Once upon a time not so far in the past there was a great land admired by many. The people of the land once felt safe and protected. Along came the long arm of the law and the tight fist of a group of judicial officials who felt the need to seek revenge on a certain sector of the people deemed to be the “worst of the worst” criminals. Their solution to the problem of these lawbreakers was to pick them up on their release from prison and group them together to spend the rest of their lives in confinement in secret places that society knows nothing about. This place is called a Shadow Prison to hold convicted sex offenders and is supported by the innocent by-standing taxpayers The operators of these establishments were given reign to medically neglect, abuse, isolate and perform other unspeakable acts to the now classified patients but still referred to as inmates. These are by law free men who have not been convicted of any other crimes.
Today this fairytale is no longer imagination but a living nightmare for over 6500 men in 20 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government.
I have met some of these men who now live life without hope of ever going home again. Never spending holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special moments in their lives or their families and loved ones. The law has promised that as soon as a medical person (psychologist, psychiatrist, or mental expert) will sign off that the individual no longer has an abnormal behavior problem or personality behavior problem they will be released from the program. The truth is some people are given a conditional release meaning they can be brought back on a technicality. The promise of release is the biggest fairytale of all.
Today the story you will find written here comes from the mother of an individual held in the Texas Civil Commitment Center. I will be changing his name for the most obvious reason of retaliation and which Brad has received way too often.
This is a response to being searched when exiting the living quarters. Brad was told he had to have a pat down. He requested a strip search because he is uncomfortable with being touched. He was told no, so he asked to speak to the captain. The captain came in and said no, it was against policy, Brad told him the policy states searched. It does not state how. He informed the captain by hitting his hand upside his head that he had been beaten when he was younger, and he doesn’t like to be touched. The last time he was searched they touched his private area. The captain then reached for the chemical spray and Brad asked him why he was reaching for his spray. He asked if he was going to spray him and why. The captain told him he was violating his personal space. Brad asked him why he was looking at him with such hatred. My son then called me and told me what happened. I called the local County Sheriff’s Office and spoke to dispatch. I asked for a deputy to go out and take Brad’s statement. During this time Brad went to the law library and as he was leaving, he was told by a Sgt. that he had to be put into restraints by order of the captain. Brad again called me and told me what was happening. I, again, called the Sheriff’s office and told them that the officers were retaliating against my son because I had called regarding the search and now, he was to be put into restraints. As we were on the phone, the Sgt. told my son that he was going to have to be put into belly chains along with hand restraints. Brad then repeated this to the Sgt. and was told that he had heard correctly. Brad asked him to wait until after our phone conversation. After the conversation, he called me back and said they did indeed put him in belly chains and hand restraints. I believe I had told dispatch that it was belly chains and hand and ankle restraints. I either misunderstood or they changed their mind and only did the hand and belly restraints. I did apologize for having to call them again because I know they are busy, and that they should not have to put up with anyone at that center being assaulted. I received a text message from a resident’s mother who advised that the same subjects were purposely (messing with my son (not the word used) and that they were not allowing him to leave his house (cell). He was also being put on phone restrictions. I was in fear that I would not get my video visit at 2:00 pm. However, I did get my visit and he was in restraints, He showed me the injuries. He did advise he was on fifteen-minute phone restriction per each shift. He asked the Sgt. if he were going to catch a case (a disciplinary). She said that the captain and another supervisor to the captain, were thinking about what else they could do or something in that respect. After my visit with my son, I again called the Sheriff’s Office and asked for a welfare check and asked for the deputy to take a camera to take pictures of the injuries.
There is no reason whatsoever for a resident or a family member to be put under so much stress. There is no rehabilitation here, only a reason that causes resentment. This is what the millions of dollars we spend each year are being used for. It was once said “It used to be a fashion amongst men that when a charge was made, some sort of proof was brought forward to establish it, and if no proof was found to exist, the charge was dropped.” A. Lincoln 09/15/1858. This is not the case with Management Training Corp (MTC) or Texas Civil Commitment Center (TCCO) for that matter. They genuinely believe they are above the law. Our representatives of our government of the people by the people for the people, I beg you show them they are not.
The Texas Civil Commitment Office asks for more and more money every time they come before the budget committee. They ask for money for medical care but there is not adequate healthcare. They don’t provide adequate meals; they ask for money to expand but there they still sleep next to one another. Or if questioned why the explanation is “it’s not their responsibility”. It is MTC. Regardless of whose responsibility it is, the men are still dying and getting sicker every day because no one will take responsibility. They have grown men in a facility built for children. Ask yourselves if these men are so dangerous why are they putting two grown men in a room for two children or stacking beds in the day room with fourteen or more. Wouldn’t they be worried about safety, or do they just not care? Taking therapy rooms and putting beds in them because they have run out of room, putting beds in pantries, rooms once used for therapy. Why can they use these rooms that were initially used for therapy you ask, they may as well as they cannot use them for therapy because they cannot keep staff. I am sure that the TCC) and MTC say the staff leave because of the men. This is simply not true. Speak to the ones that have left there, from therapist to corrections officers. The therapist and staff go there for a reason. Their intent is to give treatment but when they arrive, they find they are not allowed to give the treatment that is required by law and for what the taxpayers are paying millions of dollars. The decisions they make for the clients are rarely taken into consideration. Their each and every decision is not based on professional judgement but on individuals that have no medical training whatsoever. So why does the taxpayer pay millions and millions of dollars for therapist that won’t stay.
This is a modern-day concentration camp for a hated minority and TCCO and MTC are making a profit off others pain and misery. The fact is family members go to bed each night in fear that something may happen to their loved one. They didn’t even feel this type of fear when they were in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institution Division (TDCJ). There is something drastically wrong with this picture from top to bottom and for some reason no one wants to even investigate the situation. Be wary, the men have all been warned that they may be retaliated against if they were to tell anyone what really goes on behind those walls. Retaliation is a major issue. Ask any man or family member that has a lawsuit against TCCO, Correct Care and now MTC. Do you think those suits are just because they don’t have anything better to do? The men would much rather have already been out of there making a new life in this land of opportunity. How many more millions of dollars are the taxpayers going to have to pay for all the lawsuits on top of all the millions they are already paying for the facility? The lawsuits can’t be dodged forever, eventually they will pay off and again it will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. Who benefits the most from keeping this facility open? You, me, the men, I think not. It is TCCO, MTC and the Administration. Burying your head in the sand is not going to fix the problem. They have paid their debt to society.
Family members cannot call TCCO or MTC for information on what is going on with their loved one. We can’t even call local law enforcement because they say the men must call and make the complaint. The Sheriff’s office is not on their call list. I have called numerous times because I was worried about the treatment of my son. They tell the men that there is nothing they can do because it is MTC policies. Excuse me, we have laws in this state, and we all have civil rights that this country is built on. Why can’t a for profit agency be stopped from using excessive force on their residents? Is it because they are sex offenders even though most have served their whole debt to society or is the reason because the operators and the administration keep a little town going by giving them all a paycheck?
Why do they even have solitary in a rehab facility? MTC throws someone into segregation continuously. They wake them up all through the night, not letting them rest, wake them up early just to catch someone in a bad mood from no rest, night after night and then give them another 30 to 120 days in segregation. Inhumane.
Why does the system allow the use of chemical and mechanical restraints? Because it suits them at the time or are they having a bad day? The system does not consider if de-escalation was used in a minor situation, it would not escalate. It is done every day at every state hospital in this great state of Texas.
Immigrants are treated with more humanity than the men at this facility and they are not citizens of the United States. I have never heard of an immigrant or a terrorist in the custody of the United States who has been made to do without water or hygiene and made to eat out of a bowl with their hands. This is just nasty for any human that our God has created. I have never heard of them being mistreated because they committed a crime and had not paid their debt to their society.
What is the solution? Close that God forsaken place down, let the men go home so they can get the support from their families and start a new life and save the taxpayers million upon millions of dollars
This country was built on a foundation of truth and justice. Where is the justice in putting men that have served their whole sentence handed down by a judge and/or jury to put them in front of another judge and jury? A court where the defense attorneys are not allowed to defend the offender to the full extent of the law., which is their constitutional right to have. Who is the Special Prosecution Unit to say they need to train judges in the rules of a civil commitment trial? The law is the law and there should be no exceptions. Excuse me, this is an insult to our judicial system.
The above is the heartfelt emotion and pain wrought by the Civil Commitment Centers known as Shadow Prisons.
This author is in complete agreement with the questions directed to those in the Texas Judicial System, TCCO, MTC, and Budget Committees.
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