Don't take MY word for it... take it from the TOP.   Here's the link:

In this article, the Head Man on campus tells the Lexington Leader (in response to the recent stabbing incident last month) that we've had a 12:1 staff/student ratio at the school... FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS???!  NO WAY!!!

So far, I've done what I could by writing the legislators and TYC director in Austin... tried to get KXAN TV "Investigative Reports" and the Austin newspaper interested in the dangerous and illegal conditions we've been working under. I even started a website -- and knuckled under to re-naming it after being disciplined for no reason other than the Powers That Be wanted to squash the truth from coming out about how bad things have gotten... but apparently nothing have stuck.  No one seems to have paid any attention to the recent stabbing... no one obviously cares that the 10-6 staff are as liable to get injured or killed as much as anyone else on any other shift; that somehow our situation is "different".


If Big Media doesn't want to do some urgent investigative reporting on what's happening at the school, maybe the good folks at the Lexington Leader will take the time to call or drive across town to interview me after I finish emailing the Editor, ya think?  Wanna bet I'll have LOADS to tell them?  Think I can help them get the FACTS right? Whoo hoo!!  Hang on, my fellow JCO's... the winds of change are starting to blow.    

Here's the email I just sent out to the Lexington Leader:

"Dear Editor:

I read with interest an article published in the Lexington Leader (9-22-11) concerning the recent stabbing of a Juvenile Corrections Officer (JCO) by an incarcerated youth at the Giddings State School.  According to Superintendent Stan DeGerolami, the facility has a JCO staff-to-youth ratio of 1 to 12 as has been mandated for about two years, following Senate Bill 653 that passed and allocated sufficient staff to maintain that ratio.

This simply isn't the case. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool me -- I work there and I know better.  And I'd be willing to guess there's not been a mandated 1:12 ratio for any two consecutive SHIFTS campus wide in the past couple years, Office of the Inspector General investigation nothwithstanding.  Everyone employed there knows the female JCO that was attacked was working alone at the time and that it could also happen to them without warning.

The truth of the matter is that the facility has been, and is, a dangerous place to work.  This is something we JCO's should all have  accepted when we were hired.  What's NOT acceptable is having to work by oneself with 19 violence-prone felons for an entire shift on a regular basis.  The morale of the JCO's consequently has been, and is, at rock bottom due to this and many other questionable practices at the school.  New and veteran JCO's are quitting in droves and continue to be injured due to chronic understaffing.  Youth on youth violence has increased as well.  According to statistics, we're sending these youth back out into our communities with less than a 50% chance of staying out of the penal system after three years.

So far this year I've already emailed President Obama, Congressman Whitmire, Representitive Madden, the Director of the Texas Youth Commission (TYC), KXAN TV Investigative Reports, and the Austin American Statesman with these concerns -- and have yet to receive any response to my urgent pleas for help.  If the State of Texas continues to regard us JCO's as basicly expendable then be prepared to write even more articles dealing with the same needless and preventable violence, or worse.  Some day it's quite possible someone will be killed... but by then who will be left to point fingers?     

I would appreciate your looking into these ongoing and serious matters as soon as possible, before more people become victims of TYC's "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" culture of denial.

Thank you."