"What most people probably do NOT know is that it's "business as usual" now that TYC has morphed
into TJJD... and business is NOT good.

Just within the past few days at the Giddings campus, there have been a few major riots, resulting in many injuries and thousands of dollars worth of destruction by the youth felons who are committed there. Earlier in the week there was a riot involving lots of pepper spray and scores of youth in the cafeteria... throwing trays, fighting, breaking windows. Yesterday morning it was a mass melee with over a hundred youth fighting staff and each other all over campus, and in the evening an entire dorm was ruined to the point of being uninhabitable. A number of youth had to be chased down while running around on the loose outside at 3:30 AM.

I came to work on my dorm yesterday evening to see dried blood on the floor and only a third of the youth still in their beds; the rest had been taken to security cells. The main cause of the rioting is said to be racially/gang motivated, but it may have been nothing more than youth being angry about the recently limited options on their new flat screen TV's. The reasons aren't important, though. What IS important is for taxpayers, legislators, and parents to know thier children are NOT safe while locked up in the Juvenile Justice system in Texas -- whatever you want to call it.

Serious correctioal officer assaults by youth are common. Illegal understaffing is endemic on every shift, every day. Youth are allowed to sleep in class and verbally abuse teachers instead of working to learn anything. Examples of racism, nepotism, cronyism, sexism, and outright fraud and corruption also occur on a daily basis... and when concerned staff do complain they're told to shut up and live with it or get a job at WalMart. Veteran employees are quitting more and more due to frustration and fear. The staggering rates of absenteeism and the number of those who take FMLA leave means many of us are required to work multiple 12 hour shifts a week. Call it what you what you will, but I don't see how simply changing the name of the agency from TYC to TJJD is going to make much of a difference.

As an institution, TJJD is less than a day old, but time is already running out for those who have been dealing with an agency that has been in failure mode and is only getting worse by the day. Does anyone else really think we'll be able to hide the truth much longer before someone gets killed?"

Check out the online page where this same letter appears as a comment to the Chronicle's coverage of TJJD's "birthday" by clicking below... apparently the editors need to read it over before it gets posted for public viewing.  If it doesn't show up in a day or two, I'll shop it around to some other media outlets and see what happens.