Most of you, my readers, know by now what civil commitment truly is so I will not go into detail but tell you of my husband’s and my personal experiences that we have and are living with at this time. You may want to refer to some of my earlier blogs to refresh your memory or learn more about the subject.
In 1999, Texas jumped on the merging bandwagon of civil commitment. At that time the theory and the practice more closely resembled the law for rehabilitation. Sex offenders committed to the civil commitment program had the choice to live at home or in a halfway house and receive outpatient treatment, attend management classes for anger, substance abuse or any other classes deemed necessary by the court. Most of the offenders were on parole and required to wear a GPS tracker. My husband was one of these men able to live at home, be employed, attend church and to be supported in his treatments.
Sixteen (16) years after Texas began its’ civil commitment program changes were established because the men were scattered across the state and not one man had successfully completed the program and re-entered the community. The changes were brought about after an investigation into a poorly managed and ineffective program. Today’s program is as much a failure as in the past and maybe even more so for the lack of medical care and the essentials necessary to thrive.