Friday, March 06, 2009

Details emerging on juvie reforms: Agency merger may be off the table

There's an email making the rounds on county commissioners listservs that includes this striking tidbit from the Texas Association of Urban Counties' Donald Lee:
Today, Chairman John Whitmire called me to inform me that consolidation of TYC and TJPC will not happen this session. He is working hard to reform the juvenile system to provide counties the option of keeping more kids local instead of sending them to TYC and providing substantial additional funding to counties that do so.
If accurate, it's pretty important concession from Sen. Whitmire - to take merging the Youth Commission and the Juvenile Probation Commission off the table. I called the Chairman's committee staff to confirm or refute the rumor, but they were unaware of the conversation.

In a previous item, I'd posted plans suggested by county juvenile probation departments which were passed along by Sen. Whitmire's office about how proposed, new diversion funding might work, but I was inadvertently sent the Travis County plan instead of the one from Dallas, as they'd intended. I apologize for the error.

In any event, little by little, it's becoming possible to piece together what Texas' juvenile justice system might look like, at least in broad outline, if TYC were radically downsized. Now that we've got a copy of the Dallas plan, let's look at a some of its key components. For starters, it includes several assumptions:
  • Participation is voluntary
  • TYC still exists for serious, persistent offenders
  • TYC commitment targets are negotiated with the county
  • County is reimbursed by the State at Intensive ($222) Level of Care per diem for difference between commitment target and average commitment total
  • County pays State per diem for each youth committed over the target
One of the biggest differences is that the Travis and Southeastern County plans would reimburse only at $175 per youth instead of $222 as suggested in Dallas' version.

That's one of the reasons some juvie probation directors have told me they're hesitant to sign off on accepting these new responsibilities - at the higher rate, they say, they're pretty sure they can make the idea work. At a lower figure, quien sabe? Maybe not. Remember, they've already tried managing these same kids with the resources they've got.

At the per-diem rate suggested in the Dallas document, costs would still range higher than $81,000 per youth per year - a savings over the status quo, to be sure, but still much more than TYC's per-youth cost before the 2007 sex-scandal meltdown.

I like the idea of the county losing funds if they send more youth to TYC than their commitment target. That mechanism would give some teeth to the new reforms and is a particularly clever way to ensure compliance.

On the other hand, the voluntary component and negotiated commitment targets add an element of uncertainty to just how much TYC's population might really be reduced. If many counties choose not to participate or judges send more kids to TYC - decisions which lie entirely outside the Legislature's control - TYC could easily be back during the interim looking for emergency appropriations.

That said, a couple of juvie probation directors I spoke to were supportive of the idea. Les Brown, chief of the Lubbock juvenile probation department (speaking only for himself, he emphasized), said:
I do support moving more responsibility to the counties if funding from the Lege comes with it. No doubt counties can place kids in specialized programs (secure/nonsecure) at less cost than TYC. If they're spending $99K per year per student, we can do it much cheaper, hell, maybe 50-75% cheaper than TYC. Rural counties need a good chunk of the money, IMO, because they are the departments who use TYC as a "free placement" while the kid may not need specialized care and programs. As the good Senator says, TYC needs to exist for the worst of the worst and the kid who has been unsuccessful in local programs and several placements. The public needs to be protected from these type kids.

Another way for the Lege to deal with this is to further restrict types of kids (by offense) who may be committed to TYC much like the barring of misdemeanors. Not what I prefer but an alternative.
Brown also seriously questioned, however, if "the private, for profit, county and non-profit infrastructure currently exist for 1000-1500 additional beds?" In other words, if you tell the counties to manage more youth with serious behavioral problems, as a practical matter are there currently enough beds to handle them? I agree with Les that piece of the puzzle remains a big question mark.

Interestingly, I'm told that smaller, rural jurisdictions are more amenable to the idea of managing placements themselves because they have little faith in TYC and feel like, if given enough money, they can deal with the small number of kids they'll be asked to handle. It's some of the larger and mid-sized agencies that are more concerned about the devil in the details.

I've got a few calls still out to other juvenile justice professionals and will write more on this topic when I get more feedback from folks in the know.

110 comments:

Anonymous said...

At Grayson County the average cost per day is $96. We have specialized sex offender treatment beds as well as specialized substance abuse treatment beds. How do the counties keep coming up with projected cost of $175-222? Sounds like someone is getting greedy.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Is that for juvie, 2:57, or adults? For juvie you have case management, education costs and other extras that aren't there for the adult group.

Anonymous said...

2:57--Your confusing the plan with only a residential treatment alternative. Talk to your Chief!

Anonymous said...

It is what is reported by Grayson County and posted on the TJPC web site on the facility registration page. I assume it is a correct number.

Anonymous said...

If the plan here is to keep juveniles at home while supervised by the local departments, then some of that money needs to go in the pockets of the people doing the work.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what's included in that cost per day? Does that include clinical services? What's the Grayson County recidivism rate for that program? Without those details, you're just blowing smoke.

Anonymous said...

3:39--The plan is not just about residential care. Denton, Dallas, Tarrant, Travis, etc all have residential placement; however, there is much more to it than the $90 - $120 amount. Talk with the Chief in your county.

Anonymous said...

Can the chiefs tell us where the rip-offs is and where all the money really goes? Someone always makes a ton of public money on the side in these schemes. Support TYC and save the youth.

Anonymous said...

Check your figures. The actual annual cost today per juvenile after the RIFs and other reductions of the past five months is close to $81,000. The $99,000 number is a historical number from last year with no relationship with current reality. It probably includes Pope's redecorating budget and the cost of never-used Eagle Lake contract facility near Houston. This plan would save practically NOTHING on costs per juvenile.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the old TYC CAP initiative? Sounds like we have come full circle.

Rage Judicata said...

This reminds me of my suggestion that cities not using cite and summons authority should reimburse the county jail for those excess costs.

Somebody's listening to me!

Anonymous said...

MERGE the Agencies Whitmire!! Cut the fat in Austin. Place a real juvenile justice expert over the new Agency, support him/her and get this crap straightened out once and for all during this session!!! Then go after the sucky TDCJ leadership.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grits,
In answer to your 3:05 question Grayson County has their program description posted here.
http://www.co.grayson.tx.us/Juvenile/Juve_Bootcamp.htm

Seems as though they have everything you could ever want for $96.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Christ! It's a bootcamp? No wonder they claim a low cost. It's bare bones minimum on services because they are focused more on the idea of teaching the kids to yell "Sir, yes SIR!" while running in circles. Yeah, that's some solid treatment services there.

Whitsfoe said...

GFB -

Will the counties be required to follow ALL the rules that SB103 has on TYC? Like the 1:12, Ombudsman, OIG, etc? That's partly the reason the cost per day went up in TYC. It required more staff, longer training hours, etc. If the counties have to follow that bad boy bill, I can see their cost per day exceeding TYC. They'll have to pay a much higher salary to compete for employees in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Ft. Worth. What's your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Does "Behind Close Doors" mean something

Anonymous said...

Let 'em try it. In two years after they have found out how much it really costs, they will be exercizing their voluntary rights to not participate, and will be sending kids off in droves to TYC. Problem is, TYC will have been severely "right sized" by then, and will not have the capacity. Which will lead to over-crowding in TYC and more warehousing than ever before since Morales. The Feds will then come back in and Texas will have to establish an Income Tax to pay for the Federal requirements. And, Whitmire will find some way to make it someone else's fault - as usual.

Anonymous said...

The Feds should have taken over TYC long ago.

Anonymous said...

The plans look like solid plans but they don't have any variables for growth in population or referrals. If that provision is added then you have a winner.

Anonymous said...

What happened at WTSS was a terrible tragedy but, did the whole agency deserve to be destroyed? Can anyone tell me anything truly constructive that has come from tearing the agency down? I am not making light of the situation at all. I believe Brookins, the man in education and anyone else involved should be punished to the full extent of the law. The damage they do ruins lives and even generations of lives. I think life sentences would be completely appropriate for those men. They are pedophiles. I do not believe, however, that the entire agency deserved to be destoyed. If that is so, than TDCJ should have been destroyed ages ago. I'm confused. Are we supposed to believe that rape is o.k. in the adult system. We want to give them condoms don't we? Whitmire want to send 18-20 yr olds there, and he wants TDCJ more money. Who care about the kids at TYC? The kids are assaulting each other more, staff are getting assaulted more, the staff has been cut to the point were there is no way the youth can be adequately supervised. They are not getting near the group, and counseling services thaey were getting two years ago, and each day they get fewre and fewer services. Exactly the opposite of what Whitmire said he wanted for the youth. For the record, the majority of youth at TYC were the worst of the worst. They had usually exhausted all efforts in the community to keep them there. The services they had gotten in local JDC's was inadequate and often negligent. No it is not big of Whitmire to suggest that the two agencies need not emerge. He has already destroyed or severely crippled it. In my mind the issue at hand should be how to undo some of the damage as quickly as possible to get services restored to the youth. What on earth does he think is happening right now? He is a policy wonker, not an expert on criminal justice and e was wrong. He and his partners in crime were dead wrong. The solution at this point is not to ponder the creation of more government agencies, or increased funding to poor programs to create new ways of delivering services. The time is now, the need exists now. We are in real time folks. Let TYC get back to conducting core group with the youth and the staff back to protecting them. That is truly the best thing. Find out what really was going on at TYC, for yourself. The people who have the attention of the media no absolutely nothing about the agency. they never bothered to learn anything about it before they starting destroying it. That is the truth. I have no acepting list of people that I consider experts on any subject. I usually start with people who have years of experience who came from the trenches up. That's where I start. Maybe that's wrong. So the merger is off the table, the damage is pretty much done. In the real world, people eo engage in such behaviro have to explain themselves.

Anonymous said...

Here is what the TYC Executive Director had to tell TYC staff regarding the issues at hand:

**********************************************************************

Dear TYC Staff:

This has been a very busy week at the Capitol for the Texas Youth Commission. Let me give you a synopsis of what is being discussed by our elected officials.

An ongoing concern by lawmakers about our agency is the size of our staff in relation to the number of youth we serve. It just doesn't make sense that our youth population is half what it was two years ago, but the number of staff has not decreased at the same rate. I have explained that I had the same concern when I became executive commissioner, and that is why I began our “right sizing” efforts in December 2008.  Everyone understands that the 80th Legislature actually reduced our staff by 1,240 in anticipation of a reduced population. But they also added 600 staff to implement the reforms of S.B. 103 as well as to improve our education and workforce development programs and oversight of medical services. We will continue working with legislative leaders and their staff to determine the appropriate number of staff needed to implement the reforms of S.B. 103, and to deliver solid education and treatment programs in the most cost effective way possible. There are many ways to do this, and I believe that further thoughtful right-sizing is necessary.Â

Another concern lawmakers have is the number of large facilities the agency continues to operate. We have proposed a way to reduce some of our institutional capacity and to increase the number of programs in urban areas. Our focus is on developing more regional programs that can best help us provide services to our TYC youth. Another option is to close some facilities.  And, of course, there continues to be discussion about the pros and cons of consolidating the functions of TYC and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission into one new agency.

During the next several months, these issues and others will be looked at by our state leaders. I urge all of you to remember as this process continues, many different options will be discussed and reported in the media. We are still months away from resolution of these issues, and to the extent possible, we will keep you updated on decisions that will impact TYC.

The one thing each of us can do to help our agency right now is to continue doing our jobs with pride, professionalism and excellence. Our mission has not and will not change – we are making a difference in the lives of the youth in our care. Let that continue to be your focus. I promise to continue working hard to represent you and TYC at the Capitol. I ask each of you to continue working hard to carry out our mission, and I thank all of you for your continued commitment to the youth at TYC.

Sincerely,

Cherie Townsend

Anonymous said...

Question from previous post: "Will the counties be required to follow ALL the rules that SB103 has on TYC? Like the 1:12, Ombudsman, OIG, etc?"

NO NO NO! TYC doesn't control or have anything to do with County Probation Departments, their facilities or their staff.

I really wish people could understand the basic concept of the difference between TYC facilities and county probation department operated facilities.

Let's try this: Who ownes, funds and operates the state adult prisons? Answer: The State of Texas. Who owns operates and runs adult jails? Answer: The county where the jail is located.

It's basically the same with TYC State Schools and COUNTY PROBATION DEPT facilities. TYC Facility = The State of Texas. County Probation Department and County Probation Facilities = Individual Counties throughout the state of Texas.

County employees staff county facilities and programs (unless the county contract with a private company to run their facility or program). TYC facilities are staffed with STATE OF TEXAS EMPLOYEES.

See the difference?

Therefore, bills that create statutes that affect TYC are only for the operation of TYC facilities.

County Juvenile Probation Departments that accept state funding are required to adhere to standards created by TJPC.

It really scares me when someone posts as though they work for either a TYC facility or a probation department can't seem to get that basic difference. (I've seen it happen again and again on this blog in thread after thread about either TYC or Juvenile Probation) Do you not realize who you work for? And who is in charge of your agency, department or facility?

Look on your paycheck. Is it issued by the State of Texas? If the answer is yes, then you work for the State. If is says County of __________, then you work for the County.

If you don't know the difference between juvenile probation and TYC in the state of Texas and you work for either TYC or a county probation department then please do this one and only thing Monday morning...go in a quit your job. You have no business working with the juveniles in our system.

Anonymous said...

Even before the drastic increase to $99K per year per TYC kid, county departments with residential and detention centers cost per day ranged from $85 to $120 compared to TYC's $160-$170. One difference is the huge bureaucracy that has accumulated there in Austin at TYC HQ.

Also, counties place kids outside their own facilities daily for from $90 to $120 although a small percentage with high mental health needs do cost in the $200's.

The long and short of all this though is the "Big 7" counties in Texas control the fate of all the plans making the rounds. Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar, Travis, Neuces, and a few mid-sized counties control what happens at TJPC because of their legislative delegations (numbers)and they are the ones who will cut theeal with Whitmire and other state political figures.

What the "bigs" want, the "bigs will get. It's been that way forever and probably should be since they deal with the greatest numbers.

Every one just hunker down in the tall grass and observe what happens.

And by the way, Grayson County is a model for the greatness of what can happen in county facilities.

Anonymous said...

Grits - the "voluntary component" of the proposals being pushed by some counties is questionable. It has to be "all in" or nuthin' to be workable statewide.

Lots of good thinking and proposing going on here. I think things may just work out.

LMB

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Even before the drastic increase to $99K per year per TYC kid, county departments with residential and detention centers cost per day ranged from $85 to $120 compared to TYC's $160-$170. One difference is the huge bureaucracy"

The other big difference is the type of kid they're dealing with. The counties can send the ones who are most resource intensive (i.e., they cost more) to TYC.

To the person living in that Grayson County paradise, I'm afraid you'll have a hard time convincing me boot camps are the answer, even if they're cheap to run.

Whitsfoe, that's a VERY good question about SB103 rules applying - I've never heard it raised. It would not surprise me at all that if these youth go to the counties, the Lege will expect county facilities to implement those same protections. That said, to my knowledge a lot of counties are already at a 1-12 staffing ratio or below. They were always doing a lot better than y'all were on that score.

Anonymous said...

Cherie's email is a plea for you to remain with TYC so they can RIF you. Do yourself a favor, don't give them the satisfaction. These so called juvenile justice leaders in Austin talk out both sides of their mouth. They will tell you one thing (i.e. we don't want to see the Agencies consolidated), and behind the scenes they say something completely different to the power players in the Lege. Believe it.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Senate Bill 103 and county operations. Senate bill 103was mostly for TYC but had some aspects that did change things for county's as well. It had some good changes in it, but many were patterned after the adult system model and do not take into account many of the standards that TJPC already has in place for county facilities that would not fit with Senate bill 103. For instance the 300 hours of training would be very difficult for counties to provide unless most of that was on the job training and the staff being trainned could be counted in the ratio after some basic instruction on dealing with emergency situations and how to deal with kids that get violent without hurting the child or themselves in the process. I am glad that Whitmire is listening to the county folks and giving the people who have done a good job with kids have a say in the process. The problem with any state agency, huge like TYC or small like TJPC, is that they many times think they know what happens in the trenches, but they have long forgotten. The people that work where the rubber meets the road have a lot better understanding and should be at the table. I believe most of the people working in this field in the trenches or in Austin want the best for the kids of our state, but some who do it daily just have a better idea of what programs work and what does not and what protects kids and makes sense in a real world senario. Common sense can prevail if given the oportunity and sometimes it can be a better bang for the buck as well.

Anonymous said...

Grits,

Have you ever been to Grayson or other juvie BC? Or are you just speaking with a lack of knowledge? Or just knowledge from adult BC's?

Anonymous said...

Grit, two responses to your post:

1. These kids won't "go to counties", they are already there. These proposals for TYC caps won't establish some sort of system to differentiate between regular probation kids and those that should have gone to TYC and didn't because of the cap. They are all lumped into one group: kids referred to probation departments for Del. Conduct or CHINS offenses. They are the responsibility of the local probation department unless they are committed to TYC by a judge. Until that happens, they are all the same on the local level.

2. Probation Department facilities already operate under standards established by TJPC. No one is talking about how the requirements of ratios and training hours established for TYC under SB103, because it won't apply to probation departments.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To 9:13: The National Institute of Justice categorizes boot camps as a failed strategy that doesn't work. Also, see highly critical GAO reports on boot camps and wilderness programs here and here.

In addition, read why Harris County is abandoning its boot camp model to focus more on evidence-based programming.

Anonymous said...

Grits-

Answer the question. Have you been to any juvenile facility? Don't go by an old report that has not been updated in many years. The question was, "Have you been to a juvenile facility?" Name them?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:25 - I understand they're already in the counties, but right now the counties send youth away when they need more resources than they can provide. That's part of the reason TYC's costs are higher. If the counties now must manage those youth, they're not all currently set up for that.

Also, you seem not to understand that the Legislature can apply whatever rules it wants to counties managing these youth. You're correct that TJPC regs govern, but if the Lege says some of SB103 (or other new rules) should apply to this class of kids, that's what will happen.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:31 - I've given you my reasons for saying boot camps aren't the answer.

The GAO reports are from 2008, so that's hardly "an old report that has not been updated in many years." Refute their findings, if you can.

Similarly, folks in Harris County, one presumes, had visited their own facility before deciding what they're doing isn't working. The best evidence says boot camps aren't a good approach.

Anonymous said...

Grits-

Sorry you won't answer the question. Shows bias. There are 30+ post-adjudication and 60+ pre-adjudication. Feel free to visit one (outside of Travis) some day.

Anonymous said...

Check your dates (testimony from findings as far back as 1998) on the report. Also it concerns all type facilities: residential, boot camp and wilderness programs. Not just your hated boot camp. Maybe you would like them to be called academy! That is more the style now.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:55 - You're obfuscating. The 2008 GAO reports gave examples from as far back as 1998 because the authors wanted to demonstrate there's a longstanding problem. They also documented recent examples of serious abuse allegations, like this one.

Finally, then I'm done with you, here's an on-point quote from the Jan. 28, 2009 Houston Chronicle:

"Juvenile boot camps sprang up across the country in the early 1990s amid a national push to get tough on crime.

"However, studies soon showed the facilities did not improve recidivsm rates for youths and in some cases were detrimental to young people who had experienced violence and abuse at home, said Gaylene Armstrong, an associate professor of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University who has studied juvenile boot camps extensively.

"Treating juvenile offenders’ problems with substance abuse, mental illness and anger management, or even just offering them a basic education, was found to be more beneficial than having them run laps and do push-ups, Armstrong said."

Anonymous said...

Grits,
I agree MOST bootcamp programs do not work. Recividism rates are highest among those sent there. Very few county run bootcamp programs show success but the few that contract out have a better track record. I speak from a county that runs one just for the county kids, no contract wih other counties.
Next, the plans circulating are simply CONCEPTS and are still a work in progress according to my sources. There will be another aspect to these ploans produced early next week. NONE of the plans are set in stone. The authors of these concepts have done their homework from what I am told verbally and they have a great idea, just has not been formalized.
Private placements have geared themselves for the potential influx and have been since SB103 hit the counties. It takes money to implement programs for these kids and most counties have resources available IF they have the means to fund them.
I still say ABOLISH and form 1 agency.

Anonymous said...

And, the concepts are NOT an all or nothing at this juncture, strictly voluntary. The Dallas Plan and Travis Plan are for them specifically. The SETX plan looks to be a concept of how a regional plan MIGHT look since I hear they had not even met before the plan hit your website.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"the plans circulating are simply CONCEPTS and are still a work in progress "

I agree completely. That is EXACTLY what I was told, and I hope nothing I've written here implies otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Grits, re: "Details emerging on juvie reforms: Agency merger may be off the table", were there any comments (pro/con) on the proposed juvie reforms by Brown County Texas officials ?

" The Brownwood and West Texas facilities were at the epicenter of the scandal that rocked the agency two years ago. "
http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/dec/16/is-troubled-agency-worth-saving/

Anonymous said...

Two things you flat-earthers need to know: 1)) Counties operate at an 8:1 ratio during waking hours (16 hours a day) AND TJPC has an investigations unit (8 people I think) who investigate abuse allegations in counties. It's not like we are out here running our own little Gitmo's.

Anonymous said...

And so what is missing with all this discussion is the fact that 5% of youth served go to TYC, maybe another 5% are in post-adjudication programs leaving 90% of the 105,760* (95,000+) children county probation must develop programs for. The spot light must be on that number not all the pre- and post-programs.

*TJPC CY2006

Anonymous said...

Some of us here at TJPC are aware of abuse and turn the odd ete to it. We seem to following in TYC's steps. Why don't we learn from this and correct the abuses now?

Whitsfoe said...

Is there any reason why Perry couldn't use some stimulus money targeted for public safety to build these smaller programs in the counties? I know he only wants to spend for one time projects. He's going to use some of it for building highways. Why not use some to build these small programs in the communities? I don't know a lot regarding the stimulus package, but it seems reasonable to me. Any strings attached?

Anonymous said...

Grits,
You never implied otherwise but it appears many bloggers think this is a done deal. Many discussions will be held in the next few weeks and details will become more accurate. The individuals developing these concepts are putting in numerous hours developing a concept designed to the betterment of the state juvenile justice system and secondarily to save TYC and TJPC from being abolished. More details to come next week.

Anonymous said...

If you take public money....you should be held accountable for outcomes. You should be held accountable through outside audits conducted by third parties.

Consider this an open request to TJPC and all of the TJPC funded post adjudication facilities. Grits has clearly stated his reasons why he beleives Boot Camp don't work. Many of you are registered with TJPC as Boot Camps. Show us your studies that your boot camps work?

Grayson County stated on this blog a month or so ago that they had studies that had been completed and would put them on their web site. I keep looking. Where are they? What are you hiding? Why does Grits need to come visit. If you have taken public money you should be able to account for your success, or lack of it.

Anonymous said...

"Some of us here at TJPC are aware of abuse and turn the odd ete to it. We seem to following in TYC's steps. Why don't we learn from this and correct the abuses now?"

If you are who you are attempting to make yourself into then not only are you violating TJPC standards but the LAW also. I have seen the TJPC ANE unit at work and they investigate the slightest hint on anything that even smells of abuse so I doubt you know what you are talking about.
Billybob

Anonymous said...

I have been to juvenile boot camps, and I have been to a real boot camp.

The correctional boot camps work on a severely flawed premise: if it works to instill discipline in military recruits, it will work to instill discipline in delinquents. Not so. When people join the military, the boot camp serves as an enculturatrion and indoctrination tool to bring the young recruit into the culture of the military service. When the recruit graduates, there is a big ceremony and he/she is now recognized as a member of a team, who has earned his/her place on that team. Also significant is that he or she goes through the boot camp experience as a member of a peer group - those that make it all graduate together. Again, the emphasis on teamwork and membership in a group.

How is this experience replicated in the correctional boot camp setting? Old Salty

Anonymous said...

1:19 you are correct. I don't think any true TJPC ANE employee is looking away. I dread it everytime I submit a report to them cause they tend to overinvestigate.

Anonymous said...

I wish Whitmire would stick to his guns, abolish TJPC and TYC or at least put TYC under TJPC but with a new director. Things could work out better.

Anonymous said...

The plans/concepts will work as long as the funding remains constant.

Anonymous said...

TYC does not need to go away but TJPC does. Talk about waste of taxpayers money.

Anonymous said...

The Dallas plan looks great with the dollar figure. The SETX plan and Travis plan is selling themselves short. Get the guts that Dallas has and ask for more money.

Anonymous said...

To 11:58-

Just because you follow the TJPC standards in your county does not mean other counties choose to do so. That is the problem with this local control.

I am the parent of a child who got shuffled into a detention facility without an attorney at a real kangaroo of a detention hearing.

He was held for 14 days and for 7 of those days the entire population was held in solitary for up to 23 hours per day. Some of the school days, education was cancelled entirely and the other days it was usually shortened quite a bit. Virtually no programming.

Heck, they didn't want programming. After all, programming means the residents are out of the cells and they have to hire more guards.

Not every department thinks the same way. "Helping kids" is a politically correct goal, but how you define "help" is critical.

Believe me, there is abuse out there and it's not that simple for TJPC (or the Jail Commission on the adult side) to stop it.

Before any of you resist stiffer standards from TJPC, especially with regards to detention, step out of your bubble. Like with so many other things, a few bad apples...

Anonymous said...

Sorry! That last comment was intended for 11:42.

Whitsfoe said...

GFB -

It sounds like from this parents prospective, the protection afforded under SB 103 ought not be simple "standards," but rather law. SB 103 will be "law" if we merge, unless something else happens.

I still think if state funds are going to supplement county initiatives to keep the boys/girls closer to home, they should be held accountable for those funds via SB 103.

That was a "cure" for TYC.

If counties are allowed to IGNORE SB 103, that would only transfer a problem from one entity to another and offers no protections to kids who would have been sent to TYC prior to this session. In other words, TJPC may recreate a problem that TYC has already seen. Why devastate that agency?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I've missed it, but, I haven't read from any county people that they are opposed to accountability for outcomes or oversight from TJPC regarding standards. Kids that we all deal with, most of them are tough cases and difficult to deal with. Some of them are not ameanable to treatment regardless of what we do. You can lead a kid to water and stand around the pond for a long time but lo and behold, you can't make them drink.

If any of you self proclaimed experts practice, or are even aware of a program that cures all, 100%, 90%, or 80% or even 70% of the time, lay out said program and we'll all jump on the bandwagon, quickly.

Anonymous said...

Well ask John Whitmire about the cure. He'd say pepper spray, Bronco Billy and the Pope. Throw in warehousing. Do it on the cheap, slash TYC's budget... that's the cure, and he is the "expert". Just ask him.

Anonymous said...

Whitmire is a blowhard. He talks big w/big changes, but watch what happens...not much from him except to scratch in public.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the only people who use the phrase "self-proclaimed experts" are, in fact, self-proclaimed experts?

Anonymous said...

I suspect I am beating a dead horse, but the Sunday NY Times has an article discussing the virtues of "military style" programs for at risk kids. These are the National Guard sponsored programs like the one now in Sheffield and was/is (?) at Galveston before Ike. Again, I am not suggesting that boot camps are the answer for all kids in trouble; I continue to suggest that there is no one answer for all kids. I also realize that the advantags to this program include its being voluntary by both the kid and the "sender", i.e. as an option by local probation departments, parents etc.

Anonymous said...

Some boot camps do have merits, just don't allow it to be run like the Sheffield TYC boot camp. What an outrage; a known waste, but allowed breath for selected employees in Austin. Just another sick example of TYC misleadership.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you 100% on Sheffield. Just because you sucked doesn't mean that program sucked. You never worked there. You would have never said that if you did. In fact, that program produced some of the finest kids we've ever seen in TYC. Kids didn't get rearrested after that program, and many, so many went on to defend our country. That was an ideal program. It was small, and the kids interacted with the community who just loved them. Back off SBC. You're 100% wrong.

Anonymous said...

There are so many success stories to be told about TYC youth. You won't read it, people don't want facts to get in the way of what they choose to believe. This entire ordeal has been so unnecessary. TYC had a big problem in WTSS and other problems of course. No agency doesn't. For the most part, TYC did a great job of delivering services to the youth.
Many of you don't believe in idividual responsibility, I do. The youth that changed made the decision to do, we simply supported them in thir effort. Those that failed, were usually determined to do so, despite all of our efforts. No matter what the situation, te individual has to be willing to accept help. TYC offered many many services, more that most people can access in the free. I do not believe te government is responsible for fixing all of our ills. Why do we think any program can undo years of damage done? Think about how many social program already exist. Yet we still have the same social ills. perhaps that philosophy could be wrong. Maybe crime creates poverty. Maybe character and personal drive are important in which way a child goes.

Anonymous said...

Some people will even defend the devil and say he is great. Some of those people work at TYC. TYC provided services to all the youth? You live in a dream world. TYC warehoused youth. If you don't know the difference, you are part of the problem. Few youth in TYC received badly needed services....many were abused by staff.

Anonymous said...

And the WTSS Youth Rights Specialist just looked on until he could retire and write a rant and never said a word. He was the problem. He hid. Just like he does here.

Anonymous said...

Right sizing, down sizing, SB 103, CoNEXTions, resolization, Core group. If this is such a great thing next to the invention of the wheel why don't we just package it and send it ti the rest of the world. Everything sounds good on paper except for the fact that it's all about the money. Who get it or who don't. TYC have change leadership since the scandle broke so stop beating a dead horse about it. First of all the senators should go after the former ones that mismanage the money. Buying crapy uniforms($40.00 each). crapy expensive vests ($50.00 each), new radios ($4500.00 each), cameras (installed in the hunderds at some facilities), hand held cameras ($150.00 each on top of the ones that are installed). Just do the small math on just this items. If you have not worked a day in TYC I challenge you to do so. Join the ranks of a JCO staff from the bottom. Its easy to just blame unproductive results and that the youth not getting anykind of treatments. How can they ever with the amount of bribery used to gain voluntery compliances. Our kids at home don't even have it that good.

Anonymous said...

I think it’s a great that the kids, as many as possible can get the help and treatment they need in the local counties or a cluster of counties for the smaller counties. Then the worst of the worst can be sent to the state’s juvenile correctional facility. I think that’s tyc problem, is there are too many people trying to put tyc in a mold that helps kids but it’s a correctional culture 120 years old. The tyc trying to front that its providing education, anger management, medical treatment is a farce. The tyc spends way to much money covering up what they do. We don’t have to spend all this time and resource on TDCJ. We do not legislate TDCJ to spend time and money covering there atrocity’s, why should we continue this practice of 35 years forcing tyc to be something its has absolutely no potential of doing. To think tyc can do anything but warehouse and abuse the worst of the worst of Texas children is does nothing more than retarded the wheels of Texas juvinial justice. The worst of the worst should be in tyc, the real tyc, the tyc before so much energy, time, and money was spent to cover-up what tyc does, protect the public from the worst of the worst.

What about the tyc kids? How can we fix them and break the ConNextion of kids going from tyc to TDCJ? How can we help these worst of the worst kids break norms and not go to prison. This would be a great way to protect the public.

I would like to read some tyc success stories. I don’t mean the ones about the nice kid who went to tyc for criminal training and ended up being executed by the state of Texas before his 40th birthday. I’m talking in terms of free world success not what you team playa pos call success.

Sheldon tyc#47333 II c/s

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how much money tyc is wasting in its use and or misuse of Information Technology? It’s been my experience that these are arias where a ton of misuse can occur. I would be willing to bet tyc has been severely crippled in this department and could be doing so much more with so much less.
Sheldon tyc#47333 II c/s

Anonymous said...

Don't let the "Boot Camp" name of the Grayson County program fool you, as it evidently has. The military aspect of the program is only a small part. The military aspect is vastly outweighed compared to the rehabilitation efforts in the program, i.e. education, counseling, etc. I’m sure Grayson County would gladly open their doors for anyone to see for themselves. Bill has offered this invite many times before.

Anonymous said...

Being opposed to the merger or the closure of TYC doesn't imply support of the sexual and physical assault of children.
The scandal at WTSS was a terrible tragedy, no one has denied that. It is true that there was an attempt to keep the incident quiet. It is also true that many, many employees reported the incident to officials inside and outside the agency.
TYC has that one major scandal and some other problems. There were bad employees that did not need to be there. That is true of just about any other organization. Much has been said about the poor management at TYC. It was bad before, worse now. There was no reform, only disaster.
Suggesting that TYC been abolished is a serious matter.
Many people have spoken about TDCJ and how scandal plagued it is. That is a well known fact, yet one that many refuse to acknowledge. If TYC were to be abolished, that would leave TDCJ as the only up and running place to send violent, dangerous juvenile offenders. It is well known fact what goes on there. Men get raped. Youthful offenders certinly are going to get raped. To believe that guards are going to prevent that from happening is unrealistic. For some reason, people do not want to hear from people who know this first hand. This author worked with a young offender that ended up in TDCJ for a short while not long ago. That young man is out and wearing a donut ring on his bottom. That young man endured things that most wouldn't believe.
Taking a look at county detention centers and private facilities as an alternative, best to do do some reearch. Of course there are some facilities out there doing a fine job. On the other hand, there are many more that are terrible places, rife with corruption and abuse. TYC severed relationships with many of them ages ago due to tuly, truly substandard conditions.
After close examination, it appears that overall TYC was doing a good job delivering services to youth. Not perfect, but pretty good. There are many, many wonderful employees that are leaving TYC and that is a shame. TYC's good far, far outweighed it's bad. That is the truth. Many of these folks continue to try to deliver what they can to the youth given current conditons.
What eveyone needs to remember is that there is no perfect facility, rehab, or human that can magically rehabilitate youthful offenders or anyone else. Years of bad parenting, criminal environments, ingrained criminal thinking etc.. cannot be erased overnight. The important part it to give the youth as many tools as possible that will help promote success. At some point individuals must assume responsibility for their lives, and develop their own moral compass that will guide the direction of their lives.
TYC attempted to convey this. There was a young man from Corpus Christi Texas, that went on to be honored by President Clinton for his unyielding determination to be successful. The yong man had no family in or out of TYC. Upon release, he took advantage of TYC's independent living program and got a job and an apartment in Corpus. The young man managed to get to work everyday without a car. Sometimes he walked the several miles long distance to his job. He refused to give up, inspite of the odds. As stated earlier, that is what it takes to succeed.

Anonymous said...

News that the merger may not happen is good. Now, the answer to the budget woes is an easy fix. Close Victory Field, let Gainesville handle the kids from that area. Close Crockett and leave Mart to handle the youth from that area. Leave Al Price to handle the load from Travis/Harris, and close Giddings, those kids can go to TDC or do they regionalize & are the kids there close to home? Leave West Texas to handle the kids from the Western part of the state. This would have a better equalization of facilities to the east, west, south and north. Of course this would be too simple for our elected officials. I got on the TYC website and happened on a map of the facilities. They are all mostly in the east, northeast part of the state. The only facilities in the west were Schaeffer and West Texas. Closing the above mentioned would be an equitable solution. Plus numerous halfwalf houses scattered around and not too equally either, could serve the number of youth in trouble. I have no agenda, as I'm retired and do not know a soul that works for TYC. Just an unbiased opinion. Have been following the TYC saga on my own for months now. Trying to save the taxpayers money. FWIW.

Private Citizen

Anonymous said...

1218...Did TYC cut your gravy-train off? Forced to work or walk...so they made you walk. Rif'd fits you well. Your bitterness is broad enough for the whole agency.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post on the Boot Camp at Grayson County. We have one of those in our county and that post points out the importance of the culture in the program.

I know someone who worked at a facility for emotionally disturbed kids for a few years and then took a job at a county Boot Camp for more pay. He didn't stay there very long and went back to the lesser pay. He said he wasn't willing to treat kids in the manner they expected.

If these facilities start popping up everywhere, there needs to be plenty of oversight by TJPC and they need an Ombudsman as well.

While those entities may not be able to eliminate a mentality/culture that emphasizes the "boot", they can at least protect basic civil and human rights.

Anonymous said...

Close Giddings? Wow. How uninformed.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon, unfortunately we can't just give you their names...But they are out there. Many of the 'worst of the worst' have received intensive services and been released, and gone on to live productive lives.

Anonymous said...

Lots of staff that laughed and stated 'I work for the state", were actually surprised when they were cut. I know some coworkers that felt it would never happen 'here', but they should have been more realistic. Wew are too important to close. Listen to them now. Some of them even 'knew big people'...lots of help, huh?

Anonymous said...

All of you that are still working for TYC are sadly uninformed.

Anonymous said...

3-9/9:01 pm, please inform me. I'm just your run of the mill retired citizen! No bias, whatsoever, except for saving taxpayers money!

Anonymous said...

After 25 years in the field, I've determined that the one thing about juvenile corrections that is constant is the endless reform process that it goes through. And, until that fundamental change in humankind occurs, the system will always be in a state of reform. Its unfortunate that both the private sector and public sector (and I've worked in both)seldom change until some sort of horrendous scandal erupts. Then without fail, those charged with oversight, react in the most extreme fashion and then usually in the wrong direction. Hopefully, one thing that will occur from this mess is that the state will be more active in monitoring both the private and public sector. In my 10 years as a private sector administrator and 13 as a public sector employee, they have always talked a good game, but never actually played it through the 4th quarter. At our facility, just as it is as those still remaining, follow through and commitment are sadly lacking. If someone would ever come out with a clear plan, instead of just throwing money and ink at the problem, I'm certain that the overwhelming majority of TYC employees would initiate the change process themselves.

the Whispering Voice.

Anonymous said...

The word is..Whitmire has volunteered to be superintendent of West Texas State School for one month, starting 1 April 2008. He indicated he would get rid of any left over fat that was hiding out there. You wanted experience into the field to see what was going on. Watch out what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

I am appalled at all of this.
It could have and should have been handeled way way different than the way this is going. Only the guilty survive and thrive.

Anonymous said...

3-10/11:29 am. We welcome Senator Whitmire with open arms. We would love to have him spend a month at WTSS. We love company!! Seriously Senator Whitmire, you are welcome to visit anytime.

Anonymous said...

A new plan is circulating, one more promising than the others if you follow the train of thought, based on projected felony kids in each county or region. It still promotes a 50% reduction from a target number as long as the money is provided to the county up front. Fluctuating target comitment rate as opposed to a direct hard number helps counties like ours which is in Dallas area that is growing in population and also in referrals faster than all others in state. It is most realistic plan yet. Will same state alot as well as keep kids out of lockdown.

Anonymous said...

A big problem with leaving Al Price open to handle Harris County by themselves is the fact the campus has been evacuated three times (at least) and rebuilt once from hurricanes. Plus they don’t have the beds to take Harris Countie’s commitments by themselves. Closing other facilities is an option but you have to take into account that Al Price will evacuate again and will be damaged again.

Anonymous said...

3-9 6:58

Please don't talk about facility closures until you know the truth. It tends to get people a little worked up thinking there facilty may close. Rumors!!

Anonymous said...

More TYC thinking errors. Don't speak about closures or it may come true? Disregard rumors and they can't come true. That is the biggest reason that all these tyc employees are out in the rain now....they disregarded all the rumors about rif's and closures. WAKE UP.

Anonymous said...

The all wise TYC prophet say: It is much wiser to head for the gate on your own accord than walk out with your head hung low and jobless.

Anonymous said...

TYC prophet is right on. So many timid and guillible employees felt they were too important to be rif'ed. Or is that just arrogance? Or stupidity. At any rate many were sacrificed for the tyc-goal of right-sizing. Why would so many employees allow their lives to be manipulated so much and just sit and wait for a saving course of action? Prophet say....can't cure stupid.

Anonymous said...

April 1st? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

3:09

that or highly motivated to serve and help the most challenging youth in the state.

Anonymous said...

3-11/8:59 pm. critical & judgemental aren't you?? How did you cure stupid, by becoming disgruntled and vindictive?

Anonymous said...

The TYC website shows the TYC average length of stay is 20.5 months. But local probation is only going to keep them for 12? I'm sure they won't keep them longer than what they're reimbursed for. Is that going to increase oublic safety? And is TYC only going to get reimbursed for 12 months for each kid the counties go over their target? Especially considering the counties will keep the less serious and send the ones who will have longer lenghts of stay.

Anonymous said...

Very little control should be left with TYC. Very little of anything. History has shown TYC is a lost cause...funds should be given directly to counties and help provided directly, without TYC interference. Why cause more harm to youth than TYC has already imposed on them?

Anonymous said...

TYC Prophet,

Unfortunately we lost some good people during the RIF especially at WTSS - staff that were comitted to the mission, knowledgeable, motivated and loyal. You and your negative thoughts reflect what is left at TYC to carry out the mission - disgruntled, lazy, retired on the job, aged sedimentary staff - good luck TYC - this is a Mission Impossible now that you have only what is left at the bottom of the barrell to work with - too bad.

To those few good staff: If it dont apply then let it fly!!

Anonymous said...

Prophet says: So all the good employees were rif'ed and now only dead beats are left in TYC? Speak of arrogance. Why would TYC rif only the best staff and leave only the worse? You don't make sense...just trying to justify your own failures.

Anonymous said...

0105:: From your comments, you needed to be rif'ed. You say there a no good staff left at WT, well you are full of yourself and bunk. That was part of the previous problems, some of you thought the system ran just for you, until you got caught up and were rightly fired. Good luck to the good staf that are still holding on at WT.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy into only bad employees are left at West Texas, and the good ones were fired. Its understandable that those fired are upset, but perhaps some of your own actions caused the picking for firings. Besides, who determines what staff are good and which are bad? Its all in the butt kissing game that TYC plays. Oh, gee, did I say that.

Anonymous said...

Thats not completely true, since some of the biggest butt kissers, were fired also. They thought their places were secured with their adjustable lips for management, but wow....the bell tolled for them and what a suprise. Some butt kissers got the slammer hard.

Anonymous said...

I really am confused how the same department that failed to rehabilitate the youth in the first place are going to be given more money to do the same things they have already done that have demonstrated to be unsuccessful...how does this make sense?

whitsfoe said...

GFB - Remember this? You were right on the money back then and called it accordingly. The moral was effected, and the consequences came.

GFB - 2007

"Don't get me wrong, TYC desperately needs to be revamped (as does TDCJ). I broadly support most of the reforms that made it into the major TYC legislation and think moving toward smaller units designed for juveniles and closer to the cities the kids come from heads in the right direction. I only think that to reform an agency, you need the support of the majority of workers who didn't do anything wrong and aren't responsible for the bad acts of their superiors or coworkers. The firing of a 56 year old man for a burglary committed at 19 (that the agency knew about when they hired him) does nothing to improve the agency and destroys both morale and institutional cohesion. Except for legislation that will reduce TYC's inmate population, nobody is addressing TYC's real problems."

That was good stuff then and it still applies today.

The entire agency has been, and remains, demoralized by the actions of the ledge and these unproven plans. If Whitmire wanted these things two years ago, then why wait until the session began before exploring them?

Whitmire never addressed this when Demitrius Pope was in command. What changed? We didn't accept her as ED?

It wasn't TYC that didn't accept Pope as ED. Think about it. It was Perry's conservator, Richard Nedlekoff, who was persuaded by child advocates, like Apple Seed, Advocacy Inc and the ACLU that dismissed her.

They didn't want TDCJ in kids lives, and we all agreed.Pepper Spraying everyone for the reasons they wanted was enough to make us all puke and feel dirty.

I wouldn't have lasted in that environment. Others didn't and left.

Can we get get the kid closer to home? Yes, and we should make every effort to do just that. Some will require a more intensive intervention program that moves them farther away from home to get those services. Not every placement is saturated with chemical dependency, sex offender and capital offender therapist. Not even in the Big 5 (Dallas, Ft.Worth, San Antonio, Houston and Austin). Those degreed in these areas will require a salary much more than John Whitmire is anticipating. That's a reality.

But I want to emphasize that the kids that need these services will get them, and that's the target population of Cheri Townsend, who is the most impressive executive director/commissioner since Steve Robinson.

Whenever we have to put a hand on a kid, we want to pat he or she on the back and tell 'em what a fine job he or she is doing in their individualized treatment program and reward that participation with a timely release from our custody.

That's our attitude.

(Chuey needs to quit being a chump and start sounding off). WF

Anonymous said...

"Chuey" believes that the whole issue with TYC evolves around elected officials who come in every two years and screw things up more so than the previous two. Reform will never be attained as long as you have Madden and Whitmire running the ship, this is reality.

The new treatment program may work but all we talk about is RIF's and downsizing, most staff have their focus on looking elsewhere rather than doing their jobs based upon the elected officials continued tweaking and moaning of whats wrong with TYC. Plus it makes it difficult to recruit qualified staff when all you hear about is the bad and never the positive about TYC.

If Dimitira would have stayed with TYC you would not hear the negatives about this agency based upon Whitmire's fondness for her, and this is sad. Get over this vendetta you have against TYC your an elected official please act like one (I know this would be a stretch).

I guess what really confuses me is the lies we continue to hear about TYC. Lets begin with the 1994 session when they wanted to criminalize the youth so we built 96 bed open bay dorms at our campuses, then 2007 when they said we need to downsize because these huge open bay dorms are in-humane. Prior to 1994 TYC had small campuses that actually worked with youth on an individual basis (thanks elected officials).

2007- Our elected officials in the form of SB-103 ask TYC to add the Ombudsman, OIG (Law enforcement), 12 youth to 1 staff ratio, camera's in every room, family liaisons, etc, etc, and they are concerned about the costs it requires TYC to keep a youth, but the Counties can do it cheaper!!!!! And now you ask about the costs, the folks who continue to place you guys/gals in office are the most ignorant folks around based upon your continued high achievement. How can you continue to look yourself s in the mirror daily knowing that you created this mess but you have never taken any responsibility.Ethics and high standards are phrases of the past or maybe your freshman year you had these but corruption takes over at some point?

Now we have a Director who just might turn this ship around and this prospect scares you, go back to your day jobs and please quit running for office, we do not need another two years of lies and cronyism.

Anonymous said...

WTSS and the employees are doing a great job despite the cloud they've had to live under. They are not under DOJ watch, the star team/s are not deployed constantly to quell riots, kids are not running up on the roof,etc, etc. Is that what the beef is with some you? Grow up and quit trying to place the ills of TYC on WTSS. They have become the political volleyball in game that is both spiteful, vindictive and greedy. A once great dormitory style facility housing 176 youth or more has been reduced to a 48 bed facility because of political pandering in the name of cost savings which has always been a bone of contention with the ledge.

Funding for TYC has always been meager. Yet they are expected to hire the best and have treatment programs that change at the whim of the powers that be and never get off the ground.

TYC has many employees in the field, in all facilities, that stay because they like the job. Granted all have some bad apples, but the hope of turning a kid around makes it easy to show up daily. It's not the money because many of them have not seen a raise in pay for years. Perhaps our new leader will be able to instill ethics, loyalty to the company and revive TYC but being at the mercy of the ledge, don't hold your breath, they are determined to set us up for failure. You're only option is to vote these people out of office as each term expires. Quit tearing each other down and let people hear the good that is done daily at TYC. The good outweighs the bad any day!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your constant complaining at WTSS. You only have a few youth for all your staff to watch. We here, at Crockett, still have too much to properly handle and we can't get any help. With the few youth you have out west, how can you now still complain about conditions? Come to Crockett and provide some help for us also.

Anonymous said...

How about the problems at other TYC facilities? What is going on at Vernon and Evins? That WT unit is closed, so why all the posts about that failure? Is there still hope for the others. Give updates, guys, on these sites.

Anonymous said...

The west region institution is stagnant, scum and proven to be usless. Lets move on and bury this isolated place of human torture. The few that survived there stay there waits for peace and freedon ftom that place of terror. Peace .

Anonymous said...

Looks like the cuts are not doing so good, 1 Youth in Crockett committed Suiside today and Brownwood had a Big Riot due to a Student sexual assult,, Oh that was a Student on Student Sexual Assult...There was talk in town from a guard that during the riot They called the asst super and She advised them they could handle it!!!! Now I see we have a problem in Brownwood.....Doent that say She is neglect of Youth ?????Someone needs to address this issue before someone gets hurt ...or worse than that look what happened in crockett..

Anonymous said...

There are some damn good staff left at WTSS but how long can we keep them? How long will we survive? There are staff all around the agency that do not carry their weight but no one holds them accountable for that so they feel they can be "retired on the job"and do whatever they want because administrative staff or Austin provides no oversight and did not hold these people accountable for their incompetence, laziness and spreading of negativity - I wish those of u left good luck

Anonymous said...

What a terrible incident for Crockett staff and youth to have deal with. Ya'll are in my prayers.

Blu Nicholson

Anonymous said...

Everyone is discussing their matter to the wrong people. we all need to address our concern to the idiots that runs the State of Texas.