Monday, August 27, 2007

TYC links looking forward to Wednesday's joint hearing

When the Texas Legislature departed from Austin in May they left behind quite a bit of unfinished business at the Texas Youth Commission. In the big picture the Lege added extra layers of oversight to punish wrongdoers after the fact, but did very little to address TYC's fundamental, long-term problems that everyone agrees contributed to the notorious abuses that received so much publicity.

With a joint House-Senate legislative oversight committee meeting on Wednesday in Austin to discuss the Texas Youth Commission, I thought I'd link to a number of different Grits items to provide background and context for any legislators, staff, media or members of the public preparing for the event:

TYC's Longstanding Problems:
New Leadership's Rocky Start
Adult Prison Mentality Installed
New Management's Comedy of Errors
Pepper Spray Policy Ignores Court Order
TYC's Secret Privatization Plan


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have all the bases covered, just one problem. Who will ask these questions come 8/29/07?

Anonymous said...

The Lege is good at blaming others so they should ask many of them.

Anonymous said...

I'll reserve my comments for post-hearing. I recall all the "warm, fuzzy feeling" comments I read during the intial hearings and look what has transpired!

Certain issues must be addressed:

1. What is being done to provide safe,secure facilities?

2. What coordination is needed with the juvenile judges and who has been tasked with the coordination?

3. Where is the transparency?

4. What program(s) are presently being utilized in TYC for rehabilitation?

5. What is being done to hire/retain qualified JCO's?

6. What has the current TYC administration SUCCESSFULLY accomplished to date? Establishing committees and initiating studies are not accomplishments!

7. Would you Please present a current organizational chart?

8. Is there a problem with the implementation of any laws we (this legislative committee) caused to be passed? What have you done to solve these problems?

Anonymous said...

Another point I've not seen any work on is the vocational education that was going to be required to enable these people to get a job when they go home. Most will go home, not go to school (especially those with their GED) and have nothing to do to earn a living. Any child 16 or older can work several hours a week, but if we continue to warehouse them while all the turmoil continues without direct action, they are the losers. I may be wrong, but seems like somewhere in all this mess there a mention of a big push to have RIO-Y grow to help the kids?

Anonymous said...

2 things need to happen:

1st-the national guard needs to be activated on behalf of the children of Texas. They need to go to the facilities without guns and help fill in for the staff who are so overworked, that dangerous conditions exit in every facility. There will soon be mass riots-look at what the "children" did to the TDCJ buses when out of the TYC staff's control.
The national guard doesn't have handle with care, but we don't use "physical force" any longer so they can work. I guarantee you they have seen enough in the last 8 years, that no one would to teach them to not be violent with kids and to be a mentor.

2nd-someone needs to federal court and file paperwork for the feds to become temporary guardians of every child in TYC-I don't know how it would be done, but someone has to take control. We can't wait on lawsuits, we can't wait on the lege to jump on someone and we can't force staff to come to work. Staff are bone tired-that is the ones that are not burned out and looking for work elsewhere. Some are calling in because they are physically sick from stress.

Somehow, someone must step in NOW and help or else children or staff will end up dying from the violence that is bubbling under the surface.