« Mea Culpa: Shine Takes Blame For Post-Kelty GOP Rift In Allen County | Main | Work In Progress: Make Sure You Use Pencil To Write In Those Caps »

Cause And Effect: DOC Finally Making Changes At Indy Juvenile Facility

Handcuffs The South Bend Tribune updates us on the situation at the Indianapolis Juvenile Correction Facility, which drew the ire of a St. Joseph County judge late last year:

St. Joseph County juvenile justice officials say they're cautiously optimistic about news last week that the Indiana Department of Correction will make sweeping changes to its Indianapolis juvenile facility.

The DOC has announced it will end a two-year-old arrangement to house boys and girls at the same Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility by moving the boys to a recently renovated section of the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility.

"I think it may correct a lot of the problems I wrote the governor about," St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge Peter Nemeth said.

Nemeth wrote an open letter to Gov. Mitch Daniels not long ago, saying girls at the Indianapolis facility, commonly known as the Girls School, were being "warehoused" rather than rehabilitated and were not being adequately supervised. One of the resulting problems was widespread sexual contact between the girls, the judge said his staff had learned.

Nemeth said he had stopped sending girls there and would not resume doing so until changes were made.

DOC officials have denied the changes are related to Nemeth's letter.

Nemeth said he was encouraged by the DOC's announcement that a "staffing plan for the facility is being developed to ensure the appropriate deployment of staff."

"If they are actually doing a staffing plan ... if it means more than just words, I think that is real progress," the judge said. "I applaud them for that. I don't expect their ratios to be as low as ours, but ... you can't have one guard, like this female guard who was assaulted, alone, guarding 30 teens. That's just nuts."


What was the big fight at IJCF about Friday? Eight girls and a officer beaten and a officer had a heart attack? What happened for this to come about? ANd then the allegations of sex between staff and two girls?? Who is protecting these kids anyway?

Hey – Mitch and J. David, Judgment Day may soon be here.

Today it is reported that a male officer at IJCF is suspended and under investigation for having sexual contact with two girls at IJCF.

Here is the story from the channel 6 website:

"Juvenile Inmates Report Sexual Contact With Officer / Officer Suspended During Investigation

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two female inmates were examined at hospitals after they reported having had sexual contact with a male officer at the Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility. The females, ages 15 and 18, said the incident happened Saturday after they were assigned to his work crew on cleaning detail.

Corrections officials started an internal investigation that includes Indiana State Police and Child Protective Services.

The male officer has been suspended during the investigation.

The girls' parents and guardians were told about the incident."

Does PREA not apply to the juvenile institutions? Why is it not enforced? If it were the sex games would stop because the girls do not want additional charges and being called sex offenders. Donahue, have you not learned anything from the RTC stuff?? Same goes for the boys. If there were conseque4nces for this behavior there would be fewer problems. Don't play it off as typical juvenile behavior that they are exhibiting because it is not. Being locked up is not an excuse for allowing girls to sexually prey on other girls. The payment method of sex for food would not be an issue if Aramark had not been brought into the picture. How are they handling the rising costs of food on that contract? Providing crappier food than ever and serving smaller portions? Whay else do the inmates volunteer to take the trash out for staff? Because they eat anything the staff throws away from their meals they bring in. Same thing in the scrape rooms where offenders will eat off the trays being put back in the window. Because they are HUNGRY!!! So many things going on and you keep ignoring them. You could have done things so differently and had the best DOC in the country but instead you have run it into the ground. Who pays the price? The staff and the inmates. Especially the staff at IJCF who are being smeared because you have dumbed down the programs and let the girls take control by tying the hands of the people who work there. You took away all ownership in the process from those who had the most knowledge and experience and run out most of the better people and browbeat the rest into submission whether they wanted to or not by threatening their livlihood and the security for their own families. Pretty powerful tool you use, threats and intimidation to make everyone be submissive. From the deputy commissioners down to the lowest people on the totem pole who work in IDOC. Way to go! WHo are you going to ask for references from in the department? Everyone wants to give you one but do not expect it to be a good one. The only good one you will get is if it guarantees that you will leave DOC and never come back to Indiana. Maybe Daniels can let you tag along with him when he goes job hunting in November and sorry but he has enough money to hold him over when unemployment runs out. I hope you don't because then you will have to deal with the same problems many who have been fired or forced out deal with while they have lost everything due to you.

Only above the law JDD and MMM have the guts to deny Indiana has a problem with a straight face. I guess if they don't admit it there is no problem. CNN must not have creditability and neither do judges in Indiana. Nor does groups who go in and audit. Everyone in DOC knows ACA audits are a farce and that shows are put on for those people who look at phonied up documents.

MSNBC has been doing stories on Pendleton Juvenile but what take did they have on it?? You do not see anything on local stations about those stories. What is up CHannel 13 NBC?

Why doesn't someone like 60 minutes pick up on this story and run with it?? Why don't they look at the whole agency and do an investigative report on JDD and MMM???

Just what I wanted to see in the news, “IJCF inmates talking about having sex.” Considering many of us has stated over, and OVER AND OVER, that the facilities are understaffed, this is no surprise. By the way, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there is other bad stuff going on in the other facilities. As has been said before, the INMATES ARE RUNNING THE FACILITIES! Did you hear that Mitch, J. David Donahue, your golden boy, the best commissioner in the US is allowing the INMATES TO RUN THE PRISONS? That is a real twist. A great way for Indiana to save money, don’t you think?

Mitch, don’t get mad, it wasn’t like we haven’t been telling you for how many. . .YEARS!

Indiana DOC makes the CNN website for news. Look towards the end of the articles and you will see Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility and their problems written about.

Sex abuse, violence alleged at teen jails across U.S.
Story Highlights
U.S. Justice Department suing 11 jurisdictions, alleging abuse of teen inmates

Girls as young as 13 say they were shackled for days at Mississippi lock-up

An official at a Texas jail allegedly offered birthday cake for sex with teen

"It's a nationwide crisis," says expert with 30 years experience in juvenile justice

By Ashley Fantz

JACKSON, Mississippi (CNN) -- Girls as young as 13 say they were shackled for weeks at a time in Mississippi.

A Texas teen was allegedly offered birthday cake in exchange for sex.

A guard drove his knee into the neck of a frail suicidal Ohio boy after the youth was wrestled to the ground and held down by other guards who stripped him and covered his face with a smock, a state report said.

More than two dozen girls at an Indiana lock-up describe "networking" -- their term for sneaking into each other's cells to have sex, with no interference from guards.

This is a glimpse into what America's juvenile jails look like, according to lawsuits, criminal cases and experts who have spent years delving into what they call a broken system.

"It's a nationwide crisis that has been going on for years, one the public has never been told the extent of," said psychiatric social worker Jerome Miller, the co-founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, who has evaluated and helped reform juvenile jails for more than three decades.

This summer, Mississippi plans to close Columbia Training School, a juvenile facility that houses mostly minor offenders. They are often runaways from abusive homes. Listen to stories of Mississippi's teen lock-ups »

Erica was 16 when she was sentenced to Columbia after running away, a probation violation of an earlier marijuana conviction.

She admits she was a girl quick to sass her parents, full of anger about the death of a relative that happened around the same time Katrina wrecked her family's Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, home.

Nervously touching a sparkly barrette in her red hair, she cries as she describes how guards forced her legs into tight metal shackles. She said she was cuffed and chained when she ate and used the bathroom -- and was even forced to play soccer that way against other girls.

Guards called her "Chain Gang," she said.

"I will always remember them things around my ankles, the way they cut into me," she said, pulling up her pant leg to show slash-mark scars on her ankles and heels. "They made you feel like you were nothing." Watch teen explain suicide attempt was cry for help »

Represented by attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Erica and nine other girls housed at Columbia are suing the state, claiming they endured a range of sexual and physical abuse, including shackling. Don Desper, a licensed therapist and former employee at Columbia who opposed the practice, told CNN it was used to prevent the teens from escaping.

In a handwritten affidavit, a 15-year-old girl described a male guard molesting her. She wrote: "He came inside my cell half way half of his body and he started touching me and he tryed (sic) to kiss me and then he left he came back with my snack in his hand and he opened my cell again and he started grabbing me around my waist and he tryed (sic) to stick his hands in my pants and I started crying."

When the lawsuit was filed in 2007, a U.S. Justice Department monitor was making periodic inspections at Columbia as part of a 2005 settlement with Mississippi in a previous case. The Justice investigation that led to that settlement found Columbia youths were hog-tied, forced to strip and eat their own vomit and were held in isolation in what was called the "Dark Room," a windowless room with a hole in the floor used as a toilet. Read the Justice Department report that describes girls being shackled to poles

Hundreds of youths have allegedly suffered similar abuse at juvenile detention centers across the United States, according to experts interviewed by CNN and court records checked for this story.

The U.S. Justice Department has sued nine states and two territories alleging abuse, inadequate mental and medical care and potentially dangerous methods like the use of restraints. The department doesn't have the power to shut down facilities -- states do -- but through litigation it can force a state to improve its detention centers and protect the civil rights of jailed youths.

Another facility under Justice scrutiny is Oakley Training School near Jackson, Mississippi, which was sued by the department at the same time as Columbia. Gov. Haley Barbour recently announced Columbia's inmates would be transferred this summer to Oakley when Columbia is closed.

But the Justice Department said Oakley has satisfied barely a fraction of requirements the department set for it years ago. According to a March 2008 Justice report, there is an "enormous amount of work" needed to make Oakley a safe and productive place to rehabilitate troubled teens.

Barbour would not respond to questions for this report. The Mississippi Department of Human Services, which runs Columbia and Oakley, refused to answer most of a CNN public records request citing pending litigation and also declined to be interviewed.

The U.S. Justice Department could not talk specifically about ongoing cases, but Lisa Krigsten, civil rights division principal deputy assistant attorney general, noted the department is going after double the number of juvenile jails for civil rights violations during the Bush administration than in any previous administration.

"We take this seriously and are committed to protecting the vulnerable children who are in these places," she said.

A CNN check of other juvenile facilities shows that, despite years of court wrangling, serious problems persist.

In Ohio, a dozen employees at the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility have been indicted since 2003 on charges relating to physical and sexual abuse of youth, according to a May 2007 Justice report. Five were convicted of various charges, including sexual battery and assault; six cases were dismissed and a jury found one employee not guilty.

In January, a state-hired consultant blamed a "culture of violence" in Ohio's juvenile jails for numerous abuses. The expert's report details examples of "egregious use of force" by guards and included a video he viewed of a 2007 incident in which a "frail" boy who was threatening to harm himself was restrained by guards.

The boy was wrestled to the ground, cuffed and stripped, with one guard seen putting his full body weight on the boy's back while driving his knee into the boy's neck.

A so-called "Suicide Smock" was placed "over his airways," the report said. "The youth actually screams that he can't breathe."

In response to the report, the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which oversees detention facilities, has installed more surveillance cameras and beefed up its mental health care staff, spokeswoman Andrea Kruse said.

"We're doing everything we can to improve," she said.

On Thursday, Ohio announced settlement of a suit brought by Children's Law Center of Kentucky. It will add up to $30 million annually to its juvenile justice budget and hire more guards, psychologists and teachers for its system.

Accusations similar to those made in Ohio were made at a Florida boot camp in 2006. Martin Lee Anderson, 14, was seen on surveillance tape being beaten and restrained by guards. Anderson later died. Seven guards and a nurse were acquitted of manslaughter in October.

Since then, the NAACP's Florida chapter has called for an investigation of the state's teen jails, noting at least seven youths have died at lock-ups since 2000, including 17-year-old Omar Paisley, who died at a Miami detention center of a ruptured appendix after begging for help during three days that he was in pain.

A grand jury found that two nurses repeatedly failed to help Paisley. They are charged with third degree murder and manslaughter, have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled for trial in July.

Florida issued a report in January asking for more than 50 changes to its system and a partnership with the Department of Education to attack problems before kids drop out of school. Overall, the report calls for treating troubled kids with therapy as an alternative to jail.

Texas is grappling with the fallout from reports of long-term sexual abuse at its facilities, where, since 2000, more than 90 Texas Youth Commission employees -- roughly one a month -- have been sanctioned or fired for sexual misconduct with adolescents, commission spokesman Jim Hurley told CNN.

Texas granted early release in February to a 16-year-old girl who attempted suicide after she was allegedly molested repeatedly by a male guard. The guard was indicted in December on four counts of molesting the girl. He was previously charged with raping four other female inmates, but those charges were dropped, said Hurley, after witnesses retracted their accounts.

This spring, two administrators at a west Texas youth facility are scheduled to stand trial on charges they were having sex with juvenile inmates, one allegedly enticing a teen to perform sex acts for birthday cake. The men resigned in 2005, Hurley said.

Texas recently has added hundreds more surveillance cameras and personnel to its facilities to avoid more problems, he said.

"Girls are sexually abused in these institutions more often than the public would believe," said Paul DeMuro, a delinquency expert who in 2002 inspected Columbia for the Justice Department and is now a consultant for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Nationwide, the Justice Department has said 2,821 allegations of sex abuse were made in 2004, the most recent data on the topic available.

An Indiana juvenile judge said there's another dimension of sexual misconduct happening at Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility -- inmate on inmate sex.

State Judge Peter Nemeth is refusing to send female offenders to the lock-up after a team of delinquency experts interviewed a total of 31 girls at the facility. The girls described "networking," or sneaking into each other's cells for sex. Members of the team told CNN that locks on cells were not working, allowing the young women to leave and enter their cells whenever they wish.

One girl interviewed said a guard had participated in the sex.

"It's a dangerous place," said Nemeth, who is sending youths to two other facilities at more than twice the cost to taxpayers. "It seems like chaos to me, very little discipline. The girls say they are running the place."

In March, the Indiana Department of Correction said it is transferring boys at the facility to another lock-up, which Nemeth hopes will allow more staffers to oversee the girls section. "It may be a step in the right direction," he said, but won't necessarily solve the problem of girls frequently having sex with other girls.

Before March, the judge detailed his concerns in two letters to Gov. Mitch Daniels, whose office referred all questions for this story to Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Doug Garrison.

"We disagree with the judge's characterization," Garrison said, adding that no investigation at the facility has substantiated the girls' claims.

When Erica was held at Columbia, she said she didn't think anyone would believe her accounts of abuse. It's taken months of therapy, including some counseling at a YMCA, which she found in her small Mississippi hometown.

Erica talks about wanting to be an attorney. It's the first time in her life she is considering her future. She tries not to think about Columbia, but smiles when she talks about the facility closing.

"I'm happy, real happy," said Erica. "That means nobody is going to get hurt there again."

All AboutJuvenile Justice • U.S. Department of Justice

Find this article at:

And you 6:46 say J. David does not see that the IDOC institutions are not under staffed? Do we need to send him to an eye specialist? How can he explain the riots, fights, two deaths in a month’s period and other disruptions which have happened in the facilities?
Take off the blinders Indiana, the IDOC facilities are not safe for inmates or staff under J. David Donahue’s leadership. Mitch Daniel’s has stated that he will not consider changing leadership of the IDOC, therefore if you, like me feel that both inmates and staff are unsafe go to the poles in November and vote to remove Mitch Daniel’s as Indiana’s Governor. Personally I think the safety and security of the inmates and employees are at stake.

Again, you have it wrong. Commissioner Donahue is the only one in the last 20 years that has looked out for staff. He brought about change and yes - ask alot of staff at times. But the one thing is that we are a better agency because of it. For example - last night at my facility = we had staff walking the facility - doing shake downs and checking on me and other staff. Before this Commissioner - staff played cards in the units, played around with equipment and the inmates. I like my job and I like the direction DOC has taken over the last several years. I can say that with some awareness since I have worked for the state for almost 15 years. I originally voted democrate because thats what my family was, and I used to pay union dues for my job and got nothing in return. I say four more years for Mitch and also, thanks for my increase in salary - I no longer have to work a part time job!!!!

7:52 AMEN you got it! Who were they?
They were officers, teachers, councilors, maintenance, nurses, secretaries, all the people on grounds at IJCF who worked as a team. These people learned to communicate, at roll call, team meetings, school meetings, and by doing so they kept a close watch on what the population was doing, that is until J. David came along.
That is who the A- team was and can be again if J. David will step out of the picture, allow roll call to start again so all officers can communicate daily. Allow team meetings weekly, school meetings monthly and if needed campus meetings. Until all staff are again communicating and on the same page.
I know it is hard for you J. David, but try to treat line staff with respect not an attitude.

Who was the A Team???

The truth is this "A-Team" was the A-team because it was allowed to be.

They were allowed to believe that they were professionals who were respected and valued by the people they worked for.

They were allowed to work in an environment in which they didn't have to wonder which far end of the state they might be transferred to at any given moment, for no apparent reason other than it satisfies someone's sense of power & control.

They were allowed to exercise their own professional judgement, achieved through years of experience, education, and training.

They were allowed to hire, train, and develop staff at their facilities...and in turn allowed THEM to feel respected & valued as professionals.

Changing the rules for ones own good was not a quality of this so called A- team you are talking about. The rules were all laid out. What we have now from Donahue is called “switch and bait” which causes total chaos. One day the rules go one way the next they have changed. You cannot bring up kids and change the rules on a daily bases, nor can you run an intuition or a business in that manner.
You MUST be fair. When, as the commissioner, you force all people to meet a certain expectation, then turn around and CHANGE a position set by law, just so a certain person can have a job of high authority and that person does not meet the job requirements. That does not show that you, as commissioner, have respect for those you work with, only that you have power to do as you please. (If you, the reader, do not understand what I am talking about go to this web site: http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008803300318)
A leader is one that respects those they work with and would roll up their sleeves and dig in the trenches if that is what is needed. It is not a person who walks around in $400 dollar suits, without a hair out of place, yelling orders, looking down their nose at the common front line workers in the facilities as J. David Donahue does. I know, I’ve been there to see the cold hard stare, I’m better then you look. Sorry, J. David, but I put my pants on the same way as you do each morning. I bet I put my shoes and shirt on the same way too. It doesn’t make me any better.
People in each institution try to tell you some of your ideas are not feasible, and when they don’t work, you distance yourself and put it off on the line staff or Superintendents. It makes me sick that you had the NERVE to go to the Indiana Legislature and tell them there were not people in Indiana with College Degrees who could be Superintendents of the correctional facilities in our state. The real truth is there was no one left with a degree that would put their degree on the line to do the stupid stuff which you told them to do. They knew what you were demanding was wrong. Do I blame them, no? You are a joke, J. David Donahue and everyone knows it.
I may not make the money you make, but I know what is inside me makes the real difference, and there is no way you will get that Sir.
So my plan is simple, I am going to the poles in November and I am going to get as many people as possible to go with me to send Mitch and J. David out of the state.

A-Team were a far cry from perfect but they were good. Keen, perceptive, ability to pull together, steady, persistent in adhering to the course, loyal, committed to kids and rehabilitation. They were hard on themselves as wll as their staff when setting expectations. Their is no silver bullit to running a sucessful, therpeutic juvenile corecctional facility and they knew it. But they never stopped reaching. They were very tight and supportive of one another. They didn't just focus on their facility but all juvenile facilities. When one had problems they all interfaced smoothly and without hesitation to resolve. They had a leader who knew how to lead! That was the A-Team. Not perfect but good. They firmly believed that "no man is an island". All are qualities and strengths that Donahues knows nothing about.
He is a vile man. I see no hope for change.

Expectations, they expected respect, and gave respect and followed the rules. The administration backed them up. In other words, they had each others backs

No I'm not A-Team and I will agree with that. But I will be true and say I would rather work for somebody "A-Team" because no I haven't been impressed with the leadership because THAT is why these facility are a huge mess, but all I am reading here is whining about "oh no all the good people are gone and we have to get them back!!!" I'm just saying I would like to know who they were and what made them A-Team? Because yea it would be nice if an A-Team came but they arent going to come back so what made THEM great??

I’ve got news for you buddy, as long as those ‘love triangles,’ overt sexual acting out, poor hygiene, sloppy dress, etc. are acceptable they will be what the girls do. If no one starts the process of change there will be no change.
So, Donahue better fasten his seat belt, swallow his pride and FIND some of those people he threw the ax at and get them back to IJCF if he doesn’t want the DOJ breathing down his throat. He is the fault of this whole mess he got rid of the people who knew how to keep those kids in line, so he better go find them. And by the way they never beat them, or hurt them. Those kids learned respect and self-esteem something the IDOC have totally lost under J. David Donahue.
I agree he is a total idiot!

10:07. Based on your response it is apparent you are not a member of the A-team. You have not a clue.

Who is this freaking "A-Team" we're always having to hear about??? I have worked both at Pendleton and IJCF and never seen any "A-Team". SWAT TEAM is more like what is needed to turn those places around! These kids aren't angels there to learn French and Spanish!! They are there for crimes and alot of them are rougher than alot of the adult male offenders I have seen. There's a reason nobody likes working juvie, and I bet that's why your "A-Team" went gone! You talk about staff moral and self esteem is so bad, and maybe so but compared to what? You think just because thesse offenders are kids that these places are like a high school or something and that we have pep rallys and cute stuff like that? THESE ARE PRISONS and I don't know anybody for any "A-Team" that should change that.

Love triangles, overt sexual acting out, poor hygiene, sloppy dress, serious acting out (at time violent)behavior, no valid individualized case mangement,inconsistency in programming,overuse or inconsistent use of sanctions, student and staff apathy, staff misconduct, poor reporting to Child Protective Services, lack of positve reinforcement,staff vs staff or department vs department feuds; dirty, oppressive, tense environment. Ingredients = disaster. A facility ripe for much greater problems. What a hell hole. IJCF is at ground zero! Too bad Donahue sent the A-team in juvenile corrections packing. He now has no depth in administrative experience to draw from, no top staff with a credible, respected history of buidling a culture, and no administrators with with turn around know how. This is a job for the best of the best and even they would have difficulty.
As said many times over Donahue is an idiot who should be fired. What he has allowed to happen is criminal. As for IJCF, both staff and kids seem to have a serious case of low self esteem, indifference, and/or no sincere motivation to change. Many wallow in their disgust of self and surroundings. What a horrible situation.
I think it is going to take more than a supply order of laundry detergent to change this. It will however help the dirty, stinky clothes situation.

Sounds easy enough. So what's the problem? Maybe you should run the place.

A couple of questions: How you going to get "more staff at night"? Officers don't exactly line up for that shift. And who is going to supervise them?

I infer from your posting that you are a teacher; I am very very glad you are there and quite obviously care. Are you and your colleagues some of the "more staff" that will be necessary to facilitate movement of the girls to and from school? Will you and your colleagues be participating in enforcing and reinforcing the rules & expectations in order to achieve the consistency that your correctly say is necessary? Or is that just custody's job?

If J. David Donahue wants to spiff things up and make this a good horse and pony show for the Department of Justice then J. David Donahue better get busy and send reinforcements, in the form of supplies, and a plan that assures these teachers and staff that this is not just another six to eight month trial program. These teachers and staff are sick and tired of getting a schedule started only to stop and start all over again every six to eight months. Kids lose credits; teachers have to redo all their lesson plans and schedules. The people in central office don’t care because it does not affect them, but changing rooms, moving equipment and supplies gets old.
As for all the sexual activity, one student per room, more staff at night, and 15 minute rounds. Any student found in another student’s room has a charged and loses a level, no excuse. If a few don’t get to go home or lose privileges, this will stop.
Sloppy dressing, first Donahue will have to issue some new clothing, and then he will have to make sure the clothing is fitted correctly, if students exchange to get clothing which is too large they are given sanctions and those sanctions are served. Next all washers and dryers must function correctly and there must be soap and softer to use in the washer. Clothing must be washed on a regular base, and students cannot exchange clothing. If it is torn or damaged it must be fixed. Officers need to do inspection before they come to school, line them up earlier. Once they get in the habit of doing what they are supposed to do they won’t have to stand in the line so long. If they are late to school one day, the next they get up that much earlier and stand that much longer until they get it right. And they learn to walk on quiet. This can be done. But, it will take MORE THAN ONE STAFF. And it will take more than one day to get it done!
The first day it may take two hours to get to school. And it may take two hours to return from school. It is going to take a long time to undo the bad habits they have gotten into. You want them to be better, get busy, set standards and don’t let them slide. They will do what you demand only if you are consistence.
Team meetings MUST be started again, with teachers on each team. All students must again be accountable to a team. They must earn their levels; if they do not earn them then they do not get them. Levels are not automatic!
Last, if one student causes the whole group to be late to school there is a consequence for that person.
Students in any school will do what the facility demand of them, only if the facility stand as a whole and everyone makes them follows the rules.

Did you all see the article in the Ft. Wayne Gazette about the deal cut for Mike Cunegin to make room for him at DOC despite his lack of qualifications and lying about his resume?
What a tangled web of liars we have in this state!

10:08, "The Commissioner can only work with what was given to him."


The Commissioner GOT RID of what was given to him.

Its good to hear some positive movement at IJCF. Hopefully some same changes will help all juvenile facilities; IJCF is bad but we have all been treated like dirt by JDD. Glad that the feds are finally maybe forcing some changes. But You are right it needs to be 24/7 committment and you are right so many who could do it and wanted to do it are gone. I hope ms. Whitcomb can hang on but I don't knnow how one person can do everything that these facilities need.

well oh well - once again teachers demonstrate they are overpaid and under worked. This is classic Union propaganda - must be an election year in IN. I have seen things progress with Supt Rivenburg and question why he dosn't get rid of those staff who don't do the job. This is not about a Commissioner its about IJCF. The Commissioner can only work with what was given to him. And what he got was a group of employees at IJCF with poor attitudes and a very bad work ethic in some of the old timers. Several employee at IJCF are committed to professional corrections. If girls have gone wild - its facility staff that are not doing the job.

Change in the school is a move in the right direction. Yet the overall culture remains primitive. The girls have no pride in their appearance,or their surroundings. The facility is a pit. Gay activity is out of control. Staff who have worked in this correctional environment for years are aghast by the forever declining, unacceptable culture. It is a clear case of "girls gone wild". It is going to take some strong leadership, creative thinking, creative programming,a clear understanding of the female population, and staff with skills to implement to evidence real change. It will require much more than an addition of a music class. The problems are so deep-seated that only the best of best with 24/7 determination will be able to turn this around. Many of the best of the best juvenile pratitioners have left DOC. Any that remain are so trodden down by the idiot JDD that the commitment needed for this turn around isn't there. Many times I think; call out the names of the past. Where are you? We need help. But the truth is they are long gone, would nver return under the leadership of Donahue. Not to mention that Donahue's ego would never allow him to admit that he was wrong with harassment and/ or removal of some of our most credible leaders.
We all know that the school changes, while good , are not a result of Donahues change in thinking or about what is best for kids, but because of Justice Departments interevention. Doanhues' prison mentality is worthless in a juvenile environment. A pig will always enjoy his slop and that sums it up for Donahues value in juvenile corrections.

March 31, 2008, first day teachers 7:15 AM to 3:15 AM (these were the hours they had before the mess started with the boys). Classes start with the girls. Principal met with the girls. Now the girls will have Spanish, French, these classes are new and finally after what seems like years Science, but still no Music (the Music teacher was fired because she refused to get her Special Ed license). They have someone in the Library, not sure if this person has a Library license. Best if all they put the office back at the school desk! The center of control at the school! J. David Donahue, himself came and remove this person because they were not needed just a few years ago, which caused total chaos in that building and throughout campus. Donahue is an idiot!

Now maybe these people can get back to the job of education.

The staff at IJCF are tired of all the changes. They have been drug through the mud. Every time they turned around Donahue and Nally were changing the Educational program. For a long time they had no prep time, the students schedules have changes uncountable times, teachers were split up to teach the boys, teachers hours were switched, teachers keys were taken away, teachers were doing all the principals jobs, school hours were changed, all upstairs classrooms were taken away, then some classrooms were re-opened. . .change, change, change. CHANGE, that would be the only constant thing at IJCF, well except for lack of custody, lack of supplies and a copy machine which doesn’t always work. . .oh and those great AP books John Nally got everyone!

The program at IJCF is in such trouble that moving the boys out is only a token of what needs to be done. Homosexuality is running rampant becauseof inadeaute staffing, inadequate programs, lack of structure, lack of community involvement, and rigidity in managing the youth. The whole scene is sick . The girls are more damaged going out than coming in. The straight line issue here is that managing a female population is totally different than managing a male population. Doesn't seem administration gets that. Kelly doesn't have a clue. Nally is nothing but babble and the staff at IJCF are so demoralized that they really don't care what is right or wrong anymore. They just try to get through the day. The culture, once very good, has broken down to a savage, irresponsible, unhealthy, dirty pit. Moving the boys out, while good, is not be the quick fix to all of the gay activity. The neglect in care and supervision that goes on in that place is criminal. Programs suck. Eduaction is a joke! Mental health intervention is lacking!

So what are the changes at IJCF anyway? What is going on there? Anyone care to share?

this is typical Nally. Just babbling. Totally inept. Kelly Whitcomb is going to have more than enough trouble with her new role, but trying to get education back on track in the juvenile facilities and in compliance with DOC agreement with this guy as "director" of Ed. is going to be impossible.

Here is food for thought, John Nally, head of DOC Education sent this memo out:

Subject: no rush update
At our last SOE meeting I mentioned that I would welcome your input after talking with our in-house vocational teachers regarding recidivism and employment.
You can take it for what it is worth, but our in-house vocational programs don’t seem to have any impact on reducing recidivism nor direct connection to employment post-release.
John M. Nally

I’m sure a few of you have already seen this memo and know it was true. Does this perhaps put a knot in your stomach? This is the head of DOC Education talking. He has already taken the education staff away from Women’s Prison and there is talk that all Adult Facilities will lose their educational teachers, this sounds like vocational teachers are next. Can what John Nally say be trusted?

Deployment of staff?? Sounds like JDD is having a flashback to his few days in Iraq.

First and for most, JDD must be forced to drop the Special Ed requirement for all teachers, it is a farce! This does not meet the needs of the students at IJCF! Next, the get a team of qualified (that means first get ride of John Nally who is only there for a pay check) Special Ed teachers who can first sort out the mess at IJCF. Second come up with at plan to fix the mess at IJCF. Third make sure class sizes are smaller so that teachers are able to HELP, these students on a one to one bases.
Now that would be a start.

Cautiously optimistic is the way they better look at this and wait for the proof in the pudding.

Face it. It is an election year and the moves are being done to keep from loosing votes. When it comes to adults no one seems to care but when it comes to kids it gets a little more attention. Throw in the word sex and you get a fire going. The changes were more for a justifiable reason to now get rid of teachers since they had just added 5 or 6 new ones from other facilities. Now that they lost 69 boys to Logansport, they can say they no longer need all those teachers and RIF them. Then they are back in the same boat because they did not have adequate staff to begin with and were not able to meet the needs of the special education population.
Nally and Mitch and JDD went overboard when they made the rule all the teachers had to be special ed teachers because that is just not done in public schools. It was a bargaining chip to get Juvie Justice and the feds off their back. It has not even addressed the fact that a large portion of those kids are not special ed and so that did not solve the dilemma. Get real. They are playing a game again and this time they will cut custody staff and teaching and counselor positions because they have fewer kids there. The ratio of officers to students will not get better because JDD is the one who says they don't need but 1 officer for 60 kids. Farce. Watch and see. This judge has called their bluff. See how they get by this one.

Like JDD could care what Bruce's attitude was.

It would have been done a lot sooner but if for Bruce Lemmon's "is it politically correct" attitude.

Did DOC make this change because of the judge's letter to the Governor, or because the DOJ is breathing down JDDs neck?

I hope though that the judge keeps his own close eye on the situation at IJCF, because just moving the boys out isn't going to solve all the problems there. How many staff are going to be cut from IJCF as the department "re-deploys" it's staff?

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Find Stuff


Buy Stuff

Fun With Numbers