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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Why CSS drew short straw
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones
Managing Editor

When the Texas Youth Commission Board of Directors voted last week to close Crockett State School, they did so with full awareness of the community’s support. They also knew the economic impact of the facility on the community. They knew that in March the county’s unemployment rate was 10 percent, with 854 people unemployed. Closing the school is expected to cost approximately 500 more jobs in the county. The bottom line for the directors was what they deemed best for the agency that will be merging with the Juvenile Probation Commission in October and the philosophical direction the agency is pursuing. What were the pluses and minuses on the Crockett State School report card? The materials provided by the TYC staff to its board outlined some of the facility’s strengths. Strengths at the Crockett State School include a tenured psychology staff, multiple specialized treatment programs (mental health, moderate sexual behavior treatment, moderate alcohol/other drug ment), campus-like environment that is conducive to a child-development model and availability of campus housing for staff. Additionally, CSS offers a strong infrastructure for vocational programming and offers a variety of family involvement events and activities. The community’s investment in Crockett State School also was noted in the materials provided to board members. *Angelina College has offered to provide courses and/or training that would benefit TYC staff when the Houston County Vocational School opens in August. *Partnership with the Piney Woods Arts Association – Portions of concession stand sales are donated for CSS youth. *Community has volunteered a utility subsidy for the facility if it remains open. *Community leaders noted they spent $1 million in 2000 to improve the infrastructure near the school, including a new water tower. *Existing partnership with Sam Houston State University psychology program provides training for staff and services in a non-urban area.


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