Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


May 29, 2013

Corsicana Residential Treatment Center survives one chop, but faces next challenge

Corsicana — Following the passage of the state budget Saturday, Texas Rep. Byron Cook remains cautiously optimistic that the Corsicana State Home has a long future helping high-risk juvenile offenders.

In January of this year, the Texas senate had proposed changes to the Texas Juvenile Justice Division, including closing the Corsicana facility, but during the course of the legislative session that specific order was dropped from the legislation.

The threat hasn’t completely disappeared, however. Now TJJD officials are going to look at all six of their facilities with an eye towards closing one of them by January.

“(The Corsicana facility) is doing a good job,” Cook said. “I visited with the head of the TJJD as well as the ombudsman, who goes and looks at all these facilities to see how they’re functioning. Nobody can point to where they aren’t doing a good job. Nobody can point to where they don’t have crucial services.”

“The only negative they could point to was that it’s an old facility,” Cook added. “The challenge of this very old facility.”

However, cutbacks in the TJJD portion of the state budget means one of the six Texas facilities may be discontinued, at least, that’s the TJJD interpretation of the law.

None of the six existing facilities are out of bounds for closure, said John Hurley spokesman for the TJJD. The 35th amendment, or rider, to the appropriations bill states that TJJD will close at least one facility by Jan. 1 and it will submit its plan for closure by Sept. 1, Hurley said. Since 2007, the state has closed about six different criminal youth facilities. The population in the system has also dropped from about 4,500 to 1,199, Hurley said. The Corsicana facility houses 90 of those youth.

The agency, which was previously the Texas Youth Commission before the legislature merged it with the youth probation division and created the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, is moving away from youth facilities where kids are locked up, and is instead concentrating on community-based treatment. The “diversion” of funds from the state agency to county-based programs has helped,

“The community diversion is working,” Hurley said.

Those who are incarcerated within the system are all there for violent felonies, and a large percentage of them have a need for specialized care. “Typically, the youth we’re getting are truly the 1 percent,” Hurley said.

The Corsicana Residential Treatment Center is unique in that it houses those offenders who have other issues beyond their criminal behavior — a psychological or learning disability, for example, and typically more than one issue. As well, Corsicana as a community has pr oven itself supportive not just of the facility but of the kids, as well, through a volunteer group that does everything from pizza parties and Christmas gifts to buying graduation robes.

Cook acknowledges that some of the buildings on the Corsicana campus are older and require more maintenance. The Corsicana Treatment Center was formerly a state orphanage that took in its first kids in 1889. However, it’s also a large site, and could have some real potential as the site for a rehab facility, Cook said.

“The reality is that there’s no place in Texas where a rehabilitation model for high–risk offenders exists,” he said. “If the state determines they want to pursue the rehabilitation model then the long history of Corsicana’s involvement and support of this type of offender makes us the ideal contender. That’s what my argument continues to be.

“Ultimately, I want to see if we can’t figure out the funding to build a model facility that would allow the agency to really start to reach this position of rehabilitating these high–risk offenders, where they can safely reenter society in a positive way,” Cook said.

Because it’s so specialized, Cook is determined that Corsicana not be closed. He has until Sept. 1 to convince the powers that be in Austin that he’s right. Which ever closure is recommended, the plan has to be approved by the Legislative Budget Board.

“It makes no sense for this facility to be on the closure list,” Cook insisted.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:


Text Only
  • 4-29-14 DD Car Show Main copy.jpg Shakers and Scrapers Car Show enjoys nice weather, big turnout

    The 11th Annual Shakers and Scrapers Car Show went off without a hitch Saturday thanks to the leadership of new event organizers Mustang Sally Productions (MSP).

    April 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 3-27 Expo Steers Grand.jpg Three-peat: Blooming Grove's McGraw claims Grand Champion steer

    It was a year of repeats for students entered in the 2014 Steer Show at the Navarro County Youth Expo.Lainie McGraw, 17, of Blooming Grove FFA, won the Grand Champion steer, as she did last year and the year before; and Noah Grounds, 15, of Blooming Grove/Barry 4-H won Grand Champion Showmanship, as he did last year. He also won the top prize for showmanship in the heifer show this year. He won reserve champion in that category last year.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-28 Expo Meat Rabbit Grand.jpg Clagett takes top pen in Market Rabbits Division

    Josiah Clagett of Corsicana FFA won Grand Champion in the Breeding Rabbits Division in 2010. It was his “rookie” year and first time to show.

    Clagett came full circle this year to claim the other top rabbit title. He took home Grand Champion honors in the Market Rabbit Division Thursday at the 56th Annual Navarro County Youth Expo. The winning pen was the only one he entered.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-26-14 Expo Commercial heifers.jpg Curl wins first leg of Commercial Heifers

    Caleb Curl, 13, of Frost FFA, won grand champion of the commercial heifer show, the first leg of the commercial heifer overall prizes. Unlike a lot of the other animal categories, commercial heifers aren't show-things with smooth coats and stardust on their hooves. They're straight out of the pasture, a bit muddy and certainly not the lady-like, pampered creatures that will be led around the ring in the registered heifer show.

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • football-generic.jpg LIVE BLOG: College football signing day

    Follow all the action on college football Signing Day with coverage from across the CNHI network as well as from the national sports media. Live coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET.

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Annie.jpg ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace

    It’s the big musical, the one that makes me think of ‘cast of thousands,’ or in our case, dozens at least, and it’s here only for a few short days. ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ is Irving Berlin’s candy box treasure of a play about Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter in love with a showman.
    It’s presented by the Warehouse Living Arts Center but because of its size is on stage at the Palace Theatre. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Farmer of the Year.jpg Short named Farmer of the Year

    Agriculture businesses like farming and ranching are the backbone of Navarro County. Many farming families go back several generations.
    Since at least 1965, the Corsicana Rotary Club (Wednesday club) has recognized and said “thank you” to the unsung heroes of the soil.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Hospital.jpg New clinic open

    A new medical practice in partnership with Navarro Regional Hospital is now offering comprehensive occupational medicine services.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Purdon man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for gun violations

    Erik Willis, 31 of Purdon, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to serve a total of 258 months in federal prison following his conviction at trial in July 2013 on three felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

    November 20, 2013

  • 8-6 Weather Graphic.jpg Heat Advisory issued for North Texas

    • Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

    August 5, 2013 1 Photo

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Seasonal Content
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide