Overview

♦ Attention, Family Members of TJJD Youth Please help us evaluate the services your child receives by completing the Family Satisfaction Survey (in English or en Español). Contact your child's family liaison or call 512-490-7090 with questions.

Introduction

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) believes we can increase the likelihood of success for our youth when we involve their families in their rehabilitation plan. Each of our facilities has unique strategies and events for encouraging family involvement. These events include:

  • Family Days
  • Family Orientation Sessions
  • Facility Open House
  • High School/GED Graduations
  • Multidisciplinary Team Meetings
  • Visitation

Visit

Visiting your Child

Family members are encouraged to write letters to their child and visit them as often as they can. Before you visit your child, each family member must complete an application and consent to a criminal history check in order to be placed on the approved visitation list. The Visitor Application is available in the following formats:

Family members who need financial assistance with transportation expenses to visit their child are encouraged to contact their Family Liaison.

Parent's Bill of Rights, in English

Bill of Rights

Parents are partners with correctional staff, educators, and treatment providers in their child’s rehabilitation and shall be encouraged and assisted to actively participate in the design and implementation of their child’s treatment, from intake through discharge.

Parents of children who have been committed to the care, custody, or control of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department have the following rights:

  • As a parent, you have the right to know that you and your child will be treated fairly regardless of race, religion, national origin, language, economic status, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age and that each child will be treated as an individual.
  • As a parent, you have the right to expect the agency to provide a safe, secure, and sanitary environment for your child.
  • As a parent, you have the right not to be judged, blamed or labeled because of your child’s incarceration.
  • As a parent, you have the right to be a vocal and active advocate on behalf of your child.
  • As a parent, you have the right to be an active participant when decisions are made about your child.
  • As a parent, you have the right to be informed about matters related to your child’s welfare.
  • As a parent, you have the right to access your child’s records.
  • As a parent, you have the right to meaningful participation in your child’s treatment, including medical treatment, behavioral health treatment, and education.
  • As a parent, you have the right to communicate with your child, including visitation, telephone, and mail.
  • As a parent, you have the right to be assured that all TJJD staff are professional, courteous, and respectful.
  • As a parent, you have the right to know that TJJD will take immediate corrective action to protect the rights of parents and youth.
  • As a parent, you have the right to meaningful participation in your child’s transition-planning — from intake through release, parole, and eventual discharge.

Parent's Bill of Rights, en Español

Los padres son socios con el personal correccional, con los educadores, y con proveedores de tratamiento en la rehabilitación de su niño y serán animados y serán apoyados para activamente tomar parte en el diseño y la implementación del tratamiento de su niño, desde la entrada hasta la descarga.

Los padres de niños1 que han sido cometidos al cuidado, a la custodia, o al control del Departamento de Justicia Juvenil de Texas  tienen los siguientes derechos:

  1. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de saber que usted y su niño será tratado imparcial a pesar de su raza, a pesar de su religión, a pesar del origen nacional, a pesar del idioma, a pesar de estatus económico, a pesar de la incapacidad, a pesar del género, a pesar de la orientación sexual, o a pesar de la edad y que cada niño será tratado como un individuo.
  2. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de esperar que la agencia va proporcionar un ambiente sano, seguro, y sanitario para su niño. 
  3. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de no ser juzgado, de no ser culpado y de no ser marcado a causa de la encarcelación de su niño.
  4. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de ser un partidario vocal y activo a favor de su niño.
  5. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de ser un participante activo cuando las decisiones son hechas acerca de su niño.
  6. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de ser informado acerca de asuntos relacionados al bienestar de su niño.
  7. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de acceso a los registros de su niño.
  8. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho a la participación significativa en el tratamiento de su niño, inclusive el tratamiento médico, el tratamiento conductista de la salud, y la educación.
  9. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de comunicar con su niño, inclusive visita, el teléfono, y el correo.
  10. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de ser asegurado que todo personal de TJJD es profesional, cortés, y respetuoso.
  11. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho de saber que TJJD tomará la acción correctiva inmediata para proteger los derechos de padres y niños.
  12. Como padre, usted tiene el derecho a la participación significativa en la transición de su niño – desde la entrada hasta la liberación.

Coming Home

Preparing for your Child's Return Home

For families living in certain counties in Texas, the agency is able to provide Family Reunification Services that involves parenting groups, family therapy, and case management. The family sessions are provided with the use of video conferencing to connect youth and family without having to drive the long distance to the TJJD facility.

Some youth will be released back to their homes with prescribed medications. It is important that the youth and their family be aware of medication management. Please visit Dos and Don'ts - Medication Management  (.docx) for important information. Para Español oprime aqui: Haga y No Haga (.docx).

Contact your Family Liaison for more information.

Liaisons

A Family Liaison is Ready to Help

Each high-restriction facility has a family liaison to assist families in staying involved in their child's treatment, and making informed choices regarding their child's individual case plan (ICP).

Who is your Family Liaison?

Evins Regional Juvenile Center (Edinburg)
Elva Benitez
956-289-5547
Elva.Benitez@tjjd.texas.gov

Gainesville State School
Robin Motley
940-665-0701
Robin.Motley@tjjd.texas.gov

Giddings State School
Jacqalyn Anderson
979-542-4573
Jacqalyn.Anderson@tjjd.texas.gov

Mart Residential Treatment Center
Robin Black
254-297-8246
Robin.Black@tjjd.texas.gov

McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility (Mart)
Mary Garrity
254-297-8301
Mary.Garrity@tjjd.texas.gov

Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Facility (Brownwood)
Kevelle Bailey
325-641-4243
Kevelle.Bailey@tjjd.texas.gov

Central Office, Family Program
SupervisorSuzanne Scharlé
512-490-7662
Suzanne.Scharle@tjjd.texas.gov

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents/Guardians

How soon can I visit my child?

All new youth coming to TJJD are first assigned to the Ron Jackson Orientation and Assessment Unit located in Brownwood, Texas. Your child may be in the Orientation and Assessment Unit between 30 - 40 days before receiving his/her long term assignment. During that time, parents or guardians may visit their child without going through the visitation approval process. Therefore, you may visit as soon as the first weekend after he/she arrives. Other immediate family members must first submit a visitor application to their child's case manager or the family liaison. The visitor approval process includes a criminal background check. The approval process takes between 7 - 10 days. Contact the facility's Family Liaison for more information about the visitor application and approval process.

Who is allowed to visit my child?

Your child may be visited by immediate family members and other positive individuals in their lives. An immediate family member is defined as a parent, including step-parents, legal guardian, brothers and sisters (including step brothers and sisters), their child, spouse, aunt, uncle or grandparents.

Will my child need money while he is in TJJD custody?

Your child not need money while in TJJD custody. The phone company C-Tel gives each youth 80 minutes per month to call family members on their approved calling list. The youth may designate up to 5 family members on their approved calling list. If family members want to deposit extra money for more calling time they may call C-Tel at 1-800-583-9683 for instructions on how to put money into their child's phone account. Youth may not receive any calls at the facilities. If an emergency arises and you need to talk with your child, you would call the facility superintendent, the case manager, or the family liaison.

Is my child allowed to receive letters from friends and family members?

Yes, and there is no limit to the number of letters your child may receive. TJJD will pay for postage on 3 letters a week for your child to write his friends and family. If he/she wishes to write more often, then money may be deposited into his trust account. When writing to your child the address on the envelope needs his/her name, the TJJD number and the facility address.

Example:
John Doe, 1274567
116 Burleson Road
Mart, Texas 76664 

How do I deposit money into my child's trust account?

Youth may not have cash at the facility. They can have a trust account set up for money that family members send. Money in their trust account may be used to buy extra postage for letters, or if they show good progress in their treatment they may earn the privilege of purchasing shaving products, shampoo of choice, and for girls some make-up items are also available for purchase. If you wish to send money, do not send cash. The money must be in the form of a money order, personal check or cashier's check. Money orders bought in the United States Post Office are processed quicker than if purchased elsewhere. The money orders or checks need to list the Youth's facility as the Payee and also indicate "Student Trust" -- Example, Giddings-Student Trust. On the memo line include the youth's name and TJJD number. The envelope used to mail the funds must be addressed to the youth's Facility.

Example:
Evins Regional Juvenile Center
Attention: Business Office
3801 E. Monte Cristo Rd.
Edinburg, Texas 78541

The youth will receive an official student trust fund receipt as notification money has been received. A youth at the Orientation and Assessment placement in Ron Jackson does not get a trust account set up. If you wish to send money wait until your child is at their long term placement.

Where can I get a visitor application and who do I send it to?

After filling out the visitor application (available here in English or en Español), it should be mailed to the family liaison at your child's facility. The family liaisons' names and contact information is also found on the Family Supports Service's link. Visitor applications may also be obtained by contacting the family liaison and requesting an application. Applications take 7-10 days to get processed and all applicants go through a criminal history background check. Background checks are repeated every 6 months and when a background check indicates criminal history involving a felony, the applicant goes through further consideration which takes longer than the original 7-10 days. Once you are approved for visitation at any of the TJJD facilities, your approval status also transfers if your child is transferred to another facility.

How is my child's placement decided?

Many things are considered in deciding which facility your child will be assigned to for the long term placement. When your child is at the Orientation and Assessment Unit in Brownwood, he/she receives many evaluations to determine what his /her needs are. Our facilities have a variety of treatment programs as well as individualized educational programming. TJJD's goal is to get your youth ready to return home and to his/her community with skills that will help him/her be successful and independent. When a youth leaves the orientation and assessment unit, a committee with representation from education, treatment, psychology and case management reviews the youth's assessment results and interviews the youth before making his/her long term assignment. Placing the youth closest to his/her home is considered but so are the bed space availability and the treatment programs offered at each facility.

Is financial assistance available to help families who cannot afford the transportation expenses to visit their child?

Each facility has a Volunteer Council that helps raise money for family assistance. The funds raised help to provide refreshments at Family Day, to assist families with transportation for visitation with their child, and may also be used for other youth related expenses. Each council has their own set of conditions that they consider when deciding if a family is eligible for assistance. You may contact the family liaison at your child's facility if you are in need of assistance with travel expenses in order to visit your child.

Who do I call if my child has been injured by staff or his peers?

Your child's case manager will contact you if a serious injury to your child has taken place. If your child is sent to the facility's infirmary for his injuries, you may call the main phone number for the facility and ask to be connected to the infirmary for information on your child's condition. If you want to report the incident so that an investigation may be conducted you may call the Abuse Hotline at 866-477-8354. This hotline is also available to your child so he/she can report any abuse, harassment, or assaults.

Who do I contact if I have a complaint?

If you wish to file a formal complaint, you or your child may contact the Youth Rights Specialist at the facility. The Youth Rights Specialist may take your information and assign your complaint to a Decision Authority for a resolution. If the resolution is not to your satisfaction, you can let the Youth Rights specialist know that you want to appeal the decision. If your complaint does not get resolved using that approach, then you may call the Office of the Independent Ombudsman at 855-468-7330.

How can my child get transferred to another facility?

An administrative transfer for your child may be considered if there is a compelling reason to have him/her moved closer to home. However, his/her treatment needs have priority when determining placement. The request to have your child transferred closer to home has to be recommended for approval by the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), the Social Services Committee, and the sending and receiving Superintendents. To initiate a transfer request for your child, you would need to contact his/her case manager so he/she can make arrangements for you or someone on your behalf to present your compelling reason to the MDT.

Resources

 External Websites

Help Lines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800-273-8255
Help Lines: #211 or 1 800-833-5948
National Youth Crisis Hotline: 1 800-HIT-HOME