Minnesota State Rep. Stephen Sandell joins Joshua ‘The World’s Mayor‘ today to discuss Civil Commitment, amongst other issues he takes on representing the people he serves. The majority of this broadcast is focused on Civil Commitment alternatives while also hearing from 2 men locked up in MSOP Moose Lake.
Even with the heavy subject matter Mr. Sandell, Daniel and Russell, offer valuable insight into civil commitment, mental health and the justice system.
Steve Sandell is an American politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), he represents District 53B in the eastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.
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Joshua T Berglan
OUTLINE OF BROADCAST
Joshua T Berglan 0:01
Hey, what’s up everybody, my name is Joshua, the world’s mayor, we’re so grateful to have you here today. We have an amazing broadcast on the lip mana network today. And you can find our app. You can find our network by downloading our app on your phone, tablet, computer, or even your smart TVs app store. Or you can find us on Google News under the lift mana worldwide foundation. Or of course, just go to lip mana.org. We are so grateful to have you here today. This is going to be a really, really interesting broadcast. We have Representative Steve Sandel here. And we’re going to talk about civil commitment. And in fact, I think we’re going to have two separate phone calls. Also joining us from some of the gentlemen that we’ve become friends with over the last year, and helping expose what’s going on with civil commitment, the injustice that’s going on. But what’s special about Mr. Sandel is that not only being a representative of the state and here in Minnesota, you know, he is somebody, it’s always nice to hear different points of view, or a different perspective. And so we’ve had family members on we’ve had actual the actual prisoners, or patients, patient prisoners, whatever you’d like to call them, we’ve had them on. And now we actually have somebody in the government. And it’s going to be really, really nice to hear a different perspective, why he’s involved. And, you know, really helping expose the truth about what’s happening with civil commitment. So stay tuned, this is going to be this is going to be special, it’s going to be interesting. And I’ve noticed that several, we’ve had a lot of new people starting to watch these broadcasts and starting to go, Okay, what’s going on now. And so I want to thank you for that. Because ultimately, that’s what we’re trying to do is bring awareness to the general public, because whether you believe it or not, whether you want to believe me, or all the other people that have come on here, this affects you, whether you’re in a prison or not, this affects if you think, Well, I haven’t done anything wrong. This affects you. This affects everybody. And that’s why we’re talking about it. So without further ado, and there’s a million things that I would love to talk to Mr. Sandel about. This is just one of them. So hopefully, we’ll be blessed to have him back on. But without further ado, it is an absolute honor to have Mr. Steve Sandel from the what it’s the it’s the House of Representatives in Minnesota, correct?
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 2:29
That’s correct. I represent district 53 B, which is most of the suburb of Woodbury, Minnesota, about, I have about 60,000 people in my district. And it’s been an enormous, I have to say an enormous honor to serve in the house and to represent the people in this in this district. So and Joshua, thanks very much for the opportunity. It’s great to talk to the mayor of the world. This is this is the best interview I’ve ever had. And you’re awesome. By the way. Hey, you’re awfully good at it, by the way. Oh,
Joshua T Berglan 2:58
thank you very much. You know, when we go to one world government, I’m planning on running for the official title of worlds. And what that actually means a lot, I actually have a real politician telling me that so thank you. It’s not like it’s gone beyond a nickname now. So thank you. Hey, before we start, I we have a lot of questions before the phone starts ringing. But I asked this question, this is the old day plan. Question. Mr. Sanibel. What are you grateful for today? And why?
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 3:30
Well, a couple of things. I guess. One is I’m grateful that that we have a chance at this country to exchange ideas, that’s really important. Second of all, I’m enormous ly grateful for the health and welfare of my family. And I’m grateful for deep friendships that I’ve had for ages. And it’s, and it’s a real pleasure to have a chance to talk to you and your listeners, by the way. So that’s it.
Joshua T Berglan 3:56
Well, we’re grateful to have you here. And, and especially to talk about this subject again, I I was looking into some of the, you know, the work that you’ve done over the years and representing this great state of Minnesota. I’m new here. But I’ve really enjoyed living in this state. And and I have to think it has a lot to do with the leadership that’s here. So I want to thank you very, very much. I’m not really politically inclined. I don’t I’m not part of either side. But what I do like about you, it’s you seem to have you’re really if I could choose a party for you, sir. I’d call it the common sense party, you seem to have a lot of common sense about your way of being and I’m grateful for that. But what I want to ask you because of all the things that you’ve taken on in your career, why choose civil commitment, like how did because I didn’t see anything in your upbringing going to Brown University. I didn’t see any of that go on. Yeah, he’s gonna help sex offenders. Like I didn’t see that anywhere. So why
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 4:56
I ran for office for the first time in 2008. tene and civil commitment was not among the issues that I campaigned on. I talked about firearm safety. I talked about education, I talked about environment and the climate. And I talked about health care. And those were really important issues. I also talked about compromise and the chance for Republicans and Democrats and people of other persuasions. To get together and chart a course. We believe in something we, we have common interests. And I just thought that that had been overlooked by our partisanship. And I know that that’s a familiar conversation these days. But it is something which I felt strongly about. I didn’t, you know, I, I served my first term on the the committees on education and environment. My second term beginning in 2020, I was assigned to the Committee on Human respond Human Services. And that’s when I received a letter in the mail from a fellow at at Moose Lake. And I imagined, he sent the same letter to all members of our Human Services Committee, and he introduced himself and he told me about MSOP, the Minnesota sexual offenders program. At first, I thought, well, this is an issue of civil rights. And I’m certainly interested in civil rights, these individuals apparently have been sentenced and have served their their time at the Department of Corrections. And here they are in, in this situation of indeterminate length. And so I looked into it a little bit further and responded to the fellows letter and got two or three additional letters. And I thought, This isn’t just an issue of civil rights, it’s a real issue of human rights. We’re talking about individuals who have been victims, and I have, you know, I have no tolerance for sexual assault and sexual aggression. And I am very serious and supportive of of individuals who have been victims. But the the correspondence I received, talked about the the efforts that the state I guess, is is pursuing to treat individuals where they see or we see treat individuals and and try to find a way to reentry into the community. And that’s when I began to find out a lot more details about the program and began to talk with the people that you’ve spoken with before and who have a deep sense of commitment to this program. And it’s inspired in me more research, and eventually, I wrote a bill to reform the Minnesota sexual offenders program. But there’s, you know, talking about sexual fantasies in the legislature is very tough.
Joshua T Berglan 7:29
Yeah, I would imagine that, first of all, it’s not a, you know, we can talk about violence all day long. And it can just roll off the tongue. But the minute we try to say the word sex, it’s like, everybody will stumble. And then of course, we’ll go from there. Because it’s that subject that makes everybody feel a little bit different when they talk about it. Even if it’s like something nice about sex, it has a tendency to kind of make people tense up a little bit. It’s such a fascinating subject. But the most troubling thing to me, that I’ve noticed, and this is that we’re giving the field of psychiatry, the ability to make laws in a way and make rules and giving them absolute authority to say, Yeah, you’re going to commit another crime. So you need to go to MSOP, or one of the other facilities are in the country, and you need to go and you’re going to run away there. That to me, knowing what I know about psychiatry, and I won’t go down the history of psychiatry right now. But what I know from my own experience, which was being misdiagnosed, I know what that I was misdiagnosed by six psychiatrist, each one gave me a buttload of medication, each one may be worse than I already was. So how can this and what I know about psychiatry is, depending on where you went to school, who educated you, and where you you studied, more or less, that will affect your the way that you view certain illnesses. So now we’re getting absolute authority to that. Come on, something’s not right with that.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 9:06
Well, I taught school for a long while. And I taught in, in communities that were really where children had very tough lives. And I taught in communities that were fluent and where kids came from privileged households. And the fundamental takeaway, I guess, from that is that young men and women did well, if if they felt secure, if they were confident of their well being, and their health was supported. And they, and they did well when they had aspirations. That doesn’t mean that all poor kids have, have a limited future or all have kids or privilege. Having HEVC going that’s not true. But those two things, health and well being and our aspirations or belief that something is going to that there’s going to be a positive consequence to our effort and responsibility. Those are really important things. And, and one of the things that we that I’ve responded to relating to the fellows at men and women at MSOP is that first of all their mental health was not being taken care of their physical health was. I don’t think was, was being valued either. And certainly based on the the history of MSOP. There is there is no encouragement of once aspirations and indeterminant sentence without the possibility of making evident progress toward a goal. I’m sure there are individuals that at most Lakin and at the other facility in St. Peter, who given the opportunity would say, I think I need a residential circumstance here, I need the treatment, I need the therapy to grow, to heal. And I’m sure that there are individuals there who are dangerous, dangerous to themselves and dangerous to others, and and should be, should continue their detention for public safety and public health reasons. But the vast majority, and as I say, I, I don’t dismiss or discount the seriousness of sexual crimes. But the vast majority of those individuals want to want to heal, they want to return to their families, they want to be contributing members of society, and they don’t like about themselves, the mistakes that they’ve made, and, and the way that they’re they’re treated. As I looked into the program, I I realized that MSOP that had been established by legislation sponsored by a fellow from Rochester Minnesota guy named Dave Senjem, a Republican about 1995, I believe. And the idea was that this program would, would would treat would provide therapy in a hospital like setting for individuals who were convicted of a crime and and the courts believe we’re continuing to be dangerous after their their time in corrections. But since but since then, the program has grown, we’re at more than 750 people now. We’re spending $100 million a year. And I’m not just counting numbers and saying no, these numbers are so high, I’m counting human capital. Men and women who are there could be independent and invaluable citizens and and know if there are some legislators who take a look at the expenditure side of the budget and say, oh, you know, we’re spending a lot of money there. What is the tolerance of the taxpayers to a program which seem to be growing without without results?
Joshua T Berglan 12:31
Right? Well, I’m going to ask you something, why isn’t it considered. So I’ve gotten to know several different people that have been that are either still locked up, or now I’ve gotten out. One of the gentlemen that I know, I mean, I’ve looked at his, I’ve seen the evidence that he has, and I hope he gets the money to fight this case, because he was wrongly convicted, he was wrongly there should have never been in prison to begin with. And his case is relatively famous in Minnesota, Tom Evans dead, but I’ve gotten to know him quite well. And one of the suggestions I saw the letter he wrote to the governor, this is before I left here, and I forget which one it was, but I saw the letter, he wrote him about a particular case saying you give, give this guy if you’re going to release him give a GPS monitor to track his whereabouts. Sure. And this guy that was led out, and he told them that he was going to commit a crime. He goes, I’m not ready to be released yet. What do you mean, it’s time to go? I’m not ready to be released yet. And they go, Well, if you don’t leave, you’re gonna be here for the rest of your life. Okay, I’m okay now. And now I’m gonna leave. And then he went and raped and murdered a little girl. Yeah. Well, Tom had sent this letter. I’ve seen a letter. And of course, then later after the fact, then that Governor says, Oh, now he recommends the GPS monitors. That said, now that we’ve got that in the conversation, why these people that are high risk, but haven’t committed crimes in however long that got swooped up in this program? Doesn’t it make more financial sense? Just to put a GPS monitor on them and track them that way? Isn’t that more cost effective?
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 14:13
One of the things I mentioned to the Commissioner of Human Services, and I had a lovely conversation with her early in the summer, and I thought that it was very positive would lead to some further discussion. But I said look, what what is it that keeps us from from looking for success? We aren’t talking to other states. We aren’t talking to other countries about where they’ve found success. We need to invest in in in research and find out what is what’s going to work. Prevention as is where we ought to be. Is our first question. Support is our second question not only of the victims but of their families and I have to say support for the the individuals who have committed crimes and assault and their families. These are painful But there are 134 people in the House of Representatives and what is it 65 I guess in the in the Senate 67 in the Senate. And we can’t have a conversation like this Joshua, on the floor of the House of Representatives, and we can’t even have a conversation like this in a committee, the honest and candid conversation and discussion about these, I understand these are sensitive issues. But, you know, I’ll talk to people and say, one of my concerns is a civil commitment program of sexual offenders. And immediately I get people sort of standing back and saying, you know, sexual offenders, what are you doing? And, and, and there are myths, there are misconceptions about individuals who want treatment and therapy and want to grow in and, and reform. And among my, my disappointment at the house is that these issues just can’t be can’t be discussed. You know, all of us have gone to the public and say, We want your confidence in us to go to the state, the state capitol, and, and discuss things of which should, which all of us are concerned about, one of which is public safety, and public health. And yet we get there, and all we’re willing to do is throw arrows at each other when we when we talk about the issue, which which might be politically sensitive. So I, and that’s, that’s why this kind of broadcast is so essential. I’m not sure how many people will be listening to us 100 1000, maybe a million. But if, if, in those people’s minds, they say, Well, what’s going on here, only 20 say all these 20 states have have programs of civil commitment. And and me the incidence of sexual assault is no less in those states than than the states that don’t have silicon.
Joshua T Berglan 16:58
Why? Why would anyone even want to run for office because essentially, what you’re saying is, nothing gets done. Which I think it’s become kind of obvious, and I’m not gonna get into the, you know, give me my opinions about what I have about anything right now. I’m keeping my opinions to myself. But this one, like, that’s gonna be disheartening for you because I believe with all my heart, like, everything I’ve read about you that’s publicly available. Everything I’ve read, I’m like, This guy is there to serve. He genuinely cares about his community, he genuinely wants to make a difference. Why the heck would you be there, if you can’t get anything done? It almost seems like if you’re a private citizen, you can get more done with the actual government.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 17:49
Actually, I just wrote a note to a friend the other day saying the same thing. I’m very interested in water policy and environmental stewardship. And I wrote to said, I’ve tried to introduce these bills, which deal with water and, and environmental review and, and got nowhere and maybe as a private citizen, without without the influence of our own caucus and the Republican caucus, maybe as a private citizen, they can go directly to the local government, the city and joining cities, to work on this and make the decision easier. Whenever people say, Oh, that issue is too tough, that issues is too tough. I worked at the University for a long while and did some work on on the history of the Democratic Party post World War Two, Hubert Humphrey was part of that. And I know that sounds like ancient history, but a 90 in a in the early 60s, of course, there were people like Martin Luther King and many more issues of states rights, local people, as well as individual who had a national reputation, but hopefully was in was in the Senate. And after Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson asked Humphrey to work on this issue of states rights bill, a rather a civil rights bill. And, and Humphrey and a Republican EB Dirksen from Illinois, a conservative Republican, or together daily on an issue which provided the civil rights in 1964, which was eventually passed in July 1964. Now that bill wasn’t just about firearm safety, it wasn’t just about spending a little bit more money on on school based health and health services. It affected the culture of this country. And a year later, the Voting Rights bill was passed. Now what could be bigger than civil rights and voting rights? We should be able to, to use that example and say As citizens, we can do this. It takes some patience. It takes a little bit of courage. But I believe that that I believe that citizens do want it For a legislature that will that will respond to them. And I’m you know, I’m not the only I taught next door to a fellow who my last couple years teaching who said, you know, you’re just too tight. You’re just too idealistic and naive. hoping maybe that’s the case, you guys should run for office. I guess, you know, I want to talk to a friend at some, as I said, I don’t want to be negative about this. I’ve chosen not to continue to work in the in the legislature, because I’ve been frustrated and haven’t been very good at getting things done. But I want to believe that this democracy, and we’re talking a lot about the health of our democracy, I want to believe that this democracy has a has a soft spot, and that and we’re gonna be able to find it. This issue of civil commitment, everything about a judge is is a prize for conversation and discussion. There are felt one of my friends up at Moose Lake has told me I think he said 50, or 90 people are are in this program who have not been convicted of a crime. The court has, has recognized that they’ve been accused of a crime, but that the crime has not been adjudicated in the in the court. So that just is beyond me.
Joshua T Berglan 21:31
Yeah, and you brought up water, which made me want to talk about plastic pollution and water rights. And I, we have to talk about that another time. Because I have a lot to say about that. And, and I’m with you, and I support you with your efforts, because well, anyway, I don’t want to go there. But let’s talk about this back to civil commitment. And the prot the care. So I worked with complex disabilities, for 18 years before I started in media and entertainment. And I loved fighting on behalf of patients with complex disabilities love, I love taking on insurance companies love getting laws passed on behalf of patients taking on the Oklahoma Medicaid and I enjoy that life. And I love fighting on behalf of people that really didn’t know how to fight for themselves. But one thing that about those with complex disabilities, for the most part, they get the proper care that they need. There’s the accessible for the mental health care care side, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and on and on and on. They have all that there, then you have the HIV community, which I’m somebody with HIV, there’s tons of resources for us. It is there is no excuse for anyone living with HIV to not have medication all because Minnesota has been a is a great state. They take care of people with their health care, especially if you don’t have the money to do it. They have programs for people with HIV, California, where I came from Oklahoma the same way that they have great resources for them everything that they need, if you’re an addict, they have things for you programs available for you. But for some reason, this sex offender thing, which by the way, slapping a girl on the butt that didn’t ask for it can be a sexual offense, you could in theory for slapping a woman on the butt, which I’m not saying is okay, don’t go out and do it people. But at the same time, do you deserve to be locked away for 20 years because you got too drunk? And you’re like, hey, looks like someone’s butt. I know. And you slap it. And next thing you know, you’re locked away in a shadow prison for the next 20 years and you’re not getting out. That to me seems a little doesn’t make you a sex addict. That to me, doesn’t make you a threat to society. Because you slap the girl in the butt because let’s face it, I played football and I played sports growing up, we slapped each other on the button everywhere else you could imagine and no one went to jail for it. But now, people are being locked away for this when I say this can happen to anybody. It literally could happen to anybody. And it’s it’s not just sex offenders that are being locked away in these facilities. So what Gibbs there’s got to be something there’s got to be an ulterior motive. There’s got to be a benefit for the powers that be to fund facilities like this and oh, by the way, not to refund them, but expand them and make them bigger and add more beds. There’s an there’s got to be an ulterior motive here. This is not a black and white issue. There’s something very, very sneaky going on. In my opinion.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 24:45
The the attitudes that young men grew up with. I grew up in the 19. I was born in 1920s. I grew up in the 1950s and and 60s and I have to say that looking back, my relationships with young women were silly and selfish. I don’t believe like I committed a crime. But I but I’m not entirely proud of the way that I treated or my attitudes for young women. And I do think that they’re part of the the bill that I drafted, would to put state’s resources into education, young man, I have a grandson need to be, we need to, we need to be examples for those young men. And we have to continue to reinforce their, their positive and respectful behavior. I feel very strongly about that. And and we don’t do enough of that. It, it behooves us to pay attention to kids as they grew up. The David Brooks is a columnist in New York Times had an article earlier this last week, maybe about boys and men. And it was very interesting. He talked about the social development of boys and men and and the difficulty to boys and men face many greater than those women face but but he just got something this for your work
Joshua T Berglan 26:15
worthy of the discussion, many little boys trapped in men’s bodies deserve to be talked about to
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 26:21
Yeah, yeah. And this morning, in the in the times there was a flurry of letters of responding to books with column, all of which agreed that this unit right now, we have to we have to have a conversation discussion about this. And the the number of men who, with the courts, for one reason or another have considered to be dangerous, is growing. But our consciousness should be growing to you mentioned, why is that that we can solve these problems. When I ran for office, my campaign manager wonderfully able a woman said, you know, politics is transactional. And we need to we need to work against that. Four years later, I’d look at I look at politics, and I say, politics is transactional. And and I I gave away my vote. And I didn’t I didn’t say, look, I want a sound tax policy. I want to sound housing policy. But I want you to pay attention to the issues that I have as well. And let’s work together on this. Sometimes within our caucus and certainly across the aisle with Republicans, it’s it’s real tough to, to have have these. What’s the word symbiotic relationship where both sides benefit? So I had this, I think I mentioned to you earlier that I that I introduced a building on firearm safety. And after I did the other day after I did that, I went over and spoke to a fellow with whom I served on a committee. He’s a Republican. And I said, Josh, I’d love to have your support on this. And he just laughed. He said, Steve, I just love the bill. You just raised $10,000 for me. In opposition to the Democrats, he was a Republican, he said, Yeah, it’s great. All my constituents now say that Democrats are and you are in favor of a firearm of regulations. And my my contributions have increased, so that befuddled look on your face as at all why. And I’ll tell you, if I had the bill I introduced about about the the MSOP, the sexual offenders program in Minnesota, the number one priority is is prevention. Number two is support. Number three is treatment. I wanted to change the name from sexual offenders to the Office of treatments support, to prevention, support and treatment. And I wanted to a robust effort in in education and review of the the courts and the way that they assign people to preventative attention and also to the way they pay attention to petitions for release. And I still feel very strongly about that.
Joshua T Berglan 29:17
Oh, well, I think so too. And you brought up something earlier, you that there’s not, there’s not programs that are set by we have all of these government programs that are supposed to benefit you. But the one thing that’s glaring To me that’s it’s void of any support is keeping families together. A lot of people get married because they get horny and just want to have sex, especially with the Christian community. Like okay, I can’t wait so I better marry her. And then, you know, people get drunk and fall in love and they, you know, drink away their discernment. So they make bad decisions that get people pregnant. They jump in relationships that they shouldn’t be in. They don’t have the tools, people I’m from relationship to relationship. We live in hookup culture where I mean, your sex or nudity or porn is, is a breath away on any device that’s available. So we have all these things that are just attacking any sense of a healthy relationship. We have divorce rates and people, people, moms. Well, I mean, they’re single dads too. But we have single moms trying to like provide for their family and play the mom and dad role. None of those things are good. So there’s no real support for the family and holding the family together. Sure, there’s welfare, but throwing money at anything is never going to fix the problem. It’s never going to get to the root of the issue. All of the the Boys and Girls Clubs and those kinds of things that we used to have all over the country where we have these safe places for kids to go, they’re gone. Yeah, so where do kids go? Well, they either stare at a phone all day, or they’re on the streets, you know, doing whatever they’re already dabbling with drugs, they’re already dabbling with sex, all these things where it’s, we have all these people accelerating how fast they have to grow up, but yet, they don’t really have the foundational pieces to really grow properly. So I’m with you on this. They we were about not having the resources there for kids and for families, that helps. I grew up. I remember. So when I grew up, I was privileged, I grew up in a upper middle class home and Oklahoma went to the country club and vacations. I mean, I had it all when you know, we were at church, however many days a week, bam, disco, which is like, what, seven days a week, I think that just go to church. Not really three, but three times. We’re doing all that stuff going to the country club, doing the black tie events, we had all but guess what, I was still molested, still abused. And when I but I didn’t feel safe, and I didn’t know where to go. And then when finally I got to talk to a counselor about it. Oh, it’s normal for boys to do that.
Joshua T Berglan 32:00
I was raped. How was that normal? You know, and like that was there. So anyway, I became a monster. And I and even though we had the money, but there was no real resources for someone like me that was going through what I went through, and it wasn’t real calm, and like, Hey, I was molested by guys and girls. So you know, like, you don’t want to hear that. Because me growing up, like people said, and I hope this didn’t get you in trouble. For me saying this. But you know, it’s guys back then called each other faggots, whether you or not. And I remember being called that and it didn’t know what to think about it. And I’m like, Oh, my God. So do people know what happened to me? Does that make me gay? Does it I don’t have I didn’t have the resources, I didn’t have a safe place to go. I didn’t have all that. So then I got to make things up on my own and find my own way to ease my pain and ease my suffering. So drugs and sex 20 year Chem sex addict. And all the hell that I caused came from that basically being a scared little boy, trapped in a man’s body that was doing grownups stuff. But as if it was a child doing it and just wrecking lives, including my own. I’m not blaming anybody, because thank god, there’s the resources now for me, because I found them because I wanted to get well. But I also had a vision of hope. Because I grew up in an upper middle class home, I knew what success look like. So no matter what destruction I caused, I had some glimpse of how to pull myself out of it. I had some drive for a better life. Not everybody grows up like me, my heart for this civil commitment, the civil commitment laws, not everyone, and there’s poor, but there’s a lot of poor people, there’s a lot of people that grew up. I mean, really just the prison system in general. There’s people that didn’t grow up with parents, there’s people that didn’t grow up with they grew up in poverty, they grew up always struggling, they the only options they have are gangs, or drugs, or whatever. That that is why we have a problem. There’s no resources for the youth, and it’s a lot easier to heal a young person than it is a grown man. I mean, my healing journey has been the most grueling seven years of my life. That was more grueling when when I was a drug addict. But get into the youth. We can stop these problems, we can educate, we can teach young people the proper way to treat the opposite sex or the same sex, if that’s true. We can do those things. So what is it going to take to pull these resources away from dropping bombs on 30 countries and all that stuff, or all the other wasted stuff that we have going on in this country and pull resources and give it to the family give it to the youth to give them a fair chance because without the youth? We are doomed. I mean, without the youth living the lives they were created to live to live, we are doomed. We need them healthy and we need them strong. I’m sorry for my rant.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 35:02
No, well, that’s a, those are the feelings that I think a lot of men have a Moose Lake and in a sexual offense program feel. They, they, they were they felt helpless as children or as young men. They were without resources. They were without self confidence. And, and, and they made mistakes, some were very serious mistakes and a relatively minor mistake, some had had terrible consequences, and others were relatively minor. But our our responsibility as a as a society with resources is to take a look around us and say, We have individuals who need we’re adults and who have made have made mistakes, but it’s our responsibility to help. There are families that we need to pay attention to and support and hopefully, find a way for them to realize some of their dreams. And we have young children who we don’t want to punish for the sins of their, for, for adults. And my my optimism is that, that this constitution of ours is the oldest democratic constitution in the world. And, and I believe that, that it’s flexible. But my My concerns are that short term animosities of separations and suspicions are going to make it difficult to to keep things in line. But people like you, and I mean, this, genuinely people like you want want people like me, to feel that there are people listening. And I hope we continue that. And I hope that people that take my place in the legislature look forward to doing good things.
Joshua T Berglan 36:52
Yeah, I hope. I mean, I don’t I think I know, we said, we talked about this on air about being the world’s bear like I like, it makes me sick, some of the stuff that I see. And you know, and I’ve had a unique lens in life that I’ve been able to see things through. And everyone has a unique lens. But for me, getting to see like the ultimate of success with people and getting to work with them. And then also getting to work with the dregs of society or the, you know, that have been labeled that. And then being a little bit of both myself, I, like I just have been able to see and working in healthcare and working with the hospital systems and working with insurance companies and, and then get out even working in contract manufacturing, and getting to know how that whole game works. And it’s this lens of there’s a lot of fraud, there’s a lot of deceit, there’s a lot of people that are trying to get up on each other. There’s people that look turn a blind eye to things because for whatever reason, they feel that it’s in their best interest to do so what I’m getting at is this, we have a world of nothing but dishonesty. And there’s, there’s a lot of deceit, and there’s a lot of gaslighting, and there’s a lot of that, and there’s just it’s a void of truth. And I pray with all my heart and I and I’m not a Trump guy, I’m not even a I’m not a Republican, I’m not politically inclined, because I don’t really haven’t seen too many people that I can look up and go, This guy has our back. And he is truly a public servant. And he is doing it the way he’s supposed to do it. The way that God when He established the Kingdom government that model. Like I have yet to see the guy that saying, this is how I’m running, this is what or even woman for that matter, that I’m going to run and I truly am here to serve the public, and then make this better. And I’m going to make so much stinking noise until someone listens to me, because this is an injustice. And it’s got to stop. Like I pray that there’s a youth movement of people that have just had enough that come in and start taking over and take the seats, not necessarily take your seat until you’re ready to give it up. But you know, to take those seats of people that are there for bribes, and they’re there to serve their own interests. I’m sick of that. I don’t want to pay taxes to to to anyone that’s doing that I want to pay. What I love about Minnesota is the tax dollars go to take care of the parks, the lakes. I mean, it’s beautiful when it snows like it did this morning already. There’s you know, the streets are already clean. Like I love that I want to pay taxes for those kinds of things. But then also I want to pay taxes to a government that’s going to take care of the voiceless, that’s going to take care of the people that have been shunned from society, the people that have been locked away. I want to see them be able to have another chance to because I lived a very reckless life. I’m not trying to make this about me, but I just as easily could be in motion. Lake or any of those other facilities, even though I wasn’t a sex offender, but I lived in evil life, the book that I wrote with my wife was called the devil inside me, that is who I was. But if I can turn my life around and live the life of my dreams, there is no reason that the other men and women that are locked up in these, in these prisons shouldn’t have the same opportunity, especially the ones that are working to turn their life around the ones that are working to heal. Those are the people, those are the people, the ones that have gone through the most abuse, the ones that have suffered the most, the ones that have dealt with all that, that choose to make a life for themselves. They get to be superheroes, and as far as I’m concerned, because they get to take all that crap that was meant to kill them. And now they get to use it to help other people and help set them free to. So why are we giving more opportunities, not just to the sex of the people who are part of the Sex Offender Program, but other prisoners? Why are we helping them with these tools? And how can we get them that help? How can we bring programs to the prison that that prepare their minds for life outside the prison say they can’t get out? Now? How do we start? Where do we start,
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 41:14
I believe as you do in in a rehabilitation and have a dedication to healing and growth. And as you do, I also believe that, that Americans and others probably will respond to leadership. And, you know, I look back at my life and and think about where has leadership come from at the national level. Franklin Roosevelt was through a depression and a war and came out the other end of least America came out the other end with a with a defense of its democracy. I graduated. I was in college when when John Kennedy was running for office. And and I think that there were a lot of people who believed in in the ideas that that he was talking about. There are people in communities of color, Cesar Chavez is another favorite of mine. CSIP point, yes, we can’t, we can do it. And those are inspiration. There are individuals that there are individuals that endlessly who have been inspiring to me, I tell people that I’ve had a good friend who was at another another one of Minnesota’s prisons, and he was set there for six years for a sexual offense. Break guy, terrific. future ahead of him, I made a mistake. But when he was in prison, he he just as you said, I know that there’s something within me that can change, he became enrolled in a in an online graduate program he now has, he’s out. He has his PhD and and he’s, he’s offering constantly to others. So it’s possible. I don’t want to be, I don’t want to be romantic about this. I know that that that gentleman had a lot in his heart before he went in, but we can make we can make a difference. And and
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 43:26
I worked at a museum for a while and in government and politics. And one of the lessons we tried to suggest to people was that they didn’t have it that an individual could make a difference. We gave out little buttons that said, I can make a difference. And I told a friend the other day that I still have one of those buttons that said I can make a difference. But I’m going to make a change. And I thought I could make a difference.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 43:46
But I, I wouldn’t be talking to you today, I wouldn’t be
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 43:57
worrying about the future or politics. If I didn’t believe that each one of us can make a difference. And those who are listening to us can make a difference. Those who are are incarcerated can make a difference. And we should make sure that everybody has a chance to do that. Josie knows the talk to you so I shouldn’t actually give up the pleasure of talking to you. So which has been great, by the way.
Joshua T Berglan 44:23
Oh, listen, I’m honored to have you here. And you’re right. Daniel, what he’s been able to accomplish, and MSOP Yeah, it’s so inspiring to me. I’m just like, wow, you’re talking about being voided resources, but still finding a way. Like I admire that kind of stuff so much and, and anyone that’s listening right now, especially if you’re you know, whether you’re a state senator or whoever, or any hold any political office, or if you’re one of the people that are fighting in justices, if you need a spot on our network. This is what we do as a nonprofit. Well, we’ll make a podcast and TV show for you because we need more messages out there that are speaking the truth and talking about the stuff that some people want buried, because media controls the narrative. And our mission as a nonprofit, is to literally take the power of the right now the all the power of media lies in the hands of a few. We want to destroy that. And create millions. This may be you. This may be Daniel.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 45:27
It is Daniel. I better get it. Yes, hello.
Joshua T Berglan 45:36
You got to hit zero.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 45:51
For sensors to monitor and maybe recorded, your calls will now be connected. Thank you for using GTL Hi, Daniel. Steve. I just talking to Joshua and our conversation is have been a real pleasure. But I know that you’re eager to get on so maybe I should do more besides Russell is going to call me. Okay, okay. Sure. Okay. Fine. I’ll mentioned as Joshua. Okay. Thank you. Bye, bye. Russell, Russ Hatton is going to call you.
Joshua T Berglan 46:25
Oh, okay. I thought it’s Daniel not gonna talk.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 46:29
I think he’s gonna come on second. He said he would have Russell talk first, and then then you do. So should I stay on? Or should I move aside?
Joshua T Berglan 46:38
If you want to be on please stay on? It’s up to you, sir. You’re not. I’m I’m honored to have you here. And honestly, it gets so much more credibility to these gentlemen that you’re here even that you’ve even spoken on their behalf. Because, you know, it’s one thing it’s like, it’s Oh, yeah, sure. Everyone’s innocent prison. So, it, I think you’ve been here the fact that you’ve been here helps open the ears of some people to go, okay. This needs to
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 47:09
stick around to hear Daniel and Russell or I met Daniel Russell and had the conversation in person and they’re good man.
Joshua T Berglan 47:19
Yeah, I’m looking forward to the call. Yeah, I want to ask you is what would happen if somebody ran for office? And they’re like, Yeah, I was a drug addict. Yeah, I’ve been to jail. Yeah, I was an abuser. Yeah, I was a cheater. Yeah, I’ve been divorced multiple times. But God changed my heart. And I’ve, you know, and I, and here I am, like, I’m a work in progress. I’m not perfect. I screw up. I may pray for you. And five minutes later, try to bite your nose off or tell you to go after yourself. But then I’m gonna ask for forgiveness right after I’m flawed. I’m not perfect. But my heart is for the people. And I’m here to serve. And I’m here to elevate everyone around me. Does a politician have any chance of winning with that attitude?
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 48:05
Well, it depends depends on their district and their constituents and and how convincing they can be. I mean, I just I think, I think the constituent I think the population wants to believe. And I think they wanted to believe in John Kennedy, I think they wanted to believe that all we have to fear is fear itself. And I think they want to have confidence that we can that that we can move forward. A friend of mine, told me about a a French statesman named John manake sort of the painter and a book that he wrote his memoirs, and Monet became an adult during the First World War, because what mnemonic janmani is it not m o n e t, Mo n n e t. Now there’s but this whole this fellow’s family was from a upper middle class, had an excellent education became involved in government affairs, and from 1917 1920 End of the 1960s he was he was influential and eventually, was probably as responsible for as anybody for the organization of the European Union, when he never held a political office, never ran for office, and never identified himself with one political party in France or another. But his his book says, Look, people have to talk to each other about these issues. They have to they have to respond to people. They have to respond to each other as if they as if they’re moving toward a common goal. If we want to, if we want to end violence in and suspicion and animosity in Europe, we have to find a way to work together. Now, we haven’t completely done that. But but we’ve we’ve, we’ve made efforts to to unify an economy, the common market and efforts to unify steel production. But his lesson, I guess, is that we aren’t going to be successful by calling each other’s names and and denying the opportunity to, to have discussions. And I have to say that, that caucus politics is there’s a long way to go. I mean, we have, we just have to change the mindset that, you know, people say, Oh, politicians, just all politician wants to do is get reelected. Well, politicians want to get reelected, so that so their political party can be in the majority. And in the in the way that our constitutions work, the majority party makes the rules. And if that majority party is vulnerable to the influence from the outside, as you suggested, and as I believe, as well. Our democracy is vulnerable and our Commonwealth is, is vulnerable to how do we how do we make decisions that that’s best for our future? You mentioned, our young people. I don’t know what kind of lessons we’re teaching our young people, you know, maybe maybe they can turn around and say, look at that generation grew up in the epilogue to a World War, and yet I couldn’t avoid the small wars elsewhere, and it couldn’t avoid a confrontation in Vietnam. And it couldn’t, it couldn’t find a way to solve all racial issues. We have to try better and try harder and, and hopefully that that will be the case on people like Russell, and, and Daniel and all the rest of it. MSOP might be able to do say, we’re willing to try, give us give us a chance. We know we made mistakes. But the state can’t turn around and say they refuse to think about us, because I just doesn’t solve any problem it and families are important to our health and well being is important. Our opportunities are important. And this sort of communication today here are important.
Joshua T Berglan 52:37
I agree. And we have to get more messages out about this. Yes. Because this carries over into other issues as well. I believe,
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 52:47
you know, Joshua, there, there are people in the in the house that I’ve been I’ve served with, that are running without opposition. I have a friend on Winona, he does have opposition this time. But in the past, he has been he’s been in the house for 36 years. He’s run without opposition. One of the influence suburbs of Edina. The representative that I was elected with Heather Edelson has an opponent this time, but last time she didn’t have an opponent and she’s a Democrat. We have our people in in Minneapolis, Jamie long represents South Minneapolis. So one of the neighbors one of the many neighborhoods I lived in as a child. He doesn’t have an opponent. They’re not philosopher kings. They’re well meaning people. But our our political system hasn’t encouraged people to say I’ll step forward. I’ll I’ll exchange ideas and I’ll ask for your vote. My district my district was or the district I represent was was represented by a Republican for 10 years before I before I ran for office. And when I decided to leave there, there was there was some interest in in in running, but in the end, a young man who has moved back to the district doesn’t have much doesn’t have any history, real history and the district has got the nomination because nobody else there was there were no other candidates, no other there was no other debate and discussion. Our political system needs to encourage leadership they need to encourage people that would otherwise dedicated their careers to something and we know you know, we have some wonderful people in the house. I know one of my favorites was Kelly Morrison. She’s an MD from wise Edo we’re going to talk about she’s great. Jean Palacky done in Winona falafel guide been around for a long time where individuals have great, great respect for at least mine, at least man who’s another MD. He’s running for the Senate this time. But we get rolled up into this issue of partisan politics and you issues as important as MSOP are left behind or ignored.
Joshua T Berglan 55:06
So, I, I’ve got to find so I live in Prior Lake. I need to find out if there’s anyone running uncontested. I wonder, what does it take to run? Like, what do you need? I don’t, I don’t believe in. I don’t like pollution. And I don’t and I cannot stand litter. And when I see those signs, I’m like, all those trees died for that. Like, this is the year 2022. Like, I wouldn’t be doing podcasts and blogs and taking advantage of free advertising space and then run ads where I need to buy like, I know how to navigate media. I don’t need to spend any money. So how much does it cost to get in the game?
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 55:49
I think yeah, I think the filing fee is 100 bucks.
Joshua T Berglan 55:54
I gotta look this up. I’m gonna run I think I got to do it. I have to do it. Because I really, I need to get some credentials. So I can be the world’s mayor, like officially. I want the United Nations to like have this award. And by the way, the world’s mayor is really a mindset because the mayor’s was to elevate the people he serves. Yeah, that’s what we do as a nonprofit. And we use media and media media is the most powerful medium in the world. And we’re a voice for the voiceless and we elevate other voices for the voiceless. But I do kind of like this. I got I’m itching you got me all fired up. I feel like I need to go workout right now. Or go run for office. I gotta.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 56:36
Well, I think that I’m Prior Lake. I think you may have a couple of good people Robert Biermann may have parted Prior Lake. He’s a small business owner in Northfield, I believe, like really a nice guy and thoughtful guy.
Joshua T Berglan 56:49
I don’t want to mess with any nice people. Maybe I should move back downtown. Because that to me, but let me tell you something from an outsider’s perspective, not that this really is on subject, but we’re waiting for the phone to ring. So I’m going to just talk about whatever. When I first started visiting Minneapolis and who I end up marrying a Minnesota woman, but when I first started coming here to visit her, you know, stay downtown, we mean different cities, but downtown, just the vibe walking around and in getting to be around people of all faiths. I mean, I’m a follower of Christ. But I love my Muslim brothers and sisters. I love my Hindu neighbors. I love I just love people. Like just don’t be a jerk. Like, just be a good person. Be a nice person. Don’t be a jerk, and I’m gonna love you. I love you. Even if you’re a jerk that said, I love the vibe. Everybody just kind of like, got along. And yeah, I know there was violence, but it wasn’t that crazy. And then I was here visiting when the riots broke out. And that’s why I actually stayed. I felt my spirit I was supposed to stay. I wanted to go back to LA mag got out of the plants for me. And I’m glad then we said I’m moving downtown. moving downtown. I loved it got to experience and yes, it was different. Yes, it was during lockdown. But it was still special. It was a special place to live. It reminded me of San Diego. I know it’s a weird comparison. Because San Diego, the weather’s perfect all the time. Here not so much. But the vibe the community, the people, it reminded me of that the arts, you know, the theater. in it. It was just it’s just a an amazing city. And then after the trial. I don’t know how. But after the trial, things got really worse and more scary. And that was heartbreaking to me, because the people that have built that city that have lived there have contributed to it. They didn’t deserve. They don’t deserve what’s happening there right now. And it’s still happening. It’s still scared. I love going downtown, but I won’t take my girls there anymore. Because it’s it’s not it’s not safe. So maybe that’s where I should move and run for mayor there or say representative. I don’t really have, but I do know how to utilize the media, and they would have a really hard time shutting me
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 59:16
up. Right. Many I grew up in Minneapolis, but having lived there since about 1965 I guess but yeah, my son is live there. And and of course, you know, people talk about the Old Time Magazine, the issue that had Governor Wendell Anderson on the front holding up efficiency, and the story was a state that works. And I’ve gone back to look at that article frequently. And it’s a very positive article but it’s it is so different from the mindset that you would that would be written about Minneapolis or Minnesota or anyplace else. The photographs were the Walker Art Center over the Dayton’s department store downtown have some of the business This man and there was a confidence that Minneapolis was a you know, the first city of the West and and a place that that encouraged people to run for office the Citizens League was an enormously effective organization and leadership and business was was positive. On the other hand it was a a world in which our minority communities were that’s Daniel. I think our minority communities were were not included. Hello you have a real
Joshua T Berglan 1:00:44
phone or cell phone? It’s a phone. Zero. Phone. I’ve seen that a long time. Now be connected. Thank you for GTL
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:01:01
Daniel, you should call Joshua or Russell should more importantly, you’re trying. Okay, well, Joshua, they said they’re trying to get through but have been unsuccessful.
Joshua T Berglan 1:01:15
That’s Oh, my gosh. Okay. That’s weird. I don’t know why, um, my phone’s right here.
Yeah, he has his own in his hand and just waiting for the call.
Joshua T Berglan 1:01:27
Truck. Yeah, try one more time.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:01:30
Try to drag in.
Joshua T Berglan 1:01:32
Missed Calls. Oh, I see the left the message too. I didn’t get a call.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:01:38
Yeah, he said that his phone shows that you left a message but the call didn’t come through for some reason. Okay. Try again. Okay, all hang out. You’re gonna drag him. That’s odd. But, you know, the end as, as a as the profile of the city has changed it. People move and David Brooks article today I was reflecting on the conversation that the Los Angeles City Council that that’s recently recently been publicized where members of the Council were judicious about the language they use. Al Franken I grew up in St. Louis Park. And Tom, what’s the national columnist almost also grew up there and St. Louis Park was a with a vibrant Jewish community. I don’t know if the majority of people that live in St. Louis Park during the during the 50s. And, and, and a and a new Steve Simon, our Secretary of State, he went to St. Louis Park and an unusual number of people of Jewish background grew up in St. Louis Park and they talk a lot about that community and you know, it was a growing post world war two middle class community and and but they had moved away from the city the Jewish population had been in north north Minneapolis they moved out and and families of color moved in. In St. Paul the same thing the Jewish community moved away from and,
Unknown Speaker 1:03:36
and maybe recorded your calls will now be
Joshua T Berglan 1:03:38
we’ll have to we’ll have to finish that conversation now. Okay, go ahead. Russell you’re on a good say hi to Steve.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:03:51
Nice to hear your voice.
Joshua T Berglan 1:03:54
Yeah. Well, man, I haven’t really got to talk to you much. So please, this is an opportunity for you to share anything on your heart if you want to say hello to anyone on the outside give anyone your love you The floor is yours
Daniel A. Wilson 1:04:08
sir. Yes, say hello to my children. My daughter destiny. Kiana just did that maybe a year ago actually. I love you guys. You guys that work at home
Joshua T Berglan 1:04:29
that’s awesome. Very cool. So how did you how did you end up meeting Mr. Saito?
Daniel A. Wilson 1:04:39
I can’t even ever think when we we wrote off and we have to deal with golf here as a tourist program. And we communicated through correspondence in the mail. And then we learned that he was actually be granted to poetry do a tour. And I was walking in the hallway with a kid one day, and I seen him and I walked up, introduce myself. And he remembered me for the letters. And we picked up our conversation from the concerns that had been shared with us. Right? To the less opportunity to have someone in our corner like this.
Joshua T Berglan 1:05:26
What is it? What does it mean? For you for, you know, out people on the outside that are paying attention to what’s happening there? Can you tell, can you tell the public that’s listening right now, like what this what what that means to you to be able to get your voices heard by other people, and also why it’s so important.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:05:50
It means my work, to me words can’t even explain it. How important is how valuable that is. For Speaking for myself, personally, like, I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be on your podcast and be talking with you as for me, I’ve been in this program 15 years. And it’s been like, really challenging. In 2014, I lost my wife for 17 years to undetermined causes. And I had to put the grieving process aside to make sure that my children are placed in a safe home. And it’s really difficult to keep fighting this fight, because certain actors, the public that are aware of that business, have an indeterminate sense. And when I hear that those people on the outside fighting for us and supporting them, that gives me the motivation and inspiration to keep fighting and to keep educate myself, and doing everything that I can to educate the public on why this is so long, and what’s wrong with it. And like, one of the biggest things I’ve been working on now is to educate the public on this type of process to prison was meant to fit. They say it’s for the worst of the worst. But the 2005 potion, Daniel and I got a document a leaked document that boldly claimed that the vast majority of patients committed to this program recorded and that is 90 men in this program, don’t even have a criminal record. So there’s a lot of problems that I want to share with the public and the public to start asking questions. Those people who are charged operators, program, Executive Director, Clinical Directors. It’s really inspirational that people share it.
Joshua T Berglan 1:07:51
What, what would be the most the top two top three most important things the public must know about what’s happening at MSOP, which is then theoretically happening at the other facilities like it.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:08:09
One of the things I’ve been I’ve been corresponding with guys, I think 15 or 16 other institutions across the nation is that there’s this claim that we’ve suffered severe mental illnesses. But in the records and reports that I’ve received from guys and other stations, I spent a good year looking at a lot of records and reports, medical reports in this program, guys, and I’ve identified that the majority of the vast majority population doesn’t suffer severe mental illness. And one of the things, the biggest thing that’s a Supreme Court ruling support is that the constitutional constitutionality of the statutes require that evaluation will determine if a if a president mental illness exists without a medical justification, that is preventive detention. That’s the biggest thing. I strongly encourage people across the nation if you got family members that are locked up in these preventive detention facilities are looking at African these Clinical Directors and executive directors of these programs. What is it in my loved ones record that shows that they have the fact that the symptoms associated with these illnesses, these mental illnesses are centralized? Because I almost guarantee that our current presentation or our current mental status isn’t reflected in a record. I speak about this from experience when I filed a petition for disruption. In 2018. They said a lot of the work that was was doing whether it be an order medical records, and so all they had to go off was what’s called a static or historical record a criminal record was can be changed. And the other thing I discovered in this program, I don’t know about other programs, as far as like, their policies where they Write someone up for a policy violation. But in this program, we’re gonna have a rule violation and write us up for it. And they say, well, because you had this rule violation, you can be dressed the program. And then when we file a petition for the court, they look at static criminal record. And then a look at these transient rule violations. That they try to make a link to say, well, here’s a criminal history and US rule violation. And it can be something as simple as taking food out of a hole, or giving someone a hug. That has been written off, like really, Penny. They tried to make a link, that these things are somehow associated with risk to public safety. And it’s a pretty thorough process. I when I first started studying it, I wrote a 7087 page document. And so far, I’ve gotten broken down to 30 pages. And I’d recently just not available, I just wanted to explain to the public that the perception that legislators and the operators of these programs and directors of the program public. Well, that’s just not the case.
Joshua T Berglan 1:11:23
That so this is what’s the word that this would describe? Because it’s obviously injustice is there? It feels very, for lack of better term raping of your rights, it seems like a form of slavery. Nothing about that. seems right. Because the whole argument we were talking about this earlier, Mr. Sandel about how we’ve given psychiatrist, the power of the law, essentially, they get the rulebook, they get to make the rules, it’s under their pins authority, that somebody can be locked up forever, like Russell here, and yet, at the same time, now, these, he’s just saying that a majority are not even mentally ill. But that’s the whole argument why they’re there to begin with. That, how, how that that should be the reason that this thing gets blown up to begin with that alone. is first of all psychiatrists shouldn’t have that authority anyway, but since they do, they’re doing it all wrong.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:12:31
I spoke to the lead psychiatrist last week. Woman I’m think Elizabeth Pearson, I believe a Peterson. And I said, Do you consider MSOP? A, a therapy center or a punitive detention center? And she says, Oh, well, I consider it a treatment center. And I said, well, the our success of our treatment success has been pretty unsuccessful. In in the 35 years that the program has been in place, there are only 16 People who have been released. And there are individuals like Daniel and like Russell, who are eager and able to continue their lives outside of this place, and yet they continue to be incarcerated.
Joshua T Berglan 1:13:23
What is she going to do? If I can, please,
Daniel A. Wilson 1:13:26
if I can make a distinction in this program? It’s almost any blanket. Give us these diagnosis. When they when they got me Daniel talking about and I sent a copy to Mr. Sanibel. The, the minimize the qualification of employees here on staff. So originally, it was a psychiatrist, conducted an assessment to someone who’s a psychologist and license eligible, it’d be a social worker, it could be a marriage counselor. That’s another thing that’s wrong with these programs specifically.
Joshua T Berglan 1:14:09
I was tracking video programs, I would go I wouldn’t get in trouble. If I set up a business right now just to be a counselor without certification. I would get in trouble. Like and then now playing Doctor playing doctors, okay. I mean, we all do it anyway, when we google, I’ve got to I’m bleeding out of my ear. What does this mean? I mean, we all play self diagnose, but it doesn’t give us the authority to play doctor. That that’s like done imposter syndrome. That’s not the right term, but this doesn’t feel right either. I thought there was rules and regulations in place to prevent things like this from happening.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:14:50
The the, when I spoken to the director of MSOP and I talked about this issue of prevention and treatment and release, she says Our job is, is after the after the individual is committed. And until they’re released, we don’t have anything to do beforehand. We don’t have anything to do with after that. And, and they refuse to pay attention to the, to the quality and the viability of the of the of the treatment. And that’s what is. That’s what’s so disturbing it and and we just don’t have oversight over that there is a commissioner, human resource Commissioner, Human Services is their boss, but she has lots on her hands. And that program, a huge program is is self policing. And that’s why it’s so important to have an advisory committee or an oversight committee of citizens and individuals who have experienced, there have been three detailed observations and reviews of the program appointed by the government, I think 2009 2011 a governor’s task force. And then of course, they have a court case of the Carson’s case, which is yet unresolved, which has made specific suggestions on the on exactly the issues that Russell’s talking about. The commitment process, and the and the and the and the review of petitions, and none of those. Those recommendations have been endorsed or pursued. The Attorney General’s Office published in 2019, a review of the state’s response to sexual crimes. And there were there were probably 15 or 20 suggestions, but the suggestions were all what do we do in response to the crime? How do we how do we capture how do we identify that and, and incarcerate and how do we better enforce the law? None of them were about treatment or prevention. And Joshua, you and I were talking at the beginning of the podcast about trying to find a way to get the legislation lawmaking branch of government to pay attention to this and and the, the legislature has been input has been failing in in that kind of the discussion. Russell and and Daniel, who you’ve talked to later, are experts on this. And, and the reason and, and, and I have a meeting. Well, anyway, I I feel so strongly about the issue of civil rights and human rights. As a practice up there is I should probably stop.
Joshua T Berglan 1:17:55
Well, I’m passionate with you. And obviously Russell is as well. Russell, yep. Are you going to call back? Or?
Daniel A. Wilson 1:18:04
Yeah, I think Daniels gonna call right now because
Joshua T Berglan 1:18:06
our contact will do it again. Man. I
Unknown Speaker 1:18:08
really appreciate it.
Joshua T Berglan 1:18:10
Yeah, nice. Nice talking to you. And thank you for sharing your heart man.
Unknown Speaker 1:18:15
Yeah. Alright. See?
Joshua T Berglan 1:18:26
Yeah, I, I’m trying to make as much noise as I can about this. But I’m grateful for people like you. Because without you this really, I don’t believe that it’s legs. Obviously, Daniel, will Russell and Daniel and others are doing around the country. You know, help. But having someone like yourself involved. It matters. It matters because you’re a voice of authority. And
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:18:51
those guys are those guys are eloquent when when they talk about the situation that that they’re facing. And I know that that it’s easy to discount the voice of an individual who has been convicted of a crime that none of us feel comfortable with. But if we’re going to be a compassionate society, we have to pay attention to the situation that all of us face. And we were sympathetic to individuals who are without who’ve lost their job. And so we provide some support for them. We’ve lost their home and we try to do what we can there who have had a add difficulty with their health and and we have several programs as well as state programs to support them. Here’s a group of individuals who are who I believe, wish for hope for and would act would would work for treatment and healing and that’s and that’s what’s so important. And of course, prevention is is a enormous thing. That’s the That’s where our attention should that’s where our I already should be.
Joshua T Berglan 1:20:01
Amen to that. And education is a big part of prevention and an opportunity. Thank you for
Unknown Speaker 1:20:09
Joshua T Berglan 1:20:11
Hello, Daniel. So hi to Mr. Sandel. Yeah. Oh, it’s been great. He’s still here, I can’t believe I can’t believe he’s hung out with me for an hour and 20 minutes actually longer than that even
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:20:30
when my next appointment is with my grandson, so
Joshua T Berglan 1:20:37
everything so? Well, Daniel, what’s on your mind? Well,
Daniel A. Wilson 1:20:46
I’ll tell you, I appreciate you having us on to talk about this. The other day, I thought PBS program called Computer versus crime, I highly recommend it, because it kind of paints a picture of the issue we’re talking about here. In the program, they talk about pre crime algorithms, and preventive policing. And big cities like Chicago and Atlanta, they use these algorithms to find hotspots where they believe crime is going to be, and they try to determine who’s going to jump bail, and things like that. And the program goes on to talk about how quickly this can get out of control. We’re starting to use computers to determine when private is going to happen, and who is going to commit the crime and who the victim will be. And it sounds like a noble thing. But it can be you know, it’s usually racially biased. There’s a lot of false convictions, things like that, that come out of this. And I’ve been watching this thinking, I’ve been experiencing, we are already seeing this. Currently, this isn’t a future problem. There’s 6000 people in the United States could find right now, because of pre crime out algorithms. We call them actuarial tools. And they’re used to determine who’s going to commit a sex crime. And if you fail these tools, you will be locked up for the rest of your life. And there’s already 600 Excuse me, 6000 people, innocent men who are detained for this very purpose in the United States right now. At about 60% of the men here are homosexual who are part of the LGBT community, because the actuarial tool, or algorithm that they use is at 99 R, which is explicitly and inherently homophobic. Now, I’m not. You know, I don’t support homosexual relationships. That’s my own personal belief. But I also don’t believe in locking people up because of their sexual orientation if they haven’t committed any crime. So this is already a problem. So that the PBS program kind of shocked me because they didn’t cover that. And they’re talking about a problem in the future would really this has been going on for three decades in Minnesota, and then 20 other jurisdictions?
Joshua T Berglan 1:23:19
Well, the difference is that we’re relying on psychiatrists, not a computer for the algorithm.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:23:24
Right? Yes. So right now that? Well, the actuarial tools they use are a type of algorithm. They’re just a computer algorithm, but they’re there on paper, questionnaires that you fill out if you fail it, and they talked about that being a form of algorithm, just kind of a crude version of what you know, in the PVS. So it’s the precursor to what they’re talking about. It’s already happening. So, you know, fortunately, there’s institutions that are picking out against this, you know, of course, Mr. Sandel has been a big help and getting the word out about this. Harvard Law has spoken out against it. More recently, the Department of Justice has weighed in. Did you get that email from Steve with this?
Joshua T Berglan 1:24:18
Yep. I did you want me to read it?
Unknown Speaker 1:24:22
Yeah, I think that’d be great to read.
Joshua T Berglan 1:24:24
This is pretty wild, actually. Where’s your mom’s email? Wrong email. Okay. Yeah, the German court ruling. Let’s see here. When you might read the article or just the brief part.
Unknown Speaker 1:24:46
I was thinking email.
Joshua T Berglan 1:24:49
Okay. So it’s a bit early in the morning when this side of the pond isn’t it? If your focus is on involuntary civil commitment, I wonder if If you are familiar with use cases, the first two in particular, and Sullivan verse, the government of the United States, a man fled to the UK after being charged with multiple sex offenses, the Minnesota us sought his extradition. He challenged extradition on the ground that if he will return to the US, he would face involuntary civil commitment at Moose Lake, a process he alleged that violated his human rights. And those of you that are watching this or listening right now in the media kit that will be published on live mana.org. You’ll be able to find this case there’s a link to it where you can read it for yourself. In GIS first government of the United States of America, a man fled to the UK after being charged with sex offenses in California. When the US sought his extradition, he challenged the process but claiming if he were returned to the US, he would face involuntary civil commitment process, he says violates His human rights because it does. There are several rulings concerning geese as there are several appeals in addition to the original pleading. Interestingly, in Windset, vers Federal Republic of Germany, one of my grounds in favor of subsidiary protection was that if, if returned to Florida, I would face involuntary civil commitment again, in violation of human rights. The issue before the courts, however, was whether these men faced real risk of having their human rights violated by the civilly committed, while the cell Solomon and Whitsett courts cite sidestep making a finding on whether involuntary civil commitment itself violates human rights law. The geese Court did make that finding the finding and geese was well researched and well explained by the court and solving the end geese. The courts ultimately permitted extradition, after the US government gave written assurances the involuntary civil commitment proceedings would not be initiated against these men. And what’s it the court found that there was not a real risk that I would be civilly committed? If returned to Florida, but granted subsidiary protection on other grounds? It is my opinion that by waiving any civil commitment proceedings against these men, the US government was passively acknowledging that the civil commitment, very likely would not survive a direct challenge on human rights grounds. I hope this small bit of information helps you in truth, I’ve not looked at several. Okay, I don’t think I need to read all that. So do you Daniel, do you want to tell them what the end result was? That happened?
Daniel A. Wilson 1:27:35
Yeah. So what I’m explaining is that in the Sullivan case, okay. Sean Sullivan was from Bloomington, Minnesota, and he was alleged to have committed sex crimes in Minnesota. So he fled to Germany. I know more about that case, in the case case, he fled to see as we fled to England, not Germany, and the exports, were we do not believe he should be sent back because the United States is in flagrant denial, or in flagrant violation of article five of the European Convention on Human Rights, which speaks against free crime, detention. So there’s a very important distinction, understand here, the guy was charged with sex crimes, a bear may not have done it, the issue is, can we lock them up before we convict him of a crime and lock him up indefinitely for the rest of his life, just based on charges, and in many cases, even somebody that’s been alleged to have committed a crime not even charged by local police departments? Just the allegation alone can get somebody detained for life. Right? So the reason that they’re targeting sex practices, because the second I say, sex offender or sex crime, people’s brains shut off, because they don’t want to think about it. I understand that. But that is the propaganda. That is how it works. And I’m sure that there’s listeners right now who understand what I’m saying, because they’ve experienced it. During this conversation, we started talking about sex crimes, and people don’t want to hear. But if it’s an allegation, you’re innocent till proven guilty, I don’t care what the crime and they’re locking people up before they commit crimes. So back to the email, which is a similar situation, Stephen with wrote that email he had fled to Germany. And the German court said, we don’t really think he’s going to be committed, but what we’re concerned about is that, generally speaking, this is not a good place for somebody to have been alleged of sex crime to be living in the United States. So it’s now a German citizen. And there are a lot of good time to bring this up. There’s a highly recommend that the listeners read the book shaping the Constitution. It’s written by Michael L. Perlin, and Heather Ellis cucolo in a Chapter Seven they break down why civil commitment is a violation of international laws and it It’s a very interesting book breaks down how civil commitment works, and what the problems are with it. So now we have England and Germany, saying that this is against international law. And I kind of want to conclude with this. Talk about what I just covered. You know, I think it’s great that these institutions are speaking up. But institutions are not more powerful than people. And if individual citizens don’t start speaking up and saying something about this, because they are at risk of being committed for an alleged crime, that they’ve not been found guilty of, everyone’s at risk of ever going. This is not for sex offenders, it’s for citizens who get out alive. This is political prison. I’m sitting in a political a political prisoner sitting in a prison, and I’ll be the rest of my life
Joshua T Berglan 1:30:54
changes when it changes.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:30:58
When it changes, David, thank you for that. Joshua, I want to ask you, if you allowing us to have this platform to speak about this and have a voice is extremely important. And I want to know if I want to donate to how do I do that?
Joshua T Berglan 1:31:15
Oh, thank you for asking that. You can go to our website live mana.org. Li ve ma na.org. And there is a donate tab. Okay, thank you for asking, doing that.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:31:29
I hope. I hope other people do too. You know, we got to support free speech institution to keep this country free. It’s so there’s so much going on behind the scenes of our government, and it’s our responsibility in a democracy, to have a say, and to have a place in this government. We can’t just let you know, everything happened without our being a part of it. So that’s why they these things are really, really important. If people want to get connected to our network, we have a lot of gating support on this. We’re trying to educate people, help them understand that they go to our Facebook page facebook.com, forward slash and MSOP SOP. So we look forward to hearing from people and you know, kind of let people know, the details behind how this operates and what we can do to try to change it.
Joshua T Berglan 1:32:29
Yeah. Good stuff, man. So all you got. And I gotta tell you do, Hey, say I want you to do if you want to give a shout out to whoever you want to say hi to.
Daniel A. Wilson 1:32:48
Oh, boy. My mother has been such a huge supporter for me. And I might choke, I’m talking about this, but this woman is the most the strongest person I’ve ever met. And she’s, she’s got a spirit about her that just screams just as a truth. And I think it’s kind of embedded in the way she raised me, we’ve talked about this, she’s never really explicitly said that these values are forged. She just really lived it and demonstrated what it means to stand up in the face of power, despite the consequences. And she did receive consequences. And she, you know, she bounced back and said, You know, I stand on what I said, I said, I want to believe and let the chips fall where they may and there’s just nothing more powerful than that. I mean, that’s what life’s about. So, my mother is just everything in this whole thing. So I love you so much. That’s,
Joshua T Berglan 1:33:53
that’s awesome, man. Thank you, brother. I appreciate that good hearing your voice. And we’ll be in touch. Yeah.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:34:02
Thanks. Thanks, Daniel. Good to hear your voice and we’ll stay in touch.
Joshua T Berglan 1:34:09
We’ll see you later, brother. Alright, see ya.
State Rep. Stephen Sandell 1:34:15
Well, Josh, well, I’m gonna have to scoot. I just want to say thanks, as Daniel Russell said, for this for this forum, and for the work you’re doing and the opportunity to talk to citizens who still have faith in democracy and want to do something about that. So I hope we can talk again. Thank you.
Joshua T Berglan 1:34:34
I hope so too, sir. God bless you. Thank you so much for your time, all of your time. Thank you.
Joshua T Berglan 1:34:39
Thank you that just made it more feel more real to me. I mean, it’s pretty real. Getting to speak with the family members and, of course talk to Daniel a lot Tom. You know, just gosh it’s amazing. So many rib Michael, Kansas. Other gentlemen Roy just interviewed. I mean, just normal people. Now there’s the other side too. And like my friend Tom and I, here’s my definitely my friend who was falsely accused. There was a victim of horrific psychological warfare, which all of these guys are by the way, a victim of just seeing how that’s affected him and just putting a hole for year at a time. And he was innocent. It’s just Gosh, it’s terrible. I want to find
Joshua T Berglan 1:35:55
out you know what, this is what I want to do. I’m not gonna read anything I’m just gonna say this. God can use anyone. That’s really
Joshua T Berglan 1:36:19
a freeze. I think that freeze