Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

December 19, 2013

UPDATE: State Home to become ‘transitional’ facility for TJJD youth

Corsicana — The Corsicana State Home will remain a part of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) said Thursday the State Home will become what he described as an “education and transitional facility” for youth who are aging out of the TJJD system.

Cook’s remarks came in an update to the Corsicana and Navarro County Chamber of Commerce board Thursday, four days after the TJJD announced it was moving the remaining youth at the State Home and the mental health treatment program that served them to the TJJD facility in Mart.

Cook said the mission of the new transition center, expected to serve as many as 190 youth between the ages of 16 and 19, would be to help prepare for life outside the TJJD.

“I view this as an extremely positive string of events for our community,” Cook said.

The announcement of the repurposing of the Corsicana facility marks a new beginning for the State Home. After a TJJD study recommended closure of the facility this summer, Cook along with local leaders worked with members of the state’s Legislative Budget Board to find an alternative to address the needs of the youth and the state.

Cook said support of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was instrumental in leading to Thursday’s announcement.

“We have the commitment of the Speaker and the Lt. Governor, and that’s what we needed,” Cook said.

Cook told chamber board members that Navarro College would play a role in the success of the transition facility.

“Working with Navarro College through college courses, dual credit and vocational training, prepare these kids to be successful in life,” Cook said.

Courses would be offered online and through video link to the campus, said County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr., adding some instructors could also visit the campus.

“These should be kids that want to get ready to get back into society,” Davenport said.

The TJJD announced Monday that most of the State Home’s employees were being transferred to Mart to continue to work with the youth formerly housed in Corsicana. Some employees will remain in Corsicana as the facility now prepares for the transition. Others, Cook said, would likely be offered other positions in the TJJD. When the transition of the Corsicana facility is complete, some employees will come back, Cook said.

“None of these employees are to be ‘let go’ during this process, according to the Lt. Governor,” Cook said.

No specific timeline has been set for the transition of the State Home, other than the move of the existing youth to Mart, which should be completed this week.

Jim Hurley, a spokesman for the TJJD, said Thursday the agency was waiting for word from the Legislative Budget Board about the announcement.

Cook said he did not know the status of the TJJD employee training program at Navarro College, or whether it would continue after the transition.

“Right now, their focus is on getting these kids safely moved,” Cook said.

Cook said he was grateful to everyone who worked on developing the plan for the State Home’s new purpose.

“We should embrace this in a very positive way,” Cook said. “It is going to be a big benefit.

“Honestly, had we not done this, those kids would be gone, and probably the facility would probably be locked up and empty,” Cook said.

—————

Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 4-23-14 DerrickDays.jpg Derrick Days: Downtown Chowdown

    Derrick Days is ready to go, with events escalating everyday until the big Saturday celebration, with dozens of activities that day alone.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23-14 TownHall.jpg Navarro College Town Hall shares updates

    Reaching out to the community, inviting the civic groups to the campus, and doing a better job of sharing the story of Navarro College were some of the ideas brought up at a college Town Hall event held Monday.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • CISD board hears facilities study results

    The long-awaited CISD facilities report from the Texas Association of School Boards was delivered, at least in a short form, Monday at the Corsicana board of trustees meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Train accident victim identified

    A 61-year-old Corsicana man was taken to Parkland Hospital Monday night after he was struck by a train as he tried to cross a railroad track on foot.

    April 22, 2014

  • Report: West plant explosion preventable

    The fertilizer plant explosion that killed 15 people last year in a tiny Texas town could have been prevented, even if it's still not clear what started an initial fire that triggered the blast, federal officials said Tuesday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Local Beat for 4/23/14

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County

    April 22, 2014

  • DPS urges online driver's license renewal

    Renewing a Texas driver's license doesn't necessarily mean waiting in long lines or prepping your best photo ID look for the camera. The Department of Public Safety on Tuesday urged residents to renew online and beat the typical summer rush at driver's license offices.

    April 22, 2014

  • Agency report on West blast to be released

    It has been a year since a fire caused a huge explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant that killed 15 people, yet companies in the state can still store hazardous chemicals in flammable wooden containers in buildings without sprinklers and volunteer firefighters like those who rushed into that plant still aren't required to train how to fight such fires.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 Aldis.jpg ALDI gets set for May 1 opening

    The much anticipated opening of a new ALDI Grocery store in Corsicana is just two weeks away.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22-14 Minithon main.jpg Oil Town Minithon kicks off Derrick Days celebration

    The 2014 Oil Town Minithon Saturday raised an estimated $6,000 for local charities as it served to kick off the annual Derrick Days celebration.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates