My son, Rodney D. Pollard, was released from TDCJ January 24, 2015, one day before serving his entire sentence of 20 years. As a sex offender, he had completed sex offender rehabilitation therapy at the Hightower unit near Dayton Texas. This program has been wonderfully successful, with a recidivism rate of only about 3%, for over 20 years now. Rodney’s “release” was transportation in a TDCJ van to the Reed Center in NE Houston, where he was still locked up to begin more therapy, including sessions including family, which we were told was so important to offender rehabilitation, so stated by Therapy Director, Doctor Nicholas Edd.
Early on in the Prison Therapy, the offender is pressured to “come clean” with everything he ever did. Then, the information given can be used to sue the offender in a civil court in Conroe Texas. There is no warning of the possible consequence of “coming clean”. I do not know who makes that decision. It all falls under the Texas Civil Commitment Office. However, I believe that “coming clean “was a huge step in Rodney’s healing. From that day until now, he has shown a changed heart.
So in March of 2014, after completing the prison program, Rodney was sued by the State of Texas in the 9th District Court in Conroe, and opted for a jury trial. The whole trial, which my family attended every day, was a complete debacle, as every prosecution objection was granted and zero defense objections were granted. The judge was, in demeanor and words, very obviously trying to influence the jury to rule against the offender. He even had a private meeting with the jury to school the jurors as to how they shouted answers to his questions in giving their verdict. It was terrible! The whole ordeal was and remains a sham. Disguised in wording as a Rehabilitation program to phase the offenders back in to society, the Civil Commitment program has always been and remains simply a way to keep offenders imprisoned.
In September of 2015, the whole sham program was moved to a vacant prison in Littlefield Texas. The offenders were pressured to sign an agreement to change the “outpatient” treatment defined in the TCCO paper work to “inpatient.” Some did, some did not, including Rodney Pollard. That move took care of any possible family group therapies for our family (I suppose that family involved therapy wasn’t so important after all) – 623 miles from Houston, 9 hours and 54 minutes by auto if you had 0 stops. For us, it amounts to 2 days travel each way, 1 day to visit, and the experience of going through 2 locked doors to use a restroom, sitting in a room with a “non-guard” person monitoring conversations. Rules of what can be brought in for food have changed for every visit. It is a prison! Period! For 20 years, we regularly visited our son in 6 different prisons, and sent money to the Commissary for him. Never was there any charge or problem. Now, if we send anything to Rodney, we are required to pay 33.3 % of the cost to TCCO. Not sure if that’s classified as theft, tax or love offering. Recently Rodney received his stimulus check and had to pay TCCO 33.3 %.
We have repeatedly been told by staff at the facility, including case managers and head therapists, that our Rodney no longer has the alleged Behavior Abnormality, and has no business still being in the TCCO program.
Almost no one, in 20 plus years, has been released! Currently, portable buildings are being brought in as housing because of overcrowding in the TCCO facility, and yet nobody is leaving the prison which is not really a prison according to authorities. It is obvious there are no plans to change anything that is happening. The only way out seems to be by death.
But, there are some perks! A few of the inmates [residents] have cellphones with very limited numbers they can call, and are permitted to occasionally order pizza to be delivered! That is the only outside contact for these men, except a pastor who comes biweekly, and a handful were carried to vote in the last Presidential election. Whoopee! Maybe they will get to have another outing this year! Will that make them outpatients?
Since 2015, there has been and continues to be a constant turnover of counselors. 1 counselor recently got in trouble because she declared a resident no longer had a behavior abnormality! She was told she was not qualified to make that statement! It must be reserved for a court, politician, director, combination of /or all the above, none of them trained in counseling or therapy!
So, over and over these men go through the same training and testing. But none get to return to the outside world. Therapists come there to work and soon learn they are not really there to help these men, but to keep up a pretense of rehabilitation. So, they move to other employment where they can be used to help people.
One repetitive test called PPG includes having an electrode attached to the penis. Then, the person being tested is shown pictures of men or women, naked in suggestive poses, or babies, small children, or teens in swimsuits and provocative poses to discover what arouses him sexually. Wow! Is pornography really a good thing to show these men? Whoever dreamed that up should be tested for abnormality!
Every criminal has a behavior abnormality, but murderers, thieves, drunk drivers, and drug lords and dealers serve their sentences and are released. They can be sued in civil court for wrongful death and other things by victims, but cannot be locked up!
It’s Double Jeopardy, any and every way you label it. It is against our Constitution, and against civil rights of these men locked away in this Texas Civil Commitment mess!
Please, someone who can, do something to stop this terrible program! When God gives up on someone, the person dies! These men are human beings, created by God, and He can deliver anybody from anything. He loves them unconditionally, and He can heal them – as my wife and I are convinced He has our son.
Pastor First Baptist of Flynn, Texas.
Father of Rodney Pollard