Texas Youth Commission Abolished!
It appears that the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), will soon be abolished by the Texas legislature. After all the bad publicity that TYC management brought upon itself when the statewide corruption and mismanagement was exposed, the legislature feels it has no other choice. The new leadership of TYC has also failed badly as it mishandles vast public funds provided to them, and by not implementing changes directed by the Texas lawmakers.
Some youth that should have been discharged or placed with other agencies, are still in TYC custody! What is wrong with the new - reformed management in Austin? Does it take a kick directly to their heads to get their attention? When you see your fellow coworkers being fired all around you, wouldn't that get some attention? Maybe not.
The Sheffield Boot Camp closed its doors. This facility had been a TYC failure from the start, however it was a pet project of the top brass, so untold money was wasted on the isolated facility that could have been used better elsewhere. Almost all of the investigations that I did there had some connection to staff shortages. They just could not get good people and keep them. The management didn't seem to really try hard enough to make housing available. There was some units for the administrators, but I guess they forgot that employees are important also. The typical TYC management action.....pour more money into a failing program; force it to work, make the public think they're getting a great deal. Twenty-two employees from the boot camp were supposed to move to the West Texas school where they are drastically short of staff. Only six of these employees actually transferred to West Texas.
Several of the top lawmakers have indicated they want TYC to change its name and close some of the remote, isolated institutions. The name TYC is damaged, possible beyound repair. Possibly, a 'youth authority' would sound better and allow the tainted reputation and morale of the agency to be lost in the winds. A fresh start. A fresh start with management that really cares about troubled youth, who need rehabilitation and care; rather than be warehoused and mistreated, or neglected. The West Texas State School, where the sex scandal started is probably first on the chopping block. It once was a good facility and youth received some treatment. At one time there was real management and morale was excellent. People were in line to get employed there. Wow, what a change. Vernon, almost in Oklahoma, is next in line for chopping, it appears. They had many problems there also, but the Pyote facility received more attention with the alleged youth/administrator sexual activities. Some administrators create their own perks, at the expense of the youth in their care.
Lawmakers want youth in facilities closer to their homes, where their families can visit and support them. This makes a lot of sense. Why didn't TYC try to solve this problem, rather than send youth from Houston to West Texas and youth from Vernon to Evins? More of their senseless brainstorming, that impressed the top folks in Austin. The legislature now realizes that most youth were warehoused in TYC. They also know youth were not provided proper treatment, to help them avoid the adult prison system. Did TYC want these youth back, time and again? Then why did they have this policy? TYC management wasted millions of dollars over the years transporting thousands of youth far from their homes, when a TYC institution was closer to the youth's home. Look at all the danger the youth were placed in going all over the state, with worn-out drivers in charge of their safety. Some of these troubled youth were actually in deep stress and possible shock, leaving home for the first time and travelling across our great state.....for what reason?
The alleged child abuser who chose to use forced sexual comfort from youth will soon have his trial. He did not get the change of venue his lawyer requested. The other alleged sexual abuser will also have a trial soon. His status is still pending....he may not even have a lawyer, the first one didn't even show up for the initial court appearance. Many feel both will beat their accusations and be freed.....perhaps to be rehired for the new TYC management team. Youth sometimes forget what they have stated and sometimes they just want to forget the entire episode and drop all charges. The investigators state they have plenty evidence to prove the allegations. We should find out the real truth soon.
Some staff from the state school still don't believe the sexual abuses took place and try to make the public believe the whole affair was made-up. A couple, who to our benefit, have no position of authority, would have everyone think the facility is just rosey for youth and employees. What was that.....if a rat smells like a rat, and looks like a rat, is it probably a rat? Perhaps these few folks have never seen a rat.
The Texas lawmakers are still having periodic meetings about TYC. Many are frustrated that the same problems keep arising which should have been solved by the new management reformers. TYC will continue to be in the news and a major topic in the 2009 legislative sessions.
My book continues to do well; I may have to release an update or reprint with all the legislative changes and the entire sexual scandal that blossomed with the book. It's available at my new web site, with reviews, my blog and events. Please check it out at.............