EDDIE GRIFFIN SPEAKS:
End Mass Incarceration of Our Youth
TYC has been blasted by lawmakers for spending almost $99,000 per year to incarcerate each juvenile offender, a 40 percent increase in two years when the number of offenders the agency housed dropped by half.
The agency last biennium received about $550 million in state funding, including $100 million in one-time funding to address problems raised in a sex-abuse scandal that brought about sweeping reforms in 2007.
In its initial budget request for the next two years, the agency asked for $463 million, even though the number of incarcerated teenagers under its care had dropped by about half and officials had initiated plans to lay off more than 700 of 4,200 employees.
Also cut: Proposals by the agency to expand the number of beds its operates and leases, to open new regional centers, to expand staffing for the inspector general and ombudsman and to upgrade radios and communications gear, among other initiatives.
Senators noted that the agency has seen its population of incarcerated teenagers drop by nearly half in two years, and said the agency should shrink accordingly.
They cited as proof the estimated $99,000-a-year cost of incarcerating a youth, a $39,000 jump in two years, when the comparable cost of incarcerating an adult is $15,500.
These funds are spread amongst failed farmers-turn-prison-guards.
Really, TYC is administratively top-heavy due to the reduction of juvenile inmate population. The per head cost of operation goes up, when each juvenile goes home. The entire prison population is now down to about the size of a high school (2,400 juveniles). Yet TYC is requesting a biennium budget allocation of $400m.
The point is this: They over-built with the expectations of higher projections and continuing trend, beginning with estimates of kids at the 4th grade level, they start building new prison bed space.
Now that the numbers are not justified and it's hard, if damn near impossible, to scale back the bureaucracy and downsize operations. What they are looking for, and expecting, is a lifeline.
Our kids are dollar signs. The Prison Industrial Complex sees no humanity.
We discovered all kinds of mechanisms used to incarcerate our kids in TYC facilities and keep them incarcerated longer... from exaggerate misdemeanors, to inflated charges, to institutional infractions and systematic denials of paroles.
So, the Prison Industrial Complex went on such a building frenzy that we called it a "pipeline".
Now the flow of our kids into prison has slowed somewhat. We find TYC administrators and employees are screaming to keep their jobs and their facilities open... which, for us, means feeding the population of Hicksville, Texas with our only begottens.
Most urban counties now realize the cost, lost revenue, besides pain and suffering of sending our kids off to Rabbitsville or Cactusville, Texas in the middle of a parched West Texas desert.
Most urban county governments are turning to treating their juveniles under home-grown programs aimed at rehabilitation, rather than TYC brutal regime that perpetuates re-incarceration.
A LEPPERT CAN’T CHANGE HIS SPOTS
Editorial Reveals Mayor Leppert Intentionally Misled Voters during Trinity Vote
Uses Same Deception Campaign Against Prop 1
Submitted By Brooks Love
A Wednesday Dallas Morning News editorial revealed that in order to advance his Trinity River agenda, Mayor Leppert deliberately misled Dallas voters while simultaneously withholding information regarding the cost of the project, risk to the levees and consequently, danger to Dallas citizens.
A collective public looked to the Mayor, newly elected as the City’s flag bearer, for guidance on the project and as the Dallas Morning News put it, he “punted potential problems down the road. And he undermined the public trust.”
“I cannot say I’m surprised. We have now learned the political tactics the Mayor used during TrinityVote—mischaracterization, confusion and in some instances, outright lies—literally mirror what we’re witnessing today,” said Anne Raymond, spokesperson for Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel.
“Having presumably evaluated the numbers, the Mayor is fully aware of the incredible risk this hotel poses for Dallas taxpayers, but he continues to campaign using selective information and lies.
Given his history of breaching public trust, it’s not surprising he would refuse to acknowledge the hotel will undoubtedly force a massive tax increase and cuts in basic city services.”
Dishonesty and distortion have been centerpieces of the Mayor’s campaign from the moment Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel submitted 60,000 signatures to the City Secretary in September 2008. For example:
The hotel supporters’ website falsely claims Proposition One would prohibit the City from offering incentives to developers, when the amendment specifically allows for financial incentives such as TIF districts and tax abatements.
The Mayor deceptively compares constructing a hotel with a half-billion dollar mortgage to the American Airlines Center which has a constant stream of revenue. Moreover, losses are assumed by developers, not taxpayers – opposite of the proposed hotel.