Saturday, May 22, 2010

Graff writer beaten by inmates at TYC's Evins Unit: Chooses isolation

Jeremy Roebuck at the McAllen Monitor has the sad story of a teen convicted of a felony graffiti offense who was sent to TYC then victimized by inmates with more serious criminal histories ("DOJ: Youth prison continues to improve conditions for inmates," May 21). The story opens:
Andrea Rogers barely recognized the sullen teen sitting across from her as her 17-year-old son Brandon.

With eyes swollen shut, teeth chipped and a constant migraine, the boy — an inmate at the Evins Regional Juvenile Facility in Edinburg — worried about his mother’s reaction to his altered appearance.

A September 2009 beating by fellow inmates left Brandon so doubtful of correctional officers’ ability to protect him that he voluntarily secluded himself in the facility’s isolated security ward. He has refused to rejoin the general population for more than seven months.

“He’s all broken out. He’s super-duper skinny. He looks unhealthy,” said Rogers, his mother, after a recent visit with her son. “He begs me not to come see him. He doesn’t want me to see him like that.”

While Evins has taken substantial steps toward improving its record of protecting inmates’ civil rights in the past four years, problems still persist at the facility, a recent federal audit shows. ...

Investigators with the Texas Youth Commission — the agency charged with oversight of Evins and the state’s nine other juvenile lockups — eventually determined that guards failed to provide adequate supervision on the day Brandon was assaulted.

The correctional officer monitoring his dorm walked away for eight minutes, allowing a group of teens all the time they needed to enter his room unnoticed and beat him, according to a Feb. 2 letter sent to his mother outlining the incident.

This narrative brings to mind several topics that Grits has focused on regularly. First, it points to the absurdity of making graffiti a felony in many circumstances including when performed at schools, churches and community centers - the places youth spend the most time. (Only felons can be sent to TYC.)

This youth had no business being sent to prison with more violent offenders who wound up victimizing him; that's a counterproductive punishment for graff writing. He's been exposed to more serious criminality in TYC than he ever would have participated in wandering the streets of his hometown with a paint can. This example reinforces why so much research on effective community supervision emphasizes keeping lower risk offenders away from more serious criminals instead of putting them all in the same environment. When that happens, low-risk offenders pick up both knowledge, criminal connections, and sometimes, as in this case, risk being victimized themselves. Graffiti is a local problem that should be handled locally. Making the offense prison eligible in so many circumstances was a big mistake.

Second, one unfortunate aspect of all the TYC reforms after the sex-scandal broke in 2007 was how few changes specifically targeted the Evins Unit in Edinburg. I say that because, if you were to rank the agency's biggest problem units before the scandal broke in the media, Evins would have been at the top of anybody's list (which is why it's presently under federal oversight). Brandon's case is not the first time failure to provide adequate staffing at Evins left inmates unsupervised and resulted in violence, something that clearly hasn't been resolved by ongoing federal litigation.

Finally, the story also reports on dramatic changes at Evins in the last couple of years which are themselves worth noting:

Evins has come a long way since [2007], and the facility is almost unrecognizable, said Superintendent Billy Hollis.

The old barracks-style housing, which monitors said contributed to the escalation of violence, has been entirely replaced by mostly single-cell pods.

A new incentive-based behavior management program offering television time, board games and sketch paper for good behavior has begun to catch on with most inmates.

Periodically shifting guards to different duty posts has largely eliminated the opportunity for specific staff members to develop unhealthy relationships with individual teens.

And for the first time since the Justice Department began its twice-yearly audits of the facility, reports of abuse and misconduct dropped during the first quarter of the 2010 fiscal year, which ended in November.

On a recent tour, Hollis pointed to one of the 900 surveillance cameras that have been installed across the facility as the primary factor in stopping the violence. With almost every minute of life recorded, administrators can better investigate incidents when they occur.

“Cameras are a part of everyday life here,” Hollis said. “They’re everywhere. They see everything.”

To say the least, the incident described in the article's lede seems to contradict superintendent's claims of improvement, or at least complicate them. Many of those structural changes - the installation of cameras, moving away from barracks-style dorms - were implemented at other TYC units as well.

However, changing the culture among staff is a separate problem that the Justice Department clearly thinks still hasn't been solved. "Stories like Brandon’s, coupled with reports of inmate-on-inmate extortion, gaps in guard supervision and continued staff frustration with new policies and procedures prompted U.S. Justice Department auditors to urge continued court-ordered monitoring in a report released earlier this month," wrote Roebuck.

RELATED: See Evins' agreed order (pdf) with the feds.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

As always TYC is misleading. Cameras do not see everything. Evins has improved somewhat but has a long way to go to protect youth from violence, from staff and peers. This type of youth should not be in TYC. He was made a scape-goat, much like described in the book "Raped by The State", available at Authorhouse.com. Evins has been one of the worst TYC facilities and appears to continue to be.

Anonymous said...

Do this to my family member and I would personally go after the state officials who thinks its ok to put a non violent person in prison.

I would show what violence does to a person and their family!

SHL said...

GFB,

I agree this is a problem and to have that kid in a TYC facility for graffiti is problematic, but there were other issues with this kid in his community prior to his TYC commitment that were not mentioned in the article. But that's not a TYC issue. We have to take what the judges send. Nonetheless, what's not mentioned in that article is TYC wanted to move him out of Evins but the kids attorney wants him to stay there because it'll allow the kid to make his court appearances.

But now here's an issue. Evins has a history of these kinds of problems, and it all goes back to it being a regional center for juveniles residing in the valley. This facility has literately taken gangs from the Valley and saturated one facility with them. The staff and their families live in that same community as well. The valley has a serious prison and street gang problem, no doubt about it.

About 7 or 8 years ago, the TYC said enough was enough because the culture down there was so bad, the agency decided to stop sending just valley kids there and instead, spread all those valley kids around the state and moved a mixture of kids from all over the state down there. Evins never looked better when that happened. And then, everyone started pressuring TYC to get kids closer to their homes, and the Valley kids returned.

Regionalization has it's pros and cons. The impact it can have on a facility's culture is just one of those disadvantages. I'm sure people at Al Price and Crockett are seeing this too with all the Houston kids in those facilities. It doesn't excuse the staff for not supervising these juvenile offenders, but sometimes it creates more problems that result in gaffs in supervision which is what happened here.

Anonymous said...

Regionalization allows criminal gangs to stay together. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Typically, Grits leaves out all the facts. I have no doubt that this delinquent was not sent to TYC straight out of the box for grafitti. I wonder how many probation violations it finally took to get him sent to TYC? I also love how people just gloss over the adverse economic impact grafitti has on communities in terms of declining property values! But then again, you liberals really don't care about private property ownership, do you?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

5:04, I linked to the full article, which facts did I leave out (that are in the article, not just stuff you made up) that you find relevant?

As for adverse economic impact, it costs $270 per day to lock the kid up in TYC. You could clean up a LOT of graffiti and do much more to reduce the economic harm by spending that $98K per year on actually cleaning graff. But hey, why do anything that actually benefits the property owners when you can just grandstand and pretend this kid is Al Capone?

Carol said...

so very sad. HUGE issue.

Anonymous said...

Carol it is sad and it's a huge issue. I want kids to be safe, learn from their mistakes, get educated, and become productive citizens. But the problem is we have people downtown (Austin at the ledge) who just don't take the totality of the circumstances into account when they've (1) never worked in this business and (2)over-react to the media, a media that often omits facts that paint the true picture, and (3)could care less what TYC tenured folks have to say because we've been labeled as an abusive agency when the fact is, there are more of us that want and can make a difference and we now have a supportive leader in Cheri Townsend to make it happen.

We didn't have that before.

You want radical change in juvenile justice? So do we. But those of us in this business don't want to see what happened in the past happen again and we have safe guards (OIO, and OIG) and other measures in place to prevent it from happening again.

Of course Randy Chance will say different. I don't blame him. He experienced the past. His superintendent was an absolute nut case. And who backed that idiot superintendent up? A former executive director. We named a facility after him and called it Ron Jackson Unit I and II.

The irony? Ron Jackson was a former TYC kid before it became a juvenile justice agency.

Chew on that fact Bill Bush.

Anonymous said...

Grits, the article you link to doesn't address what rehabilitative efforts were taken with this delinquent prior to his TYC confinement either. Nor does it indicate how many other offenses he had committed before this one. I'd be shocked if there's any teen in TYC for a first offense that didn't get every opportunity to succeed on juvenile probation first. I seriously doubt that the juvenile authorities in whatever county he's from just decided, "oh, we'll just spend 270 dollars a day locking this youth up for the hell of it!" At some point those who spray graffiti deserve to be punished. Sure, you can spend money on cleanup but unless you can modify behavior, you're just going to have to clean up again. So just how would you propose we deal with this type of persistent delinquent conduct?

Anonymous said...

If things are so improved in the commission, why are active employees from most of the major facilities complaining that very little has changed for the better? Do we believe the employees on the front lines or staffers in Austin that are programmed by the system.

Anonymous said...

I hate to contradict a person whom i have considered a friend(Hollis) but the history of the camera is that there are blind spots and often blind spots in the JCOs vision and attitudes.

I would not blame this on Bill but he does need to remember the rape incidents at San Saba that the cameras missed.

Anonymous said...

So correct 57: Cameras can be moved temporarily, blocked by staff who know what they are doing and tapes can be 'taped over-accidentally', by staff that also know what they are doing, ever so well. Bill sounds good to those uninformed but those in the system know full well that cameras are beaten daily by staff and much is hidden away by their supervisors. The front line staff know about camera - tactics and also know who uses and misuses cameras and videos for their own purpose and survival.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

7:24 - two words: Strong probation. Much more bang for the buck than $98K to incarcerate one graff writer for a year, and the rest could be spent on cleanup which actually benefits property owners instead of just giving a bunch of self-important grandstanders a platform for chestthumping about how "tuff on crime" they are.

Also, you said earlier "Grits leaves out all the facts." Are you now granting I'd thoroughly acknowledged all the available facts (again, leaving aside the stuff you're making up out of thin air)?

Anonymous said...

This is news? Ha! This is nothing new. Kids get the hell beat out of them and volunteer to stay in security lockup all the time so they won't get beat on anymore. Last fall at Al Price, a kid who refused to leave lockup for months was finally transferred to Corsicana where he belonged in the first place. Another one who was hiding out to keep from being beaten to death was transferred to TDCJ a couple months ago.

Both of these kids had emotional issues and were special ed. I guess the psychiatrist showing up a few times a month and prescribing pills wasn't quite what they needed.

yvette99 said...

Why don't anonymous people leave a real name? Just because this person commmitted an offense he then deserves beating up? This is what always astounds me about the 'good upstanding citizens' that once a person breaks the law they can be beaten and tortured all in the name of justice! Abuse, cruelty and torture should not be allowed or ignored in penal systems this is the place we should be teaching people what is right and wrong....no wonder so many go out and reoffend....when the offender does something it is wrong and they get punished harshly...the authorites do similar its justice....so what is the difference between the offender and authorities? The one wearing a uniform is allowed to torture and abuse with no consequences and the public turn a blind eye to all this.....corrupt double standards!

Anonymous said...

It's the same old story of putting non violent offender's with violent offender's.When will the system ever wake up!

Anonymous said...

Did they charge the kids who beat him? Now that he is a victim of crime he has additional rights including the right to protection.

Carol said...

A non violent offender should NEVER be housed with violent offenders-period.

Anonymous said...

The sorry side of this is that less violent youth offenders have to join the gangs, engage in violent behavior and basically become better criminals when locked up.

Grits is exactly right. Probation has worked and is economically more feasible for the community. These wise-ass idiots in Austin, who keep getting reelected on the promise of being tough on crime have a record of success in only one area - increasing crime on the streets.

The recession has really been proof of that. As Texas has been economically forced to parole and probate felons for economic reasons, crime has been going down.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Yvette99. But, you forgot one twist. The "authorities" in TYC go one step further by setting up those they don't like, and then turn their heads to allow rival gang members and violent youth to extract "justice" for them. And, other personnel the "authorities" don't like are not immune from these dangers. For example, there has always been an extreme dislike for white personnel by some black JCOs at Al Price. (Anyone who denies this has been living under a rock.) A couple weeks ago, two white personnel were escorting two youth back to a dorm when the unit suddenly went into lockdown. The two women suddenly found themselves locked in a dorm with two violent sex offenders, with the door lock conveniently disabled ahead of time. Their calls to security for help on their handheld radio went TOTALLY IGNORED. When JCO personnel on duty finally responded a half-hour later, they used the excuse that they thought that it was youth making the calls on the radio, and not personnel who needed help. Did any security personnel lose their jobs over this? Of course not!

TYC - what a place to work!

RAS said...

Being convicted for a non-violent crime doesn't equal non-violence. Are all cities supposed to hire graf cleaners to go behind the artists forever? What is the difference between tough probation and regular probation if being locked up isn't an option? Why are some of you focusing on this victim being convicted of a non-violent crime? No kid should be a victim while in the state's custody, but guaranteeing a kid's safety AND his rights is practically impossible without significant increases in staffing requirements and facility design. Chuy's diversion worked for three years.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

RAS asks: "Are all cities supposed to hire graf cleaners to go behind the artists forever?"

What's the alternative? Do you suppose graffiti ended in this kid's hometown the day they convicted him? Surely you aren't that naive? Of course graffiti cleanup is an ongoing municipal responsibility. Check with your local city manager and I'll bet there's a recurring line item in the budget for it. And I'll also bet $98K per year would be a massive increase for them, even though what they do benefits property owners much more than incarceration.

Anonymous said...

Why not have the graff writers do the clean-up as part of their probation? Or is that a violation of their rights?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gritsforbreakfast said...

10:37, they do make them do cleanup on probation, no that doesn't violate their rights, and in fact I've called for that many times. Problem is, from estimates I've heard police make only one arrest for every 1,000+ pieces of graff on the street. The odds of actually catching somebody are typically quite slim.

And 10:51, you've described a perfect candidate for strong probation, which is not the same as cutting them loose and making them pay fees and pee in a cup once per month.

What we don't see on the rap sheet you provided is what sanctions were used in each event. (Since you're publishing his rap sheet, maybe you can let us know which jurisdiction it was.) A strong probation regimen would use interim sanctions including requiring him to clean up graffiti as community service and short incarceration stints to secure compliance. The certainty of punishment for noncompliance is FAR more important (from a public safety perspective) than its harshness.

That's especially true regarding the pot and graffiti busts, and maybe if probation were worth a damn when he first got on it his behavior wouldn't have escalated. Instead, the system treated him like a criminal so increasingly he behaved like one.

The only aspect that might change my opinion on that would depend on the details of what those "assaults" were about. There's no doubt I engaged in scuffles in my youth that in today's hang-em-high environment would be deemed felonious "assaults" as the school districts and juvie courts now define them. But if there was more to it than that it could change my view. OTOH, that could also be the result of excessive intervention worsening youth behavior, as so much of the smart-probation research says is common.

In any event, this kid will eventually get out and when he does he'll have learned life lessons and behaviors from people who commit far worse offenses than graff writing and pot smoking. Meanwhile, taxpayers will spend $98K per year to teach him WORSE behaviors and locking him away still won't get the graff cleaned up.

Anonymous said...

Good job 10:51. Violent offenders at TYC are set upon by larger violent youth on a regular basis. Lots of violent offenders have to hide out in security to survive attacks from other youth. They refuse to leave security. Its past time for parents of TYC youth to get together to confront TYC about this.

When these violent youth are released they often victimize the community.

Anonymous said...

Evins should have been shut down way back in 2000. The facility was about to blow up with incidents such as this kid's and many violations of civil rights. They trudged along until the Peyote facility took the heat off of them by the incidents that took place there. One is now in prison and the other one will be tried soon. Thanks to Chuy, Evins remained open and the wrong facility was shut down. Yea, I'm off topic but entitled to express an opinion.

Anonymous said...

08:59

Whites employees are often fair game at TYC.

That's not talked about - the big secret.

Anonymous said...

Its no secret, however it is politically incorrect to bring up this issue. When Harris became dep.ED, this started and gained strong support leading to CH and Ray's behavior, in addition to widespread 'secrecy' all over TYC. It still goes on, especially with Mr O now in office..

Anonymous said...

Grits

McAllen. I don't understand your point. Probation departments often increase sanctions after every violation. This kid is a good example of a knuckle head who shrugged off his violations and continued to break the law. Once they get it in their head they're not going to obey the law, then there has to be a consequence; otherwise, they're gonna continue to push the limits and just like this kid, the criminal conduct escalates. His community worked with him for 2 years before they sent him. That's more than fair.

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned it was different when Randy was with TYC. I'm still here and from what I've seen things are worse now than when he was a member of this insane organization. Some folks have changed, some for the better, some for the worse but the TYC culture which allows these abuses remains unchanged.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

12:29: Your definition of "fair" is arbitrary. I'm focused on the cost-benefit analysis of the RESULTS, which are unfair to taxpayers.

The kid's main offenses were pot smoking and graff writing. Now he's been victimized and as one commenter noted could easily end up turning to gangs for protection if TYC can't do the job. So the taxpayers pay $98K per year and he's exposed to worse criminal elements, must become violent or live in isolation to protect himself, and could leave associated with gang members when that wasn't the case before, not to mention the effects of PTSD, etc., from the experience.

He's going to get out inevitably, so the justice system's intervention made things worse, not better. Where does "fair" come into it at that point? You say "there has to be a consequence," but shouldn't that consequence be aimed at improving public safety instead of worsening it?

Those who make their living off such dysfunction are more apt to tolerate it. From a taxpayers' perspective, though, it just doesn't make any sense: The same money's MUCH better spent getting graffiti off the walls.

Anonymous said...

"shouldn't that consequence be aimed at improving public safety instead of worsening it?"

Best way to ensure public safety is to remove criminals off the street. This kids crimes started to escalate from graffiti to aggravated assault. He was given 16 chances to stop, and he didn't. He made his bed, and now he needs to sleep in it.That's just too bad. Obey the law, live a productive life and prosper. If not, go to prison and stay there. Laws aren't made to be broken.

Anonymous said...

We must always attempt to depict these criminals as "non-violent" no matter what the truth is.

Anonymous said...

No matter what the truth is, we must depict employees as right and inmates as the problem. Its code blue or code of silence, your pick.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I get this right...FIRST the public wants justice-to-be-served; then 2nd, the public is up-at-arms when a kid is sent to TYC on a felony charge [because that SAME public has approved for grafitti to listed as a felony]...is that how it is?

Then, the next thing to do is BLAME TYC for everything BAD that happens as a result.

Listen, I am not saying the kid is an angel, but the PUBLIC in its' "greatness" and the kid's graffiti on public property is what sent the kid to TYC in the FIRST PLACE!!

Let's NOT forget that fact; it costs thousands and thousands of dollars to clean up graffiti mess...the municipal governments TRIED making the parents liable, but apparently that didn't work; so now we have a grafitti offense listed as a felony.

What do you want the state to do, do you want them to BUILD A "SPECIAL" TYC facility for "not really" felony offenders? Then, y'all will be griping about that cost!!

This is a NEVER ending situation...as long as kids keep messing up and not making POSITIVE choices, there will be a TYC Facility.

By the way, I am an advocate for Juveniles...I feel sorry for the youth that got injured; but this is HOW LIFE is...Better he gets to find out now, than to go to the MENS prison and get victimized brutally there! If this "experience" will keep him from doing anything else in the future...then the experience was important.

I am not uncaring to the youth; I am just saying that unfortunately these types of things happen EVERY DAY---TYC is not omnipotent...it cannot be EVERYWHERE at ALL times.

For the record, MY SON is at TYC as well...we were LUCKY that nothing happened to him. You just never know...NOW my son knows what is in store for him, should he choose to make NEGATIVE choices for his future.

Through this entire ordeal, I have prayed and prayed; it has been a daily struggle, but by the grace-of-God, NOTHING happened to my son....thank you TYC! (yay!) :D

Anonymous said...

What did YOU do to keep your kid out of TYC/ Thats the biggest problem. Parents that don't care.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

2:38 wrrites, "Best way to ensure public safety is to remove criminals off the street. "

There's a false assumption if I ever heard one. A) They almost all come back out and typically having been exposed to much worse influences, because B) the state can't afford to keep them locked up forever, and C) the state must release more dangerous offenders to make room for them. For more serious offenses, I agree straight-up incapacitation improves safety. For graff writers, pot smokeers, etc., it often does the opposite because the real challenge is teaching them to live within the rules in the free world, and nobody learns that in prison.

@5:19, it's true "it costs thousands and thousands of dollars to clean up graffiti mess." But it cost $98,000 per year to lock him up in TYC. The cost-benefit analysis just makes no sense, especially since if he's on probation he can be required to clean up graffiti as part of community service.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is time for drastic measures. Limit commitments to 3G offenses only. Shut down TYC to a very small agency. Issue more funds to the county departments for intense probation. As Grit's stated, they all come back to our community. Keep them there in the first place and rehabilitate them. TYC does nothing for the kids sent there.

Anonymous said...

"TYC does nothing for the kids sent there."

Where exactly is "there"?

Not all facilities are the same.

Evins will turn around. It will just take time.

Anonymous said...

Grits, where does it ever say that he was beaten by violent offenders?

The real problem with this story is that the youth was unsupervised and in the troubling comments that some guards don't care and see this as the way it is in TYC and some guards don't know how to intervene because they are "confused." Very Scary.

Whoever it is that published this youth's rap sheet, i hope you get in some serious trouble. that is entirely confidential information and you have no business putting it on a blog. idiot. i hope they investigate and find your computer id and bust you. it is people like you that have no consideration for the law that continue to make problems for TYC.

Anonymous said...

take it from someone who works in TYC-- the new program isn't working- it teaches the kids basically nothing- the agency needs to be shut down and put up under another agency- only violent youth should be sent there- staff and youth are victimized on a daily basis- someone needs to wake up- i wish the youth's mother would sue TYC for not protecting her son who got beat at Evins

Anonymous said...

09:42 - They said that Evins would turn around back in 2003/4. It has not. The same things are going on...youth are beaten, things covered up there. Why do you think the DOJ is still watching that terror house? Evins should be on the closure list. Keep kids near home, with really strict probation; not TYC abuse.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

FYI, an anonymous commenter had posted what was supposedly the rap sheet of the juvenile in question here. That person almost certainly broke confidentiality laws related to their job, probably somebody working for TYC.

Charlie Eldred, a lawyer with TYC, contacted me and asked that I remove that comment, making several strong arguments largely centered around the youth's privacy. After looking at the various statutes Eldred cited, I don't think I'm obligated to proactively remove that comment just because the person who put it there broke the law. But out of a sense of fairness to the youth and because Charlie asked nicely and made his case instead of demanding and threatening (which is what I usually get from government agencies), I went ahead and took it down.

The truth is tht Google (which runs the Blogger software I use) routinely responds to requests for anonymous commenter IP addresses from law enforcement agencies, so if they think an employee violated the law, the Inspector General could probably identify the perpetrator, or at least the computer that they used.

So never forget, gentle readers, that when the license afforded by anonymity extends into the realm of criminality - as may have happened when some juvie justice worker apparently released confidential information about a TYC inmate in an anonymous blog comment - the PoPo have ways to identify anonymous commenters that even I do not. Ditto for libelous comments. Don't ever think that surface-level anonymity will protect you if your comments cross those legal lines.

LOK said...

So many generalizations! Not everything is as black and white as is stated here. It's a travesty that a youth was sent to TYC for writing graffiti, but we don't know the entire the kid's entire case history. Grits is right about stonger probation. Unfortunately, even $$ for probation often go to the facilities and not actual probation departments. Coming from a small county, there isn't much out there.

There is a purpose for TYC, and the organization is on its way to rehabilitation itself, but there is still work to do.

For those of you who are in the juvenile justice realm, whether it be probation or TYC, where is the solidarity? You're all working for the same purpose, even if you go about it using different avenues. You are trying to make these kids (the down-to-the-core evil ones and the lemmings alike) to become productive, law-abiding citizens so that society can function properly.

One last thing: The juvenile justice system is rehabilitative by nature, not punitive.

Anonymous said...

You must work in the odd end of the justice system, or the rest of us are in the twilight zone.

Anonymous said...

Draw Mohammad: Grits is Weak. Censorship is alive and well on Gritsforbreakfast.org.

If it goes against the grain of the left, omit, and don't dare draw Mohammad.

F- free speech huh grits.

F-that.

TDCJ EX said...

There is no such thing as free speech on anther persons blog! Is that so damn hard to comprehend you do not have aright to use another persons blog or internet forum to say anything you damn well please .

Grits gets to decide what is and is not posted on his blog . if you do not like it go set up your own blog or forum and you can say what ever you wish as long as you do not violate the law. Mr Henson did the right thing by taking down a juveniles record . Who ever posted it is hopefully in for a world of shit and finds him her self in TDCJ as that might well be a felony . If that person was employee of TYC he/she just made that juvenile very wealthy . And cost the taxpayers (all of us ) a good chunk of change . That could have been better spent on lost of other things.


Some people believe that they are above the law and in there fanaticism and delusional belief cross lots of lines that was a few . I think one of our trolls is about to learn all about TDCJ in a more. I hope that this very distributed person learns some valuable lessons . I bet they never thought it would be them looks like it could be .A investigation will show that the person who posted the juveniles record is anon 10 :25 and anon troll on many pots here and not so anonymous else where . by the sound of it . No you don't have aright to post a juveniles record . . But post away please .

There are ways to trace that message and yes Google does cooperate. Business routinely use this software to deal with employees abusing their internet privileges .

Anonymous said...

If you recommend Mohammed or his other wierdos you need to leave America and and praise stupid women with masks to hide from freakish husbands.

Anonymous said...

Hey ANONYMOUS POSTER @ 5/23/2010 06:02:00 PM --- YOU stated:"What did YOU do to keep your kid out of TYC/ Thats the biggest problem. Parents that don't care."---

Although I don't usually entertain idiotic remarks, I will make an "exception" and answer yours---How dare you ASSUME I just stood by and allowed my kid get into trouble and that as a parent, "I don't care." TELL ME, WHAT exactly do I need to do to show that "I care"?

As I stated: "Things happen in this life that sometimes are out of our control"...That is what LIFE is all about...If we could control EVERYTHING we would be God.

As for "WHAT I DID"--- I did what EVERY parent sets out to do; I taught my son right-from-wrong, gave him boundaries, taught him morals, did the BEST job I could to raise him...LIFE happens..All we can do is LEARN from our "mistakes" and try to do better the next time! {THAT is truely what mistakes are for--NOT as fodder for jugmental backlash!}

Now, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Have YOU gone out and MENTORED single-parent children? Have you reached out as an advocate and TRY to help some youths out? Or are you just too busy sitting in "the seat of JUDGMENT" to bother with the NEEDS of anyone?

(Before you go off on "another judgmental rant" about single-parent children, my son was adopted. I MADE THIS CHOICE...)

WHAT choices have you made, besides being JUDGMENTAL?

Hopefully, there aren't any "little-judgmental-anonymous-jr." kids running around! We don't need any more of those types of people in this world!!

This is all I am going to say on this....

Oh by the way,as GRITS FOR BREAKFAST stated: "Don't ever think that surface-level anonymity will protect you...the PoPo have ways to identify anonymous commenter’s."

Gritsforbreakfast said...

10:25 - don't like it? Go away. Don't come back. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

08:59

Your report about some JCOs at Al Price is disturbing. What is Central Office doing about this?

Anonymous said...

Central Office isn't and won't do anything--go visit CO and go visit Al Price- then you'll understand why- i've heard similar stories about Vernon as well- TYC is a disgrace to the tax payers of Texas and needs to be shut down- the youth aren't learning anything- look at the recidivism rate

Anonymous said...

08:59 The Al Price story reveals a lot. One of the scariest aspects of the "go along" policy in TYC is that they can have you physically harmed if you don't toe the line.

RAS said...

heakyleGrits, someone said this kid had 16 arrests; that his criminal behavior was escalating, progressively stronger probation didn't get his attention. The temporary lockups might have worked on him, but it sounds like he was pushing for someone to straighten him out or help him learn to deal with something, TYC has the people and programs to do that, do the county lockups?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if he promotes anarchy..... a completely lawless society. Total chaos.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

RAS, look at how he was treated at TYC - does it sound like THEY are equipped to handle this type of low-risk offender? This guy was a frequent flyer but his offenses were small-time and we have no information what sanctions he received for recidivating - you say "progressively stronger probation didn't get his attention" but there's no evidence what those interim sanctions were. There are clearly other options to punish him for graffiti (cleanup, in particular) and if TYC were so great at dealing with him he wouldn't be cowering in isolation. Do you honestly think what happened to him will "straighten him out"? Or will it make him more damaged, resentful, angry and rebellious?

5:53, I've discussed at length how i think graffiti crimes should be handled (see e.g. here and here), and it's not "anarchy," but nor is it wise to waste lots of money (in this case $98K per year) on tactics that don't benefit property owners.

Anonymous said...

Tip of the hat to you grits. TYC will go down in flames before it admits how unless it is to troubled youth. If they deny their faults enought they think the public will accept their ineptness. Their lack of helping youth or the public and massive waste of funds has pointed them to their proper goal.....dissolvement. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah RAS, TYC is going to straighten him out? Like straight dead. Do you even know how many deaths TYC has created? Probably not. You speak with lack of knowledge and gullible trust of leadership. How do you think the families feel that have lost their children while under TYC care. Research what you speak of before flapping or return to your corner.

Anonymous said...

"there's no evidence what those interim sanctions were...." God forbid they get posted here....didn't you advise it's is confidential information? God forbid you or the media tell the WHOLE story.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

10:11 - Even the rap sheet I deleted at TYC's request didn't tell what sanctions were given. Do you know? The truth is that in too many cases probation is about nothing more than paying fees and peeing in a cup. That's changing in some jurisdictions (we don't know where this kid is from) but is frequently still the case - whether or not that truth corresponds to your prejudices is another matter.

RAS said...

12:09 In 10 years I've never heard of a kid at my facility staying in sec. for 7 months(a week or two a few times but not much more). I apologize for my lack of knowledge. How many deaths is TYC responsible for?

Anonymous said...

TDC had to take over the old Gatesville unit to prevent developers from uncovering all the unmarked graves from TYC.

Anonymous said...

More often than not, even in smaller counties, these kids get sent to anger management courses, out patient drug treatment,etc. in their communities while on probation. When they refuse to go, remain truant at school, miss curfew, test positive, commit new crimes, they are given greater sanctions, and some find themselves in community based residential treatment centers, and many counties take in other kids from other counties. When they fail those placements, they get sent to us. I'm not saying that's what happened with this case, but in general, those communities are really, really trying all they can before they send them to TYC. I give them credit for their efforts. That's one reason why our population has dropped so dramatically. The multiple treatment failures are coming our way these days, not the kids who refuse to pee in the cup or just don't do community service work. I really think probation departments are doing what they said they'd do three years ago, and not just pulling the trigger and sending everyone. Almost all the kids on my case load have been in residential treatment before they were sent. All have had progressive sanctions. So... maybe you should ask for the data on this subject, then you'll see.

Anonymous said...

One thing to add, I don't see anything wrong with doing a shock probation like they do in the adult system. Some kids respond real quick when they see what they're about to spend the next year in. Send them out in a few months, get their attention and then, all the sudden send them back home without notice. That will work with a few of them, maybe like this kid.

Anonymous said...

RAS - either you are brainwashed by TYC or so ignorant that you should do on welfare.

Anonymous said...

Evins is back to another Anglo. How long will this one last? Why can't Chuy get a Mexican from the RGV to run that place? Oh that's right, they tried that already. It was good while it lasted two weeks. lol

Anonymous said...

Poor Evins, a prisoner of it's cultural milieu.

Jake said...

Hi my name is Jake and i am Brandon Rogers cousin, i live with him and was with my family through everything that happened to him while incarcerated at TYC. I just wanted to add one thing that when the kids did beat him they were never charged with anything because TYCs staff claims that when inmates fight its declared as "horseplay" and nothing further is investigated.

Brandon Rogers has a history of mental illness and this was not the right conviction for him if any conviction at all. Brandon neeeded mental health care and this is what the state told us was best to do for him.

Now Brandon has been released but suffers more mental damage from being in a 8' by 6'(not brandon is 6'2") cell the whole incarceration and being physically and mentally abused by staff and youth. Brandon was suppose to be sentenced for approximately 6-9 months depending on behavior of course. Brandon ended up in there for 10.5 months and could not be released because they claimed the he was not working his stages but he could not work his stages being in Solitare Confinment, but as the article states Brandon chose to be in solitare because he was being forced to become part of gangs, which is something Brandon would never be a part of(i grew up with him his whole life) but also the main reasons for his decision was because he was being beaten by the other youth, and staff wasnt doing anything to help or protect him. In certain instances they participated or provided assistance to the youth.

All i know is Brandon was not the kid for TYC and its a very very relieving feeling to hear that so many people are behind this family and support us.

Thank you all for your kind and heartfelt words.

Jake said...

We used to live in Illinois and they provided the right mental health care for Brandon but when we moved to Texas we did not now anywhere that provided what we needed cause Bradnon is very special in ways. So this is the outcome of not having proper Mental Health Care facilities.

Anonymous said...

Listen, if u are sent to Evins, it clearly isn't for being a good boy. Some of u guys complain about how these kids are being sent to prison with other violent offenders. U fail to realize that these kids are mostly repeat offenders and most understand their crimes and the consequences of their crimes. Most of them have the mindset that the only thing they are sorry for is the fact that they got caught again. Most of these kids are not 1st time offenders. They have been in and out of the system for years now. People, this is a prison. Incidents do happen and will continue to happen as they do in other prisons. Ultimately it is time that the hammer gets laid down on these kids and allow them to understand that if they don't fix their behaviors right now as youths, then this is just the peak of the iceberg of what is to come for them in the future at TDCJ. Like it, hate it, The truth may not always be the popular choice or politically the correct one, but it is the plain old truth.