Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tricks instead of treats: TYC halts overtime for JCOs

Talk about chickens coming home to roost!

Yesterday morning in Lubbock, someone rushed up to me, PDA in hand, to share a story from the Austin Statesman's Mike Ward that any regular Grits reader should have seen coming ("Youth prisons halt overtime, Oct. 30"):

In its latest official stumble, the Texas Youth Commission spent more than half of its yearly budget for overtime payments in just one month, and it will temporarily stop paying overtime to its 2,200 guards.

Officials confirmed Monday that the agency spent $735,933 on overtime for correctional officers in September — about 55 percent of the $1.3 million that the Youth Commission expected to spend in an entire year.

As a result, the agency's acting executive director, Dimitria Pope, has suspended all overtime payments effective Wednesday "until controls are verified at each facility for ensuring critical needs for the continuing high usage," according to an internal memo from Pope.

It's easy to see how this happened, and it was predictable as the sunrise. SB 103 required TYC to staff dorm facilities with a minimum 12-1 staff to youth ratio, compared to a 24-1 ratio when the West Texas sex scandal broke earlier this year. Most observers blame high staffing ratios directly for increased abuse at TYC in recent years. (As an aside: a couple of different directors of county detention facilities told me they keep 8-1 ratios during waking hours, though another told me he had difficulty keeping staffed at 12-1.)

So the Lege mandated TYC to keep more staff on the floor, particularly in dormitories. Reducing the number of youth incarcerated at TYC by about 1/3 helped some, but not enough to reach 12-1, mostly because the agency continues to hemorrhage staff. As the New York Times reported October 16:
State officials say chronic job vacancy rates and critical employee turnover are at the root of many of the system’s problems. Employee terminations since September 2006 have far outpaced recruitment. The agency has hired 870 juvenile corrections officers since September 2006 to October 2007. In that period 1,241 officers left their positions, or about half the juvenile corrections officers.
With that kind of turnover still occurring, it's inconceivable on its face that TYC could meet new staffing ratios for JCOs. (The agency's staff turnover rate hovers around 50% per year.) The Mart facility, for example, is currently about 145 JCO's short. Even though the agency has fewer kids incarcerated overall, TYC closed three units earlier this year, which means kids from those facilities now must be housed elsewhere.

In August, Ms. Pope informed the Legislature staffing ratios at TYC facilities complied with the new statutory mandates. I didn't believe it when she said it, but to the extent that claim was remotely accurate, widespread use of overtime clearly was the only way it could happen. Now we see that adequately staffing TYC probably can't occur within the appropriated budget, a fact which should have been a major concern for the new administration long before this late juncture. As Rep. Debbie Riddle said at the time, "We're tending the flowers around the house while the house is caving in."

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's dumbfounding that Pope still manages to blame past administration and even the lege for something that lands squarely on her shoulders. She is not only "corrupt" and lacks "reading comprehension." She must be severely retarded to have not seen what our most mentally challenged staff could see. I don't know how these legislators can even think they can benefit from letting this agency collapse in itself. I know the majority of the people in Texas could care less about TYC or the kids, but how can they ignore such gross incompetence. Eventually, these idiots will screw up something that they will care about.

Anonymous said...

Gross fiscal mismanagement... Seems to me that that was the criteria for ousting the previous administration and for placing TYC under conservatorship all those many months ago. What is different now? If spending half of your overtime budget for the entire year in a month isn't gross fiscal mismanagement, what is? As has been written elsewhere in this blog, this latest faux pax on the part of Dementia Pope is a living testimony to her inablilty to manage anything more complex than her own checkbook, let alone an agency in crisis with a multi-million dollar annual budget. What is truly amazing though, is how the joint committee chair (Senator Whitmire) can continue to support this corrupt, incompetent excuse for an executive director? One has to wonder about his rationale for hanging on to this red herring when it is obvious that the only way TYC can recover and survive is for the Governor to step in and name a conservator and ED (just a start) who are bonafide juvenile corrections professionals instead of all of these TDCJ egomaniacal wannabes. Forrest Gump said it best, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Anonymous said...

To: All TYC Employees
From: Central Office
Subject: Dress Code

I just wanted to take the time to address my minions out in the field. I was informed employees are not satisfied with the new dress code and state they cannot afford their own black slack or black shoes, apparently they are more concerned with buying their own kids Christmas gifts and preparing for the upcoming holidays. Did I not tell you that things would get tough before they became easy? Did I not warn all of you TYC staff to get on the bus, for all of you to step up. Well, I guess it's time for some high stepping from some of you. I am not concerned with lawsuits, grievances, fair working standards, hell I just wing it most of the time, what do you think I am, Houdini?? I feel terrible about not being able to pay your OT but this was the previous administrations fault, they borrowed against the future and I am the future. Suck it up or step down, I don't need any of this distraction, I'm trying to become the 1st TYC Commissioner and don't need all this mess.

Anonymous said...

That would be funny if it wasn't so true.

Anonymous said...

Representative Madden,
what else has to take place within TYC before you decide to pull the plug on this administration? The employees that show up to work every day are tired of this and there seems to be no end in sight. SB 103 was good legislation but first you must have a competent leader in place to ensure it's effectiveness. We ares till waiting!!!

Anonymous said...

Once again, Pope blames we corrupt employees, because we show up to work, put our time in a time keeping system that has been in place for years, and actually earn overtime because the facilities are so short of peopple...shame on us for actually putting that time down instead of working for FREE

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@7:20 - Chairman Madden doesn't have that power. That question must be directed at the Governor.

Anonymous said...

Having gone to A&M with Perry, I can assure you that he will do nothing until he is ousted from office for his own corruption and mismanagement. Then he will blame it all on Ann Richards.

Doesn't all of this sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Check the staffing history of TDC/TDCJ from the mid-1980s to the present. History repeats again.

Creative thinking will justify illegal staffing. Turn-out rosters for staff will be "pencil whipped" to the degree of stupidity.

Building new units and not having sufficient employees to staff current units dictate failure.
Both Agencies have contributed to the staff shortage by supporting the actions of the lege. The Lege created this mess and needs to start cleaning up it's mess. After 20 years they should be able to smell the stench they created.
Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

But Grits, the lege can put pressure on Perry if it wishes. They forced him to accept a conservatorship in the first place, remember? There must be something the lege can do even if it can't make administrative decisions.

Personally, I'm not convinced that replacing Pope and Owens will make enough of a difference. Many of TYC's problems were, and remain, structural in nature. Administrators come and go.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

Personally I'd like to see some of lege that sit on their well padded seats (whether theirs or the luxury seating) sitting in cell on any TDCJ unit in Texas for a week or so incognito. Let these morons they are hiring abuse and brutalize them for a week and perhaps the pencil pushing would finally result in significant changes.

To those "good" employees who show up for work, whether in TYC or TDCJ, thank you. However, don't expect to get paid overtime for your efforts. If and when you get a day off just go visit the capitol. The little Texas stars on top of the iron fence surrounding that esteemed building would have paid plenty of overtime. The opulence inside is disgusting. Isn't a shame to have such a beautiful building full of so much crap?? I'll let the reader decide who or what the crap is.

Anonymous said...

Well, why should we be surprised? Even without staging some kind of 'sick out' most of us will really be out sick before long anyway - legitimately. Blood Pressure and diabetes alone will take most of us off work soon. But nobody really cares - at least they can't bring back their crack team of law enforcement replacements - who by the way were making TWICE the money as a regular JCO and couldn't even do anything but work the pickets and control rooms. I WONDER IF ANYONE HAS LOOKED AT THE COST OF THAT FIASCO! What a bunch of do-nothings. And couldn't wait to flaunt how much they were making and how they didn't have to do anything. This is almost funny if it weren't so dangerous. We still don't have radios that work, no new cameras have been installed here and no one even asked us what SIZES of shirts we needed. I guess Ms. Pope knows what we need better than us - "oh you guys can wait on those radios and cameras, these uniforms are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Whatever. I'm hanging it up - I'm done. And I'm thinking that when I go I'm going to write a book that will make Randy Chance's book look like Mother Goose bedtime stories.

Anonymous said...

And we thought

It can't get any worse.........

What a joke this has become.
Time to quit and get a real job.
Thanks lege for the light at the end of the tunnel. Brighter than ever now, no more wrong turns waiting for the better to arrive.
It's here.































































































































































....

Anonymous said...

Like many of you, I too am fearful for myself and all other TYCers, knowing that we are one complaint away from termination. Hard work and dedication aside, an agency run by image obsessed egomaniacs can never prosper. The damage to the agency is irreparable. Moral is gone and commitment to the mission a thing of the past. Those of us left are biding time and praying for an opportunity to leave before the next career ending/media worthy crisis this administration will undoubtedly use to ruin lives. I realize now that there is no end in site. With few exceptions public interest in the operations of a prison system, juvenile or adult, is minimal. So much so that this administration has managed to squander millions of dollars on overpaid administrators, questionable contracts, and unnecessary moving expenses, and no one cares. It’s mind boggling to me that 8 months ago, the State Auditors managed to spin the salary payments of facility administrators and facility operating costs into fiscal mismanagement, but some how have no interest in real and documented violations. Despite news articles of problems plaguing this new administration, overtime being the most recent, no one cares. I was angry at first, but then realized that my optimism, way back in March that brighter days were ahead, imparted me with an experience that most people (fortunately) will never know. I am witnessing firsthand the decay of a state agency and it is far worse than I could have ever imagined. And an experience I hope to never repeat. Emotionally and physically, the ride has been exhausting. My work ethic suffers each day as does that of so many of my co-workers, which in the end hurts the youth the most and ultimately renders the system useless. I wonder if this is how TDCJ fell apart. I don’t know if I’m angrier at myself for hanging in or at administration for their arrogance and the unnecessary chaos they have created, but I do know that juvenile justice in this state is dead. This agency that once was a model around the world is now a bad joke! How sad since this was such a great opportunity to be so much more. I’m hanging in until the next train and then you guys and gals are on your own. Good luck to you as the storm passes. Think of yourself and family first.

Thanks Grits for the therapy session. I work too much to take advantage of EAP so this opportunity to vent has been invaluable.

Anonymous said...

Come on People! Lets give credit where credit is due. Sure, she cut your OT, sure she doesn't seem too concerned with anything but her own image, sure she didn't provide us with more staff or equipment( camera's, radio's to do our jobs) but hey....she gave us shirts!!!! She has her priorities in order...

Anonymous said...

http://www.cwa-tseu.org/public/caucuses/tyc/TYCmain.html
TYC in Crisis!
Changes are being set in motion at TYC
Texas State Employees Union is leading the way to give TYC employees a voice in the future course of the agency in order to provide the best quality care for the youth in our custody.

TSEU will continue to fight for:
More and Better Trained Staff -
the key to safety for youth and staff is better ratios and more training for staff

Competitive Compensation -
TSEU won pay parity for JCO’s, now we need career ladders for other professionals, 20-year retirement (LECOSRF) and better pay at all levels to attract and retain qualified staff.

Firm, Fair Work Environment -
TYC must support good workers, correct misguided ones and get rid of the bad ones with consistency. Employees need to be able to voice concerns and know they will be listened to, and not be retaliated against.

Anonymous said...

I think all that's happened shows just how useless a union is for people who can't strike. No one in the lege or administration gives a rat's behind about the union.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

TYC's problems *can* be fixed by new leadership if and only if those folks are willing to look at and address the fundamental structural problems that have plagued the agency since its inception.

Anonymous said...

I keep thinking one day we will wake up and this will all have been a bad dream!

Although I didn't always agree with some of the decisions from the prior administration, at least they cared about people and youth, did not lead by intimidation, etc. It's beginning to look like those were the good ole days.

Anonymous said...

I was just informed today that the upgrade for all PS II to PS III's has been canceled? Apparently the agency does not have the money, so if you were informed like I was to hold off and not drop down to a better paying less stress filled Case Manger III position because an upgrade is on the way, it ain't happening.

Anonymous said...

I personally believe that Bill Bush is correct on the issue of putting pressure on Governor Perry. It is apparent that the current legislature cannot solve this problem due to conflicts of interest. I think there are 3 representatives that see this mess as it is, but as Senator Whitmire said, "They are only house members". Represenatives Madden, Darby and Hochberg seem to be able to see what is going on with the current administration. The best managers surround themselves with the most knowledgeable staff they can. Ms. Pope lacks that insight. She has hired numerous people with absolutely no juvenile corrections experience and she expects them to turn this mess around. Not good management practices!!!

The JCO overtime issue is a perfect example of her mismanagement. She has blamed it on a faulty timekeeping system. While the system may not be the best, it was the best TYC could buy with the money allotted to them at the time. Timekeeping is not the issue when you are short anywhere from 60 to 145 JCO's. Sure, dorms have closed and student population is down, but that is only a short-term fix. In case no one has noticed, the courts still send kids to TYC!!! The majority of JCO staff that are left are absolutely exhausted and have used this blog to vent their frustations. Thank God they are able to do that on here!!! Scott Henson has probably saved many people from having complete nervous breakdowns, heart attacks and strokes!

Gross fiscal mismanagement is when the agency spends thousands of dollars flying Ms. Pope and 20 others on a commercial airliner for the bogus State of the Agency meetings. I believe I heard at one of those meetings that there was an "open door policy". What a joke. As far as I know, she has not sent one e-mail to all the TYC staff. She has not enlisted the support of the backbone of the agency to erect the new TYC -- JCO's!!! Not every person that worked for TYC was involved in the Brookins-Hernandez scandal. Most of them were honest, hard-working people trying to make a living for themselves and their families. They believed they could make a difference in the lives of the troubled youth of Texas.

When this debacle began, I honestly believed that some good would come out of it. I believe we called in an expert from Ohio, but obviously he did not say what Kimbrough, Owens and Pope wanted to hear. The joint committee should have hired a head hunter at whatever price it took to find the best juvenile corrections administrator they could. Instead, they turned a deaf-ear and look what has occurred. No one would have ever seen this mess coming back last February.

So, TYC staff, let's make a difference. Let's write, e-mail or call Madden, Darby and Hochberg and let them know that the agency is spiraling downward at an alarming rate and ask them to put the pressure on Perry!!! Let's e-mail the governor's office until he gets sick of it!!!

Anonymous said...

Next week, the only way we are going to make coverage at Crockett is by working all JCOs at least 2 12 hour shifts. Now that the word is out that there will be no more pay for overtime, my guess is that there will be a lot of call-ins, which will mean that those staff who do come to work will have to work more 12-16 hour shifts. Good job Pope!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:30pm,

I am sure that your genius of a Superintendent can help you out of the jam.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 11:54am - We have fought the good fight but I just don't see an end to this fiasco. Pope and Co. will not be happy until they have flushed our agency down the toilet - then they can do what they really want, which is warehouse them all, to hell with rehabilitation. We are producing a population of 'super criminals' which is what Bush used to get everyone to get elected in the first place.

Giuliani actually thinks he wants Perry as a running mate on the presidential ticket...Perry is arrogant enough to do it, but his popularity is in the toilet and his private life is already in the sewer line. I don't think his spin doctors are quite ready to deal with all of that yet..THE GOV HAS LEFT THE HOUSE! And not because he wanted to.

I pray he joins Guiliani, (although I don't really see G getting the nomination) so we can at least get his ass out of Texas. He is ultimately responsible for this whole mess, and when and if he appoints a new conservator, commissioner or whatever, it will be dear old Alfonso Royal or one of his other lap dogs who will run things at his will.

And as far as all the folks who have proclaimed themselves to be heroes throughout all this Brookins mess, I ask you - would we even be here venting on this blog today if the 'now-famous' Ranger Bryan Burzyski would have just arrested Brookins on February 23, 2005? I don't think so -

Anonymous said...

Personally, I can't lay down and die for the current leadership. I simply won't, call me whatever you wish, except d'Pope! Giving up hope is not the answer, the youth need us. As Bill Bush stated, administrators come and go! Mark my words, the day will come when we will see the current leadership GO and all the cronies. They have been detrimental to the agency and disgraced us as a whole with thier lies.

To be successful, a leader must have the respect of its employees and they have never been able to gain it because they demanded it.
IT WAS AND STILL IS THE TDCJjr HOSTILE TAKEOVER with the blessings of the lege and the governor. Now it's push come to shove and people we need to shove! This agency was a source of pride before they ever came on board, even with it's systemic and corrupt diseases.

Our facilities run with or without superintendents because field employees carry the agency and they always will. It was not our fault that two administrators and several corrupt covering up #&^*%% ruined our agency, but I refuse to let that be the demise of TYC.

GOVERNOR PERRY, if you have any sense of compassion for TYC and its purpose, please dismiss the current leadership and all their cronies. Appoint a conservator who has juvenile corrections experience. Ensure that conservator posts jobs and then hires qualified people. Perhaps then we can truly begin the reformation of TYC. It needs to happen before the Sunset Commission decides to abolish TYC. How much more rope are you giving the current leadership before they use it to hang you??

Anonymous said...

Let me hear an AMEN 9:42... Come on Rick - do the right thing - you'll feel better, really you will!

Pope really doesn't love you anyway. Her heart belongs to Whitmire and he's a DEMOCRAT who thinks he's going to make a run for your job - like he's got a prayer - LOL.

Do the right thing for the hardworking, TAXPAYING, VOTERS of this state. Put someone in charge of TYC who really has the best interest of the youth AND staff at heart - someone who has knowledge of juvenile justice and rehabilitative methods. There are lots out there, many of whom were already a part of the Blue Ribbon panel.

Do the right thing!

Anonymous said...

Anybody from Sheffield out there tonight? Heard the 'assessment team' was visiting your facility yesterday. Sure made your current 'commandant' sqirm. He had to show his ass during a meeting at WTSS just to assert his authority. Shame, shame - your incompetence is showing!

But really - just curious about how it went and how the assessment 'leader' acted - any observations out there?

Anonymous said...

If the Ass-essment Team consisted of Ayo it had to be a joke. Heres a guy who covered up for Brookins and gets promoted? What on earth could this guy assess, he had a depraved molester running amok on campus (WTSS) and he says "I don't see anything, nothing, nothing at all" (to many Hogan Hero's shows running through my brain).
He has always been and will always be a "yes" man regardless of the consequences his actions have on others. Lacking any back bone or morals he will shove you under the bus if he thinks it will save his behind. This is the best Humphrey can find to be the regional director, well on second thought yes, he fits the bill just find.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I was able to see our new uniforms today, powder blue!!! Now I have to run over to Wal-mart and buy some cheap ass black pants (polyester) to go with my Wal-mart Black Velcro Shoes. Yes, I will look professional and the youth will understand that by placing this uniform on every day that I am the authority figure, then at the end of my shift they will jump me and beat my ass for looking sooooooo stupid.

But, what the hell, I'm out of that lime green vest they gave me. Actually it came in handy on my second job as the school cross-guard, hopefully the school district will dig my new TYC uniform and allow me to continue this second job. On second thought nooooooo, I'm not getting my ass kicked twice a day, those 6th graders can get awful testy in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Now, now, stay out of that Wal-mart store for those trousers, Dementia will not like the cheap look you might portray to the youth we are role modeling for.

Anonymous said...

Sheffield will be closed within a year, I would bet the farm on it.

Anonymous said...

At least the Kelly Green works well at WTSS - Go Loboes! But nobody asked for our sizes, so I guess I'll get fired for refusing to wear a shirt that doesn't fit me. Damn, I guess that will be my fault somehow too.

Anyone on anybody else's campus wear a medium? We might have 15 or 20 who MIGHT be able to wear a medium but I think I saw where we received 50 medium blue shirts. I guess some of us larges will just have to squeeze in there. Boy, that will be a professional look. Maybe we should call out the media for the unveiling of the 'uniforms'. Now that's what I call good TV.

Anonymous said...

Maybe an organized effort to refuse to wear the uniforms might be the action we need to take. Is that illegal. Hey, union guys, what can you do to help us with that?

Anonymous said...

Overtime pay is not a new issue. Coverage will continue to be a problem. Ms. Pope stretched the truth (or outright lied) at the legislative meeting in reporting the 12:1 ratio. Exemplary staff were terminated due to the SB103 without any responsibilities to the Brookins/Hernandez disgusting crime in West Texas. Why couldn't those issues have been dealt with directly instead of the blanket purge of staff with past mistakes and having turned their lives around fired? Admit errors and change the policy to allow these staff to be reinstated or reapply for their positions. You are paying out of your butts for jobs that were well done at regular salaries prior to the firings. In the TYC environment of rehabilitation, how can you totally ignore the fact that it is possible to rehabilitate felons and for them to become productive TYC staff? TYC staff coverage is in desperate need of them. The youth need to hear their stories and know that there is hope to change their lives to become productive citizens.

Anonymous said...

I CAN SEE WHY THE JCO NEED AND SHOULD BE PAID THE OVERTIME BUT WHY ARE CENTRAL OFFICE ( PAYROLL EMPLOYEES) WORKING OVERTIME? I WAS TOLD RECENTLY THAT ONE PAYROLL EMPLOYEE HAS OVER 100 HOURS O/T AND WHEN SHE WAS TOLD SHE WOULD NOT BE PAID THE ANSWER WAS NO. THAT'S ILLEGAL ROBIN KNOWS IT AND SHOULD BE ASHAME OF HERSELF IT'S TIME TO PAY UP BITCH!

Anonymous said...

NOT ONLY DID SHE NOT GET PAID FOR THE 100 HOURS - HER REQUEST FOR TIME OFF FOR THOSE HOURS WERE ALSO DENIED. SAY LISA WHAT'S YOUR CUT IN ALL OF THIS? YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BE THE SUPERVISOR - DEMAND THIS FROM THE CLOWNS ( SUPERIORS) DEMAND THIS FROM THEM NOW!

Anonymous said...

Amen: "And as far as all the heroes...would we even be here venting on this blog today if the 'now-famous' Ranger Bryan Burzyski would have just arrested Brookins on February 23, 2005? I don't think so -" I don't think so, either, 9:21, and his exuses for not doing so were very flimsy. I also believe that the fact that Burzynski received formal accolades at a session is proof that this has been a political operation from the start. Whatever that Ranger did, he did because IT WAS HIS JOB. He should have arrested the suspects on the spot and then he wouldn't have had to have a crying spell as he was testifying. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Disregard for policy and law, the creation of top heavy positions in central office , and absolutely no indication of what direction the agency is taking to serve the youth of Texas is Gross Mismanagement, you bet ya! d'Pope and her crew need to be ousted and walked out of the agency at high noon no less before she bankrupts the agency. Does Elmer have enough money to bail her out of her mess and keep in the job he has accustomed her to?? Guess, we'll wait and see.

They should have been ousted the very first time they lied before the legislative committee and allowed their subordinate/s to break the pepper spray policy.

Instead she was given more time, so she could re-decorate the offices in Austin and hire a space planner to see how big her office needed to be for her ego to fit in it. This may take two floors, will there be room, we'll let the space planner break the news to her!
What is going to happen to that position once the offices meet the pope's expectations?

With that said, she was still not happy, so she had a dream, more like a nighmare, that the little people should wear uniforms, color coded at that. Okay, okay, if she can tell me how wearing a uniform will rehabilitate a delinquent youth, I will quit harping on this issue. I will nominate her for citizen of the year and let Elmer present the plaque to her!

I guess now, she will be thumbing through catalogs picking office furniture from the TDCJ catalog for her new office and those of her cronies! Oh, wait, that might be a tad unethical, oh what the heck, she's already broken the law
what's another little violation! Elmer will kiss her boo-boo!

Governor Perry this fiasco falls on your shoulders. It's been months and we still don't have any concrete evidence of any changes or direction for the agency! Instead you are allowing them to hire and promote employees that are selected on the basis of
how well they suck up and how loud they yell "yes ma'am! The issue is not dying with TYC employees and these kind of issues seem rear their ughly selves during election years. Saracasm, you bet, I've exhausted any other method of calling attention to the seriousness of this issue. Many employees have had their lives destroyed by this leadership and I'm talking about ethical and hardworking employees. She has imposed a hardship on employees, lowered the morale and gained no respect whatsoever. There is no method to her madness. WHEN ARE YOU AND THE LEGE GOING TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE CURRENT LEADERSHIP IS INEPT?

I've got to quit now, I have to go pay my bills on my meager salary and try to figure out how I can afford to purchase black pants and shoes! Broncho Billy said I needed to have them by the second week in November! Maybe if I'm the first one to wear the uniform, he'll
promote up to to Austin, give one of them big office and let me break the law! My hero!

Anonymous said...

the new uniforms will likely do nothing to improve the professional staffing shortage either. Can you imagine spending all that time and money to get a Ph.D., come to your TYC interview, and be told to wear a ill-fitting, ugly shirt of some indescribable color, go out and buy yourself some black pants and shoes and, by the way, TUCK IN THAT SHIRT! Forget about how much you hate the "look". What this says about how much respect they have for their professional people in the field really says it all...and without a word spoken! Imagine employees surprise when they got their nice shirts in neat packages telling them MADE IN PAKISTAN. Isn't that the country where Al-Queda terrorists killed Daniel Pearlman and gave sanction to Osama Bin Laden? Anyway, I wonder if they should be buying shirts or paying overtime? Perhaps the priority is showing their employees just WHO is boss. I understand that Mart II JCO staff will be working 4 days of 12 hour shifts soon. That adds up to over 40 hours per week if my math is correct, and those people certainly won't be getting that overtime in time off....facilities are too short of staff for that! And the cycle goes on....

Anonymous said...

they don't care about what we think. we are the morons that continue to work for these people.
those shirts look like hell and everyone in them.waste of tax payers monies and disgrace to those who have to wear them. they want fit and they want get your size, look like trash walking around in this crap. they dont want you to look nice, they want you to look like a lowly worker.

Anonymous said...

We must wear our reminder of where we rank in this agency - at the very bottom of the ladder. The most important element of this agency must be reminded daily of how little administration thinks of us. What a shame. Reduced to uniforms worse than what most of our incarcerated youth will be wearing. And we didn't commit any crimes. Who are the criminals here anyway? - the high phase kid who set fire to his house with his family inside, who gets to wear his $100 Nikes or the lowly JCO staff in charge of his well-being and safety forced to wear a low-bidder $2.00 (made in China or Pakistan) tacky shirt, black pants and whatever black shoes he can find to meet Ms. Pope's standards. I feel like we're serving the time and not the youth.

Anonymous said...

On the money 11:55 - One thing that has bothered me about all of this from the beginning. I'm all for youth rights, and teaching respect by giving respect. But lets none of us forget that these youth commmitted to TYC have committed crimes - serious crimes -have been before their local judges multiple times. Their communties have dealt with them for many years - their victims must live with what happened to them for the rest of their lives. We are charged with doing the best we can to rehabilitate them and return them to the 'free' as productive and law-abiding citizens. Sometimes we're successful, sometimes not. We must not tolerate abuses of our youth, but WE SHOULD NOT TOLERATE BEING ABUSED OURSELVES - EITHER BY YOUTH, OR TYC ADMINISTRATON OR LEGISLATORS OR THE GOVERNOR HIMSELF. I am not a criminal, I did not commit a crime and I WILL NOT BE TREATED LIKE A CRIMINAL ANYMORE. The switch to at-will employment was a cowardly move established so that spineless administrators can treat us like criminals. You know what, TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT. I'M NOT GOING TO BE INTIMIDATED OR AFRAID ANYMORE. I AM NOT THE CRIMINAL HERE!

Anonymous said...

12:03 Your so correct! These kids look better than staff. I heard that they did not buy enough shirts to fit everyone. There are several people on our campus that do not have shirts and still in their street clothes. Well get those people in this crap or we are taking this crap off. Get shirts that fit us all or shit can this stupid idea.
If everyone is not wearing this crap then no one has to wear them until ALL are in them. Did you notice that the Sup's and Asst.Sups don't have to wear them now. MMMMMM.

Anonymous said...

Evidently, there's a new policy regarding staff under investigation at WTSS. If a staff is under investigation for abuse/inappropriate use of force, and is not allowed to be around kids until the investigation is completed, it only applies to weekdays. On the weekends, the acting superintendent has authorized a staff in the security unit, who is currently under investigation, to work with no restrictions. Kind of goes contrary to policy doesn't it. Well, I guess it's really no different than the latest female staff caught having sex with a youth on the dorm. She was escorted off campus and suspended with pay. Amazing ain't it!

Anonymous said...

5:12 a.m. Not when you consider who the acting supt is and the fact that he is dependent on the secretary to tell him how run the facility! As a staff I can tell you first hand, she has the need to know who, why and what you want to talk to the supt about! Open door policy, LOL!!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure all the talk about the supt.s secretary at Crockett having all the power that people said she had was accurate - now I'm beginning to wonder if the one at WTSS is working her own angle too. The day after Bill Hollis and Mike Davis were suspended, she was literally dancing in the hallway.

What a shame that SOME of those who pretend to have the best interest of our facility, our staff and the agency at heart, may actually be trying to manipulate events for their own benefit or just for pure meanness. Its very sad.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how funny, we heard about the dancing at our facility too and wondered if it was true. Guess it was!! What did she have against those two? We are lucky to have a good secretary at our facility, we trust her, she's not a nose and she is always courteous and professional. Sorry you all got stuck with such a card!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Shorten's WTSS dancin' days may soon be over! There are 2 spaces reserved for her ponderous ass at TWC.

Anonymous said...

And while we're at it, someone needs to look into the overtime that a previously mentioned secretary at WTSS is accruing by coming in on Sundays to work (and the term is used loosely here) O/T. But each and every week, she gets further and further behind in her job requiring more O/T. Perhaps if she did a little more work and a lot less socializing during work hours, there would be no reason for her to defraud the state. Stealing time is fraud.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the 'acting supt.' at WTSS - he may have dug himself in deep with the volunteers - there was a kid's family visiting from Lubbock or Amarillo, who got stranded at the facility because their car caught on fire - one of the caseworkers got in touch with the president of the volnteer council to try and get the family (there were 5 or 6 of them) bus tickets and a place to stay for the night. When the council president called the 'acting supt.' to see if the facility could help with some transportation to Odessa tomorrow - he told her quote "I don't want to sound sarcastic, but that's really not my problem"! UNBELIEVABLE!!!! It's your facility, your student and his family stranded with two kids less than two years old - and he professes to be a Christian man! Whatever.

My hat is off to the council president and the other two volunteers and the volunteer coordinator who came to the aid of this family because the so-called acting superintendent was too busy to be bothered to care whether these people had a place to sleep or something to eat or a way to get home.

Anonymous said...

Somehow Wally's response to the visitor situation at WTSS doesn't surprise me. He probably couldn't contact Ayo to ask him what to do. If brains were dynamite, this genius wouldn't have enough to blow his nose.

Anonymous said...

These are the quality administrators that the Humpster wanted to fill these positions with. They only care for themselves and have very little empathy for the youth let alone the parents of these youth.
If anyone can get in touch with these parents have them call Madden or Gallegos about this episode, at least it will be recorded as happened and hopefully show the character of these people. I am so glad we have become a kindler gentler TYC. We have no mission no clue and continue heading toward the great abyss.

Anonymous said...

By any chance, was the stranded family not black? That might explain the response.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of prejudice folks out there. It doesn't matter if they are BLACK, WHITE, BROWN, or whatever!!!!!!!!! They should have been helped. We all bleed the same color....RED. Grow up!

Anonymous said...

My concern is less about 'racial' favoritism or whatever - and primarily about his non-concern about this stranded family. These are people who have traveled at pretty good distance in order to try and 'be a part of the rehabilitation process' that has become such a focus of the new administration. How can someone who shows such little regard for the parents of the youth at his facility be any kind of a leader? Or role model?

I hope this family contacts the Ombudsman or someone to report Brown's misbehavior. It sounds like if the volunteers hadn't been there, these people would have spent the night in the park.

This just pisses me off! Someone out there PLEASE give me a good reason (if there is one) to stick this crap out even one more day! I don't want to abandon my facility, but I just don't see any hope anymore. I just don't think anyone really cares as long as they're "laughing all the way to the bank".

Anonymous said...

No dollars in the budget to pay overtime to the remaining staff. But we can pay to move staff from Central Office to the Annex or from the Annex to CO. I have to wonder how much $$$ was spent just on boxes that will end up in a landfill somewhere.

And what about the electricians, computer techs and the movers that we are paying for in order to complete this "rearranging of staff.

We can bump staff at CO up 2 or more pay grades. We can bring in our cronies and pay them big salaries for the experience they "don't have".

The agency received funds for new cameras at the facilities. Where are the cameras?

Our tax dollars at work. Wow. Ain't 'da pope doing a great job! She should be shown to the nearest door and told don't let it hit you on your way out.

What a joke. These people don't have a clue what they are doing. Most of the decisions don't make a bit of sense. Let's move all of the HR staff to the Annex, in space that we have to rent. Ooops, there goes more $$$ that could be used to pay the OT of hard working staff.

Start writing letters to the Lege and the Gov. If enough of us write, maybe we can make a difference. If not, let them hear what we have to say when it comes to election time. Anyone ever heard of term limits. It's time for the old geezers to go and to get some fresh ideas and knowledge under the dome.

Good luck to all, we need it.

Anonymous said...

The price tag for the moving around at CO is at least $90,000.00. Doesn't include stationary, business cards, etc. Then there is the rent for the offices they are moving HR into which is an ongoing expense. So who knows how much the final price tag is. I am sure that this all benefits the youth somehow :-)

Anonymous said...

FYI AT RJSJCC THE CAMERAS HAVE BEEN INSTALLED, IN THE HALLWAYS, CONTROL BOXES, LAUNDRY AND STORAGE ROOMS, KITCHEN, AND OUTSIDE ALL THE BUILDINGS. WHERE NEXT THE BATHROOM?? THERE ARE NO STAFF TO MONITOR THE VIDEO FEEDBACK, AND DID I MENTION THE CAMERAS ARE NOT EVEN ACTIVATED?? IF THAT IS NOT WONDERFUL HOW ABOUT THE $4,000 RADIOS THAT WERE PURCHASED, WHICH BY THE WAY DO NOT WORK, AND DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE PROGRAM COMPLETED FOR THEM. WE HAVE ANYWHERE FROM 4-6 RADIOS PER DORM, ALONG WITH CHARGERS. WE HAVE 7 DORMS UP THE HILL AND 6 DORMS DOWN THE HILL. NOT INCLUDING SECURITY UNITS, AND EDUCATION. BETWEEN THE CAMERAS AND THE RADIOS PURCHASED FOR PUBLIC APPEARANCE, OOOPS I MEAN FOR OUR ""SAFETY"" WE HAVE AT LEAST 1/2 TO 3/4 MILLION DOLLARS OF USELESS, NONFUNCTION EQUIPMENT ON OUR CAMPUS. WHO ACTUALLY GOT THE MONEY THE STATE PAID FOR THIS USELESS EQUIPMENT?? BY THE WAY, FEEL LUCKY THAT YOU GUYS GOT SOME MEDIUM SHIRTS, THE SMALLEST SIZE WE HAVE DOWN HERE IS LARGE. A LOT OF THE STAFF LOOK LIKE THEY HAVE DRESSES INSTEAD OF SHIRTS ON. BEATS THE HELL OUT OF THE LIME GREEN CROSSING GUARD OUTFITS WE HAD TO WEAR.

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