seems as though the state could save a lot of money by abolishing the sunset commission. Afterall, all they did was take his notes and write this report, so it seems. His staff could have done that, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Is this not in violation of Morales v Turman?
There was something to the effect in the judges words talking about the whole culture was bad and the facility is to be closed. How do the actions of a facility’s culture warrant punishing the facility? Closing a useful facility and moving the culture does not seem to abide by the court order. The reality, the whole culture is bad so let’s move it to Giddings, San Saba, MART, hay spread the disease. Then when the disease gets public attention lets punish the facility by sending it to TDC and move the diseased culture to somewhere else. Perhaps this methodology makes since to politicians, social workers and red necks with little person syndrome but to this Engineer its seems counterproductive, retarded. 120+ year cultural history of physical, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse perpetrated on the throw away kids of Texas and, obviously still going strong.

So Grits, I heard about all the unmarked graves of children found in Florida’s youth reform school. I wonder how many murdered boys in unmarked graves are at Gatesville. On the dorm you always knew when someone ran what happen to them. I can remember a few boys that we just knew those brutal red necks murdered in the field. It will be interesting when that comes out. Y’all know the place is haunted.

Sheldon tyc#47333

Anonymous said...

Sheldon,

The Texas State Library has documents listing the names, death dates, and causes of death of about a dozen or so boys who were buried at Gatesville between roughly 1890-1930.

Most of the official CODs were accidental, such as "struck by lightning," or disease-related.

My sense is that even these deaths were largely preventable results of neglect, poor conditions, or too many hours spent laboring outdoors.

Also, it's likely these were boys who either had no family or whose family couldn't or wouldn't bury them elsewhere.

The only significant case I know about from this period in which a guard killed an inmate occurred in 1921, and I describe it in my book (you'll have to wait till next fall for details).

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Correction: The boys' names have been redacted from that list.

BB

Anonymous said...

Many of you pretend this is all new in TYC. Its been going on for many years; since DH came to power, at least. Youth have received very little treatment and some have returned to TYC four and five times. Look at youeselves and don't try to project blame to others. The employees in TYC, through failure on their own part, have brought this agency to the shameful place it now occupies. Don't ask for more money, you don't deserve it. Start earning what you now get!

Anonymous said...

Message from TYC Executive Commissioner Cherie Townsend
December 2, 2008


Dear TYC Staff:

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I wanted to make you aware of two new reports we placed on our website this afternoon. The first is our agency response to the recent staff report issued by the Sunset Advisory Commission. In this response, we’ve presented an accurate, factual appraisal of where TYC is today. We also state that we strongly disagree with the recommendation to abolish both TYC and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission and to combine the functions into one large agency. The next step in the process is the Sunset Advisory Commission meeting which is scheduled for December 15, 2008.

Additionally, we have completed and placed online our final report on the implementation of Senate Bill 103 reforms. This report was submitted to the Joint Select Committee on the Operation and Management of TYC and state leadership on Monday, December 1. I believe the report is a thorough examination of just how far this agency has come since March 2007, what we have accomplished, and what issues we need to continue addressing. This report reinforces for me that we need to continue to keep our focus on the reform requirements f SB 103, the introduction of best practices and evidence-based treatment models into TYC operations and the regionalization of all our operations, including re-entry, rather than add a new component to reform such as establishing a new agency. As noted in the executive summary, a broad number of stakeholders, including the Governor and his staff, legislators and legislative staff, TYC conservators, Texas families, TYC employees, crime victims, juvenile justice advocates and other vested parties contributed their time and expertise to bring us to this point. I want to particularly express my gratitude to you for the dedication and hard work you have already given and for your continuing commitment to support reforms and future system improvements.

I think you’ll find both reports interesting and informative. I encourage you to read them.

You will find the Sunset response at: http://www.tyc.state.tx.us/reform/TYC_Sunset_Response.pdf
The final SB 103 report is at: http://www.tyc.state.tx.us/reform/SB103_Final_Report.pdf



Cherie

Anonymous said...

Did the sunset report speak to county operated programs?

Anonymous said...

Just read the first part of TYC's response to the Sunset report, the section responding to consolidation. Very persuasive arguments here, nails a couple of problems:

1. If combined, the two agency functions would be competing for financial resources. This is precisely what happened to TYC in the 1950s and 60s, with destructive effect.

2. Inadequate, inconsistent treatment programs won't be improved inherently by consolidation. Instead, and I quote, this

"...is more a function of limited resources than lack of collaboration between agencies that treat youth at different points in the juvenile justice system. TYC must be fully funded to treat all youth committed to its care and local community based probation programs need adequate funding to meet the specialized treatment needs of youth they serve in the counties."

To which I say: Bingo, Yahtzee, Eureka, etc. This has ALWAYS been the biggest problem.

Let's see how that is received by the lege.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bush have you considered the possibility Governor Perry is steering TYC and the Juvenile Probation System toward a new combined agency to allow for more contract care opportunities for his political supporters. It appears our current V.P. is heavily invested in private prison operation in Texas so why should we not believe all of the action with TYC is motivated by money for private contractors. Private prisons and rent-a-jails are big business in Texas. Why not move into juvenile justice where the daily cost per inmate could be much higher for contractors? Our Governor is willing to sell out Texans public highways to foreign investors so why should we not believe he would not do the very same thing to the youth of Texas who are on probation or in TYC?

From day one of the TYC affair I have believed it was not about making things better for the youth of Texas. After seeing the people our Governor put in charge of TYC I am even more convinced he was trying to destroy TYC. Jay Kimbrough had no real juvenile experience and the people who followed him came from adult corrections. In my opinion Jay Kimbrough did nothing but grab headlines to make it appear positive things were happening when in fact his job was to tank TYC. Kimbrough was followed by Ed Owens, who Federal Court Documents show was heavily evolved is serious a sexual misconduct cover-up at TDCJ. Mr. Owens resigned from TYC days after the Dallas Morning News printed an article about his involvement in the sexual misconduct cover-up at TDCJ. Next came Ms. Pope who has ties to Mr. Owens and Senator John Whitmire. She was able to bring TYC to an all time low during her tenure. By the time these three political operatives were done with TYC it was beyond saving. Rick Perry has had his hand in the TYC affair long before the misconduct was exposed in the media.

I do not believe the public will ever know the entire truth regarding TYC but it is obvious Rick Perry and his political operatives never intended to restore TYC. The many progressive juvenile strategies presented on this blog show there are people available to lead TYC. I think Governor Perry delayed bringing in professional juvenile justice people to run TYC until it was too late to save the agency.

FTM

Anonymous said...

Bill,

If history is any indication of how the ledge will respond to Cheri's retort, how do you think they'll respond?

I mean, Whitmire's been around a long time and heard all this before. Cheri makes a valid argument, and most people in this profession will agree. But historically, it doesn't matter when we have John Whitmire in office. We need term limits in Texas.

Anonymous said...

It appears that the gentleman who wrote the book about TYC, knew what he was talking about. I continue to see areas he exposed, such as the failed treatment programs, being brought out by others. I guess his book was the 'center-piece of the scandal", afterall.

Anonymous said...

John Whitmire didn't invent underfunding. The problem is much, much larger than any individual legislator.

BB

Anonymous said...

I have major issues with the way Sunset presented this information. I don't think they really have the expertise to examine the effectiveness of specialized treatment programs. They don't even mention the violent offender program. Seems hard to lump them all together and just because there are high recidivism rates with some programs to call them unsuccessful. Violent, drug addicted youth, are going to have problems. The youth in the Sex Offender Treatment are not impulsive acting out youth. These are youth who for the most part committed serious sexual sexual crimes, typically aggravated sexual assault.

The sunset commission also has to consider the significant changes in TYC programs, the lack of resources provided to all treatment programs, and recent changes made to treatment programs.

The mental health program is ill prepared to handle higher functioning aggressive youth.

Reforms certainly need to continue, and are being implemented, and improvement certainly can be made but I am tired of the responses about how unqualified the staff in TYC are. Most tenured and professional staff in TYC have good credentials. Unfortunately they aren't paid enough to keep around very long. The majority of staff in TYC work very long hours, although there are exceptions. Unfortunately, there are so many vacancies due to low pay that these staff really can't be weeded out.

Anonymous said...

Tenure staff are not all leaving because of pay, they are leaving because of the lack of control that they have with the youth these days.
You can not treat out of control kids until you get them in control. Tyc at this point has no control over the youth in their care. Unless you actually work there on a daily basis no one can understand or see the problem. Fixing TYC from a far or arm chair quaterbacking is not working because one can not fix what they don't see in the real world of TYC.
What one does with paper and pencil does not mean it works! Even if your building a house by the house plans 9X's out of 10 you will have to make some major changes to it once the boards go up.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

"John Whitmire didn't invent underfunding." I agree, he's not alone, but he sure has a heavy influence.

If he wants to wear that Dean cap, then he needs to accept some responsibility for the TYC mess, not just underfunding the agency, and for that matter TJPC, as well as getting involved in poorly planned design failures such as those 96 bed open bay units in TYC facilities, but none more than specifically acknowledging that TYC let him know about what occurred at West Texas to which he replied "brief us later."

It's on tape, and the tape doesn't lie, down play, or otherwise dismiss any personal responsibility. His pepper spray first, ask questions later policies, need to be compared to those who exercise common sense first vs. those who exercise impulsive and punitive practices. He certainly liked that Pope Witch. We all saw her fate. I'll never forget singing that Wizard of Oz song when she got walked.

"The problem is much, much larger than any individual legislator." Agree, but who leads them?

These issues are not new, and neither is Whitmire. He is the common denominator though, and that's evident.

I know you've been in Nevada, but this Whitmire is a Chicago Rod if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Ok Bill, I’m sure the people of TYC and the Gatesville state school for boys kept adequate records. After all tyc has no reason to keep secrets from the public they have an open book. It wasn’t like the good towns people of the aria had nothing but love and understanding for the commodities who provided income to the community. The governor himself in 1969 said that GSSB should be commended for the job its employees do, of course he was a former state representative from the aria.
TYC has been managed by a majority of brutal people with little person syndrome who have abused the children of Texas since 1889. The agency is responsible for turning kids into monsters. The culture is a disease worst than hiv and it is utter foolishness for anyone to think that agency will ever help any child in a productive way. It’s the states prep school to prison.
The word Gatesville has historically been associated to a culture of brutal ignorant child abusers whose primary business sanctioned by the state has been implementing cruel atrocities against human beings. Morales v Truman wasn’t about to close one of the states greatest assets in implementing cruel and unusual punishment, its focus just changed from children to adult females.
I look forward to your book Bill, I will buy and read a copy. I hope it’s not just another book with a do goodie child advocacy slant. The real story of that house of horror and the joke of an agency it has become really should be told so that perhaps the state of Texas will do the right thing. I believe there are boys who are buried around that place in unmarked graves who were murdered by the most brutal of ignorant red necks, they called them security. Two boys from my dorm during my times I believe were murdered by those evil people.
There should be a memorial to the hundred thousands of children whose lives were destroyed by that culture, the culture that was born in the community of Gatesville and perpetuated by tyc, the same diseased culture that attempts to validate itself every day by violating the rights of the throw away kids of Texas. The memorial should be placed at the store on the 36 bypass where the caliches pit was, that overlooks the campus.

Sheldon tyc#47333

Anonymous said...

10:02 - well said - Also we have implemented many new programs (TR'S CI's, CLS) in TYC why not give us a chance to see if they work!!???

Anonymous said...

News. Somebody finally took care of some business at Ron Jackson. The one who got the boot should have been dealt with 15 years ago. Thanks to everyone at Ron Jackson for keeping quite about her all these years and letting the corruption continue. You folks really have the TYC thing down.

Now, what about the old dirty dogs at all the other facilities?

Ham Head said...

Sheldon,

How can someone e-mail you? I'd like to hear about this.... I never worked there but I knew people who did. I know it was bigger than bad back then, and I believe what you're saying may actually have some merit. I'd like to compare notes from what you experienced vs. what I was told from another former kid from that facility at Gatesville. He's actually in your profession as well. - Ham

Anonymous said...

You can bet that book thats coming out soon will be slanted towards how great TYC has been, and everyone just misunderstood what was really going on. Will the book justify all the corruption and deaths that have occured in TYC? Probably be indorsed by Dwight or Harrison.

Anonymous said...

It’s time for a long overdue Gatesville State School for Boys former students reunion. It should take place in the lovely town of Gatesville Texas, the birth place of tyc. I could be an opportunity for us to give back for all the love and nurturing that was given to us during those formidable years of our stay at the Gatesville State School for Boys. It will be a celebration of our ability to survive and be free enough to celebrate and perhaps dedicate a memorial, dependent on state government cooperation, to all the boys whose lives were destroyed by tyc. I spoke to a former student and his thoughts were to put the plaque in the Boot hill cemetery but apparently the cemetery was moved to build another human warehouse for cruel and unusual punishment. I wonder if they took the trouble to move the graves. There will be a web site coming soon so you State Boys who stumble across this note be looking for it.
How about a sponsorship Grits?
Sheldon tyc # 47333
oldschool@ironguardiansnt.org c/s

Anonymous said...

They were about as concerned about the graves as they were at West Texas, where they destroyed the WW11 militry base parade field. They just ripped it up as if it meant nothing to anyone at all. All that valuable history destroyed by uncaring and ignorant administrators. Many feel your pain, Sheldon; for you and your mistreated companions in the older TYC. It still goes on today.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon,

I've been contemplating an oral history project, focusing on former inmates and staff who were in TYC facilities in the 1960s and 70s. This would of course include Gatesville and Mountain View, along with others that are still active today.

Not something I could start working on until spring 2009 at the earliest though.

BB

Anonymous said...

Sheldon, your posts confuse me. Do you consider yourself a successful human being BECAUSE of TYC or IN SPITE of it? What is your profession now?

In my TYC years from 1996 to 2007, I never saw the "diseased culture" you describe or youth tortured the way you imply. Do you know anything about TYC lately independent of news reports and blog posts?

There is no statute of limitations on murder -- if you believe two boys were murdered, you need to turn their names over to our vaunted Texas Rangers for investigation... You said yourself TYC keeps records.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 12/10/2008 12:12:00 PM or should I just say MMD, move on with your life don't blame DH of the problems you put on him. You and I both know that this started and stems from the leadership under big daddy not DH. You are just disgruntled still to this day because of the flap in SA. I was there and saw it in the lobby. Like a lot of others, I'm gone too now and I've moved on. So, I speak of what I know.

Anonymous said...

704: Hard to believe that you sided with DH, after all he did to you. Of course, you were right in their with him, until he turned on you. Thanks; your lips were alwsys near his read-end.

Anonymous said...

Preposterous! Anyone familiar with statistics and social resarch methods should know that it's way to early to be measuring the success of TYC's treatment programs. What programs? TYC just got tossed into a stormy sea of confusion and uncertainty. Mr. poopy pants Whitmire and his collegues dealt the agency a blow which continues to have resounding effects. They wanted resocialization to be abolished for no valid reason. Somone came up with a new program, which is basically a reconstituted bad version of resocialization. They attempted to train some people, but they were ill prepared and the agency still to unstable to implement anything well. Much less more treatment programs. The agency is in turmoil and chaos and the kids are out of control. The best programs in the world are not going to work because THERE CAN BE NO TREATMENT WITHOUT CONTROL. The new idiotic rules that poopy pants and co. support have stripped staff of their ability to do their jobs. There is no stability. Too many new directors and other key personel changes and the rules continue to change. How idiotic. The commission had no valid criteria on which to base their research. Their bogus research needs to challenged and tossed out along with the commission and Perry's bitch boy, Whitmire. I'm sorry I had to say it. How stupid do those people think we are?

Anonymous said...

The sunset commission is a joke. What brainiacs would consider trying to measure the effectiveness of treatment programs that are not being implemented. PLEASE. TYC is in chaos. Things started to crumble toward the end of Steve Robinson's reign and spiraled downward under wimpy, liar Dwight Harris. Whitmire and his flunkies have done nothing but make things worse. That is the truth. He chopped off the heads of many decent employees and implemented policy changes that were detrimental to the agency. His actions did not and will not ever help the agency because he doesn't know what he is doing and he doesn't care. He is a self serving politician who will do what he wants because he is immuned from acountability. He is a big bag of wind who can do nothing else but be a career politican. Yuck!!! self righteous hypocrit.

Anonymous said...

I think comments about Whitmire at 8:45 are correct. TYC's problems pre-2007 can be largely attributed to overpopulation and poor facility design, and we can lay blame for that in the laps of our legislature. TYC's problems at present are largely due to lack of program and inadequate staffing, which can also be laid in the laps of Whitmire, Kimbrough, Perry, & Co.

TYC staff and administrators have had an impossible row to hoe for many years now. They are largely caring and competent people, but they are not magicians.

The legislators to whom we have entrusted so much are slowly destroying an agency and hurting more young Texans in order to mask the odor of their own neglect and ineptness over the last several years.

The so-called sex scandal revealed far less about corruption in TYC than it did about dereliction of duty and finger-pointing expertise on the part of our legislature, governor, AG, county DAs, and Texas Rangers. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

The old TYC dogs are spinning like mad. They say, "It's all Whitmire's fault! We were running things just fine until people started snooping around and looking into our business. We run TYC - always have, always will. Most people are still loyal to us and don't believe all those lies that have been said about us."

Anonymous said...

That is still the biggest problem. YOU TYC people fault everyone for the curent turmoil. The governor and down are at falut, according to you; when most of you set back and allowed the cronies to tear TYC apart, with youth abuse and coruption. Now is not your fault, but someones, anyone other than your own. Get out; past it, and do your jobs, for a change!

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Sunset report reveal that TYC does not provide treatment? That is probably Whitmire's fault. Or, the governor, or the lege. TYC always responds, when faulted...that "we need more money." Many of you get rather good pay to play games on your computers most of the day; yet you don't have time or enough funds to provide youth treatment and rehabilitation. Now who is the real problem in all this chaos?

Anonymous said...

No the report did not identify that TYC does not provide treatment. It did not even consider all treatment programs. The report identified that treatment was not provided to all youth who "needed it." I am sorry but TYC is not funded to provide all available treatment to all youth. That is just the reality. Then add idiotic legislative policies like, LSOTP laws, and you have what we have now.

I am not saying there are not problems with TYC. But the fact that TYC has even survived the past 18 months with the preposterous changing of the highest administrators is a testament to staff in TYC.

If legislators are so concerned about abuse in TYC why haven't those criminal cases that prompted this whole mess been tried? Where is the outrage at the criminal justice system for not holding people accountable.

Again i tire of the comments blaming lower level TYC staff for this mess. This is an administrative/legislative debacle. Don't forget that this legislature (at the behest of Whitmire) initially rejected implementation of the proposals of a blue ribbon panel. You can't have it both ways. You can't say "reform" and then not provide the resources to accomplish that reform.

Governor Perry should be ashamed and I hope we get some sensible legislation regarding TYC in the next session. Merging TYC and TJPC is remarkably stupid at this time. Let TYC get programs fully implemented, funded, and running before trying to make such a big change.

Anonymous said...

I sort of agree on this one, with 1241. Didn't TYC receive tons of money from the lege to solve their problems? Where did it go? What was is used for? When you are provided all this money by citizens, then misuse it; what do you expect the citizens to say? We hear about all the continuing problems and wonder why? Why, after all the funds we gave to TYC? Why??? Why hasn't these problems been solved after all this time?

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone in current TYC or past TYC picked Demetrius Pope as our acting ED when she went on that famous spending spree. No, a lot of don't make shit. What planet are you on? They didn't increase any pay for very skilled positions such as LCDC's and SOTP's, so TYC can't find qualified people to run those treatment programs because it can't compete with the salaries being offered by the private sector. Sit on that egg, would ya?

Anonymous said...

Seems every other post by a TYC staffer is we need more money. Everyone has a grudge because someone else mis-spent the money, and THEY didn't get paid enough. ENOUGH. Now the lege should provide more $$ for your misadventures? Do you also work for the UAW, and think money is grown on trees. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

3:17pm are you a conservative, does it make you angry that our government has given 14 billion to the banks and various other private businesses to bail them out not to mention the BIG 3 who currently have their hand out.

Now TYC has not seen any new money appropriated to it and they have actually had their budget cut by the local legislators who at the same time want a world class (excuse me Missouri model) program on the cheap. But they have spent the past two years dictating who will run the agency and they (those who were chosen) are about as intelligent as the ones who placed them in this area of responsibility.

It has really nothing to do with throwing money at TYC if you have any knowledge of the situation, but rather incompetent people putting more incompetent people in charge and saying fix it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's write legislation requiring TYC to buy only 15 passenger vans, and then raise hell when TYC buys those vans instead of more economical vehicles. Sound familiar, Mr. W?

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I should add, lets demand that TYC build open bay dorms and put one JCO on the floor supervising 24 youths, then complain that they are not supervised properly. More of the same, Mr. W.

Anonymous said...

Careful, these folks get upset when the truth is thrown in their faces. You have to offer someone thats no longer in TYC, to sacrifice for past miscues; or you become a problem for the present nincomputes, that seem to be in charge, or think they are.

Anonymous said...

We have gone back and forth over this issue. TYC was not provided any additional funding to address treatment programming issues. TYC's budget is actually less than it was before "reform." ALl the money for reform was spent on video cameras, OIG, Ombudsmen's office, and unnecessary upper level management postitions. Again none of this money was spent on issues that directly impact treatment related issues.

So stop saying that TYC got a bunch of money. THey didn't. They got a bunch of cameras and oversight positions. There is no more money for caseworkers or other professional staff. I am sorry but the issues of understaffing are directly related to lack of competitve salary. Understaffing is directly related to treatment program failures. You can't argue that.

Anonymous said...

12/12/2008 05:27:00 PM
I’m a better human being IN SPITE of tyc. My current profession is engineering. I remember listening to my engineering professor at UT say things like if you’re not smart enough to cut it in Electrical Engineering then the school of social science might be a better option for you. After spending my formable years at Gatesville State School for Boys with the pamp-ass caseworkers and boss’ I knew my professors were correct. Arrogant but from my experience correct. Even the retarded kids at Gatesville were more clever than most of the adults in charge of us there. From what I read not much has changed. It doesn’t take an MBA to know that small minded people love to self validate and small minded leaders build dysfunctional empires. And it shouldn’t take a clever well educated state boy to read between the lines, especially what the last few decades of tyc emps write here, that the culture is more of a diseased culture now only with a punkish twist. The tyc is much better now at hiding their cruelty than ever before. IMO, RJ was instrumental in teaching tyc to cover their crap, It was appropriate for tyc to name one of the girls school after him. IMO the atrocities committed against the girls were much more despicable than what was done against the boys. The honor to a twist of dishonor like a halfway house named after Turman. LOL!!!!

Grits readers, I grantee you rise up a leader from the so defined “good side” and sure enough that small mind will be seeking validation and building an empire in no time. The tyc will always be like this and even if it was abolished and a new agency formed from the minutia there will always be people who will be attracted to the work of over lording throw away kids. Not in a good way but in a way of a tyc culture, self validation through cruelty to a child and mismanagement of a government agency.
There will always be kids who have been taught early to disrespect authority and act out because of it, thanks to our public school system.
There will always be a tyc for weak minded adults to send these kids to.
And sadly, there will always be those who are drawn to the work of tyc for evil intent. These factors when brought together will set up the potential to bring out the worst in both the adults and the children in their custody.
Where I think the fix comes in is before, preventing a kid from entering a tyc type system. And to catch the failures from that initial community based program, the kids who have to endure a rural tyc type program, a program to fix kids upon leaving a tyc system. Its one thing for a kid to get a BSEE from a UT just to say of the Gatesville adults in charge ha ha you’re a bunch of retards because of your social science degree from a Sam Hou or whatever.
The sad reality is that most kids who endure a tyc can’t get help for what got them there in the first place. But true crime perpetrated against the state of Texas by tyc is these kids come out with some serious social problems obtained from the culture of tyc. Serious problems that make it difficult to get help because tyc staff has demonstrated to you day after day that the people who are supposed to be trained to help you be civilized have proven time and time again that they’re nothing but self serving retards that can barely help themselves be civilized. Fixing the kids comjming out of tyc is what we would call in my field a work around.
It’s an undeniable fact, tyc is responsible for taking nice kids and turning them into monsters.

So Bill how about a Gatesville State School for Boys former student reunion in June of 2009 in Gatesville Texas? We can do a launch for your new project.
Sheldon tyc#47333

Anonymous said...

Well said, Sheldon. So many in TYC want the world to think they are youth savers. It has been shown over and over, youth are molded into better criminals, after their stay with TYC. One sees, learns and then demonstrates refined criminal behavior after they see caseworkers, line staff and administrators skew rules, break laws, and set youth up and improperly do their jobs. MORE MONEY will not solve this problem. These people that demand more money to make TYC better are the biggest problem. They are the ones that demonstrate criminal behavior daily to youth, yet wonder why youth don't change their criminal ways. If they were really dedicated, they would solve the TYC problems own their own and stop holding out helping youth, just for more $$$$$. Do they need more money? If you think yes...you're part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

The type of people that TYC draws tells the whole story. Money is not the solution, nor lack of it, the problem. Many people work there since there are no other jobs for them. Others, unsure where they are in their own lives, hang-oners, show up for work and put in their days, then go home. Its a job. Youth care and intentions to really provide help and guidance, left the agency years ago. Why else, would the present situation go on? At one time, perhaps a beneficial agency, now only a struggling, pitiful state lockup. Sad, but true.

Anonymous said...

My mother was sent to Gainesville, Tx,(a girls "reformatory") when she was 12 years old. This was in 1942. She was severly beaten. She had scars on her back from those beatings until the day she died. She was witness to many horrific scenes that included suicides and instances of physical abuse.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Your terrible history is not that far from the curent TYC. People would not believe what goes on in the TYC today. They cheat, steal, destroy youth, lie to th epublic, lie to the families and destroy what was once a youth help place. Many current TYC people should be jailed ! How can crinmminals teahk crim,inals ??? TYC is at the botttom od the oceans, fit to be eate y bugs!

Anonymous said...

0647...TYC staff should be forced on their knes. Thay shold be hanged like tvt did us. No halp., thet are maggetss on the yoith on al of us.

Anonymous said...

TYC treatment programs failing miserably??? Obviously you're mistaken...TYC has no treatment programs. Connections (sp?) a disjointed collection of bits and pieces and odds and ends from real treatment programs only exists in the minds of the collection of clowns trying to justify their high dollar central office jobs.

Anonymous said...

That's right, for a change. There is and has been no treatment programs in TYC that were worth while. And the part about high dollar wages....yes;...the answer to TYC problems...cut wages for most employees to get their attention and start to sol;ve these issues. Simple.

Anonymous said...

748...I agree. The agency has long fooled the public about helping youth, when they were only hurting youth and refining their behavior for the adult prison system. It would be interesting to see how many youth were ruined vs actually helped from their tour of TYC.

Anonymous said...

One wonders if TDCJ still has the dog cages that San Saba used out back when TYC ran the unit.

Anonymous said...

Try hiring a competent PhD licensed psychologist for less than$50k a year. They make more than that in Mississippi and West Virginia - states not known for their high standards of living.

Anonymous said...

Licensed Psychologists in TYC make 57,000. Still not enough to keep most very long.

Anonymous said...

According to current postings, a licensed psychologist, that is a psychologist with a PhD and a year of post-doctural experience, who has passed the licensing exam can start at just over $50k. They can make more with more experience, or if they are appointed Director of Clinical Services. $50k for a person with those qualifications is not a reasonable amount, and explains why it is so hard for TYC to attract qualified professionals. I know of several institutions that have dropped postings for licensed psychologists and replaced them with postings for masters level shrinks, I guess under the theory that something is better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

UTMB lets the master level psych's run the show in the prisons. Texas's way of treatment on the cheap. Look @ UTMB postings "either or" master or PhD
Now it makes you wonder how Texas gets away with calling the master levels "Psychologist", because that is illegal.
If UTMB takes over TYC treatment they will soon weed out the highly paid (funny) PhD's.

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Yankee said...

I was in the Gatesville School for Boys in 1946 at the age of 14. Way back then everything I read about the abuse and lack of oversight was in full force. The difference then was the strict segregation of races and the degree of abuse falling on folks according to their skin color.

I was from Minnesota and had been twice sent down for trifling violations in that state. I spent a year each time: Once for an unsubstantiated accusation by a kid who got off with probation for accusing me and once for being out after a local curfew. With no family coming to my defense I was a goner.

Even though the MN reformatory was sort of hard in terms of forced labor and minor corporal punishment Texas was a new world for me.

I saw kids raped by pederast guards, whipped, beaten senseless, some taken to rooms out of sight and never seen again.
All of these things were done and no one ever held accountable. Two kids who twice ran away, kids who had been the victims of repeated sexual assaults and who suffered the loss of commissary items to inmate guards (trustees)
were taken to the recreation yard and had their Achilles tendons cut as an object lesson to the other kids that were forced to stand and watch and listen to a speech by the head guard.

The entire School was a function of profit using slave child labor with guards on horseback wielding whips, rifles and pistols while the child crews were further guarded by trustees on foot holding shotguns who knew they would merit early release if they shot a kid running away.

I came upon this site by accident and am happy I did. It validates what I have often told family and friends about the School. Only one of them thought what I related was possible.

I was not at all surprised to see a G.W.Bush come from a state that allowed such a system for abusing kids to exist.

I would be ashamed to be a Texan if I were in any way a party to allowing such a system.

Jerry Emerson