You may have read about "Billy", a TYC alumni who was let out a few years ago...?  The Austin American Statesman did an 11-part series ( on this young man a couple years ago or so -- and again he's in the news -- this time for supposedly murdering a 65 year old blind and handicapped woman in Austin.  Gee.  Who'da thunk something like THAT could have ever happened!?

Watch the video.  See how little TYC affected him ... how the parole system didn't require him to meet the requirements set... how he went back to his old ways... and hear his mom basicly say "He's not a bad kid; he just doesn't like to do anything he's told to."  Duh.  Go figure.  He soon goes on to commit more crimes and gets a slap on the wrist -- an adult criminal record -- and now he's REALLY in deep trouble.  Surprised?  I'm not.

The way we're heading currently, as TYC is fixing to transform to TJJD, only seems to guarantee we'll see more kids like Billy getting out and winding up in the Big House.  Sad to say, yes, but what can we expect?  The system at the juvenile level has let the kids down AND let society down as well.  Our priorities are STILL allll screwed up!  We need to focus more on rehabilitation, responsibility, and accountability -- NOT giving the kids snowcones and slip-n-slides and flat screen TV's.  Once we turn our attention to instilling some discipline in the kids instead of providing them with a Summer Camp type atmosphere, maybe, just MAYBE they'll learn some things that will help them stay out of trouble once they leave.  Maybe if we make things unpleasant here for them instead of making them "as comfortable as possible" they'll make better choices and decide they don't want to get locked up anymore.  Call me crazy, but I say it's worth a try.