Monday, October 4, 2010

Will Singer responds to blog post

You may have read my October 1 blog post on the utility of the Fenty human services transition team final report to the Gray transition.   Will Singer, former Fenty administration staffer, had this to say about the post:
Lately I've been reading many Post articles (c. 1985-1994) about Oak Hill and Cedar Knoll.   The problems then were more extreme, but the general categories sound very similar to accounts from 2000-10:   escapes (including a shocking number aided and abetted by staff), overcrowding, insecure facilities with easy access to contraband, assaults inside the facilities, insufficient community-based care or alternatives to incarceration, kids getting out and committing horrible crimes, lacking mental health/substance abuse/educational services.   I strongly believe that if the problems remain the same over time, then it is an indictment of the people in charge.   Because you don't hold back, I expect you to say so.

Of course, I would argue that the Schiraldi and Schindler made an astonishing range of real improvements from 2004-10--the only period under Jerry M. of anything besides abject despair.   In addition to fixing stuff, I think they moved further towards PYD than any other contemporary agency.   As long as basic procurement/personnel problems, reacting to tragedies, and daily firefighting consume the energy of human services management, I don't see PYD and information-sharing really taking hold.

My response to Will, and to others, is that I leave assessments such as his, which are content specific, to those with greater expertise and knowledge.

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