Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Youth crime declines as TX juvie prisons empty: What explains it?

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy pulled a fascinating fact-bite out of Marc Levin's most recent report (pdf) from the Texas Public Policy Foundation that deserves more vigorous discussion:
juvenile crime has markedly declined at the same time Texas has reduced the number of youths in state institutions by 52.9 percent. By building on these successes in a challenging budget environment, policymakers can continue delivering improved results for public safety and taxpayers.
It really is impressive to consider that the Texas Youth Commission reduced its inmate population by more than half after the sex-abuse scandal broke at the beginning of the 2007 legislative session, yet juvenile crime since then has continued its decade-long decline. Doesn't it seem remarkable that releasing half of TYC's inmates had no observable effect on juvenile crime rates? According to Levin:
After Senate Bill 103 became eff ective in June 2007 diverting misdemeanants from TYC, juvenile adjudications declined 10.3 percent from fi scal year 2008 to 2009. Similarly, fi lings to revoke probation for a new off ense or rule violation dropped 6.3 percent from 2008 to 2009. The most recent data on statewide referrals to juvenile probation shows a 4.3 percent drop from 2007 to 2008.
This seems like uncommon news - a dog that quite noticeably didn't bark, even if many people (especially anonymous TYC commenters on Grits, FWIW) predicted it would howl and bay all night. Perhaps one could argue that juvie crime was declining anyway, and would have declined more without the ex-TYCers. And of course, the overwhelming majority of adjudicated juveniles - as in, around 98% - are sent to probation or diversion programs instead of TYC. So the overall juvenile crime rate represents a lot more kids than just those released. Still, it's quite an extraordinary observation.

The strategy for reducing TYC's inmate population so rapidly was essentially a version of Texas' 2007 adult probation reforms on steroids: They invested more heavily in community supervision and chose as a matter of policy to incarcerate fewer juveniles, just on a much more radical scale and rapid timeframe than they've done in the (much larger) adult system.

Given that, I'm curious to ask you, Grits readers, these questions:
  • What do you think accounts for this seemingly counterintuitive result, and what does it say about the link between incarceration and crime rates?
  • Would the strategy work as well deincarcerating the adult system, closing prisons and investing savings in community supervision? If not, why not?
Let me know your opinions in the comments.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

community supervision is the best bet if you can keep the public safe too-- TYC should only be for the ones who have a high treatment need such as sex offender,etc. or the violent offenders. TYC's new overall program is worthless, CoNextions teaches the kids nothing. The public would be appalled if they knew what their taxpaying money is spent on to rehabilitate kids.

Anonymous said...

What % of those released were sixteen years of age but are now 17and can now be charged as an adult?

JSN said...

Annon 4:35 beat me to it. If they reoffend as an adult after they are released from juvenile detention it will not be counted as a juvenile offense.

Anonymous said...

I think much of this decline can be attributed to Harris County and Dallas County participating in JDAI. They are the two largest counties in Texas and commit the largest number of youth to TYC.

I would also be interested to know if there was a significant increase in the number of youth who were certified as adults. This might also have impacted the recidivism rate.

Anonymous said...

Could be they were released at the high point of the Big Texas city police forces massaging their crime stat figures and there was or is a crime wave, it's just contained in poor neighborhoods and unreported in police records.

Amerloc said...

So few of the kids we lock up endanger anyone other than themselves (if even that) that it makes what seems to me obvious sense; for the cost of locking up one kid, you can supervise 10 or 15 kids in their home communities, where they have access to "family" in the broadest sense of the word: people who know them well from home, church, school, the neighborhood, and, more importantly, that same "family" has access to them. Add to that the extra eyes and skills of a parole/probation officer, and you have a win-win at a lower cost.

So to your first (impied) question, I don't think the results are counterintuitive at all - they're common sense. The link between crime rates and incarceration has been exaggerated for centuries. It's just that we'd rather throw the problem away than solve it.

And, yeah, I figure the same pretty much holds true in the adult system as well.

I value my money too much to pay for "solutions" that don't work without whining at least occasionally.

Anonymous said...

Just wish the state could come up with a "real" program that works.
How about those that were released and went out into the public and took someones' life?

I agree with the age out deal, if you really compared the ones that re-offended that were released from TYC but turned 17 or 18 then the numbers would not be so good.
Most of the ones released in the downsizing were close to that age out. Is 18 the drop out TYC age now?

Another question I have about this is where are the stats on the communities now? Are parole and caseworkers in the public sector overloaded with these kids that other wise be in TYC, how is that showing up aganist teenage crime reduction?

Yes, the program in TYC is Not working no matter what adminstration says. If you have the line staff and education folks telling you its not working then you best believe it. Austin is not in the trenches, they need to start listening to their people.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about how the numbers are across the state but in Harris County our numbers are lower than they have been in a long time. The numbers are down in detention, county run facilities, private placements and the overall court dockets. The staff attribute a great deal of this drop to changes that were implemented as a result of recommendations made by JDAI and Deferred Prosecution program.

Anonymous said...

The TYC managers live in a bunker in Austin. They do not know what is happening in the institutions. This information indeed validates the suggestion that TYC is a wasted and usless nightmare and has neen now going on seven years. Its time to put the soiled scrapes in the waste bin and start with something that may actually work. A NEW statewide team is needed to start afresh and get rid of the old and recently new blockers of progress running TYC. Fresh paint can't fix the many problems in TYC.

Anonymous said...

who are these tyc administrators you speak of, the real power resides with those who make the policies

Anonymous said...

Is there a correlation between the tainted employees that have been Rif'd in the past four years and the better actions by youth? Did ridding the agency of many underperformers help the status of youth in their care? There seems to be some connection here to lose staffers and yet gain with youth's improvements.

Anonymous said...

Well, being an employee of TYC I think that sending a person to the TYC should be an act of last resort (almost desperation).

I am glad of the fact that we no longer have misdemeanants in TYC. They just don't need to be there. TYC will make them worse.

Youths that have never experienced fights and brutality will be shocked to violence when entering TYC.

However, what I do disagree with is keeping the dangerous kids that we HAVE NOW closer to their families in many cases (not all, mind you).

What do you do with a kid who is committed for a drive by shooting when their mother, father and families are in gangs themselves?

TYC is just what everyone says it is... It is a dangerous prison system. Lets be real, people get raped, beaten up and brutalized in numerous ways in TYC.

Very few offenders are actually sentenced although TYC-OIG has sent many to the adult system.

Anonymous said...

Well 1036, someone has now stood up and revealed the REAL TYC. So many have denied the abuses, rapes, etc, so thanks for some real time, real truth about TYC and how kids are really treated/mistreated.

dirty harry said...

A contributing factor might be that the average stay at TYC has dropped to 9 months. Of course, this doesn't mean that the offenses have become less serious. It just means they are being let out earlier.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

FWIW, folks, because of the stat dirty harry mentions - that minimum length of stay has been reduced to 9 months - I tend to doubt all the offenders aged out of juvenile court, because they're now MORE likely to get out at a younger age than they were before.

quash said...

1. Less kids doing less time means less chance to learn how to re-offend.

2. Aging out has always been part of the equation. Let's go ahead and say that the part of the equation that changed is maybe, just maybe, why the results are better.

Anonymous said...

There might be a lot of things causing a decline in crime. I tend to like Steve Leavitt's idea that it is a result of abortions, but too many people find that politically incorrect. I, for one, believe the crime rate was going down before the cuts in TYC and that was the main reason for the cuts. The sex scandal was the WMDs used to close all the institutions in the west. It is economically sound to reduce prisons when crime is going down, but if it becomes clear to the delinquent population that the consequences for crime are not very severe, there will be an increase. Thankfully, the public has short attention spans, so politicians who pretend to fix the problems that they created in the first place can continue to be elected.

Anonymous said...

Referrals to county juvenile probation departments have been declining for ten years or so. Impact on TYC (numbers wise caused by two things, no more misdemeanants and TJPC giving counties more money to place kids in specialized programs at way less cost than the TYC cost per day.)

And to you geniuses who don't like TYC's program now, can you identify a program that is successful for the great majority of the TYC kids? Obviously you have a computer so do the research on "successful" programs and report back to us asap. I think you'll find that there are no silver bullits out there hiding from us.

Anonymous said...

Mass failure needs to be admitted and not veiled over for political reasons. TYC is a hidden failure that survives on excuses.

Anonymous said...

JDAI probably has some impact on the reducations in TYC and detention centers, there is no doubt. However, that is not to be viewed as a positive. JDAI sites provide very little supervision and release kids from detention that probably shouldn't be released. If you speak to field officers at JDAI sites, many will tell you that there is little accountable for offenders on supervision. It is all about keeping numbers low as opposed to community protection or accountability.

Of course, JDAI proponets say the opposite. At the end of the day, JDAI saves money!

Anonymous said...

Overall the county level diversion programs have been effective in not only diverting kids from TYC but from obtaining any delinquent referral at all to the county departments. There is a greater imphasis on prevention, not reaction, to problems in the communities. You should get with all the departments out there to learn about preventative measures implemented in the past 5 years. JDAI has been referenced twice already. That program may be a feel good program for those counties utilizing it but it has nothing to do with fewer referrals to any department. MORE emphasis must be placed on prevention especially targeting those youth with mental health issues. I forsee TYC shutting down most of their facilities in the near future with departments reducing committments further, however, county run departments are strapped for funds to provide more preventative services and diversionary placements. Shut TYC down and funnel funds to the counties to keep kids from getting into the system in the first place.

Anonymous said...

1240 - Your last sentence is right on.....

Anonymous said...

12:40 you are absolutely right. Help the kids before they harm themselves. But, TJPC needs to get out and stay out of our business. They have regulated us to much my department will not even entertain the thought of being creative because standards hinder our operations so much our cost of doing business has almost doubled since 2002. Please someone in the legeslature wake up and remove their regulatory power. They have become a police agency and we have to focus so much on keeping up with standards that we don't have time to do anything extra for the kids of our community.

Anonymous said...

AMEN 12:40

Anonymous said...

We need to all get together and put together a list of what is working in each department to divert kids from the system. Pilot programs introduced last session had many good ideas in them. Have they been working? Who has them in place?
Grits, you had posted the pilot program proposals from the different regions last summer. Where can we get copies and who authored them? Maybe we all can learn from other's programs.

Anonymous said...

TYC. That gut-shot dino still stumbling towards the tar pit?

Anonymous said...

TYC should close. $250 mil can do alot of work for the kids at the county level. Who needs them or JDAI when most facilities are already doing what they can to keep kids out of the system.

Anonymous said...

12:40 You make alot of sense. Don't post anon next time. We want more.

Anonymous said...

12:40 you are right on but PLEASE don't let TJPC distribute the funds according to some half baked funding formula like they tried. There were several alternatives presented that they ignored.

Anonymous said...

12:54 the pilot programs were created by Southeast (copied by North East) chief's associations, Travis County and Dallas County. The Southeast plan referenced several diversionary programs but I do not recall what they were. Someone from Southeast region can tell you about the programs I bet and get you a copy.

Anonymous said...

To continue to pour large amounts of money into the TYC bottomless pit of corruption, abuse and ignorance cannot be justified. Close the doors on this snake infested agency, reallocate their money where it helps youth and prosecute the child abusers and liars that brought this giant scum pit to its knees.

Anonymous said...

JDAI????? What is that?

Anonymous said...

Its part of the enemy force in StarWars.

Anonymous said...

JDAI is focused on keeping non-violent kids out of detention, isn't it? They tend to show up in high percentages for their adjudications if they are not diverted to other programs.

You dead enders who keep bashing TJPC and all the standards, why not talk to your representatives and senators and abolish the agency and send all the money back and we can return to the 70's when all counties were responsible for 100% of their budgets.

Probation departments have the issue of having your cake and eating it to.

Standards and monitoring visits are a product devised by the legislature, state auditor, etc. If you are going to take the states money, the state is going to play the dance music. Simple as that.

Dream on...........

Anonymous said...

JDAI sounds like what we do already. Why does there have to be a program telling us to do what we already do?

Anonymous said...

1:38 Seems like I remember the chiefs in the 70's helping create the TJPC. At one time they were our partner but in recent years they have become our adversary. Why is that? I supported everything TJPC put out there until the 2002 round of standards started forcing us to focus on meeting their requirements, not fixing kids. TYC Committments rose steadily after that until SB 103 kept us from sending kids. Why won't TJPC work with US and get their heads out of the clouds?

Anonymous said...

Because it keeps wild regimes, like TYC - from doing what TYC has been doing even when there are policies in place but violated.

Anonymous said...

The parents should be forced to have more interaction with the juvenile and the department. Most of the delinquent activity is a result of poor parenting.

Anonymous said...

Let's get back on track. Everyone knows Queen V and her court jesters need to have experience working their own standards but they refuse to.
Let's focus of programs. I too would like more info on programs that WORK to keep kids out of the system all-together. Too many kids end up in our supervision at the county level that don't belong there. Wheere can we get this info?

Anonymous said...

I can see the diversions working for adults. If the county departments can keep up the good work in diverting kids from TYC then the CSCD's should be able to divert from TDCJ. TYC may very well be on it's way out, at least as we know it now, but without additional funds the diversionary programs will stagnate. If only the 3G offenses were committed the TYC population would be reduced to little of nothing and Texas could shutter the doors on all but a couple of facilities.
As for TJPC let's just face it, they are here to stay.

Anonymous said...

When TJPC was created back in the 80's, it was basically a "pass-through" state agency. Relataively small amounds of money came from the state to the counties, especially compared to now.

Over the years, county JPD's have lobbied the state for more and more money and have gotten it. Of course with more money came more oversight, not only from legislative committees., state auditor, etc., but by their created agency TJPC.

Remember - TJPC does not work for the individual JPD's, they work for the State of Texas. JPC does not have to do as we ask, they do as the legislature asks. That's not a very difficult principle to understand.

So - the lesson learned from the creation of TJPC to the present is: JPD's be careful what you ask for (money) BECAUSE WHEN YOU GET IT, YOU GET ALL THE STRINGS, STANDARDS, OVERSIGHT, ETC. AS WELL.

Anonymous said...

So JPD's should be able to do as they please? Then become like TYC? Nuts.

Anonymous said...

In reading these posts regarding what is or is not successful, seemingly being written by folks in the trenches, one has to wonder what the hell are you people doing? YOU are the ones who should be telling everyone else what is or isn't working not cruising a site such as Grits (no matter how excellent it may be) for that information. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. :~)

Charity said...

The parents should be forced to have more interaction with the juvenile and the department. Most of the delinquent activity is a result of poor parenting.

2/11/2010 01:58:00 PM

Dear 1:58:

As a parent who has fought for three years to have more interaction with TYC and more involvement in my son's treatment, I can honestly say that most of us parents would love to have more interaction with TYC. It is TYC who does not seem to want us around.

You must know next to nothing concerning the actual workings of TYC if you are trying to assert that if TYC would "force" us to interact with our kids they would be all right. The parents who were there for their kids before they committed crimes are still with their kids after they committed a crime. Those who left their kids on the sidelines are still missing from the game no matter what their kid did.

To assume that all these kids are in here due to poor parenting shows you lack a true understanding of all factors that affect juvenile crime. No parent is perfect. True, some of the parents are poor parents, and in that regard, TYC could actually be a place where their kids are finally shown something other than neglect and abuse (physical, mental, and/or emotional). Some of the parents are good parents and were good parents when their children committed a crime. All people, including kids, have minds of their own you know.

You cannot "force" a parent to be a better parent just as you cannot "force" a kid to be a law abiding citizen.

It is time for all the parent bashers to get their heads out of 1950's psych books and start reading current research on ALL things that influence the development of a human, no matter their age.

Charity said...

And if you want to know what works better than TYC, look to the states who are making progressive strides in both juvie incarceration and family involvement, North Carolina being a decent one, as is, shoot, it's Missouri or Wisconson (not at home to look at my research). Scrapping the whole system is a dumb idea. Where are you going to put all those violent felony offenders left in TYC after you throw away what you see as trash? Throw out what does not work--not the kids who have offended. If you do that you are not only hurting the child more but you are also putting the public in danger.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of TYC's employees' kids are out of control? With so many employees in the system there must be hundreds of their kids that are also offenders who are not properly parented. Based on the attitudes of TYC staffers, many kids of their own must be twisted in their attitudes also. If they can't control their own in their home how can they help others with youthful problems? Are they exempt?

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI: the parents are the problem. This concept that we need to keep them close to home so the family can be involved is 'pie in the sky' nonsense.

We spend millions of dollars in tax payers money to send these kids off to placement for 6-9 months only to return them to the same environment that caused the problem....What a Joke!

Anonymous said...

TYC needs to stop telling the public that they have a treatment program and a behavior program that is working.Most programs will work if the writers of the program would demonstrate the program.All that central office treatment staff do is give employees 8 hours of classroom lectures.These people never go to the dorms and lead the groups or show staff how to use the program to help kids manage their behavior.Central office treatment staff love to critigue staff and report back to the administration that staff is not useing the program correctly.They never tell that they have never been to the cottages demonstrateing the techniques.If you ask staff in the field how much on hand training they received from the staff in Austin that wrote the program.You would almost get zero percent.TYC has not had a sound treatment program since the Resocialization era and the Behavior Management era.Atleast these staff interacted with all staff and gave them hands training .Instead of critiqueing these programs and finding a way to improve these programs.People that were in the field makeing these programs work were not ask if the program was working before it was deleted.There is nothing wrong about change.What has happened is no program since the old program was deleted has replaced the old program.TYC lied to the legislature telling them they had a treatment program and a behavior treatment working.They were trying to cover up not meeting the legislature's deadline.TYC told institutions to keep training the staff the old program but take out the words resocialization when training staff.What was really bad is that all the new hires that went to preservice were taught the old training that TYC told the legislature had been deleted.When the new hires returned to their assigned sites.They had to be told not to use the training.New hires were confused and discouraged.No tool was in place to helped them teach kids how to manage their behavior.This problem is present at this time.A large number of staff are useing the old behavior management techniques.Central office staff don't know this because they don't interact with staff in the field.TYC needs less "critiqueing and more demonstrateing from the treatment staff in Central Office.

Anonymous said...

This should be shocking - 725, however nothing anymore is a surprise in TYC. The confusion created out of Austin only multiplies in the institutions. I have seen many shocking things in my time with TYC, but it just goes on and on......why must we be a part of this giant cesspool of an agency?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's the dog, sometimes it's the dog food.

Plato

Anonymous said...

TYC is an easy target, but they are just scapegoats for bad fiscal management by the lege. Charity, I hope you find relief for the demons that haunt you. TYC is made up of people just like you that were trying to make a living and raise their own kids. There were a lot of them that didn't know what they were doing, but they did the best they could with the resources they were given. Remember that TYC only dealt with 3 per cent of the delinquents that failed in all the other programs. The bottom line is money, and Whitmire and his ilk only care about what lines his pockets.

Anonymous said...

That dino can do a lot of damage before it falls into the tar pit.

Anonymous said...

9:36 Be fruiful and multiply, but not exactly in those words. So flippant, so self-righteous, so wrong.

Anonymous said...

Well, correlation does not equal causation. There may be a number of factors that could have contributed. BUT... it certainly is an intersting correlation that should be looked at.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

5:25, on the flip side, perhaps this means there's less "causation" between incarceration and lower crime than has been frequently, prominently claimed.

When juvie crime rates went down before, we were told it was because lock-em-up worked. Now that it keeps declining as we empty youth prisons, it seems like the lock-em-up mentality suffer from its own correlation-causation problems. Ditto for the adult system.

Anonymous said...

TYC is like the old ugly cat that you've seen around the neighborhood for years. It poops in your yards and tracks the poop everywhere. You hate to just shoot the cat in the head, so you give it a injection and allow it to die. It helps the whole neigborhood and gets rid of the stength that it has spread. Everyone is thankful and breathes better. Problem sloved.

Anonymous said...

I was told by my bosses to not use the word Resocialization. Instead I was to say Transitional Treatment Program. It was hinted that you would be be out of there if you said the word or supported Resocialization. In reality Resocialization was was a cut down, and watered down version of the Resocialization program.
IMO the decision makers really did not understand the program that they thought was "dead" even though all the polices at the time were still in force and the concepts of the transitional treatment program (TTP) was nothing but a miniturize version of Resocialization. Resocialization was a good program, in fact it is the best that I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Gangbangers have stopped committing crimes? What do they do with their day now - go to choir practice?

Whitsfoe said...

Charity - I couldn't agree more. Your situation is very rare in TYC. Those of us who know understand you're not to blame for what happened. I assume you'll be presenting what's happening in NC and Wisconsin in the near future. I'd like to hear about it. Until then - hang in there.

Anonymous said...

516 - That has been the problem in TYC. They do things, programs, etc. half-ass and then wonder why nothing really works. Telling workers to not use certain words, while knowing its a half-truth in the first place. I remember when it was against the rules to say 'riot', because the public would know what was really going on inside the agency. They banned 'smurfs' also since it labeled youth, then when all youth were placed togetger the rapes and sexual assaults went out of control. Dumb decisions from management. Falsehoods will be the downfall of the agency with abuse in second place.

Anonymous said...

What is happening in NC and Wisconsin is directly the opposite of what is happening with the Texas legislature. NC has juvenile facilities for youth 18 to age 21. Texas lowered the age of majority to 19.

Wisconsin overall does no better than anyone else in juvenile justice but they have a specialized program that has been remarkably successful with difficult youth. It is a great program but guess what...it costs money!!!

Anonymous said...

And TYC can't be given any more money because it wastes what money it is given. Close the coffin.

Anonymous said...

TYC administrators have wasted money in the past. Since the budget just continues to be slashed year after year after year there really isn't as much waste at this point. There will always be a TYC. You cannot go private, look at Coke County. I do think the TYC model needs to continue to change. The facilities need to be much smaller and continued increased emphasis on treatment.

It is tiring to read the ongoing bashing of TYC. TYC is an agency made up of many smaller parts. Some of the smaller parts are trash, but others are models of treatment and rehabilitation.

You know the legislature clamored to move youth over the age of 19 out of TYC a couple years ago. But when they realized the population that was being released all the sudden that was put on hold and all those 19+ DSOs stayed in TYC.
So all you people clamoring for sunsetting TYC, it really is a joke. I am surprised there is not more right wing criticism of those who want TYC to be closed. amazing.

Anonymous said...

In the last session the legislature basicall had to order TYC and TJPC to talk to each other. It also had to force TJPC to start keeping better track of programs across the state that are working out. Until tkat time it was all word of mouth. Many county departments strive to keep kids out of the system altogether let alone from incarceration in TYC. We in the trenches need to gel and share programs and not wait on TJPC or the legislature to make it happen, however, when the field acts outside the box TJPC is there to take credit for it or run the show.
Charity, I agree, not all parents are the issue but we see a majority of the kids at the county level who do not adequately supervise their kids or even teach them to do wrong by their own actions. Sometimes we get blinded by that and make generalized statements. In general the entire field cares enough about kids to be in this business in the first place, it's sure not about the wages. The question was asked in earlier post about programs and the pilot plans. Many of the programs listed in those plans are implemented statewide, it was just spelled out ij the conceptual idea.
A previous post stated therre were some OLD facilities within TYC and the bed space far exceeds the need. I agree to close down the 3 oldest facilities and save that money but put it to use at the county level to keep the diversion ptograms going.

Anonymous said...

2/11 12:40 So what would the county departments do if there was no TYC? Are you gonna place a murderer back on the streets? You need a TYC and as a victim of a home invasion speaking you need to punish those kids strong and hard.

Anonymous said...

At TYC the more aggressive ones victimize the smaller kids at will on a regular basis. They also threaten and assault staff members much more often than outsiders are led to believe. Its the thug culture, just like in the hood.

Anonymous said...

That’s the thug culture of tyc that spoke State Talk and in the 80’s became an official language, Ebonics, same as the fashion statement of sagging pants came from tyc. That’s the thug culture the Morales v Turman case was supposed to eradicate from tyc. That’s the same thug culture that was sent to the little boys home at Giddings and we all know what a nice place that is today. Then like tyc pedophiles that same thug culture was transferred to the rest of the tyc facilities. Investigators warned the legislators in 1969. You team playas will never learn. Anyone who defensively disagrees with Randy Chance is directly/indirectly guilty of molesting tyc children.

It’s sad how those children risk their lives in the 70’s to stop the madness and look at what YOU PEOPLE have done since Ron Jackson took over. Its worst now than it was before MvT. Sad that people have to be so dumb that they have to be team playas for the state. Just another form of enslavement. The real victims are the decent tyc employees who have chosen to earn a living helping kids.

Sheldon tyc#47333 c/s II
gssb mvssb ftyc

Anonymous said...

Sheldon have you gotten a chance to read or review TYC's new treatment program, Conextions? Please do and provide your input based upon your experiences with TYC. The majority of people outside TYC really do not know that the way it is currently set up, a youth can never fail. You assault a staff or one of your peers you do not lose your stage but rather your privileges for a week or a month.Basically your youth who are over 17 years of age have the younger youth assault so they will not be prosecuted as an adult. I am new to this agency but really do not understand why a program would reward bad behavior and not have any consequences. I will not say TYC should abuse youth for their wrongs but at the minimum teach them right from wrong through some form of progressive sanctions and hopeful teach them once they leave that criminal acts will not get you far in life.

Anonymous said...

I have read what was available regarding Co Nextions and really did not find it any different than the program I went through in the 70’s, De Con. I’ve actually made fun of the play on words Con nextions. As if tyc is getting the con, convicts ready for their next step tdcj. The tyc has the culture but they really need to work these kids if they really want to prepare them physically for tdcj. The tyc is the state prison prep school.

De Con was supposed to teach us not to be convicts, not play games. There’s no future in fronting theme. Having served on board with lawyers who pride themselves in their craftiness I actually came to value the education I received in tyc in the art of craftiness. I can hang with lawyers and even win at their gamesmanship, thank you tyc.

The kid has to want to not be in the criminal justice system, and that requires lifestyle changes. Just like overweight people a kid needs to have the balls to change his/her habitat once he gets out of the juvi joint. I went to college and made new friends. You have to break the cycle, Break Norms. If you want a kid to turn his life around, if the kids has that potential, the last place to put a kid is tyc. Just like my kids went to a private college prep school because I wanted them to go to college. If I wanted my kid to become a better criminal and possibly spend their life in prison, I would send them to tyc. It’s not rocket science.

Now tyc and tdcj as a business that provides jobs to unskilled workers including those with college degrees in the social sciences is big in Texas. Where else can average nobody’s build empires. Besides tyc has made great political fodder for do nothing legislators for over a century. Best thing to do is keep a kid out of that madness we call the Texas criminal justice system. But if a kid goes to tyc whatever he/she learns there if it can be used for good, like advanced manipulation, or craftiness as my lawyer buddies call it, then its good.

The drug problem that tyc creates is another factor a kid will have to deal with when he/she is released. Pharmaceuticals like the phsycotropics they gave us 4 times a day are poison on the human system, but to get through college and earn that UT BSEE I had to do drugs. I had to smoke weed every day just so I could stay focused to earn that degree as well as earn enough credits for a minor in chemistry. Medical science did not know this at the time and weed use was clouded by prejudice fueled by ignorance, but of the drugs available pharmaceuticals and alcohol are poison while weed is a more healthier choice.

It’s truly sad how much the tyc culture screws up kids even more.

Sheldon tyc#47333 II C/S

Anonymous said...

Let's close down the TYC facilities that are no longer needed. With only 1,481 committments in 2009 why does TYC maintain facilities with 3,438 beds? When West Texas and Victory Field shut down that takes 576 beds from the total still leaving 2,862 beds available. Shut down the 3 remaining oldest facilities (Corisicana, Gainsville, Crockett) and that would eliminate another 538 beds. Now TYC would be RIGHT sized with 2,324 beds available. By eliminating the 3 additional facilities TYC's budget was just cut $41 mil on top of the first 2 closures. Now then eliminate unneeded administrative staff, move the ineffective parole system to the county probation departments along with that unit's $12 mil and were done. COst savings of facility closures alone @ $50mil per bienium.
D. Woody

Anonymous said...

i heard at Ron Jackson Unit I there's a dorm called the "doggie dorm". The youth have dogs that they train and tend to. Oh, by the way, when the dog gets sick it goes to the veternarian- i wonder who ultimately pays for that- i guess the taxpayer's money will be used to treat animals too

Anonymous said...

The doggie program is a great way for the youth to deal with their traumatic experiences, the Superintendent is also a big dog lover and he usually comes to the dorm and plays fetch with the dogs, which in turn teaches obedience, and social skills.

Anonymous said...

They had a doggie program in Gatesville but judges Justice ordered it shut down. Typical tyc fashion the 2 men over the program were made county deputies and tyc contracted the doggie program services through the county at a higher cost to tax payers. One of the men who ran tyc’s doggie program actually became sheriff of coryell county and still lives there today. I used to work with the doggies. The tyc does what it wants and if people with authority try to make them stop tyc circumvents that authority. In most cases at a tremendous cost to tax payers. The really disappointing part about this is our legislators are so damn ignorant of the history of this state sponsored agency for the perpetual abuse of the throw away children of Texas and its wasteful short sided management style of empire building.
I think we should stop electing lawyers, how stupid has that worked out for us.

RAS said...

Giving them 6 dogs to care for and train = perpetual abuse? I'm pretty sure 100 dogs would cost a lot less than one therapist and probably instill more empathy in the girls than a thousand written assignments.

Randy said...

West Texas State School is finally going to close. I'm sure many people are happy. I just want to say that there might have been a few mistakes along the way, but most of the people who worked there gave above and beyond what most people are willing to give. I am proud to have served there, and I'm proud of the others who served along with me. To all the critics, I hope you accomplish a third with your lives what the WTSS staff accomplished with theirs.

Randy Foster, Training Specialist III.

Anonymous said...

If the public got wind of how the kids in TYC are treated and all the things they can have such as ipods, radios, personal clothing, snack shack, movies, wii system, and the list goes on, they would be appalled- it's like you commit a felony, then you get rewarded for it-- alot of these felonies have victims attached to them- in flict pain on someone and you get a reward for it-- TYC is a disgrace-the public needs to demand a change or quit giving them money

Anonymous said...

i think one of our main issues of crime in America for adults is drugs and alcohol. If an adult is arrested for drug related charges or charges of theft, rape, prostitution, etc. while on drugs, it is due to the individuals isolation from their community and social institutions as young people. I read somewhere children who do experiment with drugs start around the age of 9. So, if child is introduced to drugs at young age because of their environment, maybe the adult drug user and adult drug using thief is not evil or different from noncriminals. if we look at drugs in another light, we would bring drug users out of the dark and into the social community light where there are teachers, policeman, classmates, coaches, doctors, nurses, counselors,chess clubs, etc. If illicit drug laws were reevaluated, reorganized, incorporated into the tax systems, the war on drugs for adults could be overturned. The adult drug user who has been selling and using since their teen years who now sells and uses in East fort worth, Tx may have a chance to buy and sell his drugs to sober people. business would be done in the light, in the daytime, as business with care. Walgreens,shelters, hospitals, these places would sell illicit drugs to patients as they would sell presciption drugs to patients. This way, the patient is being observed by a caring, sober, public, healthcare professional and not a raging, aggressive, violent, desperate drug lord/big time dealer or with their doped up friends who are just as lost. Crime rates would decrease for adult crimes because these forgotten adults will be interacting with people who care for their well-being and the little man or middle man can be rational and choose to buy drugs under care of a professional rather than someone who is threatening their health and life and family's life. Also, after a doctor and a patient have developed the doctor/patient relationship, the chemist who helps produce the illicit drug can lower the dosage for that specific patient. As the years of talking to a caring "professional drug dealer" pass by, Sally the prostitute on the corner who was working for a pimp so she could get paid with drugs and get high, will be looking for a new job position or start thinking about college and how she can make a positive, healthy life for herself.Bring people out of the dark, care for them, understand people who do use drugs started experimenting as children, most likely. Legalize illicit drugs, like we do other drugs such as tobacco,prescription drugs, caffine,alcohol, etc. Thats my opinion on how to deal with adult crime, or atleast a good chunk of it concerning illicit drugs.