Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Reform this agency or I'll cut you: Jay Kimbrough returns to TJJD

The Governor's "fixer," Jay Kimbrough, is going to resolve whatever's wrong with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department or else whip out his knife and cut anybody who gets in his way. At least part of me hopes so. If he brandishes it just once more at another government official, Kimbrough's would be the most famous Texan knife since Jim Bowie's! Okay, perhaps it won't come to that, but it's nearly the only way this whole TYC/TJJD saga could get any weirder, and when the going gets tough in Texas, the tough frequently get weird.

Kidding aside, the Texas Tribune's Brandi Grissom reports the remarkable news that Mr. Kimbrough will be returning to TJJD. Her story opens:
The man who has become Gov. Rick Perry's problem solver, Jay Kimbrough, is going back to the state's juvenile justice agency, which is facing a crisis again five years after the last time he helped bail the agency out of a major scandal.

"I am pleased that Jay has agreed to help TJJD as we restore legislative, public and employee confidence that Texas is operating facilities that are safe for both employees and youth,” Texas Juvenile Justice Department Executive Director Cherie Townsend said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Kimbrough, who will be on loan from the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he serves as assistant director of homeland security, served as conservator of the Texas Youth Commission in 2007 after investigative news reports revealed horrendous sexual and physical abuse at juvenile lockups. He will act as special assistant for safety and security at TJJD.
Long time readers will recall Kimbrough was briefly assigned to oversee the Texas Youth Commission in the early days after the media reports revealed the agency had covered-up sex scandals and tolerating abusive employees. He left to make way for Ed Owens' disastrous conservatorship, which sought to turn TYC into a mini-adult prison system, bringing in fumbling leadership from TDCJ as well as an adult security mentality heavily reliant on pepper spray and solitary confinement. Repeating that failed approach would be a nightmare.

On the other hand, it was also Kimbrough who authored TYC's initial moves to reduce youth inmate populations, an approach that has worked well beyond anyone's imagination, allowing the state to close multiple youth prison units while juvenile crime has continued to plummet.

So I'm at least slightly sanguine that Kimbrough's appointment won't necessarily spawn a repeat of the unhappy era when Ed Owens and his associates from TDCJ drew down a bevy of lawsuits and near-rebellion among staff. Whether or not it was Kimbrough's intention to foist adult practices onto juvenile corrections, he's now seen that approach didn't work and he's nothing if not a pragmatic man. A fellow as fond as Kimbrough of bold moves can't help but sometimes make a wrong turn, but in my observation he's not the type of fellow to make the same mistake twice. And he may decide the state should double down on the part of his strategy that did work: Further de-incarceration and shifting responsibility for supervising more delinquent youth back to the local level.

Even longer-time readers will recall Kimbrough's "fixer" stint helping the the Department of Public Safety try to rein in Texas' regional narcotics task forces in the wake of 2005 legislation putting them under the command and control of the DPS Narcotics division. Many task forces simply refused to comply, and the Governor's Criminal Justice Division ultimately eliminated their funding entirely in 2006, shifting the federal grant money which for two decades had supported hundreds of narcotics officers to a combination of border enforcement and diversion programming, with an emphasis on specialty courts. In essence, they shifted responsibility for drug-enforcement downstream to the local level much like TYC shifted responsibility for supervising more delinquent youth back to the counties.

At TYC, Kimbrough had good instincts about reducing inmate populations but not about putting Ed Owens and his TDCJ cadres in charge when he left, to the extent that was his call. OTOH, in my view he knocked the drug-task force issue out of the park. And in both instances, one notes, part of his approach was to eliminate failing institutions instead of reform them, which may give a hint as to one possible approach he could take at TJJD along the same lines.

One of the major alternatives being bandied about is to eliminate most of the rest of juvenile detention facilities (they probably can't get rid of the mental health beds) and shift more money and responsibility to counties to manage delinquent youth. If Kimbrough decides Texas youth prisons are completely dysfunctional, as was the case with the drug-task force system, will he similarly recommend a wipe-the-slate-clean approach? At this point nothing would surprise me.

At least formally, Kimbrough has been brought in as an assistant to Cherie Townsend, though a "special assistant" with the Governor on speed dial won't always be perceived or necessarily behave as a subordinate. Hold onto your hats. The agency is no doubt in for another tumultuous year between now and the end of the 2013 legislative session.


Anonymous said...

So, is Kimbrough really going to institute programs that concentrate on reforming youth? Or, is he better at trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole, and then just throwing out the pegboard altogether after he breaks it, calling it "dysfunctional" and covering it up with a thicker blanket? We need a fixer - not a destroyer.

If you are going to reform youth, you need to educate them - period. You can't function in society unless you can feed and clothe yourself.

Anonymous said...

LOL....must not be that important a job over at TDPS if he can just drop what he's doing and run over and do Townsends job.

Embarrassing of several fronts for us all !

Anonymous said...

Holy infatuation, Batman! Grits has a man crush on Jay Kimbrough! Next thing you know he'll be leaving his IPOT gig and hiring on over at Rick Perry's office! Say it ain't so! LOL!

Anonymous said...

It's easy to slash and burn; much harder to come up with effective programming that rehabilitates the worst juvenile offenders in the state while keeping everyone safe.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Next thing you know he'll be leaving his IPOT gig and hiring on over at Rick Perry's office!"

Do you think they're hiring? I'll bet they'd pay a lot better than IPOT! :)

Anonymous said...

At least Kimbrough knows how to handle tough situations and implement reform. Staff uniforms would be a great start. Next hold kids accountable.
Listening from most counties they would welcome more diversionary money funnelled down so they could place kids in most appropriate place. If other mental health sites were available at a affordable cost then ALL of our facilities including halfway houses would close.

Anonymous said...


If Whitmire wants Kimbrough to lock down all facilities and go bed-to-bed and see every kid, and determine if he's a threat to others and needs a higher level of security and get rid of him - what is he saying, send them to prison? Those institutions are the highest level of security we have. Whitmire also asked him to identify those that can be returned to community based treatment and get those out. I don't have a problem with that at all, but that will mean two things. Former TYC institutions will all shut down. Second, if a kid cannot make it in the community, then he goes to prison. Is that how you interpret his comment?

Like I said, if that's the plan - then fine by me.

DeathBreath said...

Many think that law enforcement understands the criminal mind, but they generally don't have a clue. Yes, they understand criminal behavior & how to apprehend, but once they get the offender, they are lost. This is an extremely difficult population to manage. But, the simple solution is to return the problem to the county level. In a game of smoke and mirrors, everyone loses. In the mean time, those with conduct disorder continue to manipulate the system. This is a symptom of failed leadership at many levels in the Texas political arena starting at the Governor's office. What buffoons! The knife-wielding approach is the approach of a fool.

Instead of training staff to recognize & manage those with severe conduct disorders, the tough approach is applied. I am reminded of a three-legged donkey walking across a burning tightrope.

I am basing my remarks on over twenty-two years of experience in the mental health department of TDCJ-ID. If you want insight, read Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D. & you will better understand my orientation.

BB said...

Scott Henson,
You are a subjective idiot when discussing 2007 and Edward Glen Owens & Associates. Between July - September of 2007, this man did what he had to do to stop the brutality and restore some order within those facilities. It is true that pepper spray had to be utilized. Would you have preferred that the staff be allowed to continnue to break the youths arms and dislocate their shoulders?

Look at the data from those months and stop being ignorant.


Anonymous said...

The biggest security threat that exist in the TJJD is Cherie Townsend and James Smith. Kimbrough would be wise to save his time and start there.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:13 am:

Is BB "Bronco Billy???" Is that you Bronco?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Sounds like Bronco Billy, doesn't it 10:24?

To 10:13, the problem with what you're saying is that TYC's spray-first policy didn't pass muster in court. Fantasize about the good ol' days under Ed Owens all you want, but there's a reason those tactics were abandoned.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully kimbrough will scrap and make local responsible for thei own. Its asinine to send out more diversionary money. Make each county carry their own burden. Why should state money go to largest departments starving out others?

Anonymous said...

Once People realize that everyone in TJJD is not going to be rehabilitated, it will be easier to find a solution.

There is a time and a place for pepper spray and room confinement, contrary to what advocates say on the issue.

STOP listening to child advocates, they have no clue on how to manage violent youth in secure settings.

Anonymous said...

At this point the counties have reduced TYC committments by about two thirds which means that the juveniles who are currently being incarcerated in TYC facitlies are there BECAUSE THEY POSED A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE PUBLIC, and in most cases had exhausted all community programming prior to committment. Does Jay Kimbrough have a crystal ball that gives him more insight than the the probation officers, judges, counselors and others who have worked with a child for what is usually years of community based services before they reach the point of incarceration? What I still can't grasp is that state lawmakers, against the recommendation of all stakeholders, merged the agency that lowered committment levels beyond expectations with the agency in crisis involving sexual predators working as staff, cover-ups of sexual abuse allegations, and fiscal irresponsibility. And in doing so, gave control of the the new agency to ....wait, you guessed it...the folks who were in crisis to begin with! To say I am filled with resentment is an understatement. If Senator Whitmire and Govorner Perry want positive reform,why put the people in charge with the proven track record of failures?

Anonymous said...

Hey 1:12 - why not send the population you just described to the prison system? I believe that's what Whitmire has in mind. If they need that much supervision, they can get it in TDCJ. I bet you 10-1 that's what Whitmire wants. Read his comments in the Austin American Statesman yesterday about what he wants Kimbrough to do...

Anonymous said...

Is there a state agency in Texas that isn't dysfunctional? I think the population has just grown past the point where things can be run the way they used to be. Its impossible to adequately manage a state government this size with legislature that meets only a few months every other year.

I have a suggestion: I think the best solution would be to do what, at least I've heard was allowed by the agreement when Texas entered the Union. Split it up into 5 smaller states. I know, Texas pride will never let that happen, but it would make things much more manageable.

Anonymous said...

3:15 - your comment is completely idiotic and you certainly cannot be from Texas. Your statement saying all agencies within Texas are dysfunctional lacks merit and even intelligence.

Seriously, get on the theme of this thread.

Anonymous said...

11:50 - you are right on!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5/09/2012 01:29:00 PM said:

"Hey 1:12 - why not send the population you just described to the prison system? I believe that's what Whitmire has in mind. If they need that much supervision, they can get it in TDCJ. I bet you 10-1 that's what Whitmire wants. Read his comments in the Austin American Statesman yesterday about what he wants Kimbrough to do..."

Doesn't Whitmire own a stake in some private facilities or halfway houses? If so, maybe he wants to send some youth there.

Anonymous said...

Community based programs are HWH's. I also think some residential placements that were operated by the TJPC will be the new TJJD placement options. I believe he wants the ones that can't handle being in there need to head to the house - that being TDCJ. Look between the lines of what he's saying. The former TYC institutions, the last of them, he wants gone because they are ineffective not because of the employees, but this administration. And no I don't believe he has any steak in community based programs. I'm sure that would have come out if he did. But who knows?

BB said...


Don't be hypersensitive. I follow your comments on this blog daily because you are extremely informative, and I usually agree with you. Just do us both a favor. Objectively analyze the data from July, August and September of 2007 in these categories:

- Physical Restraints
- Injuries to Youth
- Youth on Youth Assaults
- Staff Assaults
- Workers Compensation

Tell me what you find. I apologize for being discourteous earlier.


Anonymous said...

If Kimbrough couldn't fix the agency last time, what makes you think he can do it now? It's the mandates that the Whitmires and such placed on the agency that's causing problems.

Anonymous said...

Kimbrough is back to do what he does best...drop the hammer. Only this time there are no juvenile justice professionals to get rid of, so maybe he'll get rid of the incompetents that currently inhabit CO and hold administrative positions in the field, from the top down. His presence in TJJD tells me that someone has finally realized that the problems are real and that the current administration is incapable of fixing them. He needs to read the Moss Report, the ACA results and the DOJ Agreed Order and see if any of the identifed "fixes" are still in place. Those corrective actions fell by the wayside as soon as DOJ, ACA and the Moss Group left town. On the lighter side, I can't believe that anyone thinks that staff uniforms will bring order out of chaos, they need to stop smoking so much crack. Uniforms don't do shit if the people wearing them are not well trained, competent and committed to truly helping kids. Until that happens, there will be no change.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that uniforms will not make any real effect, but it will help to tell the youth from staff and hopefully bring some degree of professionalism.
And maybe then they can concentrate on getting rid of the treatment program they call context ions and the person who helped write and script this piece of crap, yes I am referring to Rebecca Cox. This is another trait of Townsend, promoting and allowing former superintendents who could not cut it in the field and making them directors in upper management. Someone has to bring some form of sanity back into this constant chaos. I cannot tell you how difficult it has been trying to hold group with these youth over the past 4 years.

Anonymous said...

If someone in authority would ask someone who actually works in the field they would know the plan is simple:
Relieve Townsend of her position
Relieve Smith of his position
Fire a couple of the Superintendents and rotate the others
Put line staff back in charge of the youth
Relieve the supervisors of their position if they can't treat staff with respect
Throw away the PlayStation games
Set consequences
Leave staff that have the desire to work together as a team and get rid of those that don't
I'm sure I've missed something but this would be a good start at "re-shaping the system"

RAS said...

If all of the kids we have now are sent to prison, or most of them, we would be losing a chance to help kids that are mostly good. At least 95% of the kids I've dealt with were basicly good kids that have lost faith in society in one way or another. Almost all respond positivly if they are treated fairly; tell the truth to them and about them ( don't improve incident reports) don't let them get away with anything they do wrong (even the big scary ones) and defend them if they are falsely accused. On several occasions I have had kids prevent other kids from assaulting me because I had earned their respect by showing consistently that I cared more about improving their outlook than I worried about them making me look bad. I am not unique, a large percentage of staff believe pretty much the same as I do. As I used to have the kids write lines saying 'Honorable men never need to lie'. Respect for the truth will correct almost all of the behavior that gets kids locked up.

Anonymous said...

10:22 has pretty well summed up what it will take if Mr. Kimbrough is serious about rescuing TJJD from the brink of disaster. He will need to AT LEAST start with the suggestions posted above. I can add a few more:

ELIMINATE the slip-n-slides, snow cones, BBQ's/pizza parties, birthday party cakes, kite flying, bribes by caseworkers, latenights and sleep in's on weekends, practically unrestricted cable TV viewing, first run movies on DVD, snack shack privileges, and anything and EVERYTHING ELSE that makes it easy for the youth to forget WHY they are locked up.

They don't have to actually go to the penitentiary to learn how to do a little penance... it might even do them some good, huh?

Anonymous said...

The kids in county lock-ups receive consequences for their actions, even though they have been held back some by advocacy groups too. That is the real problem, advocacy groups have never worked within a facility but they think they know it all.
Uniforms will go a long way not just identifying staff from kids but setting the authority boundary. Kids need to have respect for staff and if staff look like their gang banger buddies back home why would they treat them differently. Staff then need to earn the kids respect by treating them with respect. First though they need to get them in line.

Anonymous said...

The advocacy groups know laws and civil rights - something that lockup personnel are lacking in, or don't care to adhere to. A dress code for employees would be good. However, uniforms achieve nothing in TYC/TJJD.

Anonymous said...

The gangsters have the TJJD staff intimidated. Back when they were in their hood, they had their neighborhood intimidated. They could act with impunity back then and they can act with impunity now. They got to assault their neighbors then and they get to assault staff and smaller youth now. Some say, return them to their community so they can do their thing.

diogenes said...

If you want to do unifroms, make sure they are of sufficient quality to survive more than one cycle in the washing machine. The last batch we were given were made in Pakistan or Afghanistan (I forget which of the two) and they fell apart after two washes.

Also, get a uniform scheme that won't embarrass the employees. "Saffron", "Wildflower", and whatever the other color was were just silly. It was like Star Trek; instead of red shirts the JCO staff wore a pastel blue. They had about the same effect, too.

Anonymous said...

When advocacy groups suggest treating every one of our behavior issue kids like a saint and not allowing us to correct behavior issues it becomes a dangerous situation. Kids realize they can act out and not receive any consequences for negative behavior, so they act out more and more. Most law abiding parents punish their own children by sending them to their rooms at least for a time out. We cannot send a kid who is brutally acting out to ther "room" at all until bed time. County facilities have time restrictions on how long a child can be placed in room confinement too but at least they can enforce some rules and regulations.

Anonymous said...

Like Rahm Emmanuel said "Never let a crisis go to waste". When TYC came under scrutiny (and rightly so) for the abuse that was taking place, advocates saw this as an opportunity to reform the system.

While advocates play an important role, they are clueless as to how to handle non-compliant youth. They believe that every juvenile deep down wants to change and it is probation/counselors role to ensure they are given every tool to make that happen. And if the juvenile continues in their delinquent conduct, somehow the counselor/probation officer failed....complete nonsense!!

In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Deborah Fowler (Appleseed) had the audicity to suggest that the current problems are due to staff not embracing cultural change (the new buzz word in juvenile reform). Once again, shifting the blame away from the assaultive juvenile on to the staff member.

After last legislative session, probation department's recidivism numbers will be monitored three years out. If recidivism is high, it can impact funding. So, if a juvenile assults his mother at the age of 16 and he gets arrested again at 19, we failed??

If a kid gets arrested with a sack of weed at 15 and then at 18 gets arrested with weed again, it's my fault?? Even if we sent him to checmical dependency counseling for the 6 months he was on supervision, it reflects on me if he makes the personal choice to continue using marijuana??

Herein lies the problem... Government can't make mom be a good mom and goverment can't make dad be a good dad....but they can place all kinds of rules, standards and expectations on government employees...and then blame them when the outcome is not what was expected.

We can only point them in the right direction, we can't force them to make the right choice!!

Anonymous said...

After last legislative session, probation department's recidivism numbers will be monitored three years out. If recidivism is high, it can impact funding. So, if a juvenile assults his mother at the age of 16 and he gets arrested again at 19, we failed?

Resonse - Yes, that would be considered a program failure. The real question becomes, what percentage of program participants end up as a program failure?
The days of asking for money just because of the number of cases being run through a program are pretty much coming to an end. If you can't produce the results the money will go to someone who can.

Anonymous said...

Perfect example of what I am talking about. The burden is on probation to produce results, not the probationer to make a change.

A program is only as good as the probationer's willingness to participate in that program.

Don't worry, probation departments are going to achieve success in order to get the funding. We just might have to change our definition of success in order for many of these kids to 'successfully' complete the programs.

Anonymous said...

I know Jay reads Grits so this is to him. Jay, you ran off some of the most intelligent and competent juvenile justice professionals in the Nation in the Summer of 2007. Several of them still work in the juvenile justice field. You should think about looking them up. They may be the answer.

Anonymous said...

Does the cutting include the incompetent executive management? If you cut the stupid people, there'll be no one left in Central office for him to cut. What's sad is that nothing will ever change. The 2007 purges and the ensuing rash of TDCJ thugs, the poorly thought out reforms and incompetents and crooks running the show have pretty much driven the final nail in the coffin. Thank you Jay Kimbrough, Ed Owens, Dementia Pope, Broncho Billy, Richard Nedelkoff, Cherie Townsend, Robin McKeever, james Smith and Alan Walters. You should point to TYC/TJJD with pride and say, "I did this."

Anonymous said...

Discipline is a branch of learning. A lack of discipline reaps the present status of Texas Juvenile Justice "institutions". Reading some of the comments of juvenile justice employees and listening to testimony in Austin concerning the "problems" with "TYC" these past few years make me ask, "When will a leader be placed in charge, institute and enforce some basic rules for everyone to follow?" Bribing rule violators to behave by giving them "cookies and milk" is beyond the average person's understanding.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

12:31, thanks for bringing up a good point --

If indeed Mr. Kimbrough reads this, let me advise you, sir, to visit Giddings -- UNANNOUNCED. Walk around campus on your own, without restriction, without toadies, a few hours during each shift.

Talk to the JCO 4's -- not the afraid-of-their-own-shadow JCO 5's, not the missing-in-action JCO 6's, not the head-in-the-sand Admin folks, not the out-smoking-in-the-parking-lot ODS. To talk to them, you'd think everything is just fine! Don't talk to the out of control youth; they're NOT the ones supposed to be running the place.

When you speak with the JCO 4's, ask them how long it's been since they've seen a JCO 6 on the dorm. Ask if they've seen the case workers actually do anything besides bribe the kids with goodies. And ask them how often they have to work with more than 15 kids, by themselves, and how many 12 hour shifts (without a break) they've done that week.

Sit behind the desk in a dorm and JUST TRY to find a notebook that legitimately documents what is supposed to be daily Group Sessions. Check the Chemical and Tool Logs and see how they're routinely pencil whipped and never change... look for a notebook that shows when the last time the ODS came by the dorm on what is supposed to be daily rounds. Just look around to see if you can find the notebook documenting when the last dorm search of the front AND back areas was conducted, too.

Finally, ask any JCO 4 what they think about the CoNextions program they have to use, and if it has helped or hurt their ability to do their jobs. Just ask... and listen without prejudice. Then, maybe, you can get an idea of what it's like to actually have to try and work with the youth on campus.

As it stands, the campus is in meltdown mode and situations will NOT improve until the average JCO 4 feels safe, appreciated, and has the backing of their supervisors to do the job expected of them.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you have to chop and cut in order to save the patient. In this case you need to chop off the head and cut out the cancer that grew because of the rules and policies that Townsend and her idiot head in the sand toadies have brought into TYC/TJJD. The plain fact is that you cant take a little kiddie program like Connexions and make it work with near adult juvenile felons!If we do a little digging we can find out who is getting the kickbacks for the program. One can only guess where they are going. The previous re-socialization program was way more effective in handling youth and getting them to progress and end up in society as productive members. I've seen it first hand. Why waste 2 million on ACA? Again lets see who is getting the under the table money for it. ACA is a certification and a book with a guideline for running a facility and it is not the "Holy Grail" of doing things. Who decided to completely remove the in the trenches JCO's teeth and claws? Leaving them with no tools to handle the youth? Without in concrete consequences for their actions the youth are now running the place. They run gangs, threaten others and staff daily, Intimidate staff and youth, get contraband brought in. the list goes on. This is the monster that Townsend and her chorines have created! Just ask yourself this: Would you want to work in a place that TJJD has become as a JCO?

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Cox is the one behind CoNextions. What about her?

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Cox is just hanging on, anyone who has had to failed shots as a superintndent and then promoted to her current gig, really, really? This is one of the issues with this agency they place staff in positions way over their heads and exxpect results. Can you also say James Smith, have you ever seen anyone who blows as much smoke as this guy. Yep, Townsend is a true leader she can spot these quality folks coming a mile away.

Anonymous said...

One thing that needs to be done is for the State Controller to Check into the finances of TJJD/TYC. There has been some very strange monetary happenings going on. Millions are being used or missing into certain higher up managers and administration's pockets. From tne Low level JCO 5 that has been stealing time for more years than you can count to the others that clock in and are never there at all!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay, remember that meeting you wouldn't give me in 2007. You may want to rethink that now. I know programming, security, accountabily, and treatment for juvenile offenders and well, let's face could use the help. Hell, the whole Agency could use the help.

Anonymous said...

That should be accountability...I was laughing too hard when I typed it! Anyways, man up Jay. You will never be able to fix this alone. Trust me I know!

Anonymous said...

If Jay does read this then I second the suggestion for you to try something different--if you really want to change this agency, talk to people at the facilities that have been around awhile, no not the Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Program Specialists, or even most of the JCO VI's. Ask some of the "good guys" in Central Office their opinion of who you should talk to at the facilities. No, that does not mean ask Ms. Townsend, Mr. Smith, etc. You've been losing good people since 2007 and you continue to lose good people--you may want to seriously talk to people who are not afraid to tell you the truth and have no interest in sugar coating the truth.

Anonymous said... are right on the money!! They are losing people right and left who know what needs to be done, but have never had the administrative muscle to do it. The answer lies in talking to the people who have had to deal with the problems set by their superiors...the people who work day in and day out with the youth for 8-12 hours straight. No, not the disgruntled ones either. I am talking about the ones who have put in years of service and continue to do so because they care about the youth. Given the unsafe work conditions, what other reason would they possibly have for staying???

Anonymous said...

Jay needs to listen to that chief that has been poking around all the units. He is the only one who has given a darn about what is going on with the kids and safety for the staff. If Jay wants to get down to the root of all evil Mike Meade needs to be his right hand man. Without him we would still be labeled as discontent employees.

Anonymous said...

"I am talking about the ones who have put in years of service and continue to do so because they care about the youth."

Give us a break. You don't care about those youth. You "care" about your job. Do you think guards at TDCJ "care" about the youthful offender program population? Hell no. They want to be humane but that's about it. So get that child care BS out of here. You are dealing with dangerouse felons who've done some bad things. And you wanna say you care about them as they are spitting in your face and exposing themselves to your wife, daughter or sister. F'ing man up care taker.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand this situation. The "brain trust" of Whitmire and Madden pushed to have TYC and TJPC merge to create a so- called better juvenile justice state agency. Something that, in reality, didn't NEED to happen. Never the less, the Governor's Office made sure the new TJJD Board named C. Townsend as the ED. Now, within 6 months it's become known how badly she was running TYC and seems to have been covering up serious problems in their max. security facility. My question is why is she still the ED? Do they really need to muck around for the next year trying to sugar coat the problems and bad management? There are dozens of jj professionals throughout Texas who can come in and do the job and clean up the mess. Do they really need to allow Townsend and her crew continue to draw 6 figure salaries they don't deserve.

First order of business should be to search out someone who has no previous work history with TYC or TJPC to run the agency. Kimbrough is not that person.

Anonymous said...

About "the missing-in-action JCO 6's out-smoking-in-the-parking lot..."

TYC has a limited, inbred gene pool. Lots of the female JCOs are baby-mamas to the JCO 6s so the 6s (and some 5s) have genetic dominance all across campus. They can do what they want and they do what they want. This collapsed gene pool is responsible for the dim, sullen culture of the campus. This retrogressive gene pool has run its course but it continues and it becomes more solidified with each generation.

Anonymous said...

This is freakin hilarious! Five years later, one name change, all new upper management, and the Agency formerly known as TYC is still in the crapper! I thought the lawsuit was vindication, but this is sooo much sweeter!

Anonymous said...

Lets go back a few years, back when TYC had a behavior management program (BMP). Townsend and Smith did not like tis so they did away with is and came up with Redirect. Basically a program where the worst of the worst were able to go and have their doors open after one week. So you have 6 or 15 youth who just beat the hell out of their peer or a staff and after one week they can all mingle togther on one unit together. Really, thie is the insanity that has been going on for over three years at TYC/TJJD. Anyne with any common sense would tell you how stupid this theory is, but this is what they do, once agin Townsend and Smith came up with this.

If you anyone would like to expand upon this please do so.


Anonymous said...

Anon 5/12/2012 10:14:00 PM said:

"This is freakin hilarious! Five years later, one name change, all new upper management, and the Agency formerly known as TYC is still in the crapper! I thought the lawsuit was vindication, but this is sooo much sweeter!"

That's the problem. The upper management responsible for the problems were not changed. For example, James Smith and Townsend are still there. No matter what miracle workers you put in place below them, nothing will change because they won't let it.

Billy R. Hollis said...

I went to Evins in 2009, when no one in their right mind would go because it was such a mess. Youth out of control, staff issues and of course, the DOJ. As soon as the place started to show improvement (first noted by Cherie Townsend herself), different people rushed down from CO to prove it wasn't so. Add to that an underground group (mentioned in the Moss Report) did everything they could to discredit me, as I was an "outsider", and not "one of them". I hung in because I believed that I could help make Evins a better place for the kids and the staff for two years, Finally I just couldn't take constant harassment, false accusations, the anonymous calls to CO and the unsatisfactory performance appraisals. Shortly after returning to work following surgery, I decided to retire rather than continue to subject myself to more of the same. The writing was on the wall. Leave before a reason was fabricated so that I could be fired. In 2005, I wrote a letter to CO about what was happening at West Texas and went though much the thing. People will say or think what they please about me, but I wouldn't do anything differently. You can take my job, but not my integrity. Have a very pleasant day. :-)

Skinhead Larry said...

Very well put Bill. I'm not so sure anyone would disagree with you because they are seeing what a piss poor leader Cherie Townsend and James Smith really are. Those two have really ruined the place, but I have a sneaking feeling that Kimbrough is about to sweep the floors and those two could be gone. Hell they should've never been there to begin with.

Anonymous said...

it's a tough job trying to handle a lot of bad bad kids - and all of TJJD has been trying to do that AND try to please advocates, parents, busy-bodies and the lege.

There's so many dysfunctional people working at CO who are only onboard if it pleases them. There's so many relatively new people trying to understand how it SHOULD work amidst the dunderheadedness that is OLD TYC and the newness that is TJJD.

The lege need to agree that they are part of the problem. ALL TJJD staff who work directly with the kids need to be alot more accountable and less "Full Metal Jacket" (and whiny) and CO staff need to work together better.

Quit dumping on each other and focus more on our kids. Remember why we're here. Fueling the fire that is Mike Ward and Whitmire isn't going to get you more money or a better job. If you're going to be a whistle-blower at least have proof. Show some spine, step up your game and get to work.

T. Bayes said...

I read Mike Ward's article on the situation at Giddings and at other facilities. I saw those escalating violent stats.

I also read more Townsend thinking errors and James Smith's just idiotic comments.

All I can ask is why are they still there? Why?

Cherie Townsend has turned Juvenile Justice in Texas into a daycare center. I'm sure the victims of juvenile crimes really appreciate her efforts. What a joke.

Mr. Kimbrough - please - enough is enough.

Thomas Bayes

Richard Staas said...

Mr. Hollis, I've been looking for a copy of a grievance and the response that I gave you a copy of shortly before you left for Evins. Do you remember it or what happened to your copy? I sent for another copy a year ago but was informed that both had been removed and discarded as per routine housekeeping; the reprimand was still there of course. While you were Mr. Brown's Assistant supt. did you ever hear him mention an E-mail I sent to Jerry Madden about his possible involvement in the failure to report/cover up of Tony Moore trying to strangle a kid that Dewberry had in a PRT?

Anonymous said...

Sorry -- paperwork usually means nothing at TDDJ/TYC. They fake it, bake it, lose it, change it, deny and destroy it to fit the needs of whatever they want to prove, disprove, or whatever.

So even asking for paperwork "veification" is almost useless. I saved up a lot of paperwork, however, when I was employed. It's not real flattering to those trying to run bloack ops and intimidation trips on staff, but that's another story I'd rather not get into, myself.

Who believes paperwork?

Anonymous said...

Years from this will all a sitcom on NBC. It has to be because there is no way the people in charge are serious about all this!

Real quick, reductions in commitments? Jay's contribution to that was minimal. And his adult wizards may have messed up more than they fixed. They messed up on the minimal length of stay stuff thinking kids had been in TYC to long when they were there after thier minimal length of stay. You send an adult to the pen for 4 years, he does 4 years.
We used to have goals and expectations for kids sent to TYC, a kid might have to stay a little longer to get things done. Secondly, no misdemeanors means any offense that can be charged as a felony are! No reductions no pleas because you need the TYC options.

But with all that the main way reductions happened was not Jay but juvenile probation departments across Texas. Chiefs from across Texas and TJPC tackled the issue as they had for years, saw an issue, and cooperatively came up with and answer, not Jay.

Problems out there now are nothing new. The only problem new issues will be down the road. The local juvenile probation department side is on automatic pilot right now, so all Townsend really has to deal with is the demons she's been "fixing" for years now! Let her start fixing the probation side, then it will be fun for us all.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't there more opposition to the TJJD merger being voiced by juvenile probation chief's?

This really is a sad mess and Juvenile Probation didn't need to be merged, involved, or even in the neighborhood of TYC.

Could someone explain the logic behind merging the two?

Anonymous said...

Just let 'em go home and be closer to their community....

PROSPER (May 14, 2012) The Prosper Police Department made several arrests earlier today stemming from a month long investigation that was prompted by report(s) of alleged Sexual Assault. Five individuals were arrested: 17 year-old Garrick White and 17 year-old Darius McClinton-Hunter, both from McKinney, were arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child. Sexual Assault of a Child is a 2nd Degree Felony. The other three suspects are all juveniles. Two of the juveniles were also arrested for Sexual Assault of a Child, and the remaining juvenile was arrested for Unlawful Restraint of a Child, which is a State Jail Felony.

The Prosper Police expect more charges to be filed as a result of the continuing investigation.

The identities of the victims and juveniles are held strictly confidential, as this is still an active investigation. The Town of Prosper Police Department will not provide additional comments or responses regarding any case that is under active investigation. This practice is consistent with applicable state laws, including but not limited to, the Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 39.14, the Civil Practice and Remedies, §30.006, the Government Code, Chapter 552, and the Family Code, Chapter 58.

The Town of Prosper Police Department values and respects the rights and privacy of all our residents. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

There was finally a newspaper article that took the concerns of the TYC/TJJD staff seriously. See Mike Ward's article in the Sunday Austin American Statesman:
Workers trace youth lockup's problems to soft discipline
10:30 PM Saturday, May 12, 2012 by Mike Ward

Anonymous said...

Pizza Parties?? Are we running a lock down facility or a daycare? Advocacy groups written all over this with JDAI fully in bed with Townsend. Tell the victims of the juveniles that their attackers will get to sit in bean bag chairs and eat pizza while playing video games while they still suffer from traumatic experiences. I know because my daughter is a victim of one of these kids that seem to be the ring leader at Giddings. She trembles everytime she seea a young black male walk close to her. I know he is just a kid himself but while I struggle to put food on the table and provide psychological help to my daughter this punk thug gets the easy life. Advocates need to interview victims before they give thugs a easy boquet of roses.
Broke down in Houston

Anonymous said...

I say the State should arm all victims with the big bang of a .45 with enough rounds to hit the fool and 12 of his coherts.

Just shoot their ass, and be done with it. Call it Darwin if you will. Evolution is called for...

Anonymous said...

Townsend says her philosophy is to treat all the TJJD felons like they were her own kids, huh? How would she feel if HER kid got gang raped? And if the criminals that did it got off as easy as they do?

08:28 has written something thoughtful ... 09:49 wrote something straight from the gut. I can appreciate both points of view.

Both make a valid point: The incarcerated youth get loads of free time to conspire violence with their homies, play games, watch the brand new 3D TV, eat pizza and on and on and on while their victims stay at home and tremble at the sight of further potential attackers.

If I had done no more to provide guideance, discipline, and yes, TOUGH LOVE to MY own kids than these felons' parents did for them -- I couldn't have expected much different outcome than to have thugs for offspring.

Yes, I'm sorry most of those kids grew up without appropriate role models. I suggest Ms. Townsend take some of the ringleaders from Giddings home from her and bake them pies and tuck them in at night. Maybe they'll get what they've been missing and will clean up their acts, huh?