Monday, July 26, 2010

The wish list, an empty, overbuilt jail, and the irony of short-sighted NIMBYism

A few blogworthy odds and ends:

Law enforcement wish list
Law enforcement interests gathered in North Texas this week to hash out their collective legislative wish list.

Jail pitched as paying for itself losing contracts
Add Dickens County to the list of places that overbuilt their local jails aiming to lease extra space for a profit, only to find taxpayers saddled with sizable debt for a mostly empty facility now that demand for beds is dropping.

Can someone please audit metal detectors at juvie detention centers?
A teenager somehow got a gun through intake at the juvenile detention facility in Tyler and opened fire on a juvenile detention officer (who thankfully escaped uninjured), an incident reminiscent of the one last year in Harris County where a juvenile got a gun through a metal detector and strip search at the juvenile detention facility there. Once may be a quirk; twice is a pattern and I'm guessing these may not be the only examples of lax security procedures at juvie detention intake.

NIMBYism short-sighted, counterproductive
NIMBYism, this time in Dallas, remains the biggest obstacle to creating much-needed supportive housing for the mentally ill. Poor, mostly minority neighborhoods complain the facilities shouldn't be predominantly located in their area, but the irony is, if they're not built, ex-offenders will predominantly return to their neighborhoods, anyway - they'll just be more likely to be homeless and desperate.

Ex-TYC staffer charged with sexual assault
Another (former) TYC employee, this time from the Evins Unit in South Texas (he was fired last year in 2003 over separate allegations that he tried to attack one of his detainees), faces allegations of sexual assault against three teenagers. I normally wouldn't mention the case at this stage if TYC hadn't had such a tumultuous recent episode requiring sexual abuse of youth under its care, but in that light perhaps it's worth keeping the case on our radar screen.


Anonymous said...

Note that this guy was fired almost 7 years ago. In other words, long before the "reforms."

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show there are many still around, hidden in the TYC odor - driven walls. Will it ever end? NO.

Anonymous said...

Would be nice to have some discussion of current issues with TYC. Nice reporting grits.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

9:54, you get more discussion of issues at TYC here than from any other source, and have for a long time. If it's not up to your high standards, start your own blog and show me how it's done.

Anonymous said...

So Lubbock's new jail is housing Dickens' inmates. Dickens is hit with a double whammy. Loss of income, loss of jobs in an already poor county. Maybe the jail/prison economy is about to collapse?
Charles in Tulia

Anonymous said...

Thanks Grits. Some TYC people only want to hear about how great TYC is, rather than the truth about the agency. Some things will never change. Great reporting.

Hook Em Horns said...

How, exactly, does one get a gun through intake? It sounds to me as if someone is not doing there job.

Anonymous said...

Hook 'em it's easier than you think -- especilly when the employee is on the payrool of a local gang. This sort of thing has not been uncommon at Evins or Al Price, i.e., gang payoffs of staff. Unofficially it will be acknowledged and off the record it will be admitted, but never tell the press!!

I think your wording on the TYC report was a little vague, Grits, but it tells a story that only has been partially opened by the Brookins-Hernandez scandal in Pyote.

Anonymous said...

Re: Dickens County
2000 census, 2762
Probably lost 10% or more since then if it's like other rural WT counties.

Charles in Tulia

Anonymous said...

"This sort of thing has not been uncommon at Evins or Al Price, i.e., gang payoffs of staff. "

How the heck are staff holding *juvenile* inmates paid off by prison gangs (AFAIK prison gang leadership consists of adults)? Are there criminal gangs of adults who control these kids and then try to pay off the correctional officers to try to hamper the correctional system?

Also Evins and Price are located in relatively populated areas (compared to, say, Pyote, TX) - There shouldn't be a shortage of decent prison guards and good staff members in those places.

Anonymous said...

4:47 must be part of the Austin TYC mis-leadership. Obviously unaware of the situation, or perhaps as at Pyote, aware but looking the other way. Our leadership culture is the same as when the scandal began and continues on with the same attitude and direction from Austin. They say turtles withdraw into their shells when trouble appears. Are they somewhat kin to our Austin leaders?

Anonymous said...

It seems like folks are conflating two stories here - one about a gun in a JDC (which has nothing to do with TYC) and another about a former TYC employee who was terminated as unfit in 2003 and is now charged with sexual offenses occuring at the karate dojo he operates.

Anonymous said...

Where do we place this information? It may be false but we don't think so.

According to sources from the court,
for the Honorable JUDGE LISA K. JARRETT have not been turned in for recording. We are talking about 2009, last year. This list is suppose to be brought to the appropriate department for recording for public record between Oct 2009 and Jan 2010.