Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TDCJ to cut 1.3% of spending in current fiscal year

Here's a new summary (pdf) of a 1.3% budget reduction at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice scheduled to be implemented during the current fiscal year. That's $40 million, down from the $75 million reduction state leaders had previously requested for FY 2010. These cuts must occur in this year's budget, between now and August, while budget cuts contemplated in HB 1 and SB 1 would begin in September 2011 for the coming biennium.

MORE: From the SA Express News, "TDCJ cuts 550 jobs, drops Project RIO."

AND MORE: No guard layoffs this time, but parole staff at the units will be laid off, reports AP: "Mike Gross of the Texas State Employees Union on Wednesday warned that some of the cuts, workers who help inmates nearing their release dates, would impact public safety."

The cuts in admin will be particularly sigificant. According to the summary, "staffing reduction would include, but not be limited to: central administration, business and finance, information technology, human resources, general counsel, internal audit, regional operations, parole support, health services, and other divisional/support staff. With a managed hiring freeze that has been in effect since February 2010, a portion of these staffing reductions will be vacant positions. The impact of this action will reduce management's effectiveness in providing: adequate correctional training, information technology resources, offender classification and records processing, contract monitoring, regional operations, parole support services, and agency oversight and support in ensuring compliance with state law and agency policy and procedures."

These cuts also reduce Intermediate Sanction Facility capacity, closing the North Texas ISF at the end of the month and reversing course on the planned opening of an ISF facility in Jones County.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

155 already cut from RIO, they will not even tell staffers numbers per area....we'll have to wait 'till March 1 for the AXE to fall

Anonymous said...

I do not like the fact that individuals are loosing their jobs. However, I agree that RIO should be eliminated. I have not witnessed or heard any good comments of any effectiveness with the program. The RIO Rep. at the Texas Workforce only directs them to the computers along with all other applicants. RIO has been a waste of taxpayer money due to the manner it has been operated.

I hope TDCJ will put something in place through Windham to help the offenders acquire needed documents to acheive a job once they are released. I have my doubts, because that would be thinking outside the box and that is not an attribute encouraged or practiced in TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

Grits

I thank you for educating people on the problems the cut backs will cause. The probation departments in Texas are facing major budget cuts that will greatly reduce efficiency.
The Bexar County Probation Department and officers have started an effort to inform politicians about the benefits of probation over incarceration. Cards with helpful information about probation have been offered to officers to sign. The cards will be presented to state representatives and senators by Karla Martinez.
Officers Karla Martinez and Alex Valverde from Bexar County have even met with Representative Ruth McClendon who is on the Appropriations Committee.

Anonymous said...

Departments need to be careful how they try to lobby. There are rules for public officials with lobbying and with Chiefs lobbying. I dont want anyone to go to jail.

sunray's wench said...

Even though Project RIO was poor at delivering what it was set up to do, at least it was there. While something exists, you have the opportunity to improve it. Once it's gone, nothing more can be done to it, and there is less incentive to replace it.

Texas Maverick said...

Obtaining ID's has been given to Dee Wilson's new Reentry Division.

David Rowan said...

Even if RIO is eliminated, people still have TWC as a resource. The jobs are still out there, they will have to go through the same channels as everyone else. At the probation Dept. in Lubbock offenders released from the CRTC or even SAFPF were allowed to use RIO even though they did not have a TDC #. It did help some. I hate that people would lose jobs, but it can be eliminated.

A Texas PO said...

My experience with Project RIO has always been positive since offenders were required to participate in certain workshops to help them gain necessary application and interview skills (it's amazing how many offenders haven't a clue how to answer the questions about their criminal backgrounds). Unfortunately, a good share of the blame for the program's failures, IMO, lie with private businesses. Many TWC locations offered RIO services but had no choice but to "[direct] them to the computers along with all other applicants" because employers refused to participate in the program. We hear constantly from the business community that they are overtaxed and yet many employers refused to register with RIO for the federal tax break. I understand why some employers would not want offenders working for them due to the liability, but TWC also shares a good portion of the blame for RIO's failure for not heading out into the community to educate employers about the bonding on RIO participants. I'm sad to see this program go because it had some great potential for good.

indiferentes said...

Hey Mavrick.

indiferentes said...

Hey Mavrick-Yes the ID process was added to the great and powerful Oz's (err Wilson's) shiny new division and was still called RIO. Then it was cut-friday. Wonder who suggested it?

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

I am an ex-offender, and RIO may have had a slight benefit for people who can't even tie their shoelaces before a job interview, but all of the instructions regarding how to answer questions about incarceration are bullshit. I am white, I have no tattoos, am very clean cut and dress conservatively, however at odds that may be with my political ideology. I have NEVER had a callback from ANYONE at any job where I answered the questions about my past truthfully. It's not illegal for me to answer those question anyway I choose, however unethical it may sound. I think it is quite the ethical thing to do, because if I don't get a job, how else but illegally am I supposed to find the money to live? All the times my employers found out about my past after I'd been working for them a few months, they let me keep my job anyway because i'd already proven that I was honest and a hard worker. I do think a greater focus on inmate dental care would be of more benefit to offenders since there were so many cuts to that program back in 2003. All the tax breaks and incentives you want to give prospective employers don't mean shit if the person they are interviewing has several front teeth missing. Currently, the system will provide nothing but emergency dental care, i.e. pulling teeth, to an inmate who has spent less than one year in the system. From the one year mark, it is often a 3 month wait, FOR EACH APPOINTMENT, to get fillings done. The kinds of jobs that I can readily obtain, such as service industry jobs waiting tables, are now off the table because who wants to look up as they place their order and see my missing front teeth. No one. It seems that no matter what this department does, they will continue to miss the mark at actually rehabilitating people. I say again, GOOD RIDDANCE to RIO, it wasn't anything but a waste and rarely, if ever, obtained the documents they were supposed to for the majority of inmates being released. I must say, these cuts to administration appear scary, but if you've witnessed the apathy of these people firsthand, from inside, you would realize that perhaps this is the right way to go atm. I don't think they'll ever get close to getting things right, but I can keep my fingers crossed. As stated in the comments above, progressive thinking, or thinking outside the box, is fundamentally against TDCJ's wishes and is quite impossible for them. It is really quite sad. If you put people there who really don't belong there to begin with, as a result of the "biennial march of enhancements", they often lose many of the opportunities that they may have had to begin with, while learning from other offenders how to be a more effective criminal upon release. I don't think this state will ever change the way they approach criminal justice in a way that actually helps people who need help, instead of punishing them and making it easier for them to justify breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

2/24/2011 01:49:00 PM..You wouldn't be missing front teeth if you quit smoking meth and/or crack. You made choices and you're the only one to blame for your problems from the choices you made, no one else. Go do day labor and save up for dental work. I have to work to pay for my dental services, why do you feel the need you shouldn't have to pay?

Hook Em Horns said...

Anonymous said...
Departments need to be careful how they try to lobby. There are rules for public officials with lobbying and with Chiefs lobbying. I dont want anyone to go to jail.

2/23/2011 11:05:00 PM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go to jail? This is Texas! Ain't no one goin to jail that only happens over is Lose-i-anna. **rolls eyes**

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

Listen Anonymous 2:56, I never smoked meth or Crack and I was writing that as an example of things that the state could do if they really want to give offenders a chance upon release. I can tell by your anonymous posting style, that you're some reactionary imbecile with an asshole tighter than a snare drum, that's just dying for some old school prison style relief. Just for you and other similar types out there, how about this: Why not institute a program whereby inmates, I mean offenders, could PAY for the dental services that the state will not provide. I wrote several requests to the dental providers on the units I was assigned asking just that, stopping short of bribery.
Just for your information, I had a dentist remove all of the Mercury-Amalgam fillings I had, replace them with composite fillings that began falling out within months, and put in about 30 more little tiny fillings (also composite) total on multiple faces on each tooth that were, in hindsight, completely unnecessary. He was the first dentist I saw in this Great state upon moving here as a young adult, about to start the first year of college. That was twenty years ago, nineteen really, and I had never done any drug besides marijuana. My brother never did any drugs and had more problems than I ever did and got full dentures at the age of thirty. There were several genetic factors involved, but why would I even go there with you, since you probably believe the earth is 6,000 years old and dinosaurs were put under the earth by the devil to trick us. Besides, if I were really a crackhead, I would most likely be too paranoid to post any way other than anonymously.
Back to the real story I am forced to tell due to some closeted, child molesting, reactionary.
When I first arrived at intake, they gave us our state sponsored hygiene materials. Soap that makes your skin crack, and tooth-powder with a toothbrush. I'm not sure what the principal constituents are in the tooth powder, but it is extremely abrasive. I had two of those tiny fillings come out from the INITIAL use of the tooth powder. At least three more came out before I went to commissary and bought some regular toothpaste. These teeth could have been easily saved had the fillings been replaced in a time-frame that was even 1/4 the speed of a "Free World" dentist.
Also, thanks to assholes like you, the food budget is so shitty, not to mention supervision of the inmates cooking the food or at the cannery, that it is not uncommon at all, in fact it is quite common, to find rocks in ALL different varieties of the beans and vegetables. I was lucky enough to have preexisting dental trauma caused by a practitioner licensed in this Great (puke) State. There are countless others who were not so lucky and bit down on these rocks in their food. They subsequently lost a tooth/teeth because the pain from the cracked tooth/teeth was so excruciating and all the department's dental program would do is pull the tooth.

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

So, Anon 2:56, I really don't care to change you or your opinion, because you are no doubt incorrigible and just lucky not to have been caught in any youthful transgressions. But it seems that more often than not, the people like you on the extreme right are the most hypocritical of all. Why don't you take your lazy, anonymous blogging ass down to the labor pool, and see how much you make. Now live on that and save the some-odd $8,000 for full dentures. Give me a fucking break. Interestingly enough, it is exactly the stigmatization and stereotyping of people missing teeth by people like you that make this an issue to begin with. So, you are effectively playing both ends, whether you consciously know it or not. I'm sure it is the latter. I don't know any crackheads or methheads that have cogent thoughts, nor any that could articulate them so eloquently in a response to a close-minded fuck like you. The cuss words mixed into an otherwise intelligent article are there just for you Anon 2:56, since a paradox is what you see in the mirror everyday, it should make it easier for you to stare at these letters long enough till they become words, then the paradoxical interspersing of profanity with informed thought... oh wait, the word "informed" just threw everything off.
Perhaps this, Anon-hole, The dental work provided by the state could be billed to the offenders upon release as a condition of parole. You're probably a supporter of the Driver Responsibility Surcharge also. If I attack that, you'll just call me an uninsured catastrophe waiting to happen, though you wouldn't be able to spell such big words correctly. I've never had my license suspended, nor have I ever knowingly driven a car that was not insured/inspected/registered. I would not do so, because it is my responsibility to all the other drivers out there... blah blah blah

Scott, I know we need puds like this on the blog to keep things going back and forth, but is there some kind of way you can check and see if his IP address is that of a Rick Perry campaign chairperson's house/office?

DeathBreath said...

If I were a criminal, I would surely take advantage of this situation. Many successful escapes from TDCJ have occurred when security numbers were low due to the holidays. A smart convict, if that is not an oxymoron, would take full advantage of staffing shortages.

So, for those of you who work for TDCJ or UTMB-CMC, you have nobody to blame but yourselves for trusting the maggots in the Texas legislature.

Yes, they have pleased the selfish constituents. Most people don't care whether officers are hurt as long as their utopia remains unaffected.

Screw all who voted for GOPigs.

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

DeathBreath...

All I can say about that is a big AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the gop needs to become the EOP, Extinct Old Party.

Liberty is also on the way out in this country, unfortunately.

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

Now part II of my entry at 7:12 am:
So, Anon, I really don't care to change you or your opinion, because you are no doubt incorrigible and just lucky not to have been caught in any youthful transgressions. But it seems that more often than not, the people like you on the extreme right are the most hypocritical of all. Why don't you take your lazy, anonymous blogging ass down to the labor pool, and see how much you make. Now live on that and save the some-odd $8,000 for full dentures. Give me a break. Interestingly enough, it is exactly the stigmatization and stereotyping of people missing teeth by people like you that make this an issue to begin with. So, you are effectively playing both ends, whether you consciously know it or not. I'm sure it is the latter. I don't know any crackheads or methheads that have cogent thoughts, nor any that could articulate them so eloquently in a response to a close-minded person like you.
Perhaps this, Anon-hole, The dental work provided by the state could be billed to the offenders upon release as a condition of parole.
If the focus is actual rehabilitation, then you would want to send ex-offenders out into the world as employment ready as possible. Being presentable is a large part of that. If someone goes in there and comes out with tattoos all over their face, then it's their own fault. I'm not advocating dental programs that are so good that people go and commit felonies just to get such superb dental and medical care. But medical care that is at least up to third world standards, on the front-line, in the units, would seem to be something that is necessary. A right, not a privilege. Not everyone there is guilty of there crimes, though I was, perhaps you could justify it that way.

Anonymous said...

ten hoe! work time!



John

I'veGotNoUseForTheLonghornCow said...

brilliant!!