Monday, September 10, 2007

TYC to Lege: Expect our policies to increase recidivism

If you like your youth prisons with high staff turnover, high recidivism, and poor educational outcomes, the Texas Youth Commission appears to be "fixed."

If not, you might be dismayed, as I was, to see these 2007 statistics from the financial section of TYC's Aug. 13 report to legislators:
  • Annual turnover rate for Juvenile Correctional Officers: 46.7%
  • Percent of youth at grade level upon release: 19%
  • Percent of youth within one month reading gain for each month of instruction: 64%
  • Percent of youth within one month math gain for each month of instruction: 57%
  • One-year re-arrest rate: 55%
  • One year re-arrest rate for a violent offense: 9%
  • One-year re-incarceration rate: 22%
Strangely, the "targets" for TYC's one year re-incarceration rate are higher than at present - 26%, for 2008 and '09, compared to 22% in 2007. The documents provided gave no clue, but it'd be very interesting to know exactly what it is about either SB 103 or new agency policies that make TYC project more of the youth they release will be re-imprisoned within a year than in the past.


Anonymous said...

The legislators clearly "designed" TYC to fail with SB103.This is yet another embarrassment for the State of Texas. The problem is, it is at the expense of children!

Texans are quick to punish child abuse harshly. This is pre-meditated child abuse and everyone involved should be in TDCJ!

Anonymous said...

We at TYC are failures and damn proud of it! We who have come from TDCJ to fix things at TYC are using the same proven system we use at TDCJ. We will keep the prison industry strong in Texas for years to come. We carefully design our programs to fail the needs of the inmate and the public. One can only imagine the number of lost jobs by prison employees if we rehabilitated inmates. Yes these kids are inmates too and no we don’t care in the least what you bleeding hearts think. The TYC kids are Cash Cows and we intend to keep them that way. So what if we drive TYC into ground, that is more contracts for our political friends who will take good care of us. We are right on track at TYC. We expect a reasonable rise in the number of repeat offenders for the future thus keeping a ready supply of inmates for TYC and TDCJ. WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING, don’t go and worry your selves all for nothing. Oh I almost forgot, I like the National Guard idea. Thanks for the great idea. They wouldn’t get paid by TYC leaving tons of cash for administrative training and seminars in some fun location! I wonder what an attitude adjustment for Pope would cost.

The fabulous,
Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

I want to clarify that "reading at grade level" of 19%. I want to tell the REAL story of that measurement. Several years ago a certain senator decided that it would look really good for his campaign if he "designed" a chart that measured the readability rate of the youth in TYC. He could take that "message" to the public. This also corresponded with then Gov. Bush's -No Child Left Behind. So, he makes up this chart and it goes like this. If you are 12yrs old you should automatically read at 6th grade.If you are 14-9th, 15-10th,16-11th,and 17+-12th grade...This sounds great to Mr. Joe Public who is a non-educator. However, the truth is that even most non-incarcerated adults do not read at the 12th grade level unless their job is one of constant reading. That is not to say that you are illiterate. It is just that these are individuals that do not fit neatly into designated slots in a chart. These kids at TYC come to us with huge deficits and in the 9 month to 3year time frame that they are with us, we are expected to show phenomenal gains. I don't think so. For example, if a student comes in at 16 reading on a 1st grade level we at TYC are to have him reading at the 10th to 11th grade level by the end of his MLOS so that we can make that chart. It absolutely is the most ridiculous measurement ever thought up.

Anonymous said...

Uh, wasn't that Elmer?

Anonymous said...

It was Sen. Ogden

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I can see where that grade level number could be misleading. Do you think the one month gain per one month instruction statistics are accurate?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the one month gain/one month incarceration is a much more accurate statistic. That is where true growth is most likely to be found. Of course you deal with testing situations, moods on the day of testing, etc...however it is in the works to do more ongoing testing and benchmarking instead of just when they arrive and right before they leave. That will deliver a clearer picture of true levels of improvement in both reading and math. The biggest problem with education in TYC is again all decisions for education are made by Joe Public or John Senator and they are noneducators. It is the law that the students are to be educated until age 18 (or 21 if Special Ed)so unlike TDCJ it is mandatory that they are in school. However, very little input is received from educators about how the education should take place or what the best practices are for these types of youth. This age/grade level chart is a perfect example.The information from it is totally useless except to pad a political campaign. My question is this, public school failed these youth so why would we try to follow the same methods and procedures again--so we can watch them fail again? What a tragedy! But again, the bulk of the measuring systems and educational goals are decided in Austin at the Capitol. Enough said...

Anonymous said...

All of TYC's internal stats are misleading.

Do not be deceived, Statistics do not lie, but all liars use statistics. It is a matter of reading for misleading.

Yes Dimitria Pope and Ed Owens belong in prison, with the inmates they love as cash cows so much.

Cowboy said...

Yes Dimitria Pope and Ed Owens belong in prison, with the inmates they love as cash cows so much.
Include the Financial Chief in this bunch - what's her face, oh yeah Robin McKeever.

Anonymous said...


You have to put the blame for recidivism on the legislature. TYC is underfunded, overcrowded, and understaffed.

SB103 actually cuts the budget for TYC. The only accomplishment of SB103 was an attempt to change the way things are investigated and the way grievances are handled, which was a good thing.

The rest of it, the reduction of the age of authority, the exclusion of misdemeanor youth, and foolish mandates about how long youth should be retained in TYC have paved the way for significant increases in recidivism, increases in juvenile felons, increases in youth certified to adult court, and ultimately more challenging behavior problems in TYC.

Anonymous said...

The whole TYC boondogle event (starting with who knew "what" to who gets arrested for knowing "what") now a big show. Its public and needs to stay public but real solutions not just money "bandaids" applied by D. Pope need to go forward at less than a snails speed. Her last testimony given to her thigh rubbing Senator was a show ...probably for the both of them. She get to imitate Tina Turner and he gets to imitate a good ole' boy jumping down from his horse here to do some fixin' of a corupt Texas system just in the nick of time. If they do any more patting of each other and rubbing of each other, the next time a PG-13 label might need to be in place. Heck next time I'll wear 2 inch long fake orange nails, bleach my dark curlies, wear high spiky heels and a tight short skirt (fish net hose and a wonder bra wouldn't hurt either) ...just to get my message taken seriously by the co-chair of the Joint Commission of TYC Over Sight. I wonder what they're seeing in their offices in from D. Pope only...are they too busy to put their boots on the grounds of TYC?