Sunday, December 16, 2007

Every time a Christmas bell rings, an Angel gets its wings: Current TYC admin approach a "dead loser," say experts

I've always been a sucker for the line in Frank Capra's Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," where at the end of the movie George's daughter looks up from under the decorated tree and exclaims to Jimmy Stewart, "Look, daddy! Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings."

So I suppose it's my affinity for that movie and the spirit of the season that made me hone in on TYC acting executive director Dimitria Pope's newest declaration about the youth under her care.

Today in the Dallas News, Emily Ramshaw identifies reform practices perhaps best modeled in Missouri ("In Missouri, 'unprisonment,'" Dec. 16), which significantly animated the recommendations of Texas' "Blue Ribbon Panel" on reforming the juvenile corrections system:

a juvenile justice model that national experts say has turned Missouri's state system from an abuse-ridden institutional nightmare to an industry gold standard for juvenile rehabilitation.

States across the country have taken note. Rarely a week goes by that Missouri officials aren't playing host to touring juvenile justice advocates or advising on proposed pilots in Louisiana, Washington, D.C., New Mexico or California.

But it is a model the Texas Youth Commission is not embracing.

For some Texas officials, it's just not the right time. For others, it's too dramatic a change and simply not punitive enough.

"The youth who are [incarcerated] in Texas, the court sent them here to restrict their behavior," said Dimitria Pope, TYC's acting executive director. "These are kids who have cut off their angel wings. This is a corrections environment."

Ms. Pope's comments to Ramshaw sum up exactly the problem that Governor Perry's "Blue Ribbon Panel" identified at TYC (see their report, pdf): The prevailing "punishment culture" dictated from the top management down instead of a focus on rehabilitation. A companion DMN article by Gregg Jones and Doug Swanson ("10 months after scandal, problems plague Texas Youth Commission," Dec. 16) quoted one of the national experts asked by Gov. Perry this spring for advice on TYC offering a much different assessment:
"The way they're going, a correctional model, is a dead loser," said Dr. Barry Krisberg, president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. "That's not going to get them anyplace. It's never gotten anyone anyplace, except court."

Dr. Krisberg was a member of the TYC-appointed task force whose report the agency rejected this year. The task force advocated, among other things, a "home-like environment" for inmates.

"The question is," he said, "is Texas going to tolerate being the embarrassment of the nation on this?"

So far, Dr. Krisberg, the answer is "yes." Perhaps when Governor Perry gets back from Iowa he'll have had time to think things over and reconsider.

Naturally, Ms. Pope disagrees, reports the News: "Dimitria Pope, TYC's acting executive director, was asked to gauge the agency's current progress. 'I'm going to say excellent,' she answered," adding "I say we have turned the ship."

On that last comment, this blogger, Ms. Pope, and Mr. Krisberg all agree: Krisberg, Grits, and other critics simply wish the ship hadn't been turned toward the nearest iceberg!

Finally, an unsigned staff editorial accompanying the Dallas News article asks point blank whether the agency could be mostly sunsetted out of existence ("California is dismantling its youth [prison] system; could Texas?"). In California, the "
state will pay the counties to take the youths. For some counties, though, it's a burden that they're not yet prepared to deal with." (As an aside, I suggested in "Surviving the TYC Meltdown" that counties must prepare precisely to deal with that coming future burden.) Editorialized the Dallas News, "If the plan does work, advocates may be pushing Texas to go the same way. "California and Texas face the same problems," Dr. Krisberg said. "Texas is worse: more corruption, more abuse."

The only disagreement I'd have with the Dallas News' assessment is the use of the future conditional tense, "may be": Advocates have been pushing for Texas to go the same way for many months. That's the direction the Texas Legislature was led to believe would be pursued when the Blue Ribbon Panel was appointed and Missouri's experts were paraded before Texas legislative committees to talk about best practices.

It's only since the appointment of a cadre of career bureaucrats from the adult prison system to TYC that rehabilitation has become a dirty word. For Ms. Pope and the people with whom she surrounds herself, these are all "
kids who have cut off their angel wings" - her job is to lock 'em up, they can't be rehabilitated, by this logic. Public safety be damned: Forget that nearly all will re-enter society in just a few years, apparently.

Their "angel wings" have been clipped: If even God has forsaken them,
why should Dimitria Pope or the state of Texas care what happens to them? (Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho.)

I find I'm seldom unhappy when Governor Perry leaves the state - like most politicians he tends to do less damage when he's away from his desk - but he couldn't give TYC employees a better Christmas present than to git back home to Texas and appoint a competent, new conservator. Even I'm becoming weary of the seemingly continuous drumbeat of bad news coming out of the Texas Youth Commission, but this attitude, what the Blue Ribbon Panel called TYC's punishment culture, simply invites controversy and litigation, as Krisberg and many others have repeatedly told them.

Nothing this agency does seems to work. Just yesterday the Dallas News reported that "TYC's drug treatment program produces graduates who are more likely to re-offend after release than addicted inmates who did not participate." Nearly every day some new disgrace seems to crop up damning the current administration and pointing toward some looming, radical transformation, for good or ill, in TYC's near future.

Since her appointment, Ms. Pope has blamed underlings, the prior administration, private contractors, "corrupt" and "illiterate" employees, "white women," and now the youth themselves for TYC's mismanagement. Perhaps over the holidays the acting executive director will find an opportunity to locate a mirror when she's looking for someone to blame.

Or at least carve out a couple of hours to watch "It's a Wonderful Life."


Anonymous said...

Pope also states that she has turned the ship around, in this article, LOL. I can't say more, I'm afraid of what I'll put in writing!

Anonymous said...

grrrr! Obviously, the woman has something on someone.


Anonymous said...

touche,Scott . . .touche!

Anonymous said...

By the way, here's Ms. Pope's email. I sent her one asking that she resign.


Anonymous said...

If I hadn't read it with my own eyes I would never have believed someone could say something some completely STUPID. Yes, I said STUPID. I seldom use that word because I find it offensive, but not near as offensive as "white women with PHDs". Had I made any such comment about any black woman, I would be on the unemployment line today, but I guess because she's D'Pope and appointed and all that, its O.K.

I'm forwarding this piece of crap story from the DNM to my local media connection and see if we can stir something up out here in the country folks got some hook ups out here in West Texas.

I guess I shouldn't take it so personally, but my parents are pretty pissed...they're kind of proud of their "educated white daughter".

O.K. Pope - we're ready to sit back and watch you squirm now...come on down, you're the next contestant on "I'm the biggest dumbass in the state"!

Anonymous said...

EVERYONE should send this article to the Governor and demand he fire Pope. In this day and age to use that kind of racist comments if POPE flaunting herself. The next time the NAACP or LULAC or some other self interested organization raises cain about racism, everyone should send this article to them.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of people complaining about what needs to change but taking no steps to do it. I just emailed the AAS, The New York Times, Texas Monthly and CNN and told them about Ms. Pope's latest fine leadership move. Don't just complain- actually do something! The more these publications, media outlets and people who can actually do something hear from you (on what you want covered and done)- that will get them moving. If you don't take the time to act, then don't complain!
Pissed Off Educated White Woman

Anonymous said...

From: CNNpublicinformation:

Thank you for this submission. Public Information reviews and summarizes story ideas, and distributes them to appropriate news divisions for consideration. If it is decided the story is something of interest that can be developed for on-air reporting, you may be contacted for more information.

Thank you again for sending it our way.

CNN Public Information

OK everyone- did you catch the part "if it is something of iterest..." CONTACT THEM!!!!

Anonymous said...

I dislike Bill Parker because of his tell it like it is attitude. But if you want an TYC administration that will correct TYC and all this BS, he will kick ass!

Nick said...

Great post. The TYC is definitely a joke and far behind many states in progressive incarceration tactics for youths. I was sent to boot camp at age seventeen in Humble, Texas and will be the first to tell you that I expected every single one of my fellow platoon-mates to return to prison in some form or another. While I have no proof that ANY of them returned to jail, I was back in prison within five months of graduating and spent three more years in prison before taking my S.A.T.'s while incarcerated to convince the Parole Board I was suitable for release. Thank goodness for college entrance exams and the University of Alabama for accepting me. I just wish more inmates were pushed in this direction and were afforded such an opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 3:49: Is Mr. Parker interested in going to the central office?

Anonymous said...

I just sent a tip to the Foxs News station and they received it, maybe they will look into this ongoing saga
with TYC. Make sure you inform whoever you send this too to look up the coverage from Grits and the Dallas Morning News.

Anonymous said...

It's A Wonderful Life shows that even a wingless angel is wiser than D'ope!

Great post, Scott!

Anonymous said...

If Gov goodhair continues to ignore his problems at home he should be impeached.

Anonymous said...

I juste sent Gov. Goodhair an email asking for his resignation.

Anonymous said...

OK, all you white professional women who work for TYC. Pope, the racist village idiot, just handed you her own head on a platter. If you don't all band together and take advantage of this opportunity, then enough whinning. You get what you deserve. A group grievance to the gevernors office with a copy to the Dallas Morning News would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

Because TYC has so many more youth who are African American and Hispanic than White, might it not be better to contact organizations such as the NAACP or LULAC? These kinds of organizations have a lot of power and are politically active. Pope is not giving these kids in need the treatment they need. Is that because they are minorities? This might be a better tactic than the media. Just an idea.

Anonymous said...

Don't you dumbass educated white women realize that is exactly what she was saying - that the majority of the kids are african american and hispanic but Resocialization was written by persons of a different race and gender. You people pick apart everything that woman does or says. Also, you are in such a hurry to e-mail and call everybody about everything that you just might mess yourself and everyone else in TYC out of a job. And before you say that self-serving bs about rather not work here than dadadada, give me a break. If that were true, you would leave now instead of all the moaning and groaning.

Anonymous said...

The chaos and uncertainty at work are nerve racking.

The administrators are scared and clueless. Their fear radiates out and affects everyone.

The kids know that the leaders are indicisive and take advantage. Danger! Danger! Danger!

Anonymous said...

We just need competent leadership. We can gripe about her insensitive comments all day, at the end of the day she just does not have nor did she ever have it.

Why would anyone place a person this clueless in charge of an ailing agency? What could be the motive? As long as her names appears as the Executive or any part of the leadership for this agency we are doomed to fail.

Anonymous said...

9:17 p.m., you are right up there with Dementia! Do us all a favor and quit commenting.

Anonymous said...

To 9:17pm I think us "dumbass educated white women" realize what Ms. Pope was trying to say. One cannot argue that the majority of youth in TYC are youth of color. However, for an "ACTING" Executive Director to make a racial comment regarding the program is STUPID. If she meant to say that the program was culturally insensitive or that it did not address the needs of inner city youth that is not what she said. She could have said that but she didn't. On the other hand is she saying youth of color are unable to comprehend things, are not bright enough to work a program . . . Now that would really be STUPID. Because a program was written by "white people" does not equal being a "bad program." It is easy to pick apart what Ms. Pope says because she says some pretty amazing things. You might however be correct in that TYC may at some point not exist and many of those raising the issues will be without jobs but have you forgotten about the victims, your community, etc. I suppose you are willing to take in these youth and rehabilitate them. Remember every youth in TYC will eventually be in the community and some of them may live in your community. Are you ready for them?
12/16/2007 09:17:00 PM

Anonymous said...

Hello 9:17
The new program was written by 2 white men and a white woman. If her point was as you stated, how do you explain this?

Anonymous said...

The "new program" was repackaged. and renamed from the old program.

After 13 years with TYC I can assure you that there is nothing new in TYC.

Anonymous said...

The governor has the people in place that will do the job he wants done at TYC! The Legislature forced a segment of the TYC youth back to the local counties during the past session. The next move will be to totally dismantle TYC and require the local counties to provide programming. Most counties will then contract out the juvenile justice program. Smaller counties will form associations with connecting counties and contract out their programs. Contract care for juvenile justice is coming to Texas! Contract care will be the responsibility of the county government thus insulating state elected officials from any blame when things go wrong. There will a confusing patchwork of juvenile justice systems in Texas when all is done. Enforcement of regulations will be next to impossible due to the mix of different approaches by the individual counties. Each county will be implementing their own program. No accountability will be the end result which will be pleasing to the politicians who want to distance themselves from the TYC fiasco.

Don’t think for one second the Governor or any of the other elected state officials are so dumb they would let TYC proceed as it has if it was not their will and pleasure.

The End is Near!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Pope felt that "white women with PhDs" were ill-equipped to devise a rehab program for a juvie inmate population that is majority black and Latino. She could have expressed this far more thoughtfully than she did.

But, really, is oppression any better when administered by members of one racial or ethnic group on members of the same ones?

I've always thought this was sloppy thinking. If one's abuser is black, brown, or white, it is still abuse. A prison is still a prison even if it has a more familiar face.

Does it really matter to a juvie if the administrator who blithely declares them to be "angels who have clipped their own wings", whose highest horizon is a "corrections program," who openly mocks intelligence and expertise, is black or white?


Anonymous said...

12/16/07, 4:41PM

I don't know and probably would not think so.

Anonymous said...

Whether a person has a Ph.D or not should mean nothing regarding a leadership post at TYC. Ms. Pope should know this better than anyone. Her misguided statement regarding "White females with Ph.D's," was clearly a smear towards white colleagues, especially the females with or without a Ph.D. Meaningless Ph.D's or for that matter meaningful Ph.D's will not provide leadership or the required skills and experiences needed to turn TYC around. Ph.D's as well as others with higher degrees can be as ignorant, stupid or simply incompetent as Ms. Pope.

However, due to her racist comments Ms. Pope will no longer have the respect of those she disrespected, including any creditability she may have had. That is clearly ruined. Many if not most of Black TYC employees feel Ms. Pope needs to apologize for her comments. She then must move on. She is no longer effective or can or will be taken seriously. Ms. Pope can and will only be used as the rock that finally sent the ship beyond the bottom and into the pits of the abyss.

Ms. Pope Crete & Barrel needs a window display designer across the street, down the ally and up MOPAC. Please apply.

Nick said...

DALLAS (AP) — Nearly 10 months after reports of inmate abuse first surfaced, not everyone agrees with claims of progress in reforming the agency that oversees the Texas juvenile prison system.

State lawmakers ordered the Texas Youth Commission to revamp its programs and change its managers after the scandal broke. But since then, inmate abuse allegations have risen, staffing shortages persist and controversy remains over the continued use of pepper spray on juveniles.

Jon Halt, a member of a watchdog group and whose teenage son was sexually assaulted by another inmate in a juvenile prison, said the changes have been minute.

"They still treat kids like dirt," he told The Dallas Morning News for a story in Sunday's editions.

The commission's own assessment of its progress is more positive. "I'm going to say excellent," said Dimitria Pope, the commission's acting executive director.

News reports in February revealed that officials at a West Texas youth prison had been accused of sexually abusing inmates. The revelations that followed included reports of youth beatings, lax medical care and a culture of retaliation against whistle-blowers.

Legislation passed in May was supposed to address the problems and, to some extent, it did, according to one lawmaker.

"We probably don't have management raping kids now," said state Rep. Jerry Madden.

Madden, who sponsored the reform bill, cited other encouraging signs. Youths who commit misdemeanors are no longer sent to the commission and an independent ombudsman has hired staff. New guards are getting more training and a stronger internal investigations unit has pursued dozens of cases of employee misconduct.

"I'm beginning to have a little confidence that improvements are being made," he said. "But we need to see results."

However, Dr. Barry Krisberg, president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, said he believes the state juvenile prison system is locked into an outmoded model based on punishment dealt from large, remote prisons.

"The way they're going, a correctional model, is a dead loser," he said. "That's not going to get them anyplace. It's never gotten anyone anyplace, except court."

Krisberg was part of a commission-appointed task force that produced a report that the agency rejected this year. The task force advocated a "home-like environment" for inmates, among other things.

David Springer, chairman of the advisory task force, said the agency seems better off in some respects, but worse in others. The commission may not be able to fix itself, he said.

"It's an uphill battle that I'm not sure can be climbed," he said.


Thank goodness no one is getting raped anymore...jeez...

Anonymous said...

There is nothing new about how Pope is treating white educated women. I have personally witnessed a black TYC administrator call white female subordinates “F**king White Bitches” in a staff meeting. No one did anything because they knew the blacks up the chain of command would cover it up and it would cost the “F**king White Bitches” their job if a complaint was filed. The black administrators at several locations were having sex with white subordinates of both sexes. I personally saw a black high ranking TYC administrator kissing another man in the parking lot of the state school. I hid because I knew if he became aware I had seen his homosexual activity on TYC property while he was on duty my job would be gone. Screwing everyone they could seemed to be the activity of the day for the TYC administration. If you had sex with the gentlemen running TYC you went up the career ladder quickly. TYC is the most evil working environment I have ever seen. Good moral people were forced out and immoral whores and trash were promoted. No wonder children were being molested, what else could you expect from the human garbage running TYC back then and now? Nothing has changed, not one thing! Pope made her way to the top on her knees and back so nothing has changed. At least Pope is open about her hatred of white people. Close the dump ground down!!!

Anonymous said...

Isnt using innapropriate words or comments a policy violation? Can the OIG confirm her so that the old Gov can get her a written reprimand? I want to go to work and say words like "Uneducated black conservator" and see if I dont get walked to the gate!!!

Anonymous said...

what if we flooded the TYC hotline will calls/complaints? You guys know that number is not just for youth but also for staff!!! Lets all give them a call and tell them we are being mistreated because we are white and educated!!!

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me... she actually said this... this was the actual quote?

I have not respected Ms. Pope since I saw her speak at the beginning of her TYC journey to try and prove herself by addressing the State of the Agency, but I would not have ever imagined a person in her position saying such a thing?

I am still in such a dumbfounded state that I just can not believe she said this... AND that she stills holds her position.

The State of Texas fired a guy for not answering his phone in time BUT she still is walking tall??

NO WAY... GET OUT... SHUT UP!!!!!????!!!!!

Please... SOMEBODY with some brains remove her, put somebody else in - heck, put a monkey in charge - they at least learn from their mistakes!!!!

Anonymous said...

In case you haven't heard yet, there was what CO called a "disturbance" at Mart II last weekend. It was called a "hostage situation" by staff who were there because these kids took over a dorm with a female staff on it and comensed to tearing up the dorm. I am sure the staff felt like her life was threatened during this "incident". When it appeared on the local news show Jim Hurley at CO said that this is "normal" for "this time of year". After all, the kids are missing home and that they were just up to some mischief. He actually called this behavior "normal". Wonder if the staff being held on that dorm would call it "normal" mischief? What has happened when people are afraid to tell the truth out loud in a free country? Is this how Hitler came to power? Sound far-fetched, but there are TYC employees who CANNOT speak out or they will not be able to put food on their tables because they will surely be fired. How can so many people be put in this sorry situation in the US of A. and the government just turn their heads in indiference? Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that Dimitria Pope has lasted as long as she has, given the many negative things that have been said about her in the newspapers and her own racist sounding statements to the newspapers about "white women Ph.D's" writing programs that sound good but have never been tested in the field to see if they work, and so on. That this whole thing goes on-and-on sounds crazy to me--from tons of criticism from experts in juvenile corrections, editorials in "The New York Times" and the major Texas newspapers decrying Dimitria Pope by name, pepper spray, and her whole correctional oriented approach for youth offenders. She does nothing but bring shame to the State of Texas and TYC. When are we going to see some positive changes at TYC? I would like to see it sooner than later. Obviously, something needs to be added to bring needed changes about. As things stand now, the governor, legislature, and others who should have fired Dimitria Pope long ago and promoted positive program changes are doing nothing. How about a good demonstration at the TYC Central Office that would bring in all the national media, make all the issues public to the whole world, and start TYC on the right course? Let's show the national and the world that there are many good people in Texas along with the Dimitria Popes and Billy Humphreys!!!

Anonymous said...

TYC is the most evil working environment I have ever seen. Good moral people were forced out and immoral whores and trash were promoted.


You are so RIGHT ON!!! I left TYC in part because of the immorality I witnessed day in and day out. And don't think that behavior was limited to the superintendents and other administrators. The JCOs/Psych/Caseworkers/Teachers/Admin. Ass'ts and on down the line... If they weren't doing it, they were turning a blind eye to it. I personally know of a black JCO VI who used intimidation-his position, physical size and loud voice-to get what he wanted from the females (black and white) at his facility. The sad part is he would probably actually say it was consenual. Anyhow, at home, in Austin or out on the road, TYC is a sick sick place. I think they got the leaders they deserve.

Anonymous said...

THis is for the hard-working staff who are trying to hang in there - not those who have left but can't seem to move on.
7:45 - you hear about incidents like this all over. Our incidents are escalating in violence daily. Kids on one dorm kicked in the doors to 2 offices and destroyed a computer. The staff had no spray, were scared to restrain for losing their jobs and help took a long time because other dorms were also "going off". I don't know what the solution is, but I hope no one with sense believes that Pope is telling the truth - things are "excellent" and the Supt at Crockett - violence is "down" and the youth are "compliant". Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

White female PhDs? Corine Alvarez-Sanders? Don Brantley? Mercy Chieza? BTW, Mercy was not only Black, she wrote her Doctoral dissertation on cultural bias in psych assessment and treatment. Dr. Reyes and Dr. Kelley were the only white female PhDs in the group that wrote the resocialization program. Ms Pope is not only racist, but she has shown her ignorance. But then, racism is based upon ignorance and fear, isn't it? Old Salty

Anonymous said...

Word is out that a new Conservator will be named soon. The Pope made this announcement today in executive council. She did not give a name but hopefully whoever it is they allow this person to remove anyone they deem fit without fear of appraisal. Maybe just maybe hope is on the way, still trying to be optimistic??

Anonymous said...

THis is for the hard-working staff who are trying to hang in there - not those who have left but can't seem to move on.


Normally I'd let a snide comment like that go. After all, you're under such stress who can blame you for not thinking straight. JK!But you should understand: people who have left TYC are some of your biggest supporters, trying to get others to hear and understand and care and maybe DO SOMETHING about the state of the agency. Most still have friends, family and spouses with the agency. Sure, some are disgruntled and bitter but then so are many of you who are "trying to hang in there."
Please don't lump all of the ex-TYCers together.

Anonymous said...

Mart II was a totally hostage situation. It is amazing the staff got out alive. The students took apart a bookshelf and used it as a weapon. They then took over the dorm. Every time someone came near the dorm, they threatened to kill her. She was hostage for over an hour, then staff finally stormed in the back door and it was the pepper spray that probably saved her life. If that is normal--my gosh I would hate to see abnormal. The Texas Rangers should have been called in with the Sheriff's dept etc. But all that happened was next to nothing, the dorm was in school today as usual. I wonder if the staff being threatened thought this was just another "normal" day before the holidays? This place has gone friggin' nuts!

Anonymous said...

The problems at Mart can be attributed entirely to new management at TYC, under similar circumstances all facilities would have absorbed youth from Bronte. However some people in the new regime believe this unit to have physical plant powers that will protect youth and staff from disobediance. thus, all the youth went in their entirety to Unit 2 because they had single housing units with cuffing ports. end result, recreation of Bronte in a facility that has had notorious staffing issues since day 1. They need to take the population of this facility down to about 200, possibly 150 immediately and give some relief to the staff and remaining youth before a serious injury occurs.

Anonymous said...

They're not going to admit anything like that happeed on their watch until they find a way to blame the old administration.

I sure hope the conservator has the ability to hire a new Executive Director. Was there any inkling of that?

Anonymous said...

You're right 9:02! I can admit when I'm wrong. Oops - I don't think that's allowed under the new regime. lol

Anonymous said...

Of course you're not wrong, it's the fault of (pick one) A)The old administration B)current staff w/ reading comprehension problems C) White women w/ PhD's D) All of the above.

Seriously, I'll continue to educate everyone on the outside about the agency and I'm praying for all of ya'll, too. Take care, T @ 9:02pm

Anonymous said...

I have read comment after comment, it seems to me that everyone would rather play the blame game instead of implementing a plan of action that would prevent these juvenils from ever entering TYC, they have no safety nets in place, no programs to help these misguided youth before they become the states' problem.Then the state wants to piss and moan and bitch because they have to handle them. They have started to eliminate the riff-raff that has plagued TYC but the road is quite long and it certainly will take someone with great leadership skills and knowledge of childhood development to really make a difference with TYC, it doesn't matter the skin color, what matters is just how effective they will be at a suitable reform that we can all live with!i.e. the state, TYC staff,parents, and the youth of tomorrow. These kids will be our future, have we all lost site or focus of what is most important here? Obviously we have or we would not still be trying to play that same old blame game.We would be taking the appropriate steps necessary to ensure that these youth get proper educations and they are reformed into productive citizens of our communities,whether we want to see it or not our youth are the future, our futures!!They will be the ones with the phd's;the leaders of all of our tomorrows. So why not concentrate on empowering them with the tools they will need to be successful instead of just giving up on them or playing the same old blame game because surely it will only end up being the shame game.These youth will learn what they are seeing and hearing, we as a state do not have our own act together,so the million dollar question of the day is"what exactly are we teaching our youth of tomorrow,whether they be in or out of TYC?"

Anonymous said...

David Walenta
Interim Director of Youth Services

Where for art thou Bronco Billy?

Coming Soon, to TDCJ Facility Near You!?!?!

I hope the media pays attention to where this snake reappears in TDCJ.

Anonymous said...

Is Bronco Billy really gone? If so when did it happen?

Anonymous said...

10:42 What do you do? Obviously, you don't work with any of these kids. Also your retirement isn't being threatened by mismanagement. It's easy to wax philosophical when your not part of the battle. These kids aren't anyone's future. Most of them will be dead or in prison in the future. The voters don't care, the gov and lege don't care, and I bet you really don't care. So spare us the speeches about what is really important.

Anonymous said...

The Day I told Eric Young that I had received anoffer outside TYC, he said, "You'll miss it, you will want to come back in about three months."

That was in July.

Eric, I'm loving my new job. I no longer eat a bottle of Rolaids for breakfast. I get to see sunrise over the mountains, and I don't have to read stupid email directives telling me that what I did in the past was wrong, only to have that email contradicted the next day. I threw away my nitro tablets and i am enjoying life as well as my job. Eat your heart out, Eric.

Anonymous said...

Rumor is that the new Conservator is OJ Simpson? They couldn't find any edjumacated white folk to take the position so the Gov settled on the next best thang. Go Juice!!

Anonymous said...

Quote by Dementia Poope

"You had a number of Ph.D.-level white females who sat and wrote programming and a concept," Ms. Pope said. "In theory, it looked great. But you didn't have anyone who tested this on the population."

Hells fire! The south "will" rise again..........!

Anonymous said...

I see Mike Ward, of the AAS, hasn't weighed in on Pope's comments. What a snob.

Anonymous said...

Keep up - Eric Young left TYC over two months ago.

There's barely half a dozen old CO administrators left.

And gee, isn't everything just ever-so-much better?? *snort*

Anonymous said...

"These kids aren't anyone's future. Most of them will be dead or in prison in the future."

6:22, based on this comment, I suggest that you leave your job dealing with these youth. They don't need someone that thinks like you around them to reinforce this message. Saying something like this to a kid is verbal abuse.

Anonymous said...

Believe me Eric is glad he is away from that hell hole as well. Corrupt dam place......

Anonymous said...

Glad that Eric followed my lead.

Most of the good people have left, especially those in leadership roles. I gues Eric just got jealous of the sunrise over the mountains.

Good luck Eric, I'm glad you followed me out.

Anonymous said...

Eric helped create the hell hole he left behind. Get real!!! He was the perfect "YES MAN".

Anonymous said...

There are still some good leaders. They are the ones holding these campuses together while the high profile "yes men (and women)" play the media circus and TRY to cover their own butts. But yes, a few good leaders left and a few really bad ones too.

Anonymous said...

Bronco Billy is still around and kickin. He showed up at the superintendent's meeting at the Assessment Unit today. Not sure, but I hear the topic under discussion was the "restructuring of the facilities" whatever that means. Could be scary....

Anonymous said...

No news on a conservator? Was yesterday's statement of an imminent hiring just a cruel joke?

Anonymous said...

2:25 you missed my point. I would never say that to a kid, but that doesn't mean that isn't true. I've seen the statistics, and no one is doing anything to help these kids. I've worked with kids since I was one. But all you self-righteous people who think TYC staff are selfish for being concerned about their jobs are not doing anything to help those kids. Who are you to tell me to quit my job? What have you done to help. Not a damn thing is my guess.

Anonymous said...

What kind of restructuring? I remember when they were talking about moving superintendents around only two actually were forced to move: Eddie Martinez and Alan Walters. Then they moved one Assistant Superintedent, Jeff Berry. It's kind of curious they moved three facility administrators and two came from the same facility. Also which juvenile justice expert decide how to place their facility administrators. If you look at who is where they have most of their experienced leaders together and their least experienced together:
Al Price-Chuck Jones/M. Studamire they have combined about 6-months as facility administrators.
Crockett-J.Williams/D.Gibbs less than a year combined
Corisicana-R.Thomas/R.Stewart-about 3yrs
Evins-M.Vidarri/J. Gonzales-less than six months combined
Gainesville- G. Hawthorne/K. Haider- combined a little over a year
Brownwood-T.Stroud, T.Adamski & L. Smith- probably 15-20 years combined
Giddings-A. Walters/J.Urbach-about 9 years
Mart I- L. Braly/W. King -a little over a year
Mart II- C. Simmons/C. Barton- close to 15 years combined
Vernon-D. Brooks/J. Berry-combined over 10 years
W. Texas-W. Brown/B.Hollis combined over 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Meet the new Conservator...

Anonymous said...

Grits, check out the new TYC conservator: Richard Nedelkoff.

Interesting choice, and extremely well qualified for the job. Someone who knows a lot about juvenile justice and probation, knows how to handle budgets, and, it appears, an experienced fundraiser who may be able to attract some much needed federal and private funds to TYC.

The place he was working until today, Eckerd Youth Alternatives, is pretty highly respected nonprofit in Florida, which ran highly touted youth programs, and its founders were opponents of the get tough philosophy.

I view this as a real game-changer and it will be interesting to see what he does. At least Gov Perry has given us someone who can be taken seriously.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

The news of the new conservator is great. He has juvenile justice experience and may help prevent us from going to the stone age with Pope and bronco. Maybe he will bring in an executive director that know juvenile justice.

Anonymous said...

Perry to name new TYC conservator, report says
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry named a former aide to President Bush as the new conservator of the troubled Texas Youth Commission on Wednesday.

Richard Nedelkoff, a former Texas criminal justice director under then-governor George W. Bush, is set to take over the agency immediately.

"Impeccable leadership by conservators of TYC has helped Texas make great strides in righting a very troubled agency," said Perry. "Richard's experience and expertise in juvenile and criminal justice make him the right person to finish the job at TYC."

Nedelkoff also served as the director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. More recently, he's been chief operating officer for Eckerd Youth Alternatives in Clearwater, Fla., a private not-for-profit organization that serves at-risk youth through residential and community-based programs in 10 states.

The appointment was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.

There have been two conservators for the agency since last spring, when state leaders ordered an overhaul of the youth commission to address a scandal stemming from the sexual abuse of inmates and agency mismanagement.

"Having worked with Richard on a host of criminal justice issues for nearly a decade, I know that he is a man who gets things done quickly and gets things done right," former TYC Conservator Jay Kimbrough said. "With decades' worth of experience as a leader in justice matters, he is more than capable of instilling the fortitude to get and keep TYC on track."

Anonymous said...

Well, lets just see what we get from the new conservator. David Walanta is a complete joke also. I don't really care how long someone has been do something....that doesn't give it merit of working and it doesn't give credability. I don't think Bronco Billy is gone...he was just here at the Mart II Unit yesterday...and Walanta was here too. So, there must be something up. They maybe trying to plot but I am sure some parent, is watching and waiting....this is going to go down pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Eckerd Youth Alternatives submit a bid for the recent request for proposal for a little boys program and in the cancelled request for proposals in the sping also for a little boys program and a secure program for older youth?

Anonymous said...


I have had my Angel Wings removed.
But I still have my dresses with the edvidence in place...look out boys

Anonymous said...

Perry appoints new TYC conservator
By Mike Ward | Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 12:42 PM

Richard Nedelkoff, the former head of the federal agency that oversees criminal justice statistics and a career youth-services and corrections worker, has been selected as the next conservator of the troubled Texas Youth Commission, the governor’s office announced today.

Nedelkoff replaced Ed Owens, a Texas prison official who left the job almost two months ago and has since gone to work for a private corrections firm. He had served since early last summer.

Before Owens, former Perry aide Jay Kimbrough served as conservator for about three months, after the agency was placed under special supervision by Perry amid a sex-abuse and cover-up scandal.

With more than six decades of experience in youth and family services in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida — as a probation officer, child protective services caseworker and detention worker, and a foster care coordinator — Nedelkoff most recently worked in executive posts as a corrections consultant and for a nonprofit youth services organization, according to copies of his resume that were distributed today to state officials.

Nedelkoff served in Texas during the 1990s under then-Gov. George W. Bush as head of Bush’s criminal justice division. He then served as director of the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance in Washington.

Nedelkoff left that job in June 2003 to become president of Riga Solutions Group Inc., a management consulting firm that that does work for public safety and human service agencies across the country.

Anonymous said...

"With more than six decades of experience in youth and family services"

How old is this guy? 60 years of experience! I hope the tax payers don't have to buy him a walker and a new hover-round! Pope's new job is nurse maid! Watch out Richard Pope will suck the life out of you but you will probably enjoy it!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm praying but the first gut reaction I have is the final stroke for contract care.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. call me crazy but I think Contract Care will do well under the new conservator...

Florida company seeks Kerr County building

Web Posted: 05/30/2007 12:13 AM CDT

Express-News and wire reports

KERRVILLE — Kerr County is negotiating with a Florida company that wants to lease the vacant 48-bed juvenile detention building next to the county's current youth lockup.
Richard Nedelkoff, chief operations officer of Eckerd Youth Alternatives, appeared at a Tuesday meeting at which commissioners authorized talks on leasing the site, which was used by the county until it scaled back its operations to the newer 24-bed facility next door last year.

The lease would be contingent on the company's obtaining a contract with the Texas Youth Commission, or possibly other counties, to house detainees, officials said.

Anonymous said...

It just gets deeper and deeper.

Didn't these people have problems in DFlorida that were reported a few days later?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a political appointment to get ole Rich back to Texas. If Kimbrough is giving the guy good press, I have concerns that he may be a kiss ass from way back with a knack to stab people in the back without blinking. I hope he can fix TYC and get it going the right direction, but if Pope is untouchable, he is screwed coming out of the gate. Rich, if you are a gritter, one piece of advice, talk to the juvenile justice experts that Kimbrough, Owens, and Pope ran out of TYC, you may gain better insight into leading TYC in the right direction. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I guess it is time for the Contract Care specialists to step in and take over. How handy to have the TYC Conservator representing contract care companies. I am sure there is no conflict of interest. With Bronco Billy having a meeting about restructuring TYC it looks like CONTRACT CARE is the new structure of TYC.

There is still one option for staffing TYC that has not been explored: using TDCJ Trusties to man TYC. They would not be employees, so the no felon policy would not apply. What an idea! They couldn’t quit! Hells Bells this could be a gold mine for Contract Care while reducing prison population. The TDCJ Trusties could live at the TYC unit.

Anonymous said...

Kerr County-- Is that not Whitmore country? Get the drift?

Anonymous said...

"Impeccable leadership by conservators of TYC has helped Texas make great strides in righting a very troubled agency," said Perry. "Richard’s experience and expertise in juvenile and criminal justice make him the right person to finish the job at TYC." Check out -

What is Rick Perry talking about? What great strides in righting TYC is Rick Perry talking about? What pure BS!!! Two major screw-up’s preceded this guy. Does Rick Perry believe the crap he saying or does he think everyone in Texas is his Bitch? Put the blunt down and step away from the crack pipe Rick. Dude you have had more than enough party time. Oh excuse me, I forgot Rick had an over whelming mandate from 39% of the voters in Texas!!! Puke – Puke – Puke !!! Sorry about that, thinking about Rick Perry too much makes me upchuck!

I say we lock Good Hair and all his money grubbing buddies up in TYC and let the kids screw them in the butt. Hey, what goes around, comes around!

My doctor wrote me a stress leave, yee haw!!! 30 days vacation before I start my new job and get paid to do it! Hope TYC has the money to pay me for all my overtime and leave time when I quit in January. Poope don’t piss off my OT money redecorating Central Office. Have a very Merry Christmas Poope - I am!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I want to know one thing is Needle Whatever White????

Anonymous said...

Where is Stupid Al Sharpton or Dumbass Jesse Jackson when you need them??? Its funny that a Person like Pope would walk away untouched by making a Racist Statement!!!!If it were said like the other way we would have these fools like Jackson or Sharpton on CNN Crying to the public to get the person fired.
Its amazing what Texans puts up with from Black Racist like Pope...Look what they did to Imus!!!!You know the Black Panthers were going to March in Brownwood before Cotton was released so who marches in Austin for us????????????? Thats what I thought No One as usual....

Anonymous said...


Looks like yes.

Anonymous said...

From: Richard Nedelkofr [RNedelkoff~eckerd.argl
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 11:27 PM
Cc: Ellyn Evans; Pamela Griffith; Alex Reed; Glen McKenae; Robert McKeagney; Linda Jewell
Subject: Kerr County Juvenile Detention Center
Attachments: Kerr County Juvenile Detention FaraGty info request.doc
May 22, 2007
Commissioner Williams:
Thank you for your leadership and assistance in working with Eckerd Youth Alternatives Inc. (EYA). I
appreciate your allowing Kevin Stanton, Detention Facility Director to work with Glen McKenzie to
obtain information about the facility. I understand that you have placed Eckerd's interest on next
Tuesday's agenda for the Commissioner's Court.
It would be most helpful if we could obtain the following information related to the 48-bed Juvenile
Detention Center Glen toured with Kevin last week. While I know the facility has been vacant for a
while, if you have any of the information prior to its vacancy that would be helpful. If not, perhaps
Kevin could look into that, please.
Ifistorical facility costs, last 2 - 3 years or most recent 12 month period:
. Utilities: electric, gas, water/sewer, garbage/trash removal
. Phone system: number of lines, type of system, average cost
. Maintenance agreements:
- Pest control
- A/C units, if applicable
- Security systems: key control, fence, control room monitors, fire suppression system,
sprinklers, radios
- Other
. Equipment: Listing of any/all equipment that is provided under the lease: washers/dryers, kitchen
equipment, lawn maintenance, etc.
Under the lease, we will perform all routine maintenance, but we should discuss how all non-routine
maintenance will be handled. Can you help me in the Court's definition of non-routine maintenance,
such as roof, equipment physically attached to the buildings, etc.?
Lastly, I will need to find out the process for obtaining a certificate of occupancy and the local
inspections that would be required (health dept, county fire inspector, etc.). As we area 501 (c) 3 and
tax exempt, EYA should not have to be assessed any taxes.
I very much look forward to working with you and your fine community. With the Court's support, I
know this project will be a terrific addition to Kerr County, Texas.
Thank you again for all your help and support.
Page 2 of 2
Richard Nedelkoff, MS, JD.
Chief Operating Officer
Eckerd Youth Attematrves
100 N.Starcrest Drive
Clearwater, Fbrida 33765
(727)- 461-1236, ext. 430
(727) 580- 7533
rnedelkoff@eck_erd.o rq

From: Glen McKenzie []
Sent: Saturday, May 19, 2007 3:50 PM
To: Bill WilNams
Cc: Richard Nedelkofr
Subject: Kerr County Juvenile Detention Faality
Importance: High
Commissioner Williams -just left a phone message for you. tNe would like to proceed with working towards the
possibility of leasing yourjwenile detention facility as discussed. I would request that you proceed with obtaining
a Commissioner's Court resolution to support the lease of this facility to the Eckard Youth and Fatuity
Attematives. Please let me know if there is anything 1 should do to assist in this task.
At the same time, I wilt send you a letter that you could place on your County's letterhead documenting your
support of us coming into your county and leasing the facility so we can include that in our response to the TYC
proposal. With this letter I will send you, 1 need your help in obtaining the same type of written support from the
local elected officials, Sheriff, State RepresentativelSenator and any others you might recommend.
As a point of information, I still have not received the floor plans that Kevin was to overnight to me. Along with the
floor plans he was to get copied, can you also ask Kevin to send me a copy of the emergency disaster plan for the
faality? Those documents are required for our proposal submission as well. If you can assist in that, I
would greatly appreaate your assistance.
Thank you again and we look forvvard to working with you in making this a great success.
Glen E. McKenzie
512-578-1800 (c)

2105 Clover Lane, Cedar Park, Texas
• 1990 - 1992 Graduate hours in Criminal Justice,
Southwest Texas State University
• 1980 Masters Degree in Health Professions, Allied Health Research,
Southwest Texas State University
• 1974 Bachelors Degree in Psychology,
Southwest Texas State University
2007-Present Consultant,EckcadYouthAlternatives Provides consuhationn~vdiugjuvenilen~idartialfacililiesin
Texas in citing prograuls.
2005-Present Consultan~Altenurti~ResirkntialMceurgemerrtServices,Mesa7hen~euticFosterFami[y, Williams
House (FmeigencY Sryeelter) -Provides advanced consultative services to the Presidem and Exeadve Directs regartling
.~ juvenile cmections services and opetatioas.
2004 Present Correctional Accreditation Consultant -Provides technical assistance and management
expertise to Executive Directors of juvenile correctional facilities on initial and reaccreditation activities
of the American Correctional Association.
2000 -Present Certified Correc6orxrlAuditor, American Correctional AssociaBon, Lcvrlxan, Marylwtd - Serves as an
audit beam member and air audit Chair far corredioml audits to review pradioes of individual juvenile cbnectional
facilities in compariswr to national cbrrroctional staidards promulgated by the ACA
2004 - 2006 Delegate AssemblyMember, Americrn Conec[ional Association - Elected members of this body save to
vote on c~rectional policies and resohrtiors anti to provide oareetional leadership.
2004 -2006 l~iceL7rair, Jrnenile Correcdwas Committee, American Correctional Association -- Acts as Chair ~'
Juvenile Corrections Committee hr the absax~e of the Chair to revisit the Conditions of Cmd'inceient: Juvenile
Detergion anti Corredioris Faalities Research Reoart, to review Performance Baseal Standards project work of CJCA,
ideniify correctional Ixiorities fa the future, etc.
1998 20113 Texan Youth Commirrron, CenbalOjJlce, Austin, TexasAccreditadon Coordinator -Coordinated,
facilitated, and expedited the agency's projects to attain and maintain accredited status by the
American Correctional Association, Commission on Standards and Accreditation for the agency's
training schools, community residential facilities, and aftercaze services.
1988 - 1998 Texas Youth Commission, Central Office, Ausdrr, Texas Program Administrator -Directed
"' and tamed out activities assigned by the Director of Juvenile Corrections in the management of
institutions. Prior to a re-organization of the Juvenile Corrections Department in 1995, I assisted the
Director of Institutions in the management of institutional services to all TYC delinquent institutions
through directing the development, review, and approval of plans for improvement of institutional
operations. Served as an Accreditation Coordinator Team Member during the American Correctional
Association accreditation process for TYCs facilities.

Sorry for all the typos but that's the way it was posted on the web...
Just who is this McKinzie character? Does anyone remember him from TYC? If he's still with EYA won't it be AWESOME for him to be butt buddies w/ the new TYC Conservator? Gotta Love It !!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting, this tells me that Glen will be back soon. Don't really remember much about him, except he was alot like the rest of the educated whites in CO that Pope loves.

Anonymous said...

If Gov Goodhair had any balls, he would have appointed a doctoral level female cracker as the Conservator. So she could smacked Pope up side her nappy head.

Anonymous said...

Last I heard the Gov.'s balls were in the saddlebags on Jay's Harley.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think that Pope will be kicked out of her ED position by the new Conservator?

Anonymous said...

Enough already--Why does the race card have to be played?????--that sure is a catchall to avoid responsibility. Looks like it isn't the "white females" promoting racism in this situation. If the "white females" are the problem then what does that make the "Superintendent" at Gainesville who can't write an email without a spelling and/or a grammatical error--Ms. Pope you have copies of these--oh, yea my job is "at will" and I can get fired for such a statement--oh, look, a double standard huh???? Well Merry CHRISTmas to all--maybe if God weren't taken out of so many things we wouldn't have so much IGNORANCE to tolerate---when do you think people will figure out it's a weakness to keep playing the "race card"--satan is getting a lot of pleasure out of that. Isn't it a shame that even the Executive Director of TYC can't focus on the goal of the agency, THE KIDS because she has "racist" issues she needs to deal with. Yes, we should stand up and demand her resignation for such an unprofessional remark--better yet, if I were a parent of one of our youth I would be even more concerned that the "appointed" Executive Director does not have my child's best interest at heart--how can she when she has no professionalism to set aside her own personal prejudices to be an appropriate role model???? Surely we aren't expected to "respect" someone who is so disrespectful. Boy, this just keeps getting better and better. Stayed tuned for the continuing saga of "As TYC turns." Somehow I just don't think this is going to be taken lightly--I for one am forwarding the comment to EEOC.

Anonymous said...

Nope. She's off limits.

Anonymous said...

ok, 10:06 that is enough! For gods sake dont start turning this blog into a Xrated trash talking place.
Not taking up for Pope, but please keep these sexual comments for sex blogs. Your comment is disgusting and I hope Mr.Henson removes it from this blog.

The "white Female" deal is going to go unnoticed by the ones in the lege and the newspapers, because they don't want to deal with the subject matter. The only way it would have drawn any attention from the media if it had been written the other way.

You know comments like the white female are not valued by those who have no respect for the one that said them. That is how you deal with that.

If you have no respect for someone then what they say to you does not mean nothing. It is like they don't even exsist in this world. Just some sh-- floating in the air taking up space that someone who is important to this earth could use.

Anonymous said...

New conservator or not, things are not going to change until those running TYC are removed from their positions. This is part of PRS 05-11, dated 12-14-2007, another example that all they want to do is to continue hiring their unqualified friends, at inflated salaries.

Direct Appointment.

After a position in salary group B14 or higher has been posted, the hiring authority may seek authorization to appoint a qualified applicant to the position. Only the director of human resources, the executive director, or their designees may authorize a direct appointment.

Prior to appointment, the hiring authority must ensure that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the posted position.

At the discretion of the hiring authority, the appointment process may include document screening, interviews, and follow-up interviews.

The selection packet submitted to the Central Office Human Resources Department must include:

written authorization for the direct appointment;any interview questions used; and justification for selection of the applicant, including, if applicable, veteran’s employment preference.

Isn't this what those in charge have being doing since March? Why bother now placing this in policy? Since when they follow policy anyway?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

fyi, I deleted the piece of mysoginist garbage that was posted at 10:06 about Ms. Pope, for reasons that were obvious to anyone who read it.

Two commenting rules on this blog: Don't libel, and make an argument, not a slur. I tolerate pretty rough comments as long as they're part of an argument. When there's no point and pure vitriolic slur, as with 10:06, I'll just delete them. I'm tired of these TYC strings being so nasty and personal - these are important public policy issues, and this not junior high.

Show some self-respect, people, even if you don't respect the forum for conversation Grits provides you. Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I bet ole Poop will love having a "WHITE" boss, to bad he doesn't have a Ph.D
Is her acting career over?
Let's all pray for miracles this Christmas

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like the new conservator will at least be an effective paper pusher and won't let things like not enough money for overtime to surprise him.

I have so little faith in this governor, legislature, and TYC administration.