Gotta admit it, things have been tough for TJJD lately -- what with making headlines in the Austin American Statesman newspaper THREE days in a row, and now, the kids escaping from Turman House... what's next?

If anything, it seems likely there will be MORE dirty laundry hanging out to dry -- the politicians are about ready to blow a gasket and will do whatever necessary to divert attention from their own culpability in what's been happening at GSS... of course.  But they've known what the score is for a LONG TIME.  They just can't keep sweeping it under the rug any more.

Scapegoats will be pulled out of their lofty perches and put on trial... guilt will be assessed... and THEN WHAT?  Change is not only inevitable, but at this point in time, also crucial if the Agency is to survive -- or even if it ISN'T.  As difficult a pill as it is to swallow, changes will have to be made, and soon.  MAJOR changes.  And they will have to be made starting at the top, NOT with the rank and file who are being led, and misled, by their supervisors.

It's a "no pain, no gain" situation.  It can't be helped at this point in time... no, there's simply no quick and easy way to get juvenile corrections in the State of Texas back on track without some innovative thinking.  Out with the old, in with the new!

First up on the chopping block may well be the Director of TJJD.  This seems like a good place to start... without any personal malice on my part, I strongly feel it's important to lay blame AND credit for the condition the Agency is in on the person who is most directly responsible for letting things get to where they are now.  I'm all for giving credit where credit is due, but there's really not much to be honestly given, eh?  Let the chips fall where they may.  Sorry, Cherie.  Turn that frown upside down... and get another job, will ya?

Then what?  Then WHO?  Can't say I'm too impressed with Mr. Whitmire and Mr. Madden, who were elected to be in charge of taking care of the State's business in regards to juvenile justice and reforms.  VOTE THEM OUT, too!!  I emailed Ms. Townsend AND both of these guys a LOMG time ago about what was going on at GSS and was ignored.  I KNOW they were NOT in the dark regarding illegal staff/youth ratios, the violence/unsafe working conditions, lack of effectiveness in rehabilitating youth, etc etc.  They KNEW... and chose NOT to act.  Do YOU trust them to do any better NOW?  I sure don't!

The paper disclosed today there's been more pepper spraying and staff injuries within the past few days, and who could be surprised?  What is needed most urgently at TJJD is a change of CULTURE, I believe.  There HAS to be an overhaul of what IS acceptable and what is NOT acceptable as far as youth AND STAFF behavior on campus.  That means the case workers, the JCO 6's, and Admin ALL need to get together with rank and file JCO's and ask for their input -- instead of telling them to quit (and get a job at WalMart) if they don't like the current working conditions on campus.  Will that ever happen?  Believe it when you see it.

Where do YOU stand on the issues?