Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A VIP day in Region III brings in visitors...

Governor Perry, Sen. Whitmire, Sen. Patrick - photo via Senator Patrick

By Duane Stuart, Backgate Website

Region III had some visitors today. The Darrington unit in Rosharon hosted Governor Rick Perry who briefly ducked in under the radar to see the new faith based program in action there. Also, Texas Senator John Whitmire, who heads the criminal justice committee, visited the Clemens unit in Brazoria to take a look at the Youthful Offender Program. Both stops were planned and had been in the works for sometime. Perry was introduced to the faith based program that includes a seminary. The seminary program is based off of the one that has been in place for years at the Angola state prison in Louisiana. Senator Whitmire, along with Senator Dan Patrick were instrumental in bringing the program to Texas after it saw great success in Louisiana.

John Whitmire
Senator Whitmire toured the Clemens unit, established in 1893, to take a look at the Youthful Offender Program which has been in place there since 1996. The program takes youths (aged 14-17)  that were certified to stand trial as adults and sentenced to adult prison terms and places them in an adult facility to serve there time. The youths are said to be separated from the adult population but actually partake in school, church services and other functions together. The TJJD ( The newly formed Texas Juvenile Justice Dept.) who is also overseen by Whitmire, is trying to gather information on the program to see if it is still feasible to house juveniles within an adult facility. Studies conducted by the Texas Bar Association, as well as some other notable groups, have done studies that indicate that the atmosphere within an adult facility of that type is not acceptable in rehabilitating the youths. Gang pressures from the adult offenders and poorly structured programs were some of the issues noted in the reports.

As we printed in another article just weeks ago, the Officers assigned to the Clemens unit are against the program being located there and indicated that it is poorly managed and the offenders present a danger to staff. Many of the offenders assigned to the program have violent histories or are violent now stated one staff member that emailed us. I have to agree. It seems a bit useless to put these kids in proximity to adult offenders. Although they are housed separate, they can easily talk to the adult offenders, see the adult offenders, and are exposed to adult gangs and their violence on each other. It's kind of a peer pressure situation. They have to act out to impress or keep up with the adult offender population. They really need to be housed all together separately within a TJJD facility where they have access to those types of juvenile programs. There is NO chance of rehabilitation within their current facility. All they are doing is learning from the adults that have been in and out of prisons there entire lives. Based on emails from Clemens employees, their hopes are that they be moved to a more effective environment that is also more controlled and secure. We will see what happens in coming months as the committee makes its determination.


  1. This has to be a great program De Whitsmire loves it and we know he's never ever wrong.

  2. the actual youth program is ran properly. The administration along with counselor effectively teach cognitive restructuring. It is a great program. If it remains at the Clemens unit, the primary factor for improved success will be the"buy-in" from security staff. This includes specially trained officers and clear planning/communication between the YOP staff & security.

    1. the program it self is not the problem. it's the additude of the units security staff. this unit has more problems from the general population offenders than the offenders in the yop program. if the staff were to practice what they have been taught firm,fair and consistant then you would not have any issues. when you leave them Racked Up for no reason then you get what you give. yes they are young but staff still has to follow policy and do what the sign on the picket says DO The Right Thing.if staff treated the GP offenders the same way some of yall would be comming to quell the riot. hell the yop are only 2 rows and a few in seg. and you say they cant be managed? come on grow a pair.

  3. Back in my day, we didn't have all these programs. We had work or an ass whooping!

  4. well your comment was they (yop) have no chance of rehabilitation. the system it self does not rehabilitate anyone that was shut down many years ago. so all yall Reporters that report should come on down to clemens and see that the staff who have e-mailed you are most likely the lazy cooler sitting slobs around. if youve been in corrections any length of time you know that only those who want to change will change no program can force change. prison was not made to be liked unless your insane.

  5. Big Texas News, tried to get whitmire to explane why we do not work these young offenders in the fields. Make them do manual labor everyday. They will not want to come back or fight. Their is plenty of work in the fields. Clemens has the best Warden Harris, but his hands are tied. 95% of TDCJ line force never turn out. They need to use them or sell the horses we feed. The horses are getting fat like the Co's.

  6. "The problem is the additude of security" that folks in a nutshell, should speak volumes.
    You can't adjudicate rehabilitation, period. People don't change till one of two things happen, they hit bottom, or, they are ready.
    The problems that program faces is it has always been forced, both on the offenders and the staff.
    Want to see it change? Put give staff an incentive to work with it and make the offenders earn it.

  7. Work the little bastards. Get their attitudes right. These politicians, like Whitmire, are soft. They talk shit, but just want the photo op. Whitmire has the most selective memory of any politician in Austin.

  8. " Big Texas News " Just like when my dog got a taste of killing chickens, he never stopped. An inmate is like my dog, you feed it and house it, it will always come back. Comitting a crime is easy work, they will not work. Same as my dog they will always keep killing chickens. Untill they are caged.

  9. Wow!!!! the Governor after 12 years visits the State's largest agency for the first time!!!!

    Security at the Darringron Unit did a sorry job!!!! A good minded correctional officer would have never let a crook out of the front gate...

    This a$$hole couldn't attend a CO's funeral, but can be there for thiefs in their time of need. I hope to see Mr Goodhair visit prison again someday, in white!!!

  10. Look the two wearing white shirts are dressed for Prison.

  11. I was there for VIP day, too. It felt weird being on units that I had previously been a prisoner at. It was funny that i ran into a couple of guys I did time with.