Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Auditor: TYC not processing abuse complaints quickly enough

The State Auditor's Office today issued a followup report on the Texas Youth Commission's compliance with reforms mandated in 2007. While the SAO found the agency had implemented 72% of reforms suggested in its 2007 audit, they identified several shortcomings:

- TYC did not competitively bid 11 contracts totaling $19.5 million that it awarded while the agency was in conservatorship from March 2007 to October 2008. While the Texas Government Code grants a conservator a series of powers and duties, it does not specifically exempt a conservator from complying with state procurement rules.

- TYC has not increased the number of certified sex offender counselors in its treatment programs or retained necessary documentation to support its staffing projections for juvenile correctional officers for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

- In fiscal year 2007, TYC proposed closing five residential facilities. As a result, the Legislature reduced TYC's appropriations for fiscal years 2008 and 2009. However, TYC continues to operate the Victory Field Correctional Academy and the West Texas State School, which were two of the facilities that TYC proposed closing. TYC reported it spent $21.8 million during fiscal year 2008 to operate these two facilities.

- TYC did not ensure that its Office of Inspector General (1) received and investigated all reported allegations of mistreatment or (2) initiated and completed investigations of alleged mistreatment within 30 days as required by agency policy.

As for the facility closures, those will be decided in the conference committee on the budget. The House wants to keep them, the Senate wants to close them. The no-bid contracts are an unfortunate legacy of conservators' past, but not anything the current management can do anything about now.

Emily Ramshaw at the Dallas News focused particularly on new data about delays in investigating abuse cases, pointing out that SAO says "TYC took an average of 100 days to complete an abuse or neglect investigation - compared to 57 days in 2006, before the abuse scandal broke. The agency requires them to be complete in 30 days. 'TYC should evaluate whether [it has] the staffing resources necessary to complete investigations within the required time frames,' the report states."

See the full SAO report (pdf).

147 comments:

Anonymous said...

So the OIO was vindicated after all. Surely Whitmire and Madden will acknowledge that publicly. In fact, there were a number of bold posters on Grits who had their criticisms of that OIO report. Will they now come forward?

123txpublicdefender123 said...

O/T, but, Scott, you have to read this: http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/05/texas.police.seizures/index.html

Anonymous said...

"In addition, auditors identified one investigation that the
AMI system showed was opened in November 2008 and closed in May 2008. The Office of Inspector General determined that a staff person had backdated the closing of the investigation." So, the auditors were compelled to devote two sentences to a TYPO and call it back-dating? Oh, brother. I'm glad I'm...

XTYC

Anonymous said...

Please consider the possibility that since the establishment of the OIO, TYC wards have vastly increased the number of complaints filed. I have noticed a great increase in the number of "notifications" of investigations I receive from TYC.

Anonymous said...

Scott, do you have any idea when the conference committee on the budget will meet to discuss the facility closures?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone really surprised? Get real, this goes on, has and will continue. TYC is above the law....it thinks. There is much more to this and it is much wider in scope. REFORM?? Funny.

Anonymous said...

Gee, behind on investigations... of course this has nothing to do with the fact that the number of admin investigators went from 21 to 8, with approximately the same number of investigations. No, of course not!

Anonymous said...

SOS.SOS. TYC has the same old answers when it gets caught. We need more money. We need more workers. Its not our fault...its someone elses fault. Poor me...Poor TYC.; its the kids fault...its the fields fault...sucker public for putting up with this crap.

Anonymous said...

1:05, OIO is not vindicated! TYC has always acknowledged that investigations were late. In fact, the agency was taking steps to fix that when the "Reform" happened, and D. Pope and company were allowed to gut the division by reducing staff levels by more than half. The problem with the OIO report was that they knew the truth and had the authority to get answers, but they never asked. Instead, OIO relied on information from one of their staff who had no experience with the investigation tracking system and a second staff of questionable moral character to produce the "report" (if you can call it that). If you need proof, read the OIG follow-up report in which Will H. admitted their glaring errors. It was never published, so you may have file an open records request or ask Mr. H for a copy.

Grits, I believe one of the Anonymous posts following the publication of the OIO report pretty accurately detailed the real story.

Anonymous said...

It is simply a shame, but the truth - OIO and OIG, both are a continuation of the old TYC culture. The colors may have changed but open the door and there is the same old TYC inside. What a wonderful feeling as we are again taken for fools and continue to pay dearly for yet another wild ride.

Teresa Stroud said...

In February 2007 there were needs at the agency that included the need to improve the youth rights system, incorporate an OIG office to conduct independent investigations and improve security/surviellance systems on campus. The agency needed better partnerships with local prosecuters and law enforcement to ensure that youth or employees who violated the law were held accountable and prosecuted.

As a former Superintendent, I remember well the day that members of law enforcement including Texas Rangers entered all Texas Youth Commission facilities, including the Ron Jackson Facility in Brownwood. It was March 7, 2007. A Texas Ranger, Criminal Investigators with the Texas Attorney Generals office and TDCJ OIG investigators went into every facility pulling Alleged mistreatment allegations, youth complaint records and employee personnel files. They interviewed staff and youth and remained on our campuses throughout the summer. They visited regularly over the following year while the TYC OIG's were hired and put on campus. They worked with the Special Prosecutor's office on old and new cases involving allegations of mistreatment that resulted in criminal indictment. They arrested several TYC staff, administrative and otherwise across the state.

I remember one of the investigators in the AG's office interviewing me and commenting on the lengthy delays in prosecuting TYC staff members who hurt youth in our care. He was referring primarily to the case in West Texas, but also to others where no indictment had been forthcoming. He inferred that the lenghthy delays were the result of those in positions of authority failing to act and advocate on behalf of those youth. I was wholly offended.

My first position in state employment was with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services as a Child Care Licensing Specialist. I conducted investigations of abuse, neglect and child deaths in licensed child care facilities. My first job with TYC was in the position of Youth Rights Specialist investigation allegations of abuse, neglect and mistreatment in a TYC facility. I took the job seriously.

As Superintendent, I believed it was my responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all youth and staff at the complex. Any injury, mistreatment or abuse in my facility was something I took home with me and lost sleep over. We took immediate action to correct what we could and decisively handle what we couldn't correct. I believed that I was the responsible parent for every student in my care. It was my responsibility that all working for me took the best possible care and provided the best possible treatment and education services to our youth. I owned that responsibility. The entire idea was to return a youth to the community who had learned to make better choices, learned some degree of self-control, had better self-esteem and better education.
I remember looking at the AG investigator that day and telling him that every criminal court in the state of Texas is woefully behind on prosecution of criminal cases and while I could not speak specifically to the West Texas case, I did not believe the prosecution was delayed because the victims were TYC youth.
I told him that day that my own child - who had never been in TYC had been the victim of abuse at the hands of a family member and that her case was still pending in a Texas court since 2005. (2 years).
Now, 2 more years later, the case in West Texas continues to go unresolved and it is likely that neither alleged perpetrator will ever be convicted of the crimes they are accused of. (I am not saying they are innocent because I have no idea) - but I am saying the criminal justice system in Texas- particularly the courts system is sorely lacking. The case in West Texas was investigated and turned over to prosecutors in Ward County, just like many other cases across the state. TYC never had the administrative or legal authority to prosecute anyone.

Just last month, my daughter's case went to trial - exactly four years after the allegations were made- 3 years after the indictment and more than 10 years after the crime. She was never in TYC and she deserved- as any child does- justice for the actions of adult who abused her. She did get justice but it took her entire childhood. She was in Kindergarten to Fifth grade when she was victimized. She was a Freshman in College when she finally got to see her abuser found guilty and imprisoned. And it brought none of us any joy, but it did bring peace of mind that he could not further victimize and the community would be safer with him removed.

One of the things that brought me the greatest frustration and grief as a Superintendent was the fact that the Youth Rights, Youth Complaints and Alleged Mistreatment systems were in much worse condition when I left the agency in October 2008 than they had EVER been prior to February 2007. The reorganization of those departments was poorly handled, resources were misallocated and assignment of duties was never appropriate after the reorganization. It brought an immediate increase and crush of allegations, complaints and investigations and fewer people to actually conduct them. The complaints were and still are going through so many offices that no one could keep a completely accurate tally of what happened to some of the allegations made and whether they were appropriately assigned or routed for handling. Workloads for youth rights specialists, Superintendents Administrative Assistants and Superintendents increased exponentially while TCLEOSE certified OIG officers sat in offices on TYC facilities refusing to take any case that did not appear to have an allegation that may include a law violation. This because these officers don't conduct administrative investigations, only investigations which include allegations that if proved, may result in criminal charges. They are paid more, provided more resources and handle much less work than any Youth Rights Specialist or Youth Rights Investigator in TYC. With legislative oversight, the past conservators took a system that needed improvements and better management and they broke it. And now, in black and white it is taking much longer to complete an investigation than it did in 2006. This started in March 2007 - just look at the numbers. One thing they did get right is the improved surveillance systems. They aren't perfect but they are 10 times better than what was in place before - and guess what? That came with a big price tag. Sometimes it does take more resources and finances to fix certain problems. The number of Youth Rights Investigators dwindled and the Central Office Executive staff increased by a large percentage.

SB 103 had some effective, worthwhile elements, but it is overall a piece of legislation that needs serious review and some revision. Many of the situations created by that legislation did nothing to improve circumstances for TYC youth. Many of the actions taken at TYC under the direction of the Joint oversight committee have been unethical, irresponsible and were not done with the best interests of TYC youth in mind. That is my opinion and that is what blogs are for.

Sometimes, politicians get it wrong. They should be man/woman enough to re-evaluate and make necessary changes to improve care for these kids as well as improve working conditions for TYC employees. And maybe, this time, they should go about it by asking what they can do to help, finding innovative ways to provide the cutting edge treatment services and making it possible to help kids in the TYC system. They could start by helping to improve the Youth Rights System, require more of the OIG department and ensure that needed resources are available and in the right place.

Maybe someone should review the number of cases opened since March 2007 that have actually gone to trial or been disposed of. Many remain in the special prosecutors office who has had no better luck than any district attorney in getting cases to trial before 2 years or so.

Teresa Stroud
Former TYC Superintendent

dirty harry said...

Youth abuse can happen in many forms. The special ed population in TYC is about 46 percent, yet state and federal laws regarding timelines for services are routinely violated. Some youth never receive services at all, not to mention counseling services. I guess that's what happens when you try and run the education departments with skeleton crews.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Teresa! It's good to hear from someone with your level of expertise.

dirty harry said...

Theresa Stroud said:
"With legislative oversight, the past conservators took a system that needed improvements and better management and they broke it."

I think this pretty much sums up everything that has happened at TYC since the "big fix."

Theresa Stroud then said:
"Many of the actions taken at TYC under the direction of the Joint oversight committee have been unethical, irresponsible and were not done with the best interests of TYC youth in mind..They [politicians] should be man/woman enough to re-evaluate and make necessary changes to improve care for these kids as well as improve working conditions for TYC employees. And maybe, this time, they should go about it by asking what they can do to help, finding innovative ways to provide the cutting edge treatment services and making it possible to help kids in the TYC system."

I'm right there with ya, Theresa. I guess we can all dream, can't we?

Anonymous said...

Teresa said:
"They arrested several TYC staff, administrative and otherwise across the state."

Whatever happened to that case in Ayres House? You remember when the Administrator was arrested on the spot by the Texas Rangers. Was that dropped or is it ongoing? Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Well said, Teresa. It is great to hear from you and see that you still have your passion and that you are still willing to call it like it is. I always respected that about you. TYC lost a valuable asset when you decided to move on. I sincerly hope (and strongly suspect) that it has been a good move for you and your family.
>Don Brantley

Anonymous said...

There are people who know the news about this case, but they won't talk (tell us). TYCers, for the most part, are still afraid to talk.

Anonymous said...

9:43

Your comment contradicts itself. On one hand, you blame Pope for the problems the OIO report illustrated. On the other hand, you are saying the report was wrong. It can't be both. The fact is, as you and everyone on this string posts here, the system was broke and the OIO brought that to public light. Your denial indicates to me that you were involved.

Anonymous said...

It's telling that the main criticisms in the report - the no-bid contracts and the lagging abuse investigations - nearly all took place under conservatorship. Much more could be said about this but I'll leave it alone.

I agree strongly with Teresa and others here that the prosecutorial inaction - esp for the WTSS case - is an appalling embarrassment.

Doesn't exactly breed respect for the rule of law, and isn't that what TYC is supposed to be teaching youth?

BB

Anonymous said...

Anon 5/5/09 8:47pm
Yes, this is why the recidivism is so high, it’s the thing the children see while students at the tyc crime school. It’s the adult role models the children see running the place that makes tyc the oldest number 1 rated crime school in the world. Nothing new under the sun when it come to tyc.

It’s a shame that we have to waist all this tax payer money forcing tyc to pretend to care about how tyc treats its inmates. ADD that to the waist of tax payers money because tyc inmates don’t grow their own food and make their own cloths, in the name of vocational training, and in your face you have a tremendous crap on the fiduciary duty of this historically mismanaged agency . It’s too bad tyc cant do as good a job preparing these kids for prison physically as they do mentally. Oh and that brings up another waste of tax payer money, on programs to re-socialize these kids. See recidivism rate.

Mrs. Stroud, that’s was very bold of you to post what you posted. If what you write is how you really feel, then I would have to say tyc lost a good unit superintendent. Those who have high moral values will call you awesome and those deep in the deception of the tyc front will call you disgruntle ex employee like they do Mr. Chance, it’s human nature. I to was at a tyc facility when the Feds and the Texas Rangers came in and questioned everybody about abuse. This was in the 1970’s and what you write should confirm to any thinking person with regards to tyc there is nothing new under the sun. The tyc claimed to have fixed everything back then, but all that appears to have happened was an increase in the rate of robbery of tax dollars perpetrated by a state agency to create more fronts to cover the mismanagement of youth.

I shake my head while I ask the question, will you people ever get this close to right? How long will the elected officials continue to allow a state agency who has historically and continuous to this day maintaining a system that destroys the lives of children and their families who come to them as a last chance for help? How long will we the taxpayers keep paying for this in your face act of functional retardation by this foolish sate agency?

You people may have moved into newer buildings, fresh paint, change of color, but all that did was open to the public how much more this agency is mismanaged today than back in my day. Else we wouldn’t be blogging about the managerial retardation of tyc that our elected officials’ continue to allow.

Nothing New under the sun with tyc, and I also think Newton’s second law of thermodynamics is alive and well at tyc. The tyc’s entropy (disorder) appears to be consistently increasing.

Sheldon tyc#47333 II c/s
Gatesville State School for Boys
Mountain View State School for Boys

Anonymous said...

Hey Don, why don't you give her a call and ya'll can play kissy face and talk about the good ole days, and how TYC is worse off today than it was in 2007. Then go back to your own little world where you sit on your thumbs, and don't take any action to right the wrong that you and many others have had to endure. I would have expected more from you after they way you were done.

Anonymous said...

I guess too many of us did sit back and watch the downfall of TYC. It was someone other than our job to stop the blood running and false fronts. Now, we must pull together or we too, may hang separetely, as our discolors contimue to leak to the public. Pray and hold hands for our continued survival in this agency of deception.

Anonymous said...

Teresa,

I'm kind of new here. You seem to have others' respect and a great knowledge of the agency. May I ask why you left? I can make assumptions but it would help to understand why good people seem to be running out of the door while CO is claiming to be reforming the agency.

Anonymous said...

Well said Teresa!

9:52, the system was not broken prior to the "Reform." It definitely needed improving, but cases were being filed and assigned appropriately with few exceptions. The real problems with TYC investigations began when law enforcement halted all investigations while simultaneously encouraging the public, staff, and youth to report any and all actions they believed to be abuse. Meanwhile, no one was conducting investigations. There was no coordination or cooperation among the criminal investigators and TYC investigators and administrators were barred from doing their jobs. When they did try, a few were threatened with arrest. As a result, investigations were backlogged for several months. Ms. Pope added to the destruction by cutting the investigations staff. Everyone in the agency, who cared to know, knew what a mess the investigations division had become, including OIO. In fact, one of their staff was a former TYC investigator. And, because so many staff were reassigned to no contact positions or placed on leave pending the conclusion of the investigations, there really wasn't much of a secret to be kept. My point is, OIO did not uncover any secrets, nor did they accurate convey the historical facts about how the investigation system fell apart.

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Anonymous said...

Sheldon, you continue to miss the point. The one consistent theme about TYC and the 100 or so whatever years of abuse is the legislature. They set the agenda and pull the strings. They are the ones who increase populations and then cut budgets. They are the ones who demand reforms and then deplete resources. Please see this. Texas is the worst in the nation when it comes to incarceration. Why do you continue to blame TYC. Your own history of involvement clouds your view. There are hundreds of staff members, just like Ms. Stroud. Unfortunately you are still stuck in your past. Don't get me wrong. No youth should have ever been committed to a state institution for truancy. and again, you refer to TYC as if it were a single entity. There are many units, many programs, and many different recidivism rates for those units. you of all should know that. check it out.

The downfall of TYC was SB103, Whitmire, Kimbrough,Evans, the Pope, Bronco Billy and Nedelkoff. We finally have someone who in 7 months is trying to undo the mess created for the past 7 years.

Anonymous said...

BB,
please don't leave it alone because it all seems to have been forgotten and the current adminstration is held responsible. That was 17 months of wasted time and money. It is amazing that as much progress was made as has been.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Stroud, I agree with you in almost everything that you have said with one exception.

I happen to know that you had an OIG at your facility that recently left. She wasn't any good, but honestly not very many cops actually want to work with troubled girls (they can't keep an OIG at the Ron Jackson Units).

I happen to know that the OIG at my facility really tries in spite of his huge caseload to assist victims of crime (which are usually staff members).

However if you assign a criminal investigator 200 criminal cases what do people think will happen?

The Texas Rangers have the time to work one case per month if they want to. Normal criminal investigators are assigned less that five to eight cases per month (if they investigate serious felonies).

It takes time to put a good case together. If the investigators are doing a REALLY, REALLY good job they can knock out eight cases per month.

However, especially at your old facility the female inmates constantly make hundreds of false allegations in a matter weeks. It is difficult for one investigator to sort all of that out.

Heck, bring the Texas Rangers back and lets actually put them to work!

I personally think that Youth Care Investigators WERE pushed aside by the task force, but things have changed. Now they work together, eat together and share information (in accordance with the law).

I believe that OIG is headed in a better direction if the State of Texas will care to fund it properly, but that takes money.

Heck, I heard that the TYC OIG cannot go to any training nor can they travel due to lack of funding.

You can't blame the police if they are not given the funding, the continuing training, and gasoline to get to the investigation!

I think that it may be alright if they make OIG like the Texas Rangers where they can pick and choose the cases that they investigate and the rest are given to local police. But that is not what is being done. OIG is currently too small to have original jurisdiction over all of the cases involving TYC.

Hopefully someone sees the truth in this matter.

Basically, not enough investigators (both criminal and administrative), not enough funding for training, travel, and equipment upgrades, MORE SCANDALS. It is a self-perpetuating cycle.

But who cares? There just kids right?

Anonymous said...

Teresa we miss you!!!

Anonymous said...

So was OIO's AMI report was accurate? Does this mean Will's staff, the self appointed expert of TYC, was actually right???

Anonymous said...

The OIO was only right if you accept the theory that they only exaggerated for effect.

Anonymous said...

Hey 05/06/2009 09:35 p.m.

You should look at this! http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dps_exceptional_items.pdf

If you think that assigning a single criminal investigator 200 cases is a grand feat.. You should see what DPS is asking for in their fraud unit.

The TDPS Fraud Unit has 30 Troopers, 3 Sergent's, 2 Lieutenants, 1 Captain, 9 Administrative Assistants..... In four years they have only filed 400 criminal cases! That means that each Trooper only filed FOUR cases PER YEAR!!!!!!!! Hell, a TYC OIG Criminal Investigator would be FIRED for performance stats like that!!!!!

The TDPS Fraud Unit says that their case loads are too large and they need more people/funding etc.

Well with that logic TYC OIG should be quadrupled!

So there you have it! TYC OIG needs to join DPS so that they will actually receive funding!

Common Sense Cop...

Anonymous said...

Did you read in the SAO report where they suggested that the OIG should consider increasing the number of investigators? What planet do these auditors live on. To increase the number of investigators needs legislative funding. Looks like all the lege might approve is 3 crim and 3 admin. Wow! That'll sure make a dent in the backlog!

Anonymous said...

Yeah but everyone knows DPS is lazy but no one wants to say anything because they have the Texas Rangers..... Hell they only do about two or three cases a year as well!

Anonymous said...

Its strange that TYC Investigators would be held to a higher investigative standard than DPS when DPS is better funded.

I guess that is the way it works!

Anonymous said...

Teresa Stroud you should write a book because YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Why the hell is DPS being given more investigators who investigate less and TYC being given more cases to investigate and less investigators to investigate them?

Sounds pretty stupid to me....

I think TYC is screwed up because TEXAS government is screwed up!

Anonymous said...

I wonder what it would look like if we compared a TYC Criminal Investigator's case output up against that of an average Texas Ranger?

That would be an interesting study would it not be Grits?

Anonymous said...

TYC should be shut down.

Lazy bastards.... Especially their "OIG."

Anonymous said...

What is true: some kids undeservedly were sexually abused and exploited. To this day, crimes against them continue by some of our own employees. Some of these kids' parents and/or families will never give a damn about them, or be able (for one reason or another) to help reform these kids. Some people - in TYC, the Legislature, TEA, etc. - assume these kids will never reform.

These kids, while they are IN OUR CARE (and not just incarcerated), deserve a chance, if not many chances, to succeed, to reform, to unlearn what they have been so wrongly taught, to learn and gain new insights into themselves, to obtain an education (for which the State of Texas is obligated to do), to find redemption and whether you believe this or not, to find forgiveness. These are kids, not all is lost. We must stop playing politics amongst ourselves and get to the business of helping these kids do their time and find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anonymous said...

SAO was also right about all of the contracts the Conservator signed off on. The amount of money that was thrown away is incredible and now TYC has to cut the budget and get rid of staff. The should consider how many staff positions could be saved with the money they wasted on Eagle Lake and continue to waste on Autogov. The Autogov program is so broken that only 4 people use in the agency use it but it has cost the agency a fortune.

Anonymous said...

Haven't you figured it out yet?
Everyone that is appointed and every institution that receives government funding has to waste (spend) or donate a certain amount back to the ones that get to decide who gets what portion OUR tax money !

Anonymous said...

The OIG and OIO are both out of control. They gripe and are on this post continually. If they have so much time, stop complaining about your jobs and stay at work and off the posts. You can always find the wierdo's on posts when they gripe about their workloads.

Anonymous said...

In response to this...
So was OIO's AMI report was accurate? Does this mean Will's staff, the self appointed expert of TYC, was actually right???

What do you know about Will's staff? I hear some are extremely friendly...

Anonymous said...

11:52 a.m. perhaps you should actually attempt to inject a fact or two before just dismissing people as weirdos...

But you won't because you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

12:17 do tell. Is this from personal experience or rumor?

Anonymous said...

6:30

So what you are saying is that you and other internal TYC staff knew the AMI system was in a state of crisis but it took the OIO to bring that fact to the public's attention. The same thing happened with TYC education system. Well isn't that what that office was created for? I'm glad they are there.

Anonymous said...

The majority of you TYCers act like the brats that you keep. Complain. Earn your paycheck for a change and stop the improper remarks. Lets all pull together.

Anonymous said...

OIO has staff that are care about the kids and fight for youth rights. It is about time they efforts are supported. TYC is lucky to have someone of Will's caliber working to repair this broken agency.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the current administration for the bogus work of the guy who is now angling to be the next Colonel of the DPS. We will be paying for Kimbrough and Pope for a very long time!

Anonymous said...

8:50 Thank you, Kim, for that insight!

Anonymous said...

Will does care about the kids and staff. He fights for them behind the scenes when he can. The people that work for him do need to learn to make sure their facts are accurate before put it in a report.

Anonymous said...

8:50 I agree with you! She is an expert so don't argue.

Anonymous said...

Will has extremely friendly staff? Have you seen his staff? Honestly how friendly could they be? Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Why are you folks sucking up so hard? Is Will paying you to say all this? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Yes his staff are friendly. All Animals are. And the Fat ones are always jolly.

Anonymous said...

4:06 That was unprofessional and mean. Why do people insist on tearing down Will and his office? What have any of them done but try to help this agency and it's twisted employees?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the truth is mean. But it is the truth. Nobody is tearing down the OIO, hell they are part of this agency too. But stop acting like JCOs and OIG are wrong all the time and we out to get the kids and dont care about them. Its a partnership. There is no cover up. And that is there MO. Especially the over hyper jolly one. Truth is Truth.

Anonymous said...

OIG and JCO's are not wrong all the time. Infact the JCO's have the hardest job out of anyone in the agency. They have do deal with the back lash from policy indecision and miscommunication on the front lines where the youth read right through the confusion and call it as they see it.
I think each aspect of the agency is trying their best to improve but the disjointed communication is killing their efforts. It takes a team to repair something of this magnitude and until we can work and communicate as a team we will continue to spin our wheels.

Anonymous said...

When TYC was placed under conservatorship nothing but chaos and confusion followed. hasty decisions were made by people unfamiliar with TYC. No one bothered to look beneath the surface or took the time to listen to employees of TYC who knew what they were talking about. TYC was automatically assumed guilty. Policy changed and staff lost most tools for handling youth behavior. In fact, staff were assumed wrong and youth right. Numbers were posted on the dorms for youth to report abuse and people were available to hear their complaints at all times. Each incident had to be reported to the local authorities and staff placed under investigation. Naturally the number of reported incidents skyrocketed. Meanwhile many people got fired because they had records, staff were sent out under investigation, staff quit, staff were layed off, and the director changed several times. The agency had no direction. Will Harrell, a person with a record and no knowledge of how things work at TYC was plced in charge of monitoring the facilities and listening to youth complaints. He made promises to youth, released them from security and overode staff decisions without out bothering to speak with them. He was arrogant. There were too many chiefs and nothing but turmoil. While some complaints were legit, many many more were not. It takes time to investigate each complaint thoroughly, especially when so short staffed. In regards to the failure to hire appropriate staff for sex offenders, there are few out there and even fewere willing to work at TYC for low saleries in such a toxic environment.

Anonymous said...

In fact, if you look at the investigation statistics, though the total number of allegations has increased exponentially, the total number of confirmations has not increased. There are a tremendous number of bogus allegations made, yet they all have to be investigated. This, with a much smaller investigative staff. Meanwhile, there is a widespread perception out there that the OIG are "out to get" the JCO staff. Again, the statistics belie that perception.

Anonymous said...

Belly ache...belly ache.., all TYC employees do is belley ache. You got some big raises. You have fewer kids. You really don't do much anymore. Belley-ache. A bunch of pussies, top to bottom; blaming each other for your own mistakes. One word...ABOLISH and start fresh with new employees and management. Austin sucks.

Anonymous said...

9:42,
You really need to come with something more constructive. TYC will not be abolished. Even if it is it won't "start over." That is not possible.

Think of something intelligent and practical to say.

Anonymous said...

954....You're one of those 'hang in there until they hang us'. Dump shi....You've been hung....get it? Roll over and stop breathing...you're dead. I know you think you will pull through, so did all thoes TYC mishaps....take a deep breath, and let it go....you're history.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "constructive" is part of 09:42 p.m.'s personality.

He is one of the many people that think that every TYC employee just sits around and earns a check as if they were working in actual daycare.

His casual "abolish TYC" rhetoric is common of the purposefully ignorant and woefully (but willfully) ill-informed.

Well, if we were to "abolish" TYC would we actually close down all of the facilities and release all of the violent youths? Or would we just change the name of the agency like TDC (I'm sorry TDCJ) did.

If we were to abolish TYC where would be put the 13 year old murders? Where would we put the 14 year old rapists?

Adult prison? If so, do we house them with adults?

09:42 p.m. No, YOU quit YOUR belly aching and join reality.

Texans can either fund a viable juvenile justice system NOW or bury the bodies later. It is their choice. TYC had some bad practices and leaders (not all were bad however) before the West Texas scandal. However after the scandal bad leaders were actually APPOINTED by the supposed REFORMERS. I'm talking to YOU Whitmire (the witless) and YES YOU PERRY.

Pope and Needlecoff broke purchasing laws with their extravagant spending and now TYC is blamed.... TYC did not appoint those people, the above listed (and some not listed) politicians did.

TYC is doing everything it was asked to do by the "reformers." However it cannot effectively continue to do so unless things are actually funded. Sorry, can't squeeze blood from a turnip....

So give TYC the investigators, give them enough JCO's to meet the LEGAL ratio requirements set by the LAST legislative session.

So essentially if TYC is not funded well enough the laws will be broken in regards to ratios, investigations and case management as a result. That is currently the de facto situation.

I would ask that the Texas government to make up their minds what they want from TYC or don't blame them when something goes wrong.

Folks lets quit all of the bickering about the past and actually make some constructive plans for the future of the youths in TYC.

I hope someone reasonable can understand this....

Anonymous said...

10:35 p.m. You're lucky that there is not law against BWI (Blogging While Drunk) because they would bury you UNDER the jail....

Scott please erase this idiot's comments, he has nothing intelligent to contribute.

Anonymous said...

As always you whiners ask Scott to remove post you dont like. The fact is while the last conservator was here...the min he was hired and removed Pope yall were singing his praises Just like any sports team that is winning. Soon as the shit hits the fan you fair weather fans go to belly aching and whining.

The SAO while independent reports to the leg and they are the same froup of folks that found a condition of gross fiscal mismanagement. Let me see sex abuse equals gross mismanagement. Great. So this same group of people was directred to find fault with the purchasing rules so that the law suit that that YSI is pursuing will go smoothly for the state. Wake up people. You cannot have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

Scott Its Me again. Leave the durn comments. Get back to being objective on the blog. You also cut deals with the communication of information related to TYC. I'm fully aware.

RAS said...

To all of you complaining that JCOs do nothing while collecting fat pay checks; come jump on the gravy train, almost every facility is holding a position just for you. Come on down and work a hall with 12 boy scouts.

Anonymous said...

SOS...TYCers. Stop, nail one foot to the floor and then continue on as you TYCers always do. Same excuses. Same pass the blame. Stop their comments, hear only TYC do- gooders. SOS. Has anyone noticed that everyone is at fault except TYC folks?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sheldon is the only ex-TYC youth posting here.

Anonymous said...

2:51, Yes, internal staff were aware that the AMI system was in crisis. Yes, the OIO report brought that to light. However, the way in which the OIO went about bringing the issue to the public is the problem. Rather than expending the time and energy to gather accurate information and report facts, the OIO pieced together a crack-pot report based on personal feelings and lack luster investigations, and presented it as fact. Everyone knew the report was full of holes. In fact, OIO was publicly admonished for it during the hearing. OIO circumvented their own notification procedures and went directly to the media with that report. Senator Whitmire was very clearly displeased that he had to find out about problems with the investigations system from a "reporter" who called him for comment. There were also loads of contradictions between their actions and their testimony at the hearing. All of this on the heels of complaints about OIO staff from the facilities. Any other department head would have been looking for work after making such a public spectacle. OIO had the means, authority, and platform to put out the truth in a way that would have resulted in needed/positive improvements for the investigations system. Instead, they used self-serving, shoddy tactics that have once again contributed to the destruction of a good system. Before anyone gets upset, I am not blaming OIO for the current state of investigations. I am simply saying that OIO could have used their considerable clout with the Lege to help get the resources the investigations department so desperately needed.

Anonymous said...

To all of the people that say the TYC employees are just "whining...."

I would like to hear some actual arguments that what the TYC employees have posted on this blog is not true.

PROVE that they are whining. It seems that the ones that say abolish TYC and give no other information are the ones that are whining.

By the way, the House says TYC will exist AT LEAST until 2020.

I would like to hear more from the TYC employee's perspective. Heck, they have been through alot in the past few years haven't they earned the right to have their voices heard?

Anonymous said...

07:18 a.m. and 11:47 a.m. I hope one of those TYC "boy scouts" meets you and your families in a dark parking lot one fateful evening.

Then you will see what "boy scouts" these young men and women are.

It's too bad that I will read it in the papers and I will know it was you...

Anonymous said...

535: I've read posts from scum before, but for you to wish violence onto other posters is beyond belief. Just because you don't agree with others, doesn't give you the right to post such trash. You apparantlyu are a TYC-er, or supporter. Why should the public be surprised with alll the turmoil, when you, as a TYC representative, fell and believe like a criminal does. Is your mother proud of you? You are a disgrace to most of us.

Teresa Stroud said...

Don,

Glad to hear from you and hope you are also well.

To 6:06 from 5/06 - my reasons for leaving were related to my chain of command and my feelings that if I moved on, the Ron Jackson facility and it's employees would fare better in the long run. I shared with those in positions of authority my specific reasons for leaving, including the primary person with whom I had an issue. It would serve no positive purpose to further air it here.

For clarification, I am certain there are some very talented and dedicated OIG officers working for TYC. I am aware of the difficulty of the position, particularly as it related to working with our special female population. One of my primary points related to the OIG was that the administrative investigations and youth rights specialists were cut and that resulted in what is reported in the SAO's report. Ultimately, services to youth suffered and we got the opposite of the desired results.

As to running out the door..I stayed through two years of reform in very difficult circumstances for everyone involved. I admire Ms. Townsend for her tenacity and desire to both help reform the agency and move it forward. My resignation was drafted prior to her first day and had nothing to do with her. At that point, I had made commitments to others based on opportunities that would be best for myself and my family.

Those who have the best interests of our youth at heart and remain with the agency have my complete respect and support.

I loved my job at TYC and loved the work I did. I remain passionate about helping TYC youth and continue to offer whatever support I can to my friends who remain in the agency. I have what I consider the "luxury" of freely speaking my mind about these issues. Many times, I read grits articles about TYC and keep my thoughts to myself. I feel very strongly about this topic and as you can see by the length of my original post - had alot to say.

I miss the kids and staff at Ron Jackson and wish all of them only the best. I did what was best for my family and myself.

I continue to follow with great interest the actions of the legislature related to TYC and it's reform. I hope to see some moral courage and dedication to acting in the best interests of Texas youth replacing finger pointing, power plays and blaming.

Teresa Stroud

Anonymous said...

I live near a town which has a TYC institution. I know several TYC employees quite well. The people I am referring to are incredibly talented and dedicated individuals who are hanging on for one reason - they want to see TYC get back to taking care of the "throw-away" kids who are sent their way.

I think it is interesting, given all the negative comments and generalizations that have been made about TYC employees, that the ones I know are not just involved with their jobs at TYC. They are all heavily involved in volunteer services and organizations in the community.

I know that not all TYC employees are as altruistic as the ones that I know personally, but from the thoughtful comments I have seen here from folks such as Ms Stroud, "Don", "Whitsfoe", "Old Salty" and "Chuy" and others, I do know there must be a lot of folks like the ones I know. What I hear from them, I would not characterize as whining.

Anonymous said...

Abolish TYC. What does that mean? Asking for solutions and answers is the heart of being constructive.

Who are TYC folks? Who are you talking about? Please stop the generalizing. There is no such thing as "TYC folks." There is also no such generalization of TYC units or TYC youth. People need to stop this bashing of TYC staff and the agency, and start offering ideas and solutions. Abolishing TYC is about as meaningful an idea as secession.

So if we abolish TYC what do we do?
Send these youth home to the environments they learned to steal, traffic drugs, rape and murder? Sorry but the communities they came from have already spent a bunch of money determining they are not safe to stay in the community.

Close large institutions and open new smaller ones? This is a great idea but the legislature is not willing to commit the resources to do it. This idea has now been ignored through two legislative sessions.

Fire all the staff and hire new ones? Really? From where? Are you going to pay them the same amount of money? You will have to because the legislature and TYC have demonstrated an unwillingness to commit resources to staff to keep them with the agency.

Send all these youth to TDCJ? Um. That is not going to happen. That would be very expensive to process juvenile cases in an already overtaxed adult criminal justice system. And besides...research shows that intensive treatment programs are effective in reducing recidivism (i.e., decreased costs for processing future cases not to mention reducing victimization) so we wouldn't really want to do that now would we?

TYC needs help. Texas Juvenile Justice Needs help. And yes the problem is resources and then allocation of resources. Don't get me wrong. 2 of the 3 upper level management staff, under Ms. Townsend, are ineffective and need to be replaced. There are other ongoing reforms that need to be made. Central office staffing needs to be reduced and middle level regionalized management is redundant. Many field positions could be filled with these staff who could have joint responsibilities of providing services to youth and training staff, developing programs, etc.

But it is not all TYC.

The governor continues to make big hair brained decisions about criminal justice and the legislature makes it look like they are reformers, but then are not willing to commit the resources necessary, in real world terms, to do the job effectively.

There were 18 months of poor management after the exit of Harris and the events of March 2007. The decisions made during that time are kind of like the current recession, still lingering.

Anonymous said...

Amen,amen and amen to the last three posts.

Anonymous said...

I'll drink to the last four posts. They actually made sense.

Whitsfoe said...

It's all about accountability. Whoever gets the funds gets the finger. And to be honest with it all, I'm tired of the finger pointing. I'm really tired of off-based idiots like Senator John Whitmire.

What's silly to me is John Whitmire ( i.e. "ELMER") just loves playing his politics. It didn't matter to him that the house voted 149-0 on their TYC reform bill. He didn't like that Pope was exterminated along with her 'Bronco Billy Pepper Spraying Fool-Self ' and instead retorted to TDCJ tactics - chemical agents as opposed to reasoning... talking down.... judgment.

There aint no doubt we're azz-backwards. BUT...

I think Townsend is about to turn it all around.... stay tuned..

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along? I like Whitmire but disagree with some of his suggestions. TYC has to undergo major, more, needed changes. It can't do much of anything right, it appears, so lets do it right for TYC, and slash the hell out of it and get back on track; if it ever was on track. This same route of excuses just won't work anymore.

Anonymous said...

Excuses shouldn't work for Whitmire either, or fort that matter any of the legislaters!! Quit trying to make excuses for them! Townsend is on the right track but will need their backup to succeed! It bottoms down to money!

Anonymous said...

Its much more than money. If you think Cherie has your back, you better learn to walk backwards.

Anonymous said...

4:06 That was unprofessional and mean. Why do people insist on tearing down Will and his office? What have any of them done but try to help this agency and it's twisted employees?

5/08/2009 04:26:00 PM

I really could care less if one thinks that what is being said is unprofessional and mean... I hear that his office staff[that is singular not plural(and it is not the jolly ones etc.that I am speaking of)]that has been getting twisted,literally with TYC employees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If one is here to help the agency then they need to keep their morals and whatever to themselves and not cross the line............. What kind of person can say do as I say and not as I do?!?!?!?!? Such bogus s**t!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Someone finally had the nuts to say it like it is. Gee, what happened to the TYC go-alongs?

Anonymous said...

Not sure,but the "auditors"sure need re-training in regards to upholding their ethics....What hypocrites!!!!!!! Harrell is great just cannot say much about the people in his office,calling them worthy for any kind of colmpliment would be a lie!Enough said...

Anonymous said...

Lie with filth,,,,breed filth.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have heard a thing or two about the above mentioned...
Feel free to enlighten...

RAS said...

Filth...really? If you believe in a right to an abortion do you refer to the pope as filth? If you like to drive fast do you refer to the cops as filth? the slower drivers on the road? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and everyone benefits from them if they are expressed with the intent to improve situations and especially so if they contain viable options. The worst youth in Texas are going to be supervised, corrected and protected by TYC staff, whether they continue to be employed by TYC, they become employed by the counties or contract care facilities. There were 5,000 youth incarcerated 2 years ago, there are 5,000 youth incarcerated now. There were 5000 staff 2 years ago and there are 5000 staff now. The lege has mandated more services, that means more staff not less. If the counties have to hire 2 or 3000 staff they will nearly all come from TYC. They have the training, experience, and the rhino hide to deal with the getting cussed out, the questions about their mother's sexual talents and predilections, their own, their wives, the being spit on, the threats against themselves and their families, the assaults to back up those threats.( The only youth that ever spat on me ended up getting 4 years in prison for cutting another kids neck with a little piece of glass; he grew up on the streets of Juarez. The kid just needed a few stitches, fortunately) Oak Cliff in Dallas and East side from Houston produce some hardcore gangbangers, a bunch of new hires off the street would be their punks within a week.

Anonymous said...

Asides from Harrell,like I said,within the Office of the Independent Ombudsman,etc(not just them)...they are hardly saints...I guess that is why it is so accepted to do whatever with whomever around here...Funny how only some people get screwed...NO PUN INTENDED!

Anonymous said...

Some just crawl back uderneath the rock from which they came...

Anonymous said...

Is that true about Harrell's staff???? Which staff is it and who is the TYC employee?

Anonymous said...

11:40 a.m.5/11/09, it is disappointing to hear Townsend does not have our backs. Would you expand on your comment? On what do you base your negative comment?

Anonymous said...

To 3:48 "Asides from Harrell,like I said,within the Office of the Independent Ombudsman,etc(not just them)...they are hardly saints...I guess that is why it is so accepted to do whatever with whomever around here...Funny how only some people get screwed...NO PUN INTENDED!"

What is your issue with Will's office? Is Sainthood now part of the OIO's job description and any other job decription for that matter? It vague, suggestive comments like that start rumors but I bet that is just what you were hoping for.

Anonymous said...

07:57
TYC is a "toxic environment?" Why would anyone say that?

Anonymous said...

Ask Will why TYC is toxic; he helped create the present out of control system, yet pretends to be helping..

Anonymous said...

To 3:48 "Asides from Harrell,like I said,within the Office of the Independent Ombudsman,etc(not just them)...they are hardly saints...I guess that is why it is so accepted to do whatever with whomever around here...Funny how only some people get screwed...NO PUN INTENDED!"

What is your issue with Will's office? Is Sainthood now part of the OIO's job description and any other job decription for that matter? It vague, suggestive comments like that start rumors but I bet that is just what you were hoping for.

5/11/2009 08:19:00 PM

Bullying comments,wow now that is completely unheard of within TYC...What makes one think they are rumors?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

8:51 asks, "What makes one think they are rumors?!?!?!?!?!?!?"

Because you allude to wrongdoing but won't say what the allegations are. That's slimy and unethical troll behavior - pure rumormongering - I believe was the commenter's reference.

Don't you think people are onto these troll tactics by now? I talk to legislators and staff all the time who read TYC comments and they know the score: Those who smear without giving facts and substance, I promise you, do more to discredit their own stance than the people they're attacking.

Anonymous said...

Time will tell...Doesn't most of this stuff get dismissed anyway?
All that was initially interjected was that if one has the power to protect and lead then one might need(want)to lead by example...It all comes down to integrity and honesty,plain and simple...

Anonymous said...

Troll tactics,administration ethics or the lack there of,same difference!!!Would it be much more exciting to blatantly speak of the going-ons and the ones whom are doing it?Why do you need names when you could pick a handful of(new&old)employees who are and have been guilty of crossing lines,just look harder,unless you are too busy cleaning up this institution,don't seem to be if you have time to reply to such tactics,yes...There are and always will be ramifications to what one does out of selfishness...

Anonymous said...

11:54, you just proved Grits point. Here you go with vague references about "goings on" and "crossing lines." I don't care for naming names, but what the heck are you even talking about? You use these seemingly terrible and dire phrases but they tell us nothing. If you know something specific that is "going on" and is "crossing lines" that needs to be addressed, then explain what it is and suggest how to correct it.

Anonymous said...

No,just proved a point to you, apparently...Grits has other issues to deal with, not just the confusing comments some layperson might say every now and then...Do you understand this word? Infidelities...

Anonymous said...

You are all typical examples of why TYC is in such horrible conditions. If we could get rid of you....perhaps TYC could move forward.

Old Salty said...

It is one thing to have professional differences with people, which is okay. It is also okay not to like some people. But this rumor crap is just what Scott called it. This type of thing has been around for a lot lot longer than blogs. It is called "ad hominem" attacks - that is attacks on the person when you have run out of constructive ideas. Ad hominem attacks are the sign of simple-minded, ignorant angry people. Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Hammer flat on the nail.....TYCers want their 'wards' to grow up, yet it appears the TYCers can't grow up themselves. No wonder the constant problems in that weird organization. ABOLISH IT.

Anonymous said...

To the previous commenter, yes let us abolish TYC and send them all to the adult system?

Where would you send them?

Grits, there have been many great points made in this chat strain, and let that not be lost on some of the idiocy on those who are ill informed and those that may be well intentioned but misguided.

Anonymous said...

It simply astonishes me and many others, how some will try to velify or otherwise put opposing thoughts to rest, just to salvage a proven, broken juvenile injustice system. Anyone that pushes for a new start for the juveniles are attepmted tainted by those that wish for the system stagnation to continue on. For the previous poster, an example, you are part of our biggest problems. Place your head back under the sandpile.

Anonymous said...

I repeat:

Abolish TYC. What does that mean? Asking for solutions and answers is the heart of being constructive.

Who are TYC folks? Who are you talking about?

Please stop the generalizing. There is no such thing as "TYC folks." There is also no such generalization of TYC units or TYC youth. People need to stop this bashing of TYC staff and the agency, and start offering ideas and solutions. Abolishing TYC is about as meaningful an idea as secession.

So if we abolish TYC what do we do?

Send these youth home to the environments they learned to steal, traffic drugs, rape and murder? Sorry but the communities they came from have already spent a bunch of money determining they are not safe to stay in the community.

Close large institutions and open new smaller ones?

This is a great idea but the legislature is not willing to commit the resources to do it. This idea has now been ignored through two legislative sessions.

Fire all the staff and hire new ones? Really? From where?

Are you going to pay them the same amount of money? You will have to because the legislature and TYC have demonstrated an unwillingness to commit resources to staff to keep them with the agency.

Send all these youth to TDCJ? Um. That is not going to happen. That would be very expensive to process juvenile cases in an already overtaxed adult criminal justice system. And besides...research shows that intensive treatment programs are effective in reducing recidivism (i.e., decreased costs for processing future cases not to mention reducing victimization) so we wouldn't really want to do that now would we?

TYC needs help. Texas Juvenile Justice Needs help. And yes the problem is resources and then allocation of resources. Don't get me wrong. 2 of the 3 upper level management staff, under Ms. Townsend, are ineffective and need to be replaced. There are other ongoing reforms that need to be made. Central office staffing needs to be reduced and middle level regionalized management is redundant. Many field positions could be filled with these staff who could have joint responsibilities of providing services to youth and training staff, developing programs, etc.

But it is not all TYC.

The governor continues to make big hair brained decisions about criminal justice and the legislature makes it look like they are reformers, but then are not willing to commit the resources necessary, in real world terms, to do the job effectively.

There were 18 months of poor management after the exit of Harris and the events of March 2007. The decisions made during that time are kind of like the current recession, still lingering.

5/09/2009 10:16:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if you repeat yourself enough, even you may actually believe your hogwash. You are a brainwashed TYCer, who probably is the highest on thge pole for causing the omplosion of this usless agency. You grow up and face reality....TYC is finished. It has been for some time now. Move on. Get a real job and stop the lying about how great TYCers are.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you idiots were so smart that want to "abolish" juvenile justice in Texas. It would be done. TYC will stick around, it will just get less funding and the populace will get more dangerous due to the "warehouse" effect.

No money, then just warehouse the youths. Hey if you want to abolish TYC, then do it. Lock the kids in their rooms and don't let them out. We can't let them go unless some of you "abolishers" are willing to take them home.

No takers? Then shut up.

Anonymous said...

Amen brother, someone needed to say it...

Anonymous said...

Your stupid scare tactics can't fool the public. You are obviously trying hard to make TYC look so important that we can't do without it. You have warehoused youth for years, so this would not be new. You make half criminals into full fledged criminals with your control and keep the public safe- showrooms across the state. Ly down and accept your injection. Take a deep breath....TYC is over. You caused TYC to die...accept it.

Anonymous said...

And yet, TYC is still breathing....

That's a fact, not a scare tactic...

Maybe you should call your parole officer...

Anonymous said...

TYC was brought to where it is now by the past two governors and the legislature. It started with the exploding population under the policies of georgy porgy, was followed by repeated sessions of legislative budget cuts, and then reform was attempted by Goodhair and he totally screwed things up. If only people listened. The Pope appointment was equivalent to the dildo parole board lady but the brilliant Whitmire bought in back then...maybe he learned.

There certainly were TYC staff who screwed things up and the culture was terrible but really when you continually cut budgets what do you expect. When your minimum qualifications were 18 years old with a GED's what do you expect.

TYC will not be abolished.I predict TYC's budget per youth will be higher at the next legislative session.

Anonymous said...

TYC would have been much better off ten years ago if the youth were placed in charge and the leadership/administrators/program supervisors/JCOs were placed in chains and put in isolation as those who were unlawfull placd there. YOU TYCers can pretend all day and night, to make yourselves feel better and important; that you helped Texas youth.....we all know better. YOU screwed youth, the public, the families if youth, the general public, the lege, the good employees and without knowing, YOURSELVES....you idiots. Now fess up, be grown-ups, you had your say....die in dignity...die TYC...the fools you all are. Stop the pretending, even fools...YOU...know its over. Elvis has left the place....TYC has rotted away, you have ran out of youth to torture; the public knows your culure....die...die slowly...but just die.....fall on your sword;, cut your head off; just do the right thing.....

Anonymous said...

All want to place the blame on the past two years administrators. We all know this started many years ago. Why can't the responsible administrators/ managers /take their place at the alter of truth? You all want to blame others. Do the right thing. Stop the suck up. Stop the lies. Do you jobs, for a change. Stop sucking off the state, and state wards. Become men and women, for a change. Stop the TYC complaining. Forfeit you next three years wages to the poor and youth of your individual counties. Show you really care. I'll in line after the first of you nurds, bastard.....s, and othet TYC trash, that rip off the state.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with the TRASH comment... That's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Deal reached on TYC
By Mike Ward | Friday, May 15, 2009, 11:13 AM

Senate and House negotiators reached agreement this morning on lingering budget issues at the long-troubled Texas Youth Commission, agreeing to a slimmed-down budget and an expansion of community-based treatment programs.

Two lingering issues: Whether to close two additional Youth Commission lockups, and whether to sunset the agency again in two years.

Approval of the budget issues marks a first step toward resolution of what has been a thorny, high-profile fiscal issue during the legislative session.

At a morning meeting, conferees from both chambers agreed a budget of $210 million a year; a reduction in the agency’s population of incarcerated youths to 1,800 by 2011, down from more than 4,000 two years ago; and a reduction in staffing from 4,300 to 3,700.

The Senate earlier approved a budget for the Youth Commission of about $215 million a year, and the House approved roughly $240 million a year.

In addition, conferees approved $48 million for new community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs that are designed to divert youths in local programs, rather than sending them to a remote state lockup.

That will bring total funding for those programs to about $95 million during the next two years, conferees said.

Still pending is whether to close the West Texas State School in remote Pyote, and the Victory Field lockup in Vernon. The Senate voted earlier to shutter both because of the agency’s declining population; the House is holding out to keep both open, lawmakers have said.

Negotiators late this morning were also discussing whether to “sunset” the agency in two years, as the Senate wants, rather than in 12 years as the House desires.

Anonymous said...

WAW, I just can’t believe that the tyc would generate such hostility from its former students. Isn’t tyc supposed to be the state agency that’s equipped as the last chance to rehabilitate the children of our state? LOL 87% recidivism rate!!!!!!!!!!

Hay Teresa, what was the name of that bitch caseworker who sent me to Mountain View because I wouldn’t have sex with her at Brownwood reception center? 35 years later and hick chicks still don’t do it for me, go figure.

I loathe the agency tyc, not just because of what I experienced during my time there but because the tax payers of Texas are continuously fooled with the burden of paying for a state job welfare agency who puts up a front that its helping kids. The tyc helping kids is the biggest bunch of bull shit ever to come out of Texas. 120 years of physically, mentally, sexually, and verbally abusing the children and their families who turn to tyc for help. There is a special place in hell for some tyc emps to rot, rest assured, and their overseers will be all those children whom tyc helped send to the Texas death chamber. How many is it now tyc? I’m sure you’re so proud.

Kids being committed to tyc today would be better off in a large institution run by TDCJ and segregated by age. It would be less expensive, and provide the same warehousing effect without the stupid ass change with the wind rehab programs that are providing the 87% recidivism rate we have today with tyc. I won’t get into the joke that you tyc people call academics.

You tyc alumni, we have got to come together to bring more and more public attention to the atrocities of ignorance that prevails in the continual mismanagement of this socially abusive agency known as tyc. This tyc agency who has done more to produce harden criminals than any other entity known to man. The Texas legislature continues to enable tyc to wallow in their abusive gross negligence and continues to commit their moral crimes against the very people they’re lying about helping, their wards and the tax payers of the state of Texas.


Sheldon tyc#47333 c/s
http://gatesville.blogspot.com/
Gatesville State School for Boys
Mountain View State School for Boys

Anonymous said...

Sheldon, as always your good points are covered by your hatred.

Hatred breeds ignorance, and your last post was ignorant. You actually have some good points sometimes.

Unfortunately you need to let go of your past and see a freaking therapist.

You hate TYC employees just because they are TYC employees. That is just like hating a black person just because he is black.

You no longer have any credibility, and your current postings explain why.

Grow up. You are out of TYC, now get over it and try to figure ways of fixing the juvenile system instead of creating de-constructive posts.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon,
87 percent recidivism rate is simply not true.

I routinely see youth leave the facility that have been helped in TYC. In fact many even call back the agency to thank staff who helped them.

amazing.

RAS said...

Sheldon Gatesville is a prison for adult women not a state school for boys; hasn't been for 2 or 3 decades. Did you contribute to the recidivism rate? if not why not? Obviously you didn't end up on death row. Do you have names of boys who did? Did they blame their caseworkers for not getting or forcing them to change their criminal ways/ If you were in for 2 or 3 years in 2 facilities you were supervised by at least 30 diffrerent JCO's (YAS's back then I think) None of them cared about your future? None of them showed you any sympathy or concern? Any that did are being depicted as satan's spawn by you. That's fine if it's true, only you know the truth, you and the staff that were assigned to the dorms that you stayed in. Are you spitting in the faces of those who did try to help you?

Anonymous said...

Sheldon is a sad story of failure, even in the face of success. He may have a decent life now, but actually, he lives in a self made hell; and continues the evil revenge to such a state that his family, acquaintences and past TYC contacts, still haunt him, which he allows and pursues, and appears to enjoy. A self made failure in real ife that he wishes to place onto others, through his vicious posts and inner hatred of everything. You did receive some help from past TYC employees, but you refuse to acknowledge it, just as you afil to look to the future....you continue to live in the pat and constantly bring up every bitter history you can muster. You are the dissapointment of your life...stop blaming everyone else.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Sheldon was incarcerated in Gatesville for Truancy. He was in TYC when the Supreme Court determined the care and treatment of youth was unconstitutional. His experiences and the negative impact are real. He was probably not served well by being locked up for his problems. I do believe the mistreatment he suffered was real. I think the culture of TYC he discusses is no longer real. THe abuses in TYC were/are not ok, however the reality is the abuse of people occurs everywhere, not just TYC. Detention centers, public schools, and living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens across the us and the world.

Anonymous said...

Gee, that was so simple. Now, everything is OK.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what rock you been living under Sheldon, but the youth are running TYC now. Maybe you should leave your past for a jusy a moment and revisit one of the facilities. The only abuse going on there is youth telling staff how it is going to be and/or assaulting them at the same time. You think I'm lying?... check it out. Those of us who work for the CURRENT tyc know that your posts are just rants about old stuff because you obviously don't know who is running the show these days at TYC...check it out dude. The youth are doing whatever the hell they want and sayig F*** You while they are at it!

Anybody out there agree?????

Anonymous said...

No...you're just trying to justify TYC;s existance. Do your job and stop the complaining. Help these starved kids.

RAS said...

10:43 The gravy train still has vacancies; you come help the starving kids, I've been doing it for 9 years. Put your vocation where your mouth is.

Anonymous said...

AMEN RAS, we're all tired of the whining and excuses from people who think they can work at TYC or know how to improvement but take no action!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Its rather obvious that the current employees at TYC can't or won't do their jobs. Their posts are always "feel sorry for we employees", with every excuse imaginable. Do the right thing.....do you jobs or leave and get others who are qualified, can do-people, who don't constantly gripe! TYC employees are spoiled brats, much like their wandering kids.

Anonymous said...

I don’t hate tyc employees, I have the upmost respect for anyone who would take a job at such an agency. I would question their motives, and/or feel empathetic for them, but I do not hate tyc employees. I LOATH the tyc culture, the 120 year old abusive culture, abusive to staff, abusive to the kids in custody, abusive to their families. I LOATH the tyc culture. Please get this straight, I know you have to work at tyc but please try real hard to comprehend this about how I feel regarding tyc. . I LOATH the tyc culture.

My vocation on the line, OK, I have also offered in some of my post to design a system of accountability for you tyc people. Obviously your own IT people can’t keep you in line. This is my vocation and I would be willing to take the pay cut and spend a year, or most likely longer just because of the nature of your managerial practices, to develop this system for you tyc people to keep you in line. I believe that tyc’s culture is seriously flawed and needs to be totally revamped. It can be controlled centrally by a engineered system of accountability, keep you people in line. Although I know I’m talking about tyc here, but I’m confident I can do it.

Look at some of my previous post, I have stated about it’s a good time to be a kid in tyc. The kids are running the show. Actually I think we always have, it’s just you tyc people are so publicly exposed these days you’re looking for anyone to blame your failures on right know, and you have run out of excuses so you blame the ledg and the kids for your ignorance of faulty management culture. I understand it’s a character trait of the entitlement society to not take responsibility for their shortcoming according to some, and I can extrapolate from the blog posting that tyc is made up of a majority of folks who could fit in that demographic. Blame the man, or insult the critique, hay it’s a mental illness and it’s the preverbal mans fault so deal with it. BS, it’s a character flaw and it can be fixed. Admit your failings like you tyc people have forced so many innocent children to admit their crimes so they could be released. Talk about hall monitor syndrome at its finest. Admit the issues and fix them, you expect the kids to do it so you people should follow same.

So I can understand the insults and the blame game you tyc people on this blog like to cry about. I can choose to enable you and just say it’s a mental illness and it’s to be expected of tyc’s culture and the type of employee tyc attracts or as I choose to believe it’s a character flaw of the culture thereby it can be fixed. I have gened up quit a network of former tyc alumni’s, and I know most of you tyc folks heart is in the right place. But you tyc people have gened a culture of denial for 120 years, so your insults are to be expected especially when I hit your sore spots. I would absolutely love to meet someone who spent any time in tyc, if they just got out yesterday or they got released in the 1950’s and any one in-between that would tell me they had a positive experience while in your care. You tyc people are very protective of your culture and if history shows anything, its shows a consistency of cover up with the tyc agency.

Go read about my padner Joe at http://ironguardiansnt.org/igarticleslinks/oldschoolontyc.html executed August 18 1999. You tyc people should be proud, isn’t this the goal of your culture, if you admit it or not, it is. The highest achievement in tyc culture is a death row execution, not acquiring an education, raising a family, and being a productive member of society.

I’m doing what I can to help tyc, that is my only volunteer time I am working on right now. I want to visit the kids in the facilities and that’s in the works. I believe I have a message for how these kids can turn things around and be successful in their lives. I will never tell anyone that tyc is a great place and you should go there, send your kid there, and now I would say don’t work there. So you people can insult me all you want, I know it’s not you it’s the culture that you tyc people inherited. I’ve said this before also, tyc was not closed in the 70’s it was just moved around.
BTW, I had an older gentalman tell me when I was about 21 I was not menatlly ill and didn’t need all those medications so many mental health workers prescribed me beginning in tyc. I did not do drugs untill I got on the med wagon at tyc. He told me I had charicter flaws, a lot of them, but they could be fixed and I should start immediately by recognizing them and begin the work of fixing them. Fixing charicter flaws is a lifelong task, and anyone spending time in tyc has more than their fair share of charicter flaws, be it student or staff. The longer you spend in tyc the more charicter flaws have time to develop and take over your life. The blog is a good example. But again, as the wise old man told me years ago, you have to recognize them befor you can work on them. The tyc will never be fixed untill it reaches the colective tipping point recognizing its charicter flaws. Then it can begin the work of repair. Otherwise your just fronting to the public and destroying more lives and familys that you claim to be helping and employing.

Sheldon tyc#47333 II c/s
Gatesville State School for Boys
Mountain View State School for Boys

Anonymous said...

Like RAS said, put your vocation where your mouth is...

Truth is 11:08 you don'y know what you are talking about and if you were locked in a room with some of the TYC "kids" you would urinate ob yourself before they even had a chance to throw urine on you!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sheldon,

Now that was a good post!

I sure would like to see significant change.

I think that accountability should cut both ways towards staff and youth.

I agree that TYC culture and in many cases TYC leadership needs to change.

The beatings no longer occur without arrests. However as it stands now, staff members are so handcuffed that they cannot actually protect the kids that are being preyed upon by other kids without risking being suspended for using force to break up a fight!

We need treatment systems that work, which we don't have.

We need a use of force system that is fair that protects staff members from assault and protects youths from abuse. We don't have this yet.

We need actual background checks on employees like large police agencies do so that they can weed out the morally and mentally weak applicants to some extent.

TYC Juvenile Correctional Officers need to be uniformed and made to comply with a set of grooming standards. They need to be uniformed and to take pride in their appearance.

The legislature needs to allow TYC to hire the necessary amount of investigators to ACTUALLY investigate crimes and complaints of abuse, neglect and exploitation. We don't have enough people to have original jurisdiction over the crimes that occur on campuses let alone halfway houses and parole districts!

TYC actually needs to pay their employees a livable wage. I personally believe that the reason that TYC units are so far flung and rural is because the economy is such in those areas that a person can actually live on what the state pays them.

If none of these things comes to pass, you will just see more failure in TYC.

I agree with your post Sheldon, but these changes take dedication, time, money, and most important of all LEADERSHIP! I still think that our TYC leadership is lacking especially due to their inaction on revamping the use of force system to a system that protects employees that do the right thing and punishes the ones that do not.

crpmode said...

I only joined this post because i cant understand why is there even still dialog on the subject of tyc or victory field there is no possibility of reform, this incredibly corrupt system has out staid its usefulness especially when you have staff who are criminals themselves trying to correct other criminals with all of the nepotism favoritism and everyone trying to have sex with everyone it seems as if the facilities of tyc can be more compared to street corners of ghettos in urban America (that's my dogg) the only real answer to this problem is to abolish tyc all together and shut down those festering cesspools they call facilities turn the kids over to someone who is better equipped to meet their needs and as far as staff goes release the wild back into nature where they belong

crpmode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Two TYC lockups on closure list, again
By Mike Ward | Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 11:23 AM

Legislative budget negotiators this morning agreed to try again to close two underutilized Texas Youth Commission lockups, but bowed to House opposition to let both stay open for another year.

Several senators decried the decision, charging that one of the lockups — the Victory Field Correctional Center in Vernon — has failed fire and safety inspections and is unsafe.

“We should be concerned about the safety of the kids who are there,” said state Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, a member of the budget committee. “These facilities are not needed … I want to make sire these facilities close.”

Two years ago, the closure of both Victory Field and the West Texas State School in remote Pyote was directed by legislative leaders as a part of sweeping reforms that were approved after the Youth Commission was wracked by a sex-abuse and cover-up scandal.

But Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who chairs a special legislative committee overseeing the reforms, said Youth Commission disregarded that mandate and left both lockups open using unspent monies from its other accounts.

“How do we make sure they close them in a year? I don’t know,” he said, noting that both will soon be be unneeded as the agency’s population of youthful offenders continues to drop. In the past two years, that population has dropped from more than 4,000 to less than 2,000 — with further reductions expected as new community-based treatment and rehabilitation programs start operation later this year.

The budget for both lockups is about $11.5 million a year, according to the draft budget. More than 150 staff members work at the two sites.

An earlier tentative deal was to turn the Pyote lockup into a National Guard training center, and to use the Vernon site for expanded programs at a nearby state mental hospital. Facing House opposition, that compromise fell apart days ago, negotiators said.

“Having the fox guarding the hen house like this is not wise,” Shapiro said, suggesting that Victory Field be shuttered now because it is not safe.

But Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, a native of Vernon, said the issues with the two lockups are not the same. While the Pyote center is remote, Victory Field is not — and has a high success rate with its programs.

“If the notion is to move everything to the cities, then that’s a policy debate we should have,” Duncan said. “If you’re going to close it, then okay, but I don;lt think that’s right.”

While he suggested the fire-safety issues could be repaired, other senators said that makes little sense for a lockup — housed in former Army Air Force buildings dating to World War II — that will soon be closed.

“We should not use kids as economic stimulus … which is what we’re doing here,” Whitmire said. “I don’t know why you’d fix up something that there’s not going to be any demand for.”

West Texas now houses 48 youths, less than half what it did a year ago. Victory Field houses 96, down slightly from a year ago.

House negotiators who insisted on keeping both lockups open for at least another year said a proper transition for the Youth Commission is important. “This is a transition … may not be as quickly as some might like, but it is a transition,” said Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, said Victory Field should be closed now. “We’re looking at a facility that is unsafe,” he said.

But Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the provision to leave both lockups open for another year “is a carefully crafted compromise” that, if undone, could delay a final budget.

“We have one opinion in the Senate. There is another opinion in the House,” he said. “This is an attempt to address the legitimate concerns in the Senate.”

The budget negotiators then approved the compromise.

Other provisions of the recommended Youth Commission, which we reported in Postcards several days ago:

The agency budget will be $210 million a year, less than was recommended earlier by the Senate and much less than was recommended in the House budget. The agency will have to further reduce its staffing as its population drops.

Around $60 million will be funded for new community-based rehabilitation and treatment programs, more than the Senate earlier recommended. The House did not include funding for those programs.

Those local programs were a key element of the 2007 reforms, a move designed to keep youths closer to home and out of state-run lockups where recidivism rates are high.

Anonymous said...

Every time I hear about recidivism rates being high in state lock-ups, it galls me, since almost all of the kids sent to TYC have first failed numerous interventions before coming to TYC. The recidivism rate for them was close to 100% before they came to TYC. Ifthe TYC recidivism rate is 50%, then that is a fairly good success rate for that kind of population.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Oregon's Youth Autority has a good idea. Why not do this in Texas?

"The Senate also tweaked two other child support laws. House Bill 2274would allow the state to tap income tax refunds for support money for children who are under the supervision of the Oregon Youth Authority."

Anonymous said...

Harrell stepping down as TYC ombudsman

6:16 PM Tue, May 19, 2009 | Permalink | Yahoo! Buzz
Emily Ramshaw/Reporter

Texas Youth Commission ombudsman Will Harrell is resigning effective June 1, and will become the agency's director of special projects. The announcement isn't public yet, and is expected to come tomorrow.
Harrell said the new job is exactly what he wants to do, and that it's been in the works for some time. He said he'll be working directly with agency executive director Cherie Townsend to implement many of the new policies and procedures that have developed in the last two years, following the agency's 2007 sexual abuse scandal.
"The way I look at it, we've pushed the boulder to the top of the hill. Now we need to start the hard work of pushing it over the edge," Harrell said. "I couldn't be happier."
It's unclear whether there's a frontrunner for the ombudsman position.
Harrell, the former director of the Texas ACLU, was named ombudsman in the aftermath of the abuse scandal. He was an outspoken juvenile justice advocate beforehand.
It's unclear why he's switching jobs right now. Some political observers say It's possible he would've faced a tough road getting confirmed in the Senate -- and that date was fast approaching.

Anonymous said...

5:15, you're right. TYC's recidivism rate with the same youth is much smaller than Juvenile Probation's.

Anonymous said...

Harrell stepping down as TYC ombudsman...Changes,changes
Earlier there had been comments in regards to Harrell's staff and some possible indiscretions...
Anyone know why Moynahan is back in Houston and why it was so abrupt????

RAS said...

Senator Duncan is correct, Pyote is remote; more than half the way from Brownwood to El paso. I'm sure that when Pyote is closed Senator Shapiro will provide transportation for the parents from El Paso for the 1,000 mile round trip to Brownwood to encourage their kids. Pyote does house 48 kids now, since we were downsized from 96 4 months ago. We have the staff wanting to come back to handle 120 or more ( at a 1 staff to 1 student ratio or very close to it, Mart 1 has a ratio of about 1.9 to 1) From what I hear our kids are better behaved than any of the other facilities, but I guess that is a secondary consideration to cutting spending and Whitmire's dictates being obeyed.

Anonymous said...

Moynahan's move back to Houston wasn't that abrupt and she moved so she could be with family. Her husband had to return to Houston and she was commuting from Houston to Austin. She had made several requests to tranfer to HDO before she took the job with OIO.

Anonymous said...

2:22 Are trying to start rumors about Moynahan? Give me a break!Do you have nothing better to do than tear down someone who has fought for the kids since day 1?

Anonymous said...

Man, some of you sickos will stop at no innuendo! I have had numerous conversations with Ms M. and she talks about her husband and kids all the time. She is very family-oriented. Why shouldn't she want to move back to Houston? That's her home.

She impresses me as both totally dedicated to getting a good deal for the kids, as well as to listening to what staff have to say. She doesn't seem to bear any illusions as to what we are up against.

Anonymous said...

Susan?? Have things sunk so low that someone is starting rumors about her. I worked with her at CO office and all she talked about was her husband and kids. She is dedicated to her family and is very proud of her kids.