Friday, March 23, 2007

Marlin TYC Superintendent arrested for alleged coverup

In what I think is his first post on Texas Monthly's Burka Blog, Nate Blakeslee reports that:
The superintendent of the Marlin Orientation and Assessment Unit, a juvenile correctional facility near Waco, was arrested this morning on charges of giving a false report to an investigator, according to Falls County District Attorney Jody Gilliam. The superintendent, Jerome Parsee, allegedly gave false information to investigators about sexual misconduct that occurred on the unit involving inmates and at least one female correctional officer. Parsee was questioned by a Texas Ranger in recent weeks as part of an ongoing investigation of abuse in the youth corrections system that began last month in the wake of the sex abuse scandal at the West Texas State School in Pyote.
Marlin is the unit where every single kid sentenced to TYC passes through for "orientation and assessment." See more good TYC coverage at BurkaBlog from Patricia Kilday Hart and Paul Burka.

In addition, Hart's piece on alleged abuses of the mentally ill at the Lubbock State School is must-read blogging. Read the full report from the Department of Justice.

UPDATE: See local TV coverage of Parsee's arrest.

NUTHER UPDATE: Harvey Kronberg at Quorum Report has more TYC news tidbits today, starting with:
MORE TYC DEVELOPMENTS: TYC also announced further staff shake ups today. The agency has begun termination proceedings against Deputy General Counsel Emily Helm and Youth Care Investigations Director Ray Worsham after the two decided not to resign their posts, according to agency spokesman Jim Hurley. He declined to go into specifics but said that findings from an inspector general's report led to the decision to let the pair go. Worsham was suspended two weeks ago for allegedly changing documents related to suspected abuse at the TYC facility in Pyote.
Ray Worsham was named by a Texas Ranger testifying at the Legislature as someone at TYC who knew early on about allegations of sexual abuse by administrators. Kronberg also reported that Special Master Jay Kimbrough plans to review all sentences of TYC students that were extended while in custody. Harvey reported:

TYC Special Master Jay Kimbrough announced today that he’s recommending a review of all TYC inmates whose sentences were extended while in custody with the aim of releasing all inmates whose added time cannot be justified.

The long-term impact could be enormous as 93 percent of all TYC inmates have had their sentence extended, according to Will Harrell, the executive director of the ACLU of Texas who sat with Kimbrough for the announcement. Currently, the TYC system holds more than 4,000 inmates.

If a significant chunk of those inmates are found to have been given unjustified extensions, the TYC population could shrink drastically. Although Kimbrough does not have the authority to order the review himself, he stressed his belief that something needs to be done immediately.

"Based on what I have seen so far, I have no confidence in the integrity of that entire system," he said. "I fear there may be youths who have been retained or extended where there is little or no documentation or where there is little or no logic to support the decision that was made in the first place."


Anonymous said...

The only thing missing from the news picture of Jerome Parsee being stuffed in a police car in hand cuffs was his side kick, Melvin Haisler the Assistant Superintendent. Melvin Haisler is the one who does the actual dirty work at Marlin TYC; Jerome Parsee calls all the plays with guidance from TYC Central Office. Wonder if the people he promoted at the Marlin TYC, because they were on the “One Team”, are starting to get nervous?

If any of the agencies investigating TYC at Marlin want to see who is on the “One Team” all they need to see is who got all of the Merit Raises and better jobs they were not qualified to hold.

Anonymous said...

Hey I take offsince of the above statement. I made it to the 10th grade. Werked my way up to dirwrecktor level. Im nobodys fool. I deserve my merit / bonus money. Pick on someone your own intellec and leave the TYC alone..

Anonymous said...

I wish they'd at least bother to get the terminology correct. The vast majority of TYC youth do not have their sentences extended. To extend a youth's Minimum Length of Stay requires a formal hearing and this is not done for most youth.

Now, if they're talking about most youth staying past their Minimum Length of Stay...well, duh. Unless they're going to a halfway house or being dischanrged for MIMR reasons, to jail, to TDCJ, or at age of majority...youth MUST complete their Mimimum Length of Stay before they are release eligible...ergo, most youth stay longer than that.

I think the people reading all those files are going to get a big surprise when they find out how many youth weren't let out at MLOS because they couldn't go more than a month without having a category 1 rule violation, like hitting a staff or another youth.

A part of the problem I think is that people don't understand the difference between a "sentence" and a Minimum Length of Stay. With a "sentence" you serve that much time and you're out. An MLOS is just what it sounds's the MINIMUM amount of time a youth has to spend in TYC before they can be let out. And if they aren't working the program or if they still present a danger to society...then they don't have to be let out at that point.

Granted, I don't necessarily agree with the use of doesn't seem to gel with the psychology of juveniles who tend to have a highly developed (and very black and white) sense of "fairness". And it isn't really fair that two kids who commit essentially the same crime could spend VASTLY difference amounts of time in TYC.

Anyway, I got a little off topic. My would be nice if the people representing our agency to the media and legislature right now would bother to get the details right.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 you seem to be expecting too much from our two new leaders. Mr. Perry has given us two guys who have zero experience in juvenile justice. They are not interested in hearing from any of us who have years of experience in the field. We have two political operatives running TYC so don't expect real improvement.

I expect most of the youth in TYC to be released back into their communities. Crime rates will rise to new heights and the experts will be back to locking the junior criminals away in the new yet unnamed agency.

Anonymous said...

Morales v. Turman, anyone? LOL

So if the pattern holds true, I figure if I make it through this, then it should be about another 20 years before the Texas Youth Committee is due for another which time, I'll have blown this joint, so more power to 'em.

Anonymous said...

Oh that’s right…just open the gates and let them go.

"Based on what I have seen so far, I have no confidence in the integrity of that entire system," he said. "I fear there may be youths who have been retained or extended where there is little or no documentation or where there is little or no logic to support the decision that was made in the first place." - Kimbrough

Has anyone taken into account what these “children” have done inside the facility to get their time extended? Their actions would have landed them years in the adult system. We give them six months - max.

Jay Kimbrough is about to endanger the communities that have sent these “children” to us. He speaks of having no confidence in the integrity of our system. Well Jay, we have absolutely no confidence in you. You are a maniac. You go riding around on your Harley, the do rag on your head, sunglasses, etc., and you expect people that work at these facilities to bow to everything you say? Come on man, at least you could make a professional appearance during these trying times.

Jay Kimbrough is a threat to the citizens of this state. He has absolutely no compassion for the victims of violent crimes, and he certainly has no compassion for those dedicated TYC employees who are on the receiving end of serious assaults from these “children,” many of which are jelling felons.

Every County or District Prosecutor ought to rise up and demand that Rick Perry replace this ex-marine maniac with someone who truly cares for the safety of the communities. I pray each and every night for the victims of violent crimes, and will now include the citizens of this state that will soon be victimized by the rational of Jay Kimbrough. Arm yourselves Texans. It’s about to get dangerous out there again.

Anonymous said...

Now that TYC is out in the open, when is Congress going to go after TDCJ? They are just at bad or worse than TYC and they do keep the Inmates who are good workers and some of them are working for private companies and the bosses are getting paid for this. They certainly want to keep those who are good workers who are doing the work they would have to otherwise pay someone to do.

Let those go, who have done what they are supposed to do, followed the rules, done their jobs and deserve the good time and work time they have accumulated.

When is Congress truly going to make the BPP do their job and let those go who have truly been good people and have followed the rules, do their job and don't deserve the insults and mistreatment they have to endure.

BPP needs to be cleaned out and put people there who are there to do what is right, read the parole records and let those who deserve to be freed go home and become a part of society again. They have families who love and support them and not of the families or the Inmates deserve what the BPP is allowed to do. Time to clean out that mess also, sorry past time to clean out that mess. I do know there has been a law suite filed against the BPP and there is another one in the works. Texas needs to clean out the mess both at TYC and TDCJ. Mr. Perry, get you head out of the sand and do your job!!

PAPA said...

If anyone has worked directly, one on one with Inmates that have been in and/or currently housed in TDCJ, has heard over and over how the Texas Rangers are called in to cover for Texas Department of Criminal Justice. (Ex:The Texas Rangers REPORT will say that the Inmate died enroute to the hospital when many Inmates around knew the Inmate was dead when removed from the cell.) This is just one type of cover up created by the Texas Rangers for TDCJ.What do you think they have been doing on TYC, just more of their Cover-UP to protect the STATE of TEXAS. That is what they are really about. What needs to happen is outside the political realm recruit God-Fearing,Voting Taxpaying, Citizens of Texas to be involved in all phases of the investigation. This is not Citizens appointed by Governor or the likes of him. Take names from the Voting Records, Put in a Hat, Draw out to be invovled in this investigation. Set up investigating groups in each area where there is a TYC facility. Have a back up crew just like on major Jury Cases in case one of them falter or can no longer serve. Certainly the State can pay for all their expenses if they can afford to build three more prisons. When the investigation is over concerning TYC, then the same needs to happen with all the injustices happening inside of the City, County, State, TDCJ jails.WE THE PEOPLE of TEXAS are ready to fight against the system of wrongful incarceration from arrest through the un-justified legal system through the brutally tortureous realms of prison from the youth of our state to the oldest member in our state. If it is not working, change it.
People Against Prison Abuse
aka PAPA P.S.This was written to be approved and posted by the Texas Monthly blog, see if it gets posted.

Anonymous said...

For those of you posting regarding the injustice of sending students home after reviewing their files, consider the following. If you have worked within the system and have been a part of the phase process and level hearings for behavior issues(as I have)- YOU KNOW or are aware of the students who HAVE been victims of spite, power trips, unrealistic expectations and downright set-ups to prevent their progress within and out of TYC. There is also the opposite- the promotion of those who absolutely should never see the other side of that gate for a long time. They are promoted up and out to get rid of their disruptive or violent behaviors. It is much easier to "extend" the length of stay of youth who are in the middle and low range of behaviors in level hearings & in denied phase promotions because they know they cannot beat the system. If you are saying this has not happened, you either have not had access to the process, opened your eyes or you are part of the cover up. It HAS, it IS and WILL continue to happen if people in these roles are not held accountable. I hope EVERY FILE OF EVERY STUDENT IS REVIEWED. Then, maybe there will be justice either way- for those promoted despite horrid behavior and those denied promotion due to the personal agendas of those who surround them.
Sexual abuse is definitely not the only abuse of these students. Who can measure the mental abuse to a student who has been set up to fail even when they try?

Anonymous said...

I hope they review every file as well and the asinine person who said 4000 youth will be leaving soon can eat their words. Youth that assault youth should not be sent out, youth that assault staff should not be let out, they should be held accountable but for some this part of the equation is lost on those that believe they understand the system. The person or person who make these type of statements are generally the parents of these youth that justify the youths delinquent behavior and help contribute to them failing once they are released.

Lindsey said...


Wednesday, April 2, 2008
TYC Scandal
I can personally say I know Melvin Haisler VERY well. He has abused both physically and mentally ALL his wives and step-children. So, when you speak on someones character you should know the cold hard facts, before you go praising a heartless, devil who is mean through and through. Right down to the core. But you know what people say don't judge a book by its cover. Especially when its wrapped so tightly. Not all abusive people are mean in public. Instead they put on a visaed, a fake front. But once the door is closed thats when its time to be very scared of people like him. Take it from someone who knows personnally me and my mother.
Posted by Lindsey at 1:15 PM

Unknown said...

the 93% of juveniles who had their sentences "extended" should be represented by counsel and sue the brakes off the State of Texas. Let me see which attorney will take their case and the signup can begin.

Anonymous said...

I attended the marlin orientation unit. I was sent to jefferson county state known as al price in beaumont texas for attempted murder. I am now 33 years old with hate in my heart. I spent a total of 3 years in the system. Looking back i see no positive outcome on this rehabiltationn habitat that the judical system ploclaims to be positive. I went in as a troubled teen with a phd in crime...released with a degree of hate........