Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Welcome juvie probation directors

Today marks the beginning of an annual summit of Texas juvenile probation department directors, who will all be in Austin for the next three days, so let me extend a hearty, "Welcome." This morning they'll hear presentations by Juvenile Probation Commission chief Vicki Spriggs and TYC's executive commissioner Cherie Townsend. I thought about crashing the party, but I'm pretty swamped so I'll miss most of the proceedings, though I'm still going to try to head out there later today to visit with a few Grits readers who'll be in town. (Hi, Plato!).

159 comments:

Anonymous said...

WELCOME.
We all got preached to about blogging on Grits.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Do tell!

What was said?

Anonymous said...

Both agencies.../.TYC and TJPC want their dirty laundry keep away from public awarness. SOS.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to hear how that was received by a room full of Chiefs that don't work for V. Spriggs or C. Townsend.

Anonymous said...

HEY VICKI THANKS FOR THE BUTT CHEWING THIS MORNING, 200 PLUS IN ATTENDANCE, CRITICAL TIME FOR THE STATE,TURMOIL IN JUVENILE JUSTICE AND YOU DECIDED TO ADDRESS THE CHIEFS AS "IDIOTS" -----EXTREMELY POOR CHOICE----- YOU WERE OUT OF LINE-----WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IS YOUR FINEST RALLY SPEECH----WHAT YOU DELIVERED WAS A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL VERSION OF "POOR ME" IT SEEMS YOU ARE MORE WORRIED ABOUT YOU AND AND TJPC STAFF --- NOT TEXAS AND ITS JUVENILES IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

2/03/2009 09:29:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Ay-yi-yi, so much for not airing dirty laundry:)

BB

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you.... how angry.... this made me. It was only TJPC who made a issue of it. Nothing was said from Ms. Townsend. Many in attendance who were life long supporters of Vicki has now lost that support. She once quoted this blog now she curses it. If it was about THC it was good, now it is about her crumbling kingdom, it is BAD. I knew nothing about this blog until today but believe me I WILL NOT BE QUIET ANYMORE. 1 more vote for abolishment.

Anonymous said...

We don't appreciate being called IDIOTS for blogging. We don't appreciate the reference to ROTTING. I felt like I was in the principal's office at school. I am not a kid and everyone in the room was shocked by Vicki's outburst. She has spoke in the past about transparency but when she is under the gun everyone should shut up???? Now is the time to speak up. The "family" has become disfunctional. We have been too quite too long letting a few rock the boat about issues we all have with TJPC.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Yikes! Sounds like Vicki needs some digital-era PR lessons. These reactions were utterly predictable, particularly since the directors don't actually work for her. Sorry y'all got taken to the woodshed.

To be fair to Ms. Spriggs, we've seen some commenters on these juvie strings who are indeed "idiots." But that's just a handful; especially on TJPC topics, most commenters have generally kept things within the bounds of propriety.

Cherie Townsend, IMO, would have a much more legitimate complaint along those lines.

Vicki: Bad form. You can't just insult your whole audience by lumping everyone together with a few troublemaking trolls. Sounds like you probably worsened your situation instead of improved it.

Anonymous said...

Hi
I am glad she enlightened me on your blog. Didn't enjoy the spanking I got but I looked over the older posts and yes you are right. TYC had much more bad publicity than TJPC.
A few TJPC posts were a bit off but overall they hit close to home. These issues have been addressed by many in past and recently. The CRM issue may be out there a bit but I don't know for sure. We have been fighting standards revisions for years to no avail.
The dirty laundry can't be kept in the hamper if the one in charge of cleaning up does not wash on her own.

Anonymous said...

I remember with "Da Pope" did this same thing to the adult chiefs. We got rid of her, she moved on to TYC where they got rid of her...
I see a pattern...

Anonymous said...

OMG

Sheldon tyc#47333 c/s

Anonymous said...

This exactly what many of us have been trying to convey on this blog. I know some people get a little out of hand but most of us were simply telling the truth. We were not overstating. What was said to a room full of people today is said more or less daily behind closed doors. Many employees are even to afraid to post for fear that they can somehow be identified.
When we say management is a huge part of the problem this is exactly what we mean. Any manager or director truly committed to imroving things would not be so idiotic as to stand up and reem a room full of people. Any thoughtful manager would encourage debate and welcome opinions and ideas.

Anonymous said...

This is what happened in TYC prior to the big shakeup. Many wanted to vent their frustrations, but knew if they did they would be ruined by top TYC management. It finally happened and it took the scandal to get rid of the bad management.....it appears this agency is next in line...you have similar managers to the TYC thugs.

Anonymous said...

I donot beleive that Vicki is a butt, but she definately proved this week on the rant-o-meter that she is not the leader that we need at this time in history and needs to step aside and let someone with a little more abilty to see the bigger picture lead the agency...if there is one left. It is a sad day for Juvenile Probation in this State. The one person that should be praising those that have made the agency look so good for so many years, chose instead to chastise and try to humiliate the very people that have made her agency look so good. She has lost the respect of many of the Chief Probation officers and many of her own staff.

Anonymous said...

Vicki, you did absolutely nothing to "clear the air" this afternoon. The huge elephant is still in the room...your tone should have been conciliatory and you should have taken responsiblity for your part of the problems, more than the trite "all bucks at TJPC stop with me." When we need leadership the most, you are defecting...

Anonymous said...

The real Vicki was discovered by mant today. Many of us knew about Vicki, however manay, many more were unsure and gace her the good benefit. She did herself in today. SHE needs to go and SHE is the biggest problem in TJPC today. Many other chiefs agree, but may hold to actual indorsing this. Many of her vast-close female followers are even disappointed.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

What was said today that was so egregious?

BTW, I'm removing the comment that contained nothing but name calling. That's the kind of garbage I think it's justified for her to complain about. Stick to issues, please, don't make it personal.

Anonymous said...

I really feel bad after today. I have devoted many, many years to this commission and now wonder if I really accomplished much. She has the ability to take your inner out and take away your breath. WHY? Do others feel she is the problem or it this whole agency going belley up?

Anonymous said...

Could it be that TYC employees have had a much more difficult time? They have had much more negative publicity haven't they?
You just gave them another kick with the comment about Cheri Townsend having a legitimate gripe. I'm not an employee of either. I don't think employees from either agency deserves to be talked down to for any reason. Both agencies have employees that lose their cool sometimes,don't express themselves well, have poor grammer skills. I believe that any employee or person that takes the time to post on this blog or any other is to be commended because at least they care and are trying to do something about it. For most, it is really the only voice they have. There are many employees out there with years of experience in corrections that would make wonderful consultants. People who understand first hand because they worked in the trenches. Whether it be in probation, parole, TYC or TDCJ. They have many great ideas and thoughtful observations to share, yet most of them will remain anonymous. They don't have the an attention of the legislature and more than likely have never wanted it. They are the unsung heros that humbly go about doing their jobs. I'm sorry you guys got a tongue lashing.

Anonymous said...

This was much more than a tongue lash. She was way out of place. She showeed her real self today. If I had not just lost so much of my 401 plan, I would put my papers in tomorrow. I refuse to put up with much more of her insanity.

Anonymous said...

The Chiefs should write a letter of no confidence to the legislature regarding Ms. Spriggs. But that would require them to do something about it instead of gripe and complain on this blog. Far too often people with the power to make change choose to get on this blog and whine instead of taking real action. Shut up and do something about it. If you don't, you may wake up on October 1st and see that Ms. Spriggs has cunningly managed to get herself to the top of the agency known as the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

Anonymous said...

Ms.Spriggs has always been known to be a straight shooter who calls them like she sees them. Sometimes the truth just hurts. Chief Probation Officers think they have their own little kingdoms and feel they are above the rules that the rest of the world has to play by. The Chiefs are just flunkies for the Judges. Maybe Ms. Spriggs needs to help the Judges understand what is really going on. Don't back down Ms. Spriggs you have many supporters.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with TJPC (Vicki) on many issues concerning Juvenile Probation. I think that on many occasions, they are out of touch with the field. I think that the majority of standards that are handed down to the field do not benefit the child or the profession, but simply overwhelm officers with unecessary paperwork.

Having said that, give the woman a break! So she got a little emotional during her speech. Maybe she did go over the top and was condescending. At the end of the day, she is a person of integrity that does have the best interest of probation in mind. She has alot on her plate and she is entitled to have a bad.

Anonymous said...

Gota admit though she was WAY out out there Tuesday. I think she overstepped her boundaries on this one. I was so shocked. He has done a great deal for probation but all the good she has done over the last 10 years or more has been blown away by her emotions. I understand she is under pressure but she has to realize we are the ones who can show support for her in these times of need. I am re-thinking my support at this time. Don't think the legislatotors won't hear about this and it is poor timing on her part.

Anonymous said...

10:59

"she is a person of integrity"

hmmmm, short memories

"On Friday, a copy of a plan written last June by TJPC Vickie Spriggs supporting the merger started circulating among lawmakers and staffers. Spriggs is now one of the most vocal opponents of the merger.Today, Spriggs’ “official response” was making the same rounds. In it, she insisted that the earlier report was a “confidential document” she drew up at the behest of Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, who supports the merger."

Vicki stated "“Although one plan was reduced to writing, I also discussed two other options that were preferable to the consolidation plan."

That's integrity? Nope. That is doing one thing, getting your hand caught in the cookie jar, then making something up. Truly the character of most politicians found in the same position. Similar responses are given by the same youth that are housed in TYC, when caught.

I guess we can wait to see what damage control can be issued by Ms. Spriggs in the form of an "official response".

As with the (not so much)secret letter to Whitmire, Ms Spriggs has once again managed to cast doubt amongst her flock as to her true intentions.

People with integrity rarely have that problem

Anonymous said...

Well at least she did TRY her hand at a sincere apology today. Guess she read these blogs before her speech. What a ploy today to try to find out who supported the consolidation by having a chief ask the question in front of Chuy. I am sure she took notes on who responded and most everyone did cause they don't want to be blackballed.

Anonymous said...

Will the real Vicki, please step forward. Leave the so=called in tegrity at the door, since you really have none.

Anonymous said...

If she walks out of this unscathed we had better watch out. Her power will be unstoppable. I agree she needs to issue a formal written apology to all the chiefs across the state. I was so offended by her comment I will never attend another TJPC conference or training where she is a speaker.

Anonymous said...

Grits:
You should give lessons to her. The ligislators should school her on what and what not to say. Everyone had said they hoped we would not hear her classic "dance like nobody is watching" speech and we sure got our wish.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

8:43 am
I agree with the letter writing. Every senator and rep needs to be contacted by the people who vote them in and told that a state employee is being so disruptive to county employees. Chief's can determine their local legislator's contact information by going to www.capitol.state.tx.us and searching in the box titled "Who Represents Me". The state needs to know.

Anonymous said...

What a week. I was educated on this blog and learned from Vicki that we can disregard the 1st amendment. Will there be a standard on blogging now? They want to regulate everything else we do.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:50 on the "little kingdom" explanation. You chiefs and Judges just want to follow your own rules without supervision, much like the kids you supervise, which is just human nature!

Before you jump up and decide that the problem is Vicki and try to bully her out, remember to be careful what you ask for...because you just might get it.

Anonymous said...

LOCAL CONTROL. That is what is in question.
If the state wants to fully fund us them go for it. Otherwise yes we have our domain. We are LOCAL departments, LOCALLY funded with a LOCAL juvenile board. No one will argue that standards are a bad thing, just don't go overboard like they are trying to. Simple. Define MINIMAL standards and move over. Locals come up with the programs that work for their area with the goal of keepng kids from being locked up, not the state. Give us the money and we will keep our "kingdoms" safe and kids from TYC.

Anonymous said...

Same MO as TYC. At first few would speak up, then the avalanche came and folks got in line to speak up. The same needs to happen here, just don't wait so long, as in the TYC scandal.

Anonymous said...

So exactly which standards revisions are causing such a flap?

Anonymous said...

A control issue between local departments and TJPC is entirely different than the sex scandal which went on at TYC. To try to reduce TJPC to that level sounds like third grade.

Anonymous said...

How are the standards that are set for probation departments any more unfair or bureaucratic than the standards and reporting requirements made of local school districts? People keep decrying the standards, but they aren't specifying anything. Try asking a public school principal or superintendent how many standards they have to meet on the local, state, and federal level. Do juvenile probation departments have it any worse, or are they expecting different treatment than what's expected of other local groups that oversee and educate children?

Anonymous said...

I have worked in the Criminal Justice field for over 30 years. I have worked for private, local, county and state agencies in both Adult and Juvenile Corrections. In 30 years I have learned that, like it or not, there are reasons for oversight agencies. I have worked and seen facilities through out the state that range from great to deplorable. For those who scream about LOCAL administration if the state goes away, which isn’t going to happen, how are you going to recoup all the state funding provided through grants or other monies such as CPS and Title IVE? I have seen trolls on blog sites before. The philosophy of let’s stir up the pot while we can. What Ms. Spriggs said or didn’t say is beside the point. I can’t comment on that because I wasn’t there. How many facilities has TJPC closed or pulled licensing from? Hardly any. TJPC deals with over 100,000 kids, in every county in the state and gives out millions in funding, and because one person says what you don’t want to hear, you throw fits. Most state agencies don’t bother with work sessions or asking for input, they simply say these are the standards and this is the way it is. I am sure that if you people screaming will scream even louder when federal PREA standards will be required to be followed. Remember, TJPC was created in 1981 by the Texas Legislature to bring consistency and quality to juvenile probation services in the state. TJPC is among 10 other state agencies under the oversight of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It is really sad that no one was trolling when TJPC received such a good review from the sunset commission, or during auditing. Why didn’t you complain then? You want your cake and eat it to, and you can’t have both. TJPC or what ever it should become, if the legislator chooses, is not going away. You will have state oversight because that is the LAW. You know those silly written words that tell you what you can and cannot do. I would much rather see a strong juvenile corrections program that will prevent a youth from becoming an adult offender than listen to the whinnying of people who don’t want anyone interfering with their kingdoms. Trust me after 30 years whether it is an adult facility or juvenile facility no FA or Chief wants to have to answer to anything because it steps on their “royal” toes, but they will scream and whine when they think they don’t have to be identified through an anonymous blog. Ms. Spriggs has been around the agency for years, and because she says one thing wrong, if she did, trying to help us all from a possible train wreck with this merger, you have to become wolves. Let’s see how you howl if the merger goes through. TYC always gets the bigger piece of the state funding pie. And it will happen, TDCJ always gets a bigger piece of the pie, and local and counties get what’s left. Think about it, because after all We are LOCAL departments, LOCALLY funded with a LOCAL juvenile board.


A Taxpaying Correctional Professional

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill,

You take a lot TJPC money and always have strong public opinions regarding TJPC. How about letting us know where you all up north stand. You have been mighty quiet.

Anonymous said...

TJPC unfortunately has an agenda that only cares about themselves. Nobody should be surprised by what was said by Vicki. TJPC is an agency that is full of nepotism & an environment where you have to be "in" in order to hold a position there. If you are not on their good side they spend more time trying to figure out how to get rid of you rather than doing their job which is "helping the juvenile". They do not put the juveniles first but rather what they feel is important. Even when it comes to funding for the different counties, that too is done by what Chief is on their good side. If the Chiefs are to abide by the CRM/Standards....they too should be held accountable. Finally, the public is seeing how they really act. Now that the public is upset, it is time that they start looking at their practices, their work ethic, their leave policies, their attendance policies, etc...it will be interesting what would be found.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a chief, just a field staff. Been around only for 5 years so I do'nt know the history here. Don't know what happened this week only just what is blogged here.But, from the working class JDO and JPO we see our administrators stress everytime you mention a TJPC visit. I have observed the monitors with practically no hands on experience tr to tell my boss how to do his job when he has been in the business over 20 years. I am tires of having to constantly look at dates of caseplans to make sure I am within that timeframe. It's not about fixing kids, it's about paperwork, worthless paperwork. I started in detention and we watch the kids like a hawk well within the 15 minutes TJPC demands, but just because it looks like a pattern we were given a bad grade. With new standards we cannot even discipline a child for disruptive behavior. Then to see in the new standards they have wasted our time with more paperwork that the kid does not are about I wonder if TJPC is really for the kids or not. I deal with families who need me to help them get insurance, mental health services, food, clothing, rent, the basics, and I have to waste time developing paperwork that they cannot even read and will throw away the minute they leave my office? We need counselors. We need mental health professionals. We need so much more in the community but we waste time and money on paperwork just to satisfy someone who has no clue how to handle a juvenile delinquent. I have seen the new standards that has been mentioned and I can now see why our department had to put someone over reviewing them on a full time basis. That is money that could be spent on kids but is wasted on a officer to make sure we are following the standards. Detention officers are afraid to discipline kids cause they will call the "hotline" and the officer will get sent home until someone from Austin has the time to determine if they did or did not do what the kid said. My career with juvenile is short lived I believe. I will go back to CPS where I can really help kids.
To the one asking about what standards I say ask TJPC for the new ones and laugh about kids not being able to swim in a pond where cattle have been drinking, where kids cannot fish without a lifeguard on duty, where a kid that cusses a detention officer can only be sent to his room for a hour and half then waste JDO's time having hearings etc. I see TJPC's direction but they don't have a clue what it does to the everyday working man in the facility and the expense it will give the facilities. State agencies have to cut money so why ot cut the fat at TJPC first.

Anonymous said...

Elvis has left the building and so has local control of county departments. Local control left when chief's went to Austin begging for $. Every year, chief's want more state money and has TJPC do their bidding with the legislature. If you get state money, lots of it, don't you think TJPC/state has to have some rules, policies, expectations relating to what you do with it?

Back in Bill Anderson's days at the beginning of the commission, it was all money and no regulation. TJPC was just a pass through agency. Now that tens of millions is distributed, the state auditor, legislative committees, etc. demand some accounting of said funds.

Shut up and sing!

whitsfoe said...

I really hate to see this happen with the TxJPC and the counties. I have worked for neither of you but I am a long term TYC employee, and I can tell you I understand where both sides are coming from. I survived Conservatorship, and that folks, was a trip.

I just really hope the interactions between the county and state remain professional w/o all the non-sence of calling out mid-level folks which gets TYC blog comments shut down. Our discovery of this blog started the same way as you guys are doing, but later it got so bad that we couldn't compare notes any longer because so much hate was spreading, mainly among our "TYC Trolls," and many of us quit reading. I hope you guys don't go down that path. That's just a little history.

(ps)The Grit writes about a lot of other important criminal justice issues, so you should read those as well. It's good stuff to know. I learned a lot from this blog.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that some bragg about their 30 year experience with TJPC ot TYC, and seem to know it all. If I remember right, similar folks in TYC caused the problems that plunged TYC into its current rotten state. Some fresh ideas and integrity would be a good start. Just because some have hid away for years in these agencies don't mean they know what to do, they just know how to hide...like some others until they were caught. Lets get to the truth and stop the 'experience can fix it all' scheme.

Anonymous said...

"waste JDO's time having hearings etc."

No need for standards? Local control?

We hear 'ya.

Loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

hes not referring to having family code hearings, these are disciplinary hearings, which must be held for any discipline placed on a juvenile in an institution

Anonymous said...

Surely disciplinary hearings are a waste of time, seeing as uneven discipline and random, punitive retaliatory measures have never been used in correctional facilities.

Anonymous said...

Well, this blog got off track didn't it.
Standards are another time. Right now is the issue of what occurred this week. This blog is pretty cool and other articles on here are fascinating. Happy I now know about it even though did not enjoy getting spanked. Gonna be like a child here and do something momma told me not to do and that is BLOG!!! Didn't like being told not to do something in the manner she did. Don't think impeachment is the thing to do but I think everyone would appreciate a written SINCERE apology posted here AND on Stargazer. Many chiefs left after her outburst so did not hear her attempt at apology.

Anonymous said...

Response to 2/5/09 8:07pm

When someone is ready to leave the Juvenile Justice field due to standards, and wants to go BACK to CPS and live with there standards.....Something is wrong.

Anonymous said...

6:54 said

"TJPC deals with over 100,000 kids, in every county in the state"

give me a break! They don't deal with ANY kids. The PROBATION DEPARTMENTS do! Here lies the problem.

Anonymous said...

And by the way 6:54. just because every other agency wants to oppress their folks with a plethora of tedious laws/standards/mandates doesn't mean it's right. In my small opinion we have been a beacon for providing quality ervices with low overhead for years. why change now!

Anonymous said...

whaa whaaa whaaaaa stop the maddness....let me on the new board and I will fix all of this...no more standards just tons of money...no monitors just more money...no more visits from austin just more and more money...no more ane hotlines just more and more money...and in a few years you'll be bashing me also because I might have to ask you a question or you may not get your way.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, how petty has this gotten? Remember, there are careers, livelihoods, and families invovled with this.

Anonymous said...

If I want to be a probation officer or detention officer, I have to complete so many hours of training and have experience. If I meet these qualifications, then I may be employed and placed in a position where I must comply with state standards. However, if I want a job at TJPC where I may be in a position to write standards, no experience necessary.

Anonymous said...

1:20 you hit it on the nose. If TJPC really wants to fix all this bring in people who WORK the standards to FIX the standards. we need some guidance to keep every department on an even keel, I will give you that. But, if the standards are set where the worker bees can't achieve the target then TJPC is just setting the departments up to fail. Then they can justify having the monitors visit the departments more. Others have stated... have knowledgeable people, who can work the standards, create and monitor the standards. Someone who was a probation offiver for 18 months doesnt have a clue how to monitor a detention facility. Someone who does not daily work in the field has no clue what standards WILL work in the field. The workgroups were a great concept if the qualified people had actually been involved creating them. If TJPC wants to get right with the field please solicit input FROM THE FIELD. The JJAT website always had the standards posted for all the state to see. Why did not TJPC take that approach or do they not really want to know what us worker bees think. Pool the working man, not just chiefs.

Anonymous said...

6:28
Great ideas but the concept is not a new one. It has been proposed and may still happen. Most departments of medium to large size have people in place to make sure standards are met. Have them write standards that can be effective and that are workable. They are the ones with the most at stake. Billy

Anonymous said...

The standards revisions for pre-adjudication facilities would require more staffing in order to be accomplished. Perhaps a solution to offset that increase would be to reduce the population.

The purpose of detention, according to the law, is for protection of the community or if there is no reasonable home with a person who can return the child for a court date.

If kids were not detained for strictly punitive purposes over relatively minor matters, the populations would drop and the standards could be met.

Anonymous said...

11:55

Sounds like someone pushing the JDAI...That is an initiative that ignores problems in order to save money and lower referrals to juvenile detention centers. Saving money at the expense of public safety is never acceptable.

Anonymous said...

wow! wish I'd been there. what was really said exactly?

Anonymous said...

In response to 8:53:

Emphasis on "relatively minor matters" and add let's add to that, "which in no way jeopardizes public safety".

No association with either JDAI or TJPC here. I am the parent of a child who got stuck in one of these detention facilities.

I discovered these facilities can be used for many purposes which have nothing whatsoever to do with public safety.

In order to accommodate this routine overuse, it becomes necessary for the facility to set their own standards for conditions of confinement for budgetary (staffing) reasons. To be perfectly clear, holding the entire population in solitary confinement for upwards of 22 hours per day because it requires less staffing than if detainees are provided education and programming.

Rid these facilities of those who do not present a threat to public safety and they will be able to meet the proposed standards which are directed toward human rights and rehabilitation.

Anonymous said...

I know of no facility that would hold a juvenile in detention for no reason. The laws are clear and Judges examine the cases at least every 10 days. Personally, we keep as many kids OUT of detention as possible but there are the safety and security issues, risk factors and overall welfare of the kids to think about. THAT is our job. If some kid was locked up for an extended period it is because of some legal of safety factor. Put the blame where it belongs, the kids that break the laws. Parents do contribute to delinquency also. Kids need to step up and accept responsibility for their actions, not take the "poor me" approach.

Anonymous said...

1:19
THANK YOU. You are correct. We have a duty to protect the public and if a child is a danger to himself or others we are justified in detaining that child. Suitable supervision is also a justification and that is the case in so many cases. Then parents want to wine that we detained their child.

Anonymous said...

1:19:
What is your definition of "extended period"? Happens every weekend in many detention centers. Hold them on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Be sure to release on Monday to avoid having to see an attorney or a Judge. Look at the daily population and see if it doesn't go way up every weekend. In the field it called JAIL THERAPY. Happens every weekend in my detention center.

Anonymous said...

If your facility is like ours we don't have JPO's on duty over the weekend. If we get an intake we call intake on call, get PC authotized and notify the po if there are issues. Po makes the call to detain or release. If there are any questions as to the safety of the child or safety of the community that child is kept till Monday AM when the JPO can determine first hand what the issues are. With that said I agree weekend population probabli goes up in facilities that don't have 24/7 intake officers.

Anonymous said...

Heres how it appears to work:
1. PO secures directive.
2. PO holds directive until a Friday.
3. PO releases directive on a Friday and detains kid.
4. Kid not required to be seen on weekends so PO sees kid on Monday and makes determination kids does not meet criteria for detention hearing.
5. Kid released.

It is called "jail therapy"... or maybe abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

Our extended stay was 14 days. No issues of public safety and plenty of highly suitable homes which would have undoubtedly returned him to Court.

A hearing? A visiting judge signing a piece of paper based on the rec of the JPO with no discussion, no notice, no attorney present.

I know of another kid that was held there for 21 days or so for being positive for pot.

Especially given the conditions of confinement which I have previously mentioned, I happen to object to that and by no means am I advocating pot smoking or probation violations. There should be some other alternatives besides solitary confinement.

They do things differently in different jurisdictions and thus, the neccessity for agencies like TJPC and Ombudsmen.

Anonymous said...

I realize that the "suitable supervision" reason can be a catchall for an extended period of detention.

If that is the case, efforts should be made to find a placement.

If a child is simply released back to the same home after a period time, then I would think the real reason for the detention was actually punitive.

Anonymous said...

Can someone quote for me from the Family Code where it says that county juvenile detention facilities may be used for "jail therapy" or as sentencing tool?

Anonymous said...

I beleive that, maybe I'm wrong, Grayson County does it. They should be able to provide the Family Code citation?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that I am oversimplifying here and it is an outside perspective, but does anybody that has recently posted have one bit of evidence-based data to know which approach might be best to take in regards to putting a child into custody for any period of time.

I mean, I've seen a lot of talk about the law, standards, administrative policies, and the like, but little else that could be argued that might be in the best interest of the child, with data to back up the claim.

Are we just throwing horseshoes here? Is close, good enough? Somehow it doesn't inspire a lot of faith.

Anonymous said...

I am sure TJPC has data available to tell you the effectiveness of different county programs.

Anonymous said...

Under the JDAI initiatives detention facility would only detain a child for serious offenses.

Anonymous said...

5:54 - You make it sound so covert. I believe a judge must sign off on a Directive. In most counties, I believe that Directive is based on an sworn affadavit indicating a violation based on detention criteria from the family code. I'm not saying a PO couldn't secure this based on false information, but if that is the case you have supervisors and chiefs that can follow up on that.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:01 - Thanks for the direct to information, but I'm not the one that I believe is really in need. I do not wish to assertain these facts, only to know if the people charged with the care of juveniles in the criminal justice system are aware of them and use them to inform their decision-making.

Anonymous said...

9:33 & 8:03 here - I didn't think so. Again, It doesn't inspire much faith.

JTP said...

JDAI - What does it stand for and what is it supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

2/7 9:01 For anyone that did not know it would seem that programs would be important to TJPC and that they would want to know that kind of information, but that is not the case. The upper management staff would much rather spend their time scowering the nation looking for lawsuits that are being filed in other states and trying to come up with a standard to protect the agency while trying to convince the field that it is for the good of everyone and for everyone's protection. When they do come out and monitor they spend almost NO time looking at programs or questioning their effectiveness. They are much more concerned if a detention officer has failed to vary their routine checks every fifteen minutes. They have no desire to look at the important things like programs and focus all their efforts looking at minutia. Therein lies the problem and that is why we are where we are today! They have no idea what it takes to run a facility on a daily basis and they seem to have no desire to understand the process. Upper managnement at TJPC have been asked over and over again to please look at the important things that make a difference for families and kids, the programs that we in the field operate, but to no avail. They have lost touch with their mission and have lost most of the support of the field for the agency. They keep saying it is about kids to them, but it is obvious to those of us who work with kids everyday that it has become about protecting the agency and the board of the agency and not putting kids and families first!

Anonymous said...

8:11 - Thank you

Anonymous said...

I looked at the Family Code and the criteria is 1)flight risk for Court date, 2)lack of suitable supervision, 3)no person to return child to Court date, 4)danger to himself or others, 5)child has previously been found delinquent or convicted of an offense punishable by jail (felony) and is likely to commit another offense if released, or 6)alleged offense involved a weapon.

It looks to me as though criteria #5 means that (given other criteria do not apply) the only kids that should be detained (especially for probation violation) are those that have been adjudicated for a felony in the past - not deferred felony or any type of misdemeanor.

What is the practice out there?

From what I have seen personally and from the comments I have read here regarding "jail therapy", it appears that these facilities are being used as a method of punishment. And theoretically, a judge could detain a child for days, weeks or months by having a detention hearing every 10 days and stating that one of the criteria applied, when the real purpose was actually punitive.

Someone mentioned that the method used for weekend "jail therapy" was portrayed as "covert", but that it was not because it had been ordered by a judge.

If judges want to be able to use their facilities for a purpose outside the spirit of the Family Code, then I think they should present it to the legislature and have another criteria added, which is punitive in nature.

And, with the elimination of TYC as a sentence option for misdemeanants, are these facilities shifting to another method for sentencing to a term of confinement?

Anonymous said...

It appears obvious from tese posts that most of you in TJPC do not even understand your own policies. How can youth be helped when you that run the system are in the dark about what to do? Before reading these posts I would not have believed that this agency was so poorly run and handeled. Someone please help our troubled youth.

Anonymous said...

JDAI stands for Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative. It is a liberal philosphy funded in part by ACORN (remember them). It operates under the assumption that white people like to lock black people up based on race. It is primarily in large cities where many chiefs are social workers and have never supervised an actual caseload.

What many of the scholars, bloggers, and politicians don't understand is that a misdemeanor offender may in fact be more dangerous than the felony offender. They look at data and statistics whereas people in the field deal with real live human beings and their problems.

Who is the greater danger to the community, the 10 year old adjudicated for felony Burglary of a Building or the Crip gang member on misdemeanor probation for carrying a loaded glock 9 mm.

Anonymous said...

Anyone associated with ACORN should be declared criminals also. Just look at how much they have hurt America, while posing to help. They lie, cheat, manipulate votes, and help criminals make our streets more unsafe. ACORN is in the same class as the MAFIA.

Anonymous said...

Actually, that is backwards ( I think). I believe that the Anne E Casey Foundation contributes funds to ACORN


If you want to know the motiviation behind something, follow the money trail.

Anonymous said...

Some of this is out of hand. YOU ALL are in the same bed and rip off the state any any cost, to help your own benefit...little help to our children. Just stop the projecting and accept the blame on all of your part!

Anonymous said...

2:53 I resent your accusations. I have devoted 20+ years of my life helping children in Texas. I don't think anyone in the field is rich doing this, save for the large county directors and the executive director. I know of MANY people in the state who care like I do. Big issue is limited funds contributed by state but increase in requirements via standards will eat into that fund pool just to satisfy TJPC's power drive. This translates into reduction in available services and programs to the kids. TJPC needs to give the funding to programs serving especially kids with mental health issues, and most in the system have issues. TJPC needs to scrap all standards revisions at this time and allow counties to operate in the best interest of the child, not theirs.
12:48: many people from outside the juvenile justice system post here for info.
8:11 THANK YOU
GRITS: Thanks for this blog and THANK YOU VICKI FOR TELLING EVERYONE ABOUTG IT.

Anonymous said...

4:45 pm

Most of this is just angry ex-employees venting. Don't let it get under your skin. Keep up working for children 'cause there is more good happening than bad!

Anonymous said...

Lord, help us! It looks like we've got a whole new group of "kid helpers" now.

If you want to cook up a story about Vicki having an affair or whatever else, please spare us. We've already been down that road with the TYCers.

Just go back to your bubble to gripe.

See 'ya.

Crimefighter said...

8:54: Your #5 criteria is incorrect, the FC actually states:
"(5)the child has previously been found to be a delinquent child or has previously been convicted of a penal offense punishable by a term in jail or prison and is likely to
commit an offense if released;"

so it does include misdemeanor convictions.

In addition, FC Ch 51.01(2)(A)lies out the purpose of the Juvenile Justice Code and it promotes using the concept of punishment for criminal acts to balance out section 51.01(2(C) promoting the treatment and rehabilitation to make the parent and child be accountable for the child's actions.

FYI, this blog needs a spell check

Anonymous said...

Here is a clear example of how misinformation can paint a false and ridiculous picture of how things really are.

Concerning detention ...... 8:54 am - someone posted earlier that you could only detain for a felony. Well, that is very inaccurate. The only time detention is strictly offense based is if a hand gun is involved. Other than that .... detention determinations are based upon offense and the other criteria listed in the family code.

Regarding jail therapy posts here ..... can't believe the so called detention officer or officers actually posted how ignorant they are here. When you have a juvenile on probation (no matter the offense), staying out on the streets all night, skipping school and using drugs , you utilize the tools you have to prevent that juvenile from committing further delinquent conduct (keep in mind he/she probably already has but didn't get caught).

You place that kid in detention and stabilize him/her with new plans, conversations with parents, etc. You don't just let them stay out on the streets and run wild until they do pick up a new offense.

Anonymous said...

Funny how so many get picked up, fixed over the weekend, and released on Monday.

Anonymous said...

nobody said they get fixed over the weekend .... I think stabilized was the word.....

by all means don't hide the answer if you got it genius .... make your recommendation on what needs to be done with the kid described in that previous post.

Anonymous said...

Identify your county and we will let TJPC investigators decide who is the genius. You breaking the law to "stabilize" is not any different that the act that got the kid placed under your authority to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Call it what you want, detaining a kid is not breaking the law. Probable cause has to be established and the criteria to detain has to be met. It is just a difference in philosphy.

The majority of juvenile professionals agree that punishment for delinquent acts is part of our mandate in the juvenile justice code. Truth be told, punishment can 'in and of itself' be rehabilitative.

You are more than likely an upset parent whose child remained in detention or some ACLU blow hard that just doesn't get it. I have been in this profession for years and have realized that the parent of a juvenile is far more difficult than the child. We are either picking on the child or not 'fixing' the child; however, the blame always seems to fall back on us.

We can not fix in 12 months what it took you 15 years to screw up!!

Anonymous said...

The family code affords the authority for a juvenile probation officer to place a child in custody for violating his or her conditions of probation.

After that, detention or not is based on the criteria in the family code.

What seems to be the problem with detaining a child over a weekend if these things are present?

Anonymous said...

1:41: Judges get to decide who gets punished... not you! Parents are more difficult because you can't bully them. They are mature enough to speak up and bring to the light of day a side of the story you do not want told. If you can hold a kid for three days you avoid the courts and the kids attorney. Shame on you.

Crimefighter said...

2.48: I have news for you. Not all parents are 'mature enough' to even raise their child, thereby ending up in the juvenile justice system. If someone has an issue with the law that allows a JPO to detain a child on Friday evening until Monday for a hearing, then I suggest you write your legislative representatives and ask them to change the law.

If the kids' probation rules are not enforced by their parents...someone (i.e. their JPO) have to enforce them...and one of the tools to do this is detention. The JPO should be contacting the parent(s) to discuss what needs to happen with their child(e.g. placement, rehab, etc.). If a JPO merely locks up a juvenile probationer over the weekend and doesn't do anything with that Violation of Probation and this occurs over and over...then that is not helping and is wrong, however, the law allows it.

Alot of posters seem to be talking to the extremes on here...and there is always gray...not just black and white...in counties, cities, and in the Commission.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what good can come out of any of the presentations because they are still not telling the whole truth. Take TYC for instance, so many people in Administrative positions lead Ms. Townsend to believe things are so great within the facilities--if she only knew how helpless the majority of the staff feel. Our facility informed one individual he had been "rifted" but now he has a new title yet has kept his previous position (along with a state cell phone and campus housing where he lives with his "girlfriend")--I'm sure taxpayers would be happy about that. Our Superintendent dispises our Assistant Superintendent and the tension is passed on to the positions below them--it's unbelievable. Then there is another division between some staff working hard to get the Assistant Superintendents job--talk about corruption. The person in this blog is correct when they said everyone is afraid if they blog there is some way it can be tracked to them--we too have been instructed "not to blog." The kids are out of control (and now we will have Playstations on every dorm, movie and popcorn night, off campus activities and even more than the public could even imagine.) The staff turnover is ridiculous, but not surprising since the kids actually run the campus--I'm surprised there hasn't been a riot. The first thing people want to say when you express the corruption at TYC is "then quit--get another job." The fact is some people are close to retirement and because of the economy people know there are not a lot of jobs out there--people feel trapped. We had a staff last week finally lose it, threw his keys at the Administrator and cursed several people out before he left--people are just tired and certainly don't see any light at the end of the tunnel So, whatever happens and whatever department any of the agencies fall under, let's just hope it's under someone who is really interested in what the real problems are.

Anonymous said...

In some kingdoms, this "jail therapy" lasts much longer than just a weekend.

Very obvious need for TJPC standards, especially for an assessment tool for detention.

Even more need for an Ombudsman.

Anonymous said...

In some kingdoms, this "jail therapy" lasts much longer than just a weekend.

Very obvious need for TJPC standards, especially for an assessment tool for detention.

Even more need for an Ombudsman.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update about Pyote, 819. You are correct, things here just get worse and worse; and we are told to not blog or say anything about the conditions here. Thanks for standing up....someone needs to. Everyone is afraid of being branded 'disgruntled employee'.

Anonymous said...

So much for

"Welcome juvie probation directors"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
4:45 pm

Most of this is just angry ex-employees venting. Don't let it get under your skin. Keep up working for children 'cause there is more good happening than bad!

2/08/2009 04:55:00 PM


If it were really about the kids...then there would be no ex-employees venting...Again "employees" leave because they are forced to leave. They are forced to leave because they see that it should be about the juvenile and they try to do for the juvenile...TJPC practices really doesn't like that. They care about their individual self-image with the counties. If they spent a good portion of their time thinking how to really help rather than where they will be getting together after a conference, training, etc...."the juveniles of this state would be in a better place.

Anonymous said...

No doubt that in many cases the home and the parents are a major factor in the problem.

How sad it is that the state of Texas won't move to the group home model for at least some of the appropriate offenders.

Instead, we rely entirely on lock-up in TYC or jail therapy in the local detention centers, both of which are expensive and probably not very effective.

JTP said...

Welcome indeed.....to the wonderful world of Grits.

I sometimes wonder if anyone knows what works and what doesn't work?

I wonder who could really be the new leader(s) within Texas Juvenile Justice?

It seems that if there had not been a scandal in TYC to serve as a catalyst for the 2007 "reactive" legislative intervention in that agency, then all the issues regarding the treatment of Juveniles in the juvenile justice system as a whole that have surfaced on Grits in the last year or so, would still be festering underground.

It seems, from the conversations here, that the whole system, from Juvenile Probation, to TYC and Parole has looked good to the legislature for years, as long as no one really took a serious proactive look at it and the real problems just stayed below the radar.

From many of the comments in this string, it sounds like some local departments have some inovative programs that have worked well at times, but the system as a whole does not appear to have worked interactively, either within agencies or between agencies (TYC and Probation).

It seems that this is made all the worse because Texas Juvenile laws from the Penal Code, to the Code of Criminal Procedure, to the Family Code, seem to be a great big patchwork quilt of disjointed bi-annual legislative fixes on the State level.

It also sounds like County Probation Departments, not unlike Independent School Districts (who feed them their failed kids), have become accustomed to the States' financial dole from TJPC, just like the ISD's have from the various State school funds. Like ISD's, it seems that local Probation Departments try to strike a balance between effective local policies that deal with day to day ops. and the TJPC, that deal with providing funding for "initiatives", which come with lots of "oversight" attached to it.

It sounds like lots of dedicated people working in the juvenile system are just overwhelmed by all the laws and regulations that have evolved over the years, which have a tendency to create tremendous abounts of paperwork, taking time away from time needed for direct services to kids in need.

It just looks like a great big ball of string that no one has any real idea how to unravel, so they keep blindly adding to the ball.

On top of that, there does not seem to be any consensus on the best way to measure what constitutes effective interventions with kids.

Because it is line staff that are a key component in the solution to the systems problems, they have to be personally competent as individuals in order to be effective one on one, one kid at a time, one day at a time. If they are neurotic, have troubled personal histories, than no matter what "treatment program" they attempt to implement, they will likely be ineffective one on one with juveniles. "That's how momma and pappa raised us, and we didn't go wrong", is often the unspoken belief for lots of folks in the criminal justice field. You can send them to training, but the training has to penetrate their "raisin'"

Well after all this mindless rambling, I guess I'm back to where I started with my first question. Is there really anyone in the system with enough leadership, strength, charisma, and power to put Humpty Dumpty together in a structured and coherent system? From all the comments here by TYC and probation folks, I don't think there is.

Given the apparent lack of respect most employees seem to be voicing for the current leadership in the system, it will get worse before it gets better.

CPS and TDCJ are a good examples of what Juvenile Justice in Texas can look forward to if things don't change. Every third or fourth bienium, they are back in crisis again. New day, new plans, same old patterns.

Anonymous said...

Great post, JTP!

Anonymous said...

Weekend jailhouse therapy: from the Directors Conference last week came a definition of a method of probation supervision - "trail 'um - nail 'um - jail 'um!
Thanks for the laugh, Mike.

Anonymous said...

And now for the second act:
With all the turmoil in TJPC's house here comes a 2 1/2% cut in grant funding for the counties? County detention centers are who is working for the residents of the state. We are funding alot more than the state is so when TJPC is told to cut their budget by 2 1/2 % they cut from the little funds that go to the county. GREAT MOVE!!! Why not cut TJPC funding? I am sure the field can pick out a few positions that can be eliminated. Makes alot of sense to cut funding from someone helping kids just so a state agency can stay afloat. I guess we can just start sending MORE kids to TYC since we won't have the funds to rehabilitate them.

Anonymous said...

Been in the Juvenile Justice field for over twenty years now, I'm upset how both TYC and TJPC management folks are not really there for their staff. Leave Vicki Spriggs alone, She has done a lot more than most of those other managers that work at TYC and TJPC have done. One time I called TJPC and was in mid sentence and the Chief of staff... Garza,Telling me that I need to call someone other than her for my issue with a family I was having. She did not know the answer or to busy. Then she hung the phone up ... ( totally unprofessional) I do think Spriggs should kept her negative comments to her self. But I do know that Ms. Townsend is there more for her staff than any of Ms. Spriggs management is. Some of the TJPC managers are not friendly nor do they really know the answers. I think the ones that just sit behind their desk are a waste of JPO'S time. And the sad thing about those managers is they are the one's making high dollar saleries. And the JPO's, working around the clock out with the kids and families and just getting by with what they make for a living. I love what I do and will continue doing this until I retire in the next ten years or so. I do applaud those staff members that do return phone calls and emails in a timely fashion. I'm looking forward to the merger. There needs some house cleaning done in both TJPC and TYC. Some folks just need to go. Too many kids and families are needing help. And I don't beleive those managers don't inform their staff and us JPO's on great work that we are doing. Hang in there Cheri and Vicki.. You two are in charge so tell your managers that we are the ones that don't need to be let down. Cheri to many times I have sent a request to a staff member and not getting the answer that I need.

Anonymous said...

Except for the one incident at the conference I have had nothing but a positive experience with TJPC. I dislike standards as much as the next guy/gal; however, I believe that with $ comes oversight. I also believe that TJPC IS NOT my family as is always stated in our meetings. Anyone that can regulate cannot be considered family. They are my professional associates in juvenile justice.

As for Ms. Spriggs and her staff good luck to anyone putting up with 168 probation departments, legislators, parents, bloggers etc. on a daily basis.

My only beef is when TJPC added police officers to their staff. That was just wrong and sent a very wrong message to the field.

First entry, last entry.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused... Why is management sending TJPC staff to a Police academy for.. They are not police officers. Or even will be police officers. That is a waste of states money. Send the money to the field for better training for JPO's. There is to much he said she said going on. What has happen to this great state agency (TJPC) it is way out of control. I do agree TJPC needs a cleaning. I feel sorry for the great TJPC staff.. that the higher ups don't give the field staff nor the staff at the commission more credit. Those that been there as long as I have been working in the fieeld need to think twice about what is best for the kids and families.. and not just sitting at their desk collecting a pay check and opening their months not knowing what the field really needs to help the kids and families. We don't need a TJPC staff person to become a what you call a "POLICE OFFICER". That is what the real police officers job is to do when issues are out of control.

Anonymous said...

If we had more decent chiefs, they would stand up and get backing for the field. Its too easy for them to sit on their backside and let it all go to hell.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused... Why is management sending TJPC staff to a Police academy for.. They are not police officers. Or even will be police officers. That is a waste of states money. Send the money to the field for better training for JPO's. There is to much he said she said going on. What has happen to this great state agency (TJPC) it is way out of control. I do agree TJPC needs a cleaning. I feel sorry for the great TJPC staff.. that the higher ups don't give the field staff nor the staff at the commission more credit. Those that been there as long as I have been working in the fieeld need to think twice about what is best for the kids and families.. and not just sitting at their desk collecting a pay check and opening their months not knowing what the field really needs to help the kids and families. We don't need a TJPC staff person to become a what you call a "POLICE OFFICER". That is what the real police officers job is to do when issues are out of control.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you if we were actually family Vicki would listen to the field. REAL ISSUES exist yet she hides behind false scare tactics of lawsuits, legislative pressure, advocates etc. She has not helped her family by trying to oppress the field. Now she wants to cut our allowance but keep the funds for herself. Shame. Faith has left the building.

Anonymous said...

Now how did this blog get so off track. Glad to hear all the chiefs had a good time in Austin.

Anonymous said...

If you enjoy a backside reaming, perhaps you did have a good time. Most of us perfer the old fashioned frontal entry where you see your attacker.

Anonymous said...

TJPC is NOT my family either. I have a job, a family & a life. I actually welcomed Ms Spriggs' "Welcome to the chiefs" remarks. It set in cement the us against them mentality that flows both ways. I know she is under tremendous pressure, but this has been building for some time...Sunset just brought it to a head when the mostly positive comments from the field concerning the commission did not precisely follow the line TJPC has been feeding the legislature for years. Did she think it would? Her ill-timed tirade to the chiefs along with the Sen. Whitmire letter and her response once it was exposed to the light of day appear evidence of more pressure than she sems able to withstand. It's terrible for the field and terrible for both the director and TJPC staff...but what certainly must not be left out is that it could wind up being very negative to the troubled youth that probation officers are meant to be attempting to set on a successful life's path.
Perhaps it is time for new leadership in an umbrella agency such as the one Sunset recommends...or at the very least a restructuring on the TJPC Board to include membership from large, small & medium-sized probation departments...after all, Texas IS a large and very diverse state.

Anonymous said...

10:03 "restructuring on the TJPC Board to include membership from large, small & medium-sized probation departments"

This would like having the fox guard the hen house.

Anonymous said...

7:56
BULL.
If that's the case then the fox are already guarding the henhouse with NO ACCOUNTABILITY or knowledge of what they actually govern. Give me a break. Since when does a Preacher, Motivational speaker or president of a glass company know anything about juvenile probation except for what they are told. Simple puppets at the grand puppetmaster's hands.

Anonymous said...

Hey grits:

Whats the record for most comments, this has got to be close.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Whats the record for most comments, this has got to be close."

One TYC string in 2007 topped 700, so not quite yet! ;)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like The Sunset Advisory Commission needs to take a harder look at what really is going on inside TJPC. Will this so call merger really help. It looks like a clean sweep of manangers will do some good. And not the hard TYC and TJPC staff that are really there to get the job done.
And for Ms. Spriggs..."IN Charge" really? Really? I think it is the staff, (That works at TJPC) that is in charge of the commission. Not the manangers. When you need something or have a question, call the staff.

Anonymous said...

I have been in this field for 19 years. I have known Vickie for most of that time. I am currently a JPO and I have worked both large towns and small.The one thing that rings here continually is that many of you are detached from the trenches. I have never felt that someone in Austin can adequately evaluate the needs in my community. As to butt chewing Vickie may have done, She is Human and she has emotions...she has shed tears too...I do not like consolidation or some of the new standards coming down the pike for small counties and small detention centers...I have NEVER abused my power to lock a child up in detention...In the trenches we see things that others don't see. I remember several kids that would get in trouble just to get locked up. They knew they would have a hot meal and a clean bed. Much better than what they had waiting at home. I have seen the other side of those manipulating the system for their needs... I belive Vickie has seen those things, and I believe she has not let go that dream to help those that we work for...not the legislature, but our kids...

Anonymous said...

Ever see a monkey trying to hump a greased football for about 10 years?

All I am going to say is there is a lot of similarities...

To hell with good policy recommendations based on effective and supportive study. Instead lets all just get emotional, wet our pants, and create a huge dysfunctional crisis.

If there is one thing I wish TJPC would absolutely drop from their verbage it is this: "NEEDS BASED TREATMENT!" Never had it, never will. What a crock of XXXX!
Population based formulas for funding is not conducive to Needs based treatment. For example, lets say that county x has 10 kids and all 10 have substance addiction needs. County y has 10 kids and all have sex offender treatment needs. TJPC tells all departments that they are allocating substance abuse treatment money to everyone in an amount based on their county's juvenile age population. County X won't be treating everyone with a need, instead County X will pick the top 2 worst candidates leaving 8 to continue in delinquency. Even worse, County Y will misdiagnose the treatement needs of its population and attempt to treat sex offenders with substance abuse treatemtnt just so they can do something with the allocated funding. SEE THE POINT YET!
Even worse we have an administrative agency that just can't understand how juveniles end up in TYC without getting their treatment needs addressed at the probation department.

Until TJPC is forced to have offices in all regions of the State, and they actually cut back on dictating (standards) and start observing the unique dynamics across the diversity of our courts, prosecutors, law enforcement, geographic locations... so on and so on, it is all pretty much an exercise in futility. They are still a pass through agency, regardless of the title on the door.

Anonymous said...

Outsider looking in;
Sounds like TJPC is just as much "broke" as they say TYC is. I fear for my kids if they ever should get into trouble, heaven forbid. I believe Senator Whitmire is on the right path, merge the 2 agencies and put someone in charge who has actually worked in the juvenile justice field. Management is needed but the ones in the field work with the kids. They are the ones who need the money to make a difference. Senator Whitmire's ideas to bring the TYC units to regional areas may work but they should be smaller facilities. Let's clean house and start over. Sounds like new standards for TJPC need to be canned. As a attorney the more you try to regulate things the more litigation is possible. The KISS theory should be invoked here. Every county has a juvenile board. Make them responsible for overseeing their own departments. Why did TJPC make someone a police officer? That in of itself is a dangerous thing, deputy dog on the prowl without proper practical experience. Give them 1 bullet only. I thought TYC had a OIG affiliation, why not have them do what the TJPC police are doing?

Looking at these blogs makes me wonder if Sunset should not have merged the 2 long ago. Probably will save tens of millions of dollars that should go to helping kids, not policing the departments.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the CJAD Faisco! Vicki and Bonita are both "lost in space." The Adult and Juvenile probation systems are in chaos and you can thank the mountains of worthless paperwork, retaliation audits, being overworked and underpaid for the current loss of qualified personnel in the probation system.
Starting pay for adult probation in Bexar County-$31,000 and 4 year degree+ 1 year experience
Starting pay for high school graduate at USAA insurance-$36,000 and no experience necessary.
I wonder what Vicki and Bonita make?????
Bexar County CSCD chief William Fitzgerald tried to get the names of bloggers on this blog with the help of the Texas Attorney General....so be careful YOUR CHIEF could retaliate against you. Fitxgerald has about five lawsuits pending against him.
I'm really suprised that any chiefs were there, most of the time, you don't see them after the first 30 minutes of a conference!!!!!! Golf/Drinking/Bars etc.

Anonymous said...

Vicki and fitzgerald sitting in a tree.....

How about my right to privacy and speech!!

Blog on Bloggers!!!

Hey last blogger....I thought old Fitzgerald had hit 7 lawsuits already. There is story for you Grits. Bexar County will need a bail out after Fitzgerald is done!!

TYC it could only get better??

Anonymous said...

See Crerie's latest press release? She didn't say anything to help employees, more bs. Nothing on what is going on that effects them or the institutions. Fire her now!

Anonymous said...

Just something to think about.
1). by changing the name and the merger between the two commissions, Will that really stop the problems?
2). I have been a supporter of Vicki for a long time, of cource she messed up big time.. but we all have our bad days. She is just one person. And really.. who is there as of upper managemnet really supports Vicki.. I think they all want her job and going behind her back. Just a few people it sounds like still support Vicki. I reather see Vicki stay at the commission than some of those other so call managers and directors.That are not supported and That don't support the field nor the great employees. Vicki really needs to think about who really has her back there at TJPC. I just don't want to go to another conference and have another one of her managers.. think it is all about them and not about what is really the reason we are in this field in the first place. If it was not for the requirements to go to the IVE conference I would not ever go again.There is just a hand full of go people still left there at TJPC, I'm not going to name them but the field all knows who is there at TJPC for us and who needs to pack up and retire for good.
I do have to say there is a lot of fine people doing great work for the families and children of the state of Texas. Give a hand to those great people. To me Vicki has done more great things than bad things. And she has work in the field before, not like some of her other people who has not been in the field and has no clue what is really going on. That is all I have to say. Concern JPO!

Anonymous said...

Nice grammar!

Anonymous said...

Thats what happens when I have several things going on at the same time!

Anonymous said...

So I hear TJPC sent some of their staff to a Law Enforcement Academy? I thought that is what the local police departments are suppose to do to step in to assist when there are problems.
I do agree it is a waste of money and that money could have been used more in the field. Who's ideal was this.. The upper managers?

Anonymous said...

I believe none of this (blogging)will change or effect any REAL ISSUE in Juvenile Justice but will continue to be a good read for some and ammunition for others...I have REAL work to do, but just had get in my 2cents....

Anonymous said...

For a nickel could you identify one REAL ISSUE in juvenile justice?

Anonymous said...

8:55 yes it was a real waste of money on 1 and the second is in the academy right now. All this when TJPC has been asked to cut 2.5% from their budget and they want to cut it from the county funding. County departments are serving the kids while TJPC staff wreck havoc on our lives and they want to cut OUR funds. Why not cut it from their own budget. How is Harris County gonna divert kids from TYC if they have a half million cut in funding? Someone at TJPC has a death wish. This proposal will just further drive the nails in the coffin. Cut the entire abuse and neglect unit. Local police and others will take care of any allegations betteer than a rent-a-cop who lives in Austin can.

Anonymous said...

07:39:00PM I'm with you.. There is better ways in spending the money to help children and families. I think that was a bad ideal on TJPC. The money can go some place else.

Crimefighter said...

not to divert from the already diverted subject but...

Idea - a thought, conception or notion.
Ideal - a standard of perfection/excellence

two different words which have two entirely different meanings but I constantly see them used interchangeably. and it drives me nuts. humor me

8:05 you should have used the word "idea" not "ideal"
::steps off of soapbox::

One real issue of Juvenile Justice is courts/probation departments inability to mandate parental involvement in their child's probation.
Another issue is the limited resources of rural counties for counseling, etc.
Another issue is training the balance of punitive vs rehabilitation treatment.(yes I believe there should be punishment in juvenile justice)
Still another issue is the lack of funding to probation departments for community programs...seems most funding is directed at reimbursement for placements.
I'd go on but I've got my own blog to write.

Anonymous said...

What cuts are they making to the county department funds?

Anonymous said...

8:54 look at TJPC website. There is a proposal to cut funding from counties from the "Grant H" which is the TYC diversionary funds. Many are concerned this will cause TYC committments to rise. Also, it is questioned why TJPC is cutting funds from departments when they did not cut funds from within. Do the kids not matter anymore?

Anonymous said...

Why would TJPC even consider cutting the funding to juvenile programming when they have other areas to cut?

Crimefighter said...

9:14 that is the Question Inquiring Minds across Texas are wanting answered.

Anonymous said...

Well if they are cutting the money used to divert kids from TYC I guess we better expect more kids soon.

Anonymous said...

This is a prime example of how a STRONG board of directors with people on it who care about kids would put their foot down. This should have been presented to th board first and if there were chiefs on the board this would have never gotten this far. If there was a strong advisory council in place they too could have input. Right not the dominator runs the show and no one has guts enough to go up against her. I think each department should tell TJPC to blow off and cut funds from their operational expenses. They hace a research department but you can't get anything out of them. They have the abuse and neglect unit doing law enforcement work. Give it up. Cut travel, cut IT, cut unneeded positions, don't cut money going to place kids so they don't end up in TYC. WE CARE, DOES TJPC?

Anonymous said...

WOW. Taking money away from the kids. Classic state government. Protect your own, screw the people who pay the taxes.

Anonymous said...

Of course they CARE! If they didn't care, why would they have retired and gone back to work?

Anonymous said...

Cos they're bored at home and like more money?

Anonymous said...

They need to retire ALL of TJPC. That would save the state money.

Anonymous said...

Surely the major players in the legislature will stop TJPC before this happens. They in effect are not trimming their budget but are trimming the county departments without their consent.

Anonymous said...

If TJPC is required by the governor to trim their budget then they should trim it from their budget, not grants. Maybe the new positions VS was speaking about needs to be cut out of her budget and trim her salary.

Anonymous said...

I WILL NOT ALLOW TJPC TO KEEP FUNDS FROM THE JUVENILES OF THE STATE. WE WERE MANDATED TO KEEP TYC COMMITTMENTS LOW AND NOW THAT WE HAVE THEY WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE FUNDS? SENATOR WHITMIRE, DO YOU SEE THIS? BUILD ANOTHER TYC FACILITY BECAUSE HERE THEY COME.

Anonymous said...

9:47 I agree, TYC committments will jump a bit due to this. Chief's should rebel. It will cost the state much more if we send kids to TYC not place them.

Anonymous said...

I dare them to come after the money from me.

Anonymous said...

3:20pm

So if you get a monthly check from TJPC, do you not think all they need to do is with hold the amount the last several months!? Why not take the fight to your legislator for all of us to keep the funds? Put your energy in a fight you can win.

Anonymous said...

According to the LBB, TJPC's operating expenses account for about 2.5 percent of it's total budget. The outraged folks on this comment thread need to at least acknowledge that other than the elimination of all staff and other functions of TJPC there is no option but to take money from grants.

Anonymous said...

INCREDIBLE, ABSOLUTELY XXXXXXX INCREDIBLE...
There are no words...

Anonymous said...

That would be a big mistake cutting funding for the county departments. The cutting funding should be in the TJPC in-house of all things. Directors and managers are making way too much money for what they really do. The state Legislators need to abolish the state employees retire/ rehire. TJPC needs to cut funding from their own agency. If departments in-house has not improved in the last two years merge them with
another in-house department. If in-house departments have not created new programs/ or and better training in the last two years merge them with another department. I looked on TJPC website... and I saw a small agency with two many single departments that could be combined with another department. And too many directors that really are all doing the same job, (That is helping Famlies and children ). Just like any other state angency.. In-house creates departments to promote the hot-shots. That extra money in the states budget could go to the field. So an addition, The auditors/ Sunset Commission should look at TJPC a little closer and see where their money is going. The field could be getting a larger piece of the pie.

Anonymous said...

The TJPC has numerous home-based workers, including managers and "law enforcement" staff. One would hope this would keep operating costs down.

Anonymous said...

2/24/09-
"Home Base workers"? Is that really keeping the cost down? If TJPC and TYC has "Home base workers" Could the field also do the same? Will this really cut cost down?