Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bizarro allegations against TYC Ombudsman center on contraband smuggling

Many readers have asked what I think about the bizarre story regarding Texas Youth Commission Ombudman Catherine Evans, a former juvenile court judge from Dallas who is under fire for smuggling contraband - allegedly including weapons, cash, a cell phone, and prescription drugs - onto TYC facilities. This was first reported while I was out of town and for the life of me I still can't figure out what was going on or why in heaven's name Judge Evans would do such an unabashedly stupid thing.

Evans claimed she was "testing" security at TYC units - she supposedly brought contraband onto 2 or 3 other units before she was caught at Crockett - but that's not the role of her office and it would be easy to document lax security without resorting to such methods. The previous ombudsman raised the same issue without engaging in those sort of grandstanding ploys. What was this woman was thinking?

One source told me one of the weapons was a knife (found at Crockett) and that she also allegedly brought a handgun onto another facility (which possibly was "fake," I was told). There was speculation by a different person that the drugs she allegedly brought onto facilities were "fake," and that investigators were having the substance tested. Quien sabe?

I was also told that the Inspector General's office is "very serious" about pursuing a case against Evans - that her explanation about "testing" security may not be enough to forestall her eventual prosecution. That'd be something, wouldn't it? It'd be amazing if they wound up prosecuting the Ombudsman, whose position was only created in 2007, before they prosecute TYC employees alleged to have sexually abused kids at the West Texas School. What a mess!

Mike Ward at the Austin Statesman had some interesting backstory regarding how this came to light:
Evans was found to be carrying a weapon and other prohibited items as she entered the Crockett State School, according to Susan Moynahan, the deputy ombudsman who served as interim director before Evans arrived. Evans was asked to leave the facility.

Moynahan resigned Oct. 8 after telling Perry's office about the Beaumont episode. The ombudsman reports to the governor, not Youth Commission officials.

"Although it is unclear by your report what type of weapon you carried into the facility you reported that you intentionally brought contraband into a facility, which is a felony, and could have resulted in arrest and endangered the lives of youth and staff at that facility," Moynahan's resignation letter states. "In addition, to report this behavior within a site visit report would no doubt result in extremely negative repercussion" for the ombudsman's office.

Moynahan told the American-Statesman she has been interviewed by Youth Commission investigators. "Carrying a weapon onto a correctional facility? This is insanity — not to mention it's a crime," she said. "If she was trying to test security, this is not how you do that. State employees are not above the law."

Youth Commission Inspector General Chris Love did not return a message. But Townsend said she knew of no approved sting for Evans to test security.
So the deputy ombudsman ratted Evans out and resigned over this early last month! Perhaps Ms. Moynahan will get a chance to explain to a legislative committee at some future date exactly what's been going on behind the scenes at that office. (Certainly Judge Evans will, if she doesn't resign her position first.) There's a lot more to this story, one suspects, than has been revealed so far in media accounts.

RELATED: While it's true as mentioned above that the former TYC employees from the West Texas State School accused of sexual abuse have not been brought to trial, a former staffer from Brownwood was sentenced last week to 54 years for sexually assaulting three teenage girls at the Ron Jackson unit. According to the Abilene Reporter News, four other former TYC guards from Brownwood are currently facing felony charges.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The road goes on forever and the party never ends," at TYC.

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts TYC and this shows how vulnerable security is at their facilities. I doubt she would be convicted in any criminal proceeding.

What are you afraid of TYC?

Anonymous said...

"If she was trying to test security, this is not how you do that."

That's hilarious. How do you do that test TYC or better yet, when do you or have conducted random testing of facility security?

I'm looking for part time work and certainly wouldn't charge the exorbitant fees of a so called consulting firm.

Anonymous said...

Scott.....

What are the duties of the Ombudsman?

Anonymous said...

The prosecution of the two WTSS employees, if it ever happens, will be for the little fish only. I still think there will never be a trial in open court because the trail will lead up the chain of command all the way to the governor's office. An investigator in the Texas Attorney General's Office recently made a comment to a potential witness that indicated there was heavy resistance to the investigation of the matter. The AG's investigator did not have a clear picture of what was involved with the case and the number of people who knew the sexual abuse was going on. If we are going to have justice lets have it for all involved not just a couple of the bottom rung players. It is time to find out who knew about the sexual abuse and covered it up. The true number of sexual predators need to be found out and brought to justice.

I can tell you that the real story of the sexual abuse at TYC has not been told. Warnings about the situation at WTSS were made as early as 2001 by TYC employees but were shunned and attacked by administration. A systematic cover-up by Governor Rick Perry and his staff has all but killed any meaningful investigation in this matter. Jay Kimbrough was brought in to create a crazy circus atmosphere to muddy the waters and take the focus off of the real issue. Many people thought Jay Kimbrough handled himself poorly at TYC but he had a job to do and he did it very well. Jay Kimbrough's job was to take the heat off of Rick Perry even if meant he made himself the bumbling conservator. Mr. Kimbrough has been handsomely rewarded by Rick Perry for his stellar performance at TYC while acting as conservator. Jay Kimbrough was never about fixing TYC, he was there to shield Rick Perry. Mr. Kimbrough is a consummate political operative.

At best only a few bottom level TYC employees will ever see a court room. One or two convictions and the political machine will call the problem solved while the heavy hitters go on with their lives. Cover-up is the word of the day.

Anonymous said...

Could this latest BIG TYC STORY be more about diversion away from legal action for the sexual offenders working at TYC? Just a thought!
If the contraband was fake them it is not really contraband. If the gun was a fake then it is not a weapon under the Penile Code. Was the knife a practice knife with no sharp edge? If so it is not a weapon. The dope was bunk dope so not really dope. Money is not illegal to carry in a secure facility. If the ladies job dealt with protecting the rights of the youth then the right to be secure in their person could apply.

I think the lady embarrassed some people who were afraid they might get fired from their high paying jobs. A little preemptive strike by the tower of power. There seem to be some information being released by the PIO at TYC which is not very specific in the case. I have seen TYC spin an incident to make someone look bad by putting out misinformation so don't rush to judgment in this case. I just have a hard time believing an ex-judge would not understand the law.

Whitsfoe said...

Evans clearly drove out of her lane by pulling this stunt.

What bothers me is why she wasn't arrested when it's so absolutely clear that if any TYC employee would have introduced that kind of contraband in any of our facilities, they would have had the cuffs strapped firmly on their wrist and thrown in jail. This is pathetic.

Some long term TYC employees who have lived through conservatorship have problems with the delays in prosecuting those idiots who have casted so much shame on our agency. We got some justice in Brownwood, but we need more. We need all of those idiots held accountable. Believe me, we want that more than any outsider could ever believe.

We need a *statement* victory much like Texas' slap down win at Oklahoma State last night. Holding the Judge accountable would be a step in that direction.

(ps. Plato, feel free to comment when your finished playing with your *fat girlfriend*. Go Horns!)

Anonymous said...

So many of us would love to see 'the rest of the story', come out about TYC. When I read "Raped by The State", I remember the author stated TYC was shuffeling TYC administrators involved in sex abuse, around the state, rather than deal with the problems. This was a few years before the West Texas sex scandal. The cover-up goes so high, no wonder it has been further covered, intentionally derailed from trial and hidden from the public.

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe - Our idiot savant (Coach Leach)is amusing and off the wall only when we are winning. We're 6 & 3 right now so he's not all that funny. The "fat girlfriends" utterance pleased only the teenage crowd out here on the plains.

Sounds like Judge Evans should join ranks with The Strange One.

My lips are sealed (for this year only).

Plato

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with 9:01 a.m. In fact, I believe that is the reason WTSS is being shut down. The legislature & the guv should truly be ashamed of themsleve!! The systemic disease has become an incurable cancer. Many people will suffer the economic consequences of their failure to act on the reported warnings of sexual abuse back in 2001.

Brookins is scheduled to go to trial in Ector County in December. My bet is he cops a plea bargain. Hernandez was told his would be set after the Brookins trial was over. It sickens us that they haven't been prosecuted.

Boyness said...

ROFLMAO! Texas is UNBELIEVABLE! There is nothing I can add that has not already been said. Stories like this are as common as West Texas dirt.

Anonymous said...

The 'judge' adapted to the TYC leadership culture, that administrators can do as they please and get away with it. Believe it? Just watch her prosecution disappear, along with those others that broke the law and were promoted or allowed to disappear. TYC - abuse - shame - neglect - cover-up - corrupt; all synonyms.

Anonymous said...

Apparently most of you do not work for TYC because if you did you would know that we do not nor have we ever really had a secure gatehouse/entry point. TYC is not allowed to strip search their employees nor do they have enough staff to pat search every person that comes through the gate.

Ms. Evans was also aware of these procedures so why did she take it this far?

Any person could bring contraband into any facility at any given time, when was the last time you witnessed security staff reaching up into a persons crouch to detect for contraband, let alone run their fingers/hands over a woman's bra? I am sure many would like too but that's what got us into this mess in the first place.

Back to Judge Evans, why would any sane educated person do what she has been accused of doing, maybe just maybe she wanted to create just enough embarrassment to this agency once again right before the Sunset Commission. Maybe she really did not want the job but rather help Whitmire push TYC over the cliff. Sounds like a conspiracy to me!!

"CHUY"

Whitsfoe said...

Well look who finally came out of the woods to give us his 2 cents. Welcome back "Chuy."

I agree with that comment. My bet is she did it to make us look bad too, but the fact is, she should have never gotten that crap in any facility.... I heard she brought the stuff in a bag, not in her clothing.

Anonymous said...

tTYC Gates are a Joke,,, They never check anyone who goes through them unless they have a Central Office Visitor.....Have you ever been through the gate at Brownwood?????? Its a Joke.....
As far as im concerned anyone who attemps to smuggle anything in a TYC Unit should be Terminated ,,,, No matter who it is !!!! You are dealing with the safety of everyone in that unit when you bring in anything that you are not supposed to .......

Anonymous said...

tTYC Gates are a Joke,,, They never check anyone who goes through them unless they have a Central Office Visitor.....Have you ever been through the gate at Brownwood?????? Its a Joke.....
As far as im concerned anyone who attemps to smuggle anything in a TYC Unit should be Terminated ,,,, No matter who it is !!!! You are dealing with the safety of everyone in that unit when you bring in anything that you are not supposed to .......

Anonymous said...

Well I agree with the statement that if you bring anything illegal or in an attempt to create or cause alarm you should be prosecuted. But in the real world our search policy's do not allow the latitude to really search anyone if their intent is to smuggle anything into a facility. Where have you been "Whitsfoe", in all honesty there have been no posts about TYC so I have gone into hibernation, unfortunately some idiot associated or not associated with TYC will come on here and start acting stupid and they will go away again.

"CHUY"

Anonymous said...

Does the Ombudsman's office really have to rely on the dramatic to find dramatic problems in TYC. Please. Do some real work so that we can solve real problems. Contraband is clearly a problem. I don't see why they don't bring the dogs out or invest in some equipment that can detect drugs.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I see the point or benefit in prosecuting her...

Whitsfoe said...

7:50 brings up a good point. G.E. had this product that acted like a metal detector that also detected ions reaping from cocaine, marijuana, gun powder, and many more (they claimed). Back then they said it shut down the cocaine trade from Jamaica to England. But as always, it was "cost prohibitive."

TYC once used fans that blew on visitors coming through a check-entry-point with a K-9 on the receiving side, but we were not funded for a K-9 at every facility 24/7. I heard someone complained and that stopped in 2001-2002. (About 2-3 months after it started). "Dogs were not to sniff people." There was a case in a Houston school where some girl got offended by a sniffing dog and thus there went that idea. I understand that case but our dog was in a cage and not available to "offend." It just barked. Still...

Nonetheless, if any of you saw what the gatehouse staff have to deal with as far as ingress/egress goes in all TYC facilities, it didn't take Judge Evans to bring this to our attention. We knew it, and we asked for help. We have cameras in a lot of places, and maybe one or two staff (at best)are trying to watch all that, checking in vendor vehicles coming in and going, and checking visitors coming and going at all times of the day.

Chuy is right.

We need help with this vital part of our operation. It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt really bad with regard to what Judge Evans exposed, but the ledge ignored us with their budget cuts, and the security of TYC facilities took a hit.

SB-103 needs to be amended. It requires a 1:12 ratio of JCO to youth. It should also mandate 3 persons at the gatehouse on the a.m. shift, p.m. shift, and two at late night. It should require five on a.m and p.m. to cover visitation on weekends. It should be funded accordingly.

You want it safe? Then make it happen by giving TYC what it needs to make it happen.Our ledge needs to fund a safe environment for children these judges are sending to TYC.

Right now,TYC is nothing more than a project (a hood) relocated in the country. And believe me, the places that sent them - namely Harris County - have done absolutely nothing to keep them closer to home. Please feel free to compare Harris County's commitment rate to TYC vs. any other county in Texas.

Where's the cover up now Elmer? He wanted all kids closer to home except his own. Eagle Lake was going to do that for Harris County, but then what happened? Take a look back. He didn't like old Nedlekoff back then because Richard Nedlekoff walked off his girl... and getting all the Harris County kids *closer to home* took a back step to Elmer's political agenda. What a crook.

That should be your next story Grits. Till then - I'm out.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Not sure I see the point or benefit in prosecuting her...

11/01/2009 09:37:00 PM
-----------------------------------
O M F G...I cannot believe this. I have never laughed so hard in my life. This state is full of kooks!

Anonymous said...

For what its worth, which is not much I am glad someone has figured out you can still get what you want thru the gatehouses and out of the gatehouses. Getting stuff out is easier than getting stuff in. You TYC people will know what I am talking about.
As a former worker at CRTC, the gatehouse security is a joke... I am not a disgruntled worker. I don't have to do that anymore. I use to feel safe behind those gates until I realized how non secure that place was.
Don't you think that people should be checked on the way out as well the way in. How much stuff goes out those gates that the state has paid for???? I can tell you this Toilet paper, personal items for ladies, is a big item on the way out the gate. Hahah. For real...I never understood why a person would want that state stuff.
Hate this happen to this lady,because she was making a point about security and one that needed the media attention.

Anonymous said...

A THUG we never caught...

Anonymous said...

his .url has been accepted

RAS said...

Her test was pointless, if they had made her empty everything out of the bag she still could have smuggled in a 38 and half a lid; staff that have been thru the gate a few times know how. Who tests the contract facilities? For that matter why don't the contract facilities use coNextions, check-ins, etc.? It's still a 1,000 mile round trip from El Paso to Brownwood.

Anonymous said...

Human trafficing in Texas ===> TYC

Does that sound like bureaucratic capture by organized crime?


Don't Mess With Texas!

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of the treatment being worse than the disease. Our staff are told so many conflicting things they don't know what to do. The last thing we need is someone playing "gotcha" games. What we need is some decent leadership, and right now we don't have it. I know a lot of people want to see the demise of TYC and it looks like they might be getting what they wish for. But to quote the old song, "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got till it's gone."

Anonymous said...

Example: The riots at West Texas State School. Been kept quiet, as much as possible. Still a strong odor at that school, led by the unlead. It just goes on an on, why hasen't this cesspool been closed?

Anonymous said...

Ok, Boyness

Since you are quick to make comments about the character, back it up with some exposition on why you think prosecuting her is a good idea.

Who does it benefit and what does it prove?

She has been fired/resigned and rightly so. What is prosecuting her going to accomplish. There are many other more worthy prosecutions to pursue. So why waste time and money to pursue this?

RAS said...

12:01 What riots at WTSS? I work here and I havn't heard of a riot. 2 kids off one dorm jumped a kid off another dorm, is that the riot? If you are concerned about the drastic increase in assaults talk to the lege, they took away the consequences we could impose to dissuade most of the hot heads and gang bangers.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'm missing something here. I thought the role of the Ombudsman was to advocate for the youth and to investigate youth complaints. Is that incorrect?

I suppose one could do some rhetorical gymnastics to justify these contraband stunts that way. Keeping contraband out for youths' own protection, etc.

Pretty weird.

Bill Bush

diogenes said...

Assuming we do the mental gymnastics, we're back to the points made earlier. We know our gatehouses aren't secure because we aren't allowed to do anything other than the occasional show when Central Office swoops by for a dog and pony show. If this is really a youth rights issues, why not use the power and influence of the Ombudsman office to make the changes and allow us the equipment and procedures needed to secure our "secure" facilities? If you want proof of how much contraband comes in, ask the DOS to show you all the stuff taken up on a daily basis, and how many drug tests come back positive. No need to make your own proof.

Anonymous said...

Until the leftover trash of TYC is fired, the agency will never be respected by the public. Same now as it was ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

Jay Kimbrough got in tight with the worst of the old TYC insiders and protected them and promoted them. They are still in place. What was that all about?

Anonymous said...

It's all about covering for the top folks in government. Remember the gov's TYC niece that got in trouble? Completely washed over and forgotten. Same for the top TYC folks behind the coverups. Folks in Austin can't afford for their names to be attached, even though they are right in the crime wave. Its Texas politics at its best/worst and we all pay dearly for it.

Anonymous said...

i have been gone after a great 10 years, then a shity 4 years, this crap will never end , since i have been gone , making more money , dont have to take blood pressure nor prozac, lost 65 pounds, and loving life , why did i stay around so long, god bless all of yall trying to sticked it out and fuck all you assholes that make evveryone else miserable.

Anonymous said...

HA! All you people MUST be from Austin. You people have certainly never followed me through the gatehouse! The daily peep show at Al Price is alive and well, with other women feeling me up, while the men get their jolly's off watching. I should be able to charge admission for this. Believe me, they check WAAAAY more than they should be checking when I walk through the gate. I'm thinking about paying TYC gatehouse personnel to go to the gynecologist with me for my annual checkup. They certainly have more thorough knowledge of what my breasts feel like than I do.

You people don't have a clue. What gets through that gatehouse depends upon who's getting checked, and who's doing the checking.

Boyness said...

I cannot stop laughing long enough to answer the absurd question of why this woman should be prosecuted. Lets start with SHE BROKE THE LAW! God help Texas!

Anonymous said...

Same song....different dance people. You are only getting a small look at the overwhelming problems TYC has. ALL facilities are out of control and the word "accountability" is simply a punchline. I can not speak for all facilities but one in particular has ALWAYS put on a good face for you guys but quite simply is in the crapper with everyone else. Everyone deals with the same issues day in and day out and there is never a light at the end of the tunnel that Austin and facility administrators promise is coming. There are good people doing there best to literally stay alive in the TYC game. But these very same people are following the direction of fools. The good people know who they are and please allow me to be the first to say a heart felt thank you for what your "leaders" are putting you threw and please believe life is so much better when you erase TYC from your life. You can see that things are not and will not get better with a leadership that "looks past" situations like the one being discussed her. This will be swept under the rug and something else will come out that is totally ridiculous which will cement the fact that this is a loosing battle. When you guys finally come to this realization its going to be too late. Get out now while you still have a bit of life left in you. I also promise you wont have to be on anti-depressants (LOL).

I agree with several facts here that have been stated. I dont feel this aproach to testing the vulnerability of secuirty at facilities was the right one. I am in total agreement with this falls out of her job and she should pay the price for it. She broke the law end of story. I am almost certain we would not have walked away from that situation had we tried it. Arrests would have been made, charges filed, and jobs lost. Although its not my place I think this is exactly what needs to happen to this woman who endagered the students, employees, and her own life. One thing I do know......you better have your shirt tucked in if you plan on setting foot on GNS (LOL).

GO SEAHAWKS!!!!! (NOT)

RAS said...

Assaults on staff; 4th qtr 08 - 21, 1st qtr 09 - 56, 2nd qtr 09 - 61, 3rd qtr 09 - 93, 4th qtr 09 - 140. A 200% to 800% increase in 15 months with about half as many kids but TYC's goals for this year is to reduce staff turnover to 25%. Their goal is 5% above TDCJ's average for the last several years! Will Madden, Whitmire, and Hinjosa ever admit they really screwed the pooch on this one?

Anonymous said...

She did not resign, nor did she get fired.

Anonymous said...

Hell no she didn't; she's hiding under the gov's desk w/Harris and the other criminals.

Anonymous said...

She also terminated the two Assistant Ombudsman. She supposedly gave them their termination letters the day she was caught with contraband at Crockett.

Anonymous said...

Is she still getting paid or was she suspended? How can she do the job if she is banned from the facilities? Is she still permitted to visit the halfway houses and contract programs?

Anonymous said...

This is what SB103 states about duties of the Ombudsman.

Sec. 64.101. DUTIES AND POWERS. (a) The independent
ombudsman shall:
(1) review the procedures established by the commission and evaluate the delivery of services to children to ensure that the rights of children are fully observed;
(2) review complaints filed with the independent ombudsman concerning the actions of the commission and investigate
each complaint in which it appears that a child may be in need of
assistance from the independent ombudsman;
(3) conduct investigations of complaints, other than complaints alleging criminal behavior, if the office determines that:
(A) a child committed to the commission or the child's family may be in need of assistance from the office;
(B) a systemic issue in the commission's provision of services is raised by a complaint;
(4) review or inspect periodically the facilities and
procedures of any institution or residence in which a child has been placed by the commission, whether public or private, to ensure that the rights of children are fully observed;
(5) provide assistance to a child or family who the independent ombudsman determines is in need of assistance, including advocating with an agency, provider, or other person in the best interests of the child;
(6) review court orders as necessary to fulfill its duties;
(7) recommend changes in any procedure relating to the
treatment of children committed to the commission;
(8) make appropriate referrals under any of the duties
and powers listed in this subsection; and
(9) supervise assistants who are serving as advocates in their representation of children committed to the commission in
internal administrative and disciplinary hearings.
(b) The independent ombudsman may apprise persons who are interested in a child's welfare of the rights of the child.
(c) To assess if a child's rights have been violated, the independent ombudsman may, in any matter that does not involve
alleged criminal behavior, contact or consult with an administrator, employee, child, parent, expert, or any other individual in the course of its investigation or to secure information.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter,
the independent ombudsman may not investigate alleged criminal
behavior.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 11/02/2009 06:05:00 PM,
You go girl! Somebody needs to tell it like it is! That daily state-sponsored sex show that goes on at the gatehouse goes way too far. And, if I didn't already have eight years invested, and so close to retirement, I would throw in the towel myself and make them go out snd hire some REAL porn stars to replace me.

Anonymous said...

So sad. She could have done some good, but instead we got another person for whom it was not "all about the kids," but all about her! Fat chance she'll get indicted by a Republican DA in Houston County...

Anonymous said...

Boyness, plenty of people break the law and are not prosecuted. Prosecutors have the right and should utilize descretion. Life is not black and white.

Again, what point does server to prosecute her.

Boyness said...

I dont think she WILL be prosecuted, after all, she is a good ole girl. She SHOULD be prosecuted and put in prison just like anyone else who smuggles contraband into a prison or prison-esque facility.

Why are there kooks who are adamant that she should NOT be prosecuted? Hmmm anonymous??? Are you her daddy?

Anonymous said...

Does she at least have to appear before the grand jury? Was she suspended from her job or just banned from the facilities?
I agree that most likely nothing will happen but her actions will no doubt damage her ability to work collaboratively with TYC to help the youth.

Anonymous said...

"""She also terminated the two Assistant Ombudsman. She supposedly gave them their termination letters the day she was caught with contraband at Crockett.""""

Do you think she was trying to get rid of the internal witnesses??

Anonymous said...

I don't if she trying to get rid of internal witnesses but the timing of it unusual to say the least. I can't figure out how bringing contraband into a facility or "testing security" is in any way a duty of the ombudsman office. Would that be the Auditor's office or OIG and why didn't she let someone in OIG, the Gov's office or some other state agency know that she going to do this.

Anonymous said...

The more I read about TYC and the people that work there, the funnier this shit gets!!

Anonymous said...

She should be prosecuted because how do we know that she wasn't sneaking the contraband in for a kid? Because she's a former Judge? She's proven that, although its against the law to bring contraband into secure facilities, she believes that law in particular does not apply to her.

Prosecuting her would set a precedent for any other adult who displays a disregard for the law by putting kids lives at risk. If she's not prosecuted than how do we prosecute any other employee who is caught trying to sneak contraband in. We would automatically assume that they were guilty of being a "dirty" staff member yet the former Judge gets away with "I was testing the security of the facility".

Years ago I worked in an adult prison and our midnight shift staff kept getting written up and terminated for falling asleep on their posts. The administrative charges stuck until one CO challenged it by lying and saying that his eyes were closed because he was praying. He won his appeal and it sent all of the other COs to the Union to file their appeals.
If one person can get off then why shouldn't everyone else. Anyone caught sneaking contraband in to a facility in TX should just say "I was testing its security like the Judge did".

1/04/2009 09:17:00 AM asked "what point does serve to prosecute her? and on 11/03/2009 12:55:00 AM RAS listed the following REASONS why she SHOULD be prosecuted! Assaults on Staff; 4th qtr 08 - 21, 1st qtr 09 - 56, 2nd qtr 09 - 61, 3rd qtr 09 - 93, 4th qtr 09 - 140.

If the staff are being assaulted in such frequency as listed above, why would she think that she couldn't be assaulted and have a kid take her bag that contained the contraband. Who is she to think that it was okay to jeopardize the lives of kids, staff, visitors and vendors who were on grounds during the time when she pulled these little stunts. Kids could've taken her prescription drugs and died, used the weapons on her or others, etc.

Ft Hood is another reason why she should be prosecuted. Weapons in the hands of deranged people usually leads to a tragedy. Some of the kids in those facilities suffer from MH issues and had they gotten a hold of her bag...who knows what tragedy could have occurred. Secure facilities have laws that were meant to deter contraband for a reason and when someone wants to test the strength of those rules, they should seek the assistance of law enforcement and the AG's office to ensure that the "test" is organized and they have plans in place to step in if/when something goes wrong.
In my facility, we used to say when you enter a secure part of any facility the reality is "It Aint A Game! This Is My LIFE"!

Anonymous said...

7:59 a.m. Are you afraid of the monsters in your closet too!

There are a whole lot of what ifs in your argument. Prosecuting her is not going to make the gate or campuses safer nor is it going to result in safer dorms.

Safe dorms don't come from use of force or intimidation. Safe dorms come from consistent and fair use of rules and policies and appropriate consequences and rewards for behavior. This would be the best argument for prosecution...but TYC has not been consistent here.

Safe dorms come staff who care enough about the youth to firmly confront behavior while modeling appropriate behavior. Staff who teach the youth how to verbally address problem behavior through behavior groups and huddle ups via positive peer pressure. Staff who recognize that a security unit is not a punishment but an opportunity to regroup the dorm and prepare for the eventual return of the problem youth.

So stop your blaming and whining and do something constructive to make changes on your campus and the youth in your care.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Austin management/mismanagement, for your sorely needed input!

Anonymous said...

11/08/2009 04:05:00 PM Exactly our point! If your "concept" of safe dorms is correct, how would sneaking contraband into facilities help the kids be safer? That is why you should be prosecuted Judge! You were wrong and proved that you know nothing about working in a secure facilities.

You are yet another "expert" who has all the answers about what staff should and should not do. Only one question though...an expert should be someone who performed those duties and was one of the best. What unit did you work on over an extended period of time where you were able to prove your opinions of how a unit should be run. Sorry but sitting on a bench with armed staff protecting you from the kids does not equal being on a locked unit with those same kids armed with a radio.

If the job is as easy as you believe it is, why are juvenile justice systems across the country having the same problems? So many "experts" have so many different answers for running facilities but none of them have ever taken a year and worked on those units for 8-16 hrs/day 5 days/wk to demonstrate how their views really work. Instead they make 1-3 hr monthly or quarterly "tours", then give a 25-100 page list of findings and recommendations.

Experts: If you truly believe that you can help facilities, plant yourselves in those facilities for one year. Plant yourself on the units...not in the administrative areas...but on the units with the staff. Be that 3rd person assigned to the unit and show the staff what your saying instead of telling them in a report. Show the staff everything about how a safe dorm should be run.

Oh yeah, one more thing, be sure that your health insurance is up to date because there wont be armed employees there to protect you like when you were on the bench. After the year has ended and the facility is considered a "model" facility, then we'll believe that you're an "expert". Until then, you'll just be considered the next flavor of the day who will be gone within a few months (like the Judge and many others before her)!

Anonymous said...

To 12:59 from 4:05

I have worked at Marlin, Mart, Hammilton, Crocket, and Brownwood and can tell you from experience as a line staff that when staff work together and buys into the program it works and works well.

Problem is, that in TYC everybody thinks they are the expert and is trying to reinvent the wheel and now one believes in anything or anyone. The program/dorm is only as strong as the weakest (meaning inconsistet) staff on the dorm.

I have worked on dorms without security referrals for over a month because the staff and by extension the youth believed in the program.

I know it can work. I also know that trying to get physical and intimidating kids backfires and destroys rapport and trust...and you become just another "crooked" staff.

I believe that the program can work, the problem is motivating and getting other staff to believe and support it.

But I also believe that clapping your hands together can save a fairy like tinkerbell...LOL

Point, is there is too much negativity and whining. Change begins with the individual...so do something constructive and stop the monaning and groaning about what is because that never changes anything.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and for the record I have never worked in Central Office!

Anonymous said...

If you truly believe it can work then why did it only last for a month or so and what has happened since then? Its great that it lasted for one month but when you get to a year, then people will listen.

You've worked in many facilities but make the statement that you've never worked in CO. Then you've only worked on one side of it. Have you ever had to answer for the facility's entire budget, staffing, overview of incidents, strategic plans, etc. I've worked on both sides and trust me when I tell you, CO's across the country are like working in a tornado or hurricane. You spin in 5 different directions everyday because like you said, everybody's an expert.

And I haven't read one comment on this string that encourages or supports hands on or getting physical with kids.

Being constructive would mean that you are a good leader in the facilities. A good leader motivates others by getting them to buy-in to the mission /direction. "The program/dorm is only as strong as the weakest (meaning inconsistent) staff on the dorm." Is that a positive statement? What a sad depiction of a program. There are bad apples everywhere and they should be the minority so that they don't effect the strength of the dorm.

None of the facilities that you've mentioned are listed model juvenile justice facilities. Security referrals are not a good representation of whether a program works or not. Have those kids who were there for that one month come back to TYC, have they stayed in school, are they employed, are they in a TDCJ facility, are they alive?

Asking the "hard" questions and answering them honestly is the first step to enhancing a program. Viewing those questions as negativity is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made because the answers should be the truth about your program. If you dont know the truth about where you are, how can you recognize positive or negative change. Staff attitudes change when Administrators look at the truth "with" them and seek the answers "with" them. When no one is one the same page and no one talks/trust each other, TYC stays the same TYC. This is beyond changing as an individual.

I believe that great things happen in TYC everyday. I also believe that greater things could happen if Administration and staff begin to work together and stop pointing at each other. I know its a lot easier said then done but like Dr Phil says about doing the same thing over and over, "How's that working for you?"

And, bringing contraband into a facility is wrong and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Back to the subject at hand. It is illegal to bring the items she brought on the TYC units she visited. If she truly wanted to test security, she should have stopped in the gatehouse and gotten on her cell phone to the Superintendent, as soon as the gatehouse staff passed her through without finding her contraband. That would have made the right impression.
BTW, she has been invited to testify at her grand jury hearing in Houston County. What does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

Invited to testify? Isn't that nice of them. When is the Grand Jury scheduled to meet? Do you think she will disclose that after pulled this stunt at Al Price OIG warned her not to do it again unless they and Ms. Townsend had prior notification?

HamHead said...

I'm there. Call it "regionalization." Just don't run off the dorm when the intervention is initiated which has happened time and time again. I've hung around 24 years and have seen this all too often...

Listen to this...

"Experts: If you truly believe that you can help facilities, plant yourselves in those facilities for one year. Plant yourself on the units...not in the administrative areas...but on the units with the staff. Be that 3rd person assigned to the unit and show the staff what your saying instead of telling them in a report. Show the staff everything about how a safe dorm should be run."

Anonymous said...

How often do suspects get to testify at their Grand Jury hearings? Not very often. Oh yeah, the Guv who appointed this clown is a Republican, and so is the DA in Houston County.

Anonymous said...

So she gets to keep collecting a paycheck for what then exactly? If she can't get into a facility she can not effectively do her job can she? This is the person they thought would be a better choice that Will and she is making 20,000 more a year than he did???? I don't get the logic in that decision.

Anonymous said...

The fix is in. Potentially, she could tell the GJ that the Guv told her to do it. The GJ would then no-bill her, and no-one would know what she said because GJ proceedings are sealed. Furthermore, any criminal investigative information developed would also be sealed. Nice! The Guv makes appoints a stupid, arrogant shill, and he gets a free pass. Nice touch. Wonder what he offered the Houston County DA?

Anonymous said...

The Gov's office did not tell her to do it. If she states that the Gov's office told her to do it would the liason from the Gov's office have to verify that was the truth? The Gov's office was as suprised by her actions as TYC and OIG were. Would there be statements gathered from anyone else?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter if that the Governor did not tell her to do it. She could tell a good story to the Grand Jury and if they believe her story, she is no-billed, and the public would not know what she said because the Grand Jury proceedings are sealed by law.

Anonymous said...

What if her statements completely contradict what OIG found during their investigation?

Anonymous said...

It all depends on what the DA chooses to present to the Grand Jury. It's not up to the OIG, it's up to the DA.

Anonymous said...

Were the assistant ombudsman really let got? Their names and contact info is still listed on the website.

Anonymous said...

She really let them go she just hasn't updated the website yet. She told them they could reapply but because of the lapse in time between the employment end date and the rehire date they lost all of their vacation and sick time they built up with TYC.

Anonymous said...

Both assistants are still working. Please check your facts before you post stuff.

Anonymous said...

The website has been updated and the assistants names are not listed. Do they still work for OIO?

Anonymous said...

The termination dates for the assistants has been changed. It appears that they may have been "unterminated." This woman is a bizarro!

Anonymous said...

That's odd. Congratulations to the Assistants. It's good to hear they will be staying with OIO.

Anonymous said...

SICK, sick. Everything to do with TYC is sick!

Anonymous said...

1. She is the "Independent" Ombudsman- she is not part of TYC - even the governor cannot fire her. Only the legislature can impeach her and remove her from office. Thus, her arrogant disregard for the law.
2. The two assistants were sort of "unfired," at least until after the Grand Jury meets. Their termination dates have been moved up until after the Grand Jury.
3. The Grand Jury meets in Crockett next week, right before Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

What is the probability that the Grand Jury will issue an indictment?

Anonymous said...

Perry will be in Crockett the day before the grand jury meets.
Anyone smell the odor?

Anonymous said...

What business does Perry have in Crockett, well other than this? If the Grand Jury does not indict her could she still be impeached by the legislature?

Is OIO still going to facilities or is the entire office on restriction until the hearing?

This just gets weider and weider.

Anonymous said...

She's the only one who is banned. That may be the reason she extended the termination dates of the two assistants.

To my mind, the Deputy Ombudsman who resigned, was the only one who was both competent and had integrity.

Anonymous said...

Perry try to influence the Grand Jury? Come, now, surely that is not what you are implying!

Anonymous said...

There was no intention to imply that Perry was attempting to influence the Grand Jury only a question about why he was going to Crockett.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of votes in Crockett!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

So is tomorrow the big day? How long does it usually take for a grand jury to announce their decision?

Anonymous said...

The Guv came to Crockett to help dedicate a new facility at the local hospital. He was a late addition to the agenda. Houston County is such an important county with sooo many votes!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what happened with the Grand Jury?

Anonymous said...

Judge comes to town on Monday.

Anonymous said...

The Judge wasn't there when the Grand Jury convened? Is that normal?

Anonymous said...

Judges don't run Grand Juries, the prosecutor does. A judge does need to sign off on the GJ findings, though.

Anonymous said...

When the Judge returns on Monday how long should it take to hear whether or not the case was true billed? Was there more that one case?

I read in a commment earlier that the Gov's office could not fire her, she would have to be impeached by the legislature, but is that true? I thought the Gov's office actually could let her go because she was never confirmed by the legislature, but I am certainly no expert. If anyone knows the specifics that would be great.

Anonymous said...

I hope KBH is paying attention!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the GJ's decision will be announced today when the Judge returns?

Anonymous said...

Home > Postcards > Archives > 2009 > November > 30 > Entry

TYC ombudsman indicted
By Mike Ward | Monday, November 30, 2009, 12:02 PM

The newly appointed ombudsman for the Texas Youth Commission has been indicted on a felony criminal charge for allegedly smuggling a weapon into an East Texas lockup for teen-aged lawbreakers, officials confirmed at midday.

Catherine S. Evans, a former Dallas state district judge, was indicted on a third-degree felony for carrying a prohibited item — a knife — into a correctional facility, according to Gina DeBottis, director of special unit that prosecutes prison crimes statewide.

If convicted, Evans faces two to 10 years in prison.

No other details were immediately available, DeBottis said. The indictment, handed up last week by a Houston County grand jury, was unsealed late this morning.

Evans could not immediately be reached for comment.

In October, Evans had been barred from touring all Youth Commission lockups amid reports that she smuggled contraband — including a weapon, a cell phone, prescription drugs and cash — past guards in a possible violation of state law.

She had denied the accusations, insisting that whatever she may have carried into the Crockett State School was not a weapon — and was carried in unintentionally.

In addition, Evans — who was named ombudsman in early September by Gov. Rick Perry — was the focus of a second criminal investigation into allegations that she also smuggled contraband into the Al Price State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Beaumont.

As a result, Youth Commission Executive Director Cherie Townsend had prohibited Evans from entering Youth Commission lockups pending the completion of the investigation.

Perry aides earlier said they were awaiting the results of the investigations before determining whether Evans would remain as ombudsman.

In a preliminary official report that Evans and an assistant ombudsman reportedly filed after visiting the Beaumont lockup Sept. 22-23, Evans said that she carried in “a brown canvas bag containing a weapon, an iPhone, prescription medicine and $300” through a security checkpoint at the gatehouse.

“Ms. Evans carried her bag through the metal detector and the alarm sounded,” the report stated. “Ms. Evans opened her bag and the guard glanced in, but none of the items listed above were identified. The guard made no further effort to identify what set off the detector’s alarm.”

In a subsequent conversation with the lockup’s security director, Evans said, she was told that “dorm staff often work the gatehouse and are not trained in conducting proper searches,” the report states.

Under Youth Commission rules, the items reportedly carried into the maximum-security lockup by Evans are prohibited.

During the past year, the smuggling of contraband, particularly cell phones, into state prisons for adults has been a high-profile statewide issue.

The investigations of Evans marked the latest controversy involving the Youth Commission ombudsman’s office. When the post was created in May 2007, the first ombudsman was found to have previous arrests that disqualified him from the job. The hiring policy was later modified, but last May, the Texas Senate refused to confirm the reappointment of that ombudsman, Will Harrell. Perry appointed Evans to take Harrell’s place.

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