GRAND JURY REPORT

DATE: DECEMBER 7, 1987 TO: JOHN SUTTON, District Judge, 119th Judicial District Marlin Johnston, Commissioner, Department of Human Services, Austin, Texas Ray Dunavant, Regional Administrator, Department of Human Services, Abilene, Texas David Mayberry, Assistant Regional Director, Department of Human Services, Abilene, Texas David Marsh, Regional Director, Department of Human Services, Abilene, Texas Mark Hoover, Regional Attorney, Department of Human Services, Abilene, Texas Ernast Haynes, Sheriff, Tom Green County, Texas Travis Johnson, Chief of Police, San Angelo, Texas The Grand Jurors for the County of Tom Green, duly selected, impaneled, sworn, charged and organized as such at the November, A.D. 1987, of the 119th District Court of said County, upon their oaths present and resolve, from the evidence heard: 1. That serious problems exist at the Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Protective Services Division in San Angelo, Texas, which impair the investigation of child abuse and neglect; 2. That false entries into records at DHS have been made in violation of the law; 3. That there appears to be more concern by management at DHS Abilene with bureaucratic requirements and potential civil liability rather than the welfare of abused and neglected children; 4. That the system that exists appears to encourage inaccurate or false recordkeeping with no system of verification; 5. That management at DHS Abilene has failed to correct inadequacies in the San Angelo office, although they have been aware that problems have existed for two to three years; 6. Though made aware of the problem by a prior Grand Jury report, DHS management has failed to adequately develop an appropriate and meaningful working relationship with law enforcement agencies in San Angelo for the purpose of investigation of abuse and neglect; 7. That the system of having the Child Protective Services Unit in San Angelo governed by DHS Abilene management is questionable in light of past and recent problems and the volume of abuse and neglect cases in San Angelo; THEREFORE, based on these findings, the Grand Jury recommends in the interest of abused and neglected children: 1. That the Commissioner of DHS determine whether inaccurate or false recordkeeping, though in violation of law and policy, is nevertheless being practiced statewide, at worker and management levels, because of the pressures of heavy caseloads or for whatever other reasons; 2. That a verification system be implemented in insure that appropriate investigative contacts in abuse and neglect cases are being made; 3. That the Commissioner of DHS take appropriate and meaningful measures to correct the unstable and unsatisfactory situation in San Angelo that has existed for two to three years; 4. That the Commissioner of DHS appear before this Grand Jury at its next scheduled meeting (in approximately sixty days) to report corrective actions taken and to testify as to his findings, if any, regarding violations of the criminal law in this county pertaining to DHS.