GUEST BLOG #4 by a Resident at the Texas Civil Commitment Center; April 4, 2021
Greetings friends and supporters! According to Senator Whitmire as quoted in Houston and San Antonio newspapers, on the subject of the recent revelations that Marsha McLane was married to and had children with, a man who committed multiple sex offenses against children in the 90’s – his response to that was that he couldn’t see how things that occurred 30 years ago have any bearing on her decisions today. I had to laugh out loud when I read that. Every decision that is made for me today is a reflection and in response to what I did decades ago. In group last week, a therapist even admitted that the upper TCCO management felt that we are all manipulators and good at it. I countered with, “Can’t people just change?” It’s ludicrous to say, for decades that I’ve been putting on this front just waiting for that moment of freedom so I can victimize again. I gave up on the concept of freedom as soon as the Civil Commitment gavel fell. There was a part of me that wanted to regress – to go back to the unempathetic, uncaring, self-centered person I used to be whom only looked out for himself and his own interest. Then I looked back at all the supporters I had in the courtroom who were there for me; who believed in me and believed I had changed. When I got to this facility I was greeted by a handful of therapists who I believed also genuinely cared about me and my success.
What I discovered was that I wasn’t that person anymore. Being ugly to someone who had never done anything to me (or even someone that had) seemed like a foreign concept. It no longer seemed right. Simply because I had formed new habits, a new belief system, and I was able to put myself in another person’s shoes. I did this in prison BEFORE Civil Commitment. I try to do the right thing in spite of my negative circumstances. I try to do the right thing because doing the right thing is never wrong. I honestly believe that I will never be free to make my own decisions. I have come to see how people cope with that realization, but the majority of us have chosen to do the right thing regardless of our hopelessness.
I just don’t see the behavioral abnormality picture painted by the so-called experts when I look around. I see a majority of men doing the right thing in spite of their belief in ever being free. A few days ago a resident was caught with porn which again is an exception to the rule, but their solution to his individual treatment was confiscating everyone’s electronics in that section of the unit. I do understand there is no place for porn in a sex offender treatment facility, but everyone should not be punished for the actions of a few, especially when it is staff that makes these things available.
There are nine men waiting to go before the panel who have been waiting for at least a year or more to move to the next tier. They have completed all of the required assignments and they are being required to present the same material over and over – stagnant. Certainly not the “seamless transition” promised by Senator Whitmire when he sold this sham to the public.
Another disturbing bit of news is that MTC is in the process of purchasing this prison property. They are, in my opinion, investing in the long term. Especially since, ninety percent of the tiers 4’s have been tier 4’s for four to five years. It is supposed to be about one year. They’ve been in no trouble, no acting out, yet they are still here. The only seamless transition I see is from one prison to another. Much like the prison building fiasco of the 90’s they want to build on here and expand the program. Who knows they may want to continue confinement for bank robbers because they might rob another bank.
Another thing in the article I recently read that ruffled my feathers – struck me while I was eating. In the last few weeks the food quality and quantity has declined to levels unfit for an animal. I was looking at the ground-up chicken lips, mowed grass, sweet potato peelings, and applesauce while thinking I bet a little bit of salt would make this food palatable and I wondered how much salt $207,000 a year would buy? Marsha McLane recently had a wage increase to $207,000 annually and I thought about what she was probably eating on the backs of the people we victimized and our sufferings. I still haven’t figured out what her job function is, other than making our lives miserable.
In America, the Land of the Free, it’s okay to profit off of crime. How about she takes a cut in pay to a more feasible wage and donates the rest to a victim’s fund? Perhaps she could set a little aside for salt and pepper since she also made a killing on the stimulus checks. She took over $300,000 from us out of our stimulus checks, oh…I just figured out what her job is, and let me stress we will not spend one penny of that stimulus check if we don’t pay the 33% TCCO fees. I was called to my case manager’s office last week and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Did you get your stimulus check yet”; not how are you, how is treatment, or do you need anything – straight to the point. Marsha McLane is currently in the Texas Supreme Court for trying to take 33% of a military man’s retirement earned by putting his life on the line in the service of this country.
Now for some Payton Place news…the former security director who was demoted for various ethical violations was recently promoted back to Captain – again what’s good for the goose? Forgiveness comes easy when it’s one of their own, yet let one of us get a speeding ticket and our freedom is put on hold for years. I’m not talking about parallel offending; I’m talking about simple infractions, such as not wearing socks with our flip flops or ordering vitamins, while suffering the effects of COVID, without the proper paperwork.
We unfortunately lost our property officer, who I had praised in a prior segment. He said he just couldn’t deal with the BS any longer. He said he’d rather sell insurance. Another staff member who actually cared about the food quality in the kitchen was let go because one day when she was working by herself a resident, who knew better, took some trays without wearing proper PPE. She was working alone, supervising five residents and tasked with getting out the meals on time and she was used as a scape goat because MTC and TCCO had no plan in place for dealing with COVID which was running rampant through the facility. She was let go because of what another resident did that was beyond her control, and the guy who told on them now works in the kitchen. It’s interesting that the food quality has deteriorated since she was let go.
We lost another resident, Danny Connelly who passed away from COVID a few weeks ago.
There are many new staff members, several barely out of high school, to replace the many who have quit. There is a very high turn-over rate. One case manager was hired and lasted two weeks. I was told by another case manager, “She wasn’t TCCO material,” which I took to mean she had ethics, values, and morals.
We still have not received COVID vaccinations. There are many men here over seventy years old with pre-existing conditions. They have already vaccinated Over 110 million people, about a third of the population. There are probably people in society who think we are undeserving of a vaccine. The reality is that we have served our time, yet we are still wards of the state much like prisoners, nursing home residents, and hospital patients. We have already had staff come in with COVID and infect the whole facility. We depend on staff to take care of all our needs. Not administering a vaccine to us is a blatant lack of concern for this segment of society’s population.
Governor Abbott has relaxed restrictions on Texas. Their response here is that we can now have recreation with everyone in our building which should have already been the case. We can get visits if our contacts get a COVID test five days before arriving, at their own expense, and then take another one when they arrive. We can’t hug them and they cannot bring food in; but they can pay $4.00 for a candy bar and a Coke out of the vending machines. However, a polygrapher can come in here putting us at risk, laying down trip wires for us when for the last year we have been confined to our rooms. What could we possibly be doing with cameras recording our every move and our movement limited? I can’t allow my family to put their arms around me but I can have a stranger put his arms around me to hook up polygraph equipment. I can be exposed to COVID when it’s profitable; let me reiterate the second in command at TCCO-her Father owns the company that polygraphs us. The questions they ask consist of: “Do we have money or bank accounts that TCCO doesn’t know about? Are we having deviant thoughts?” So now the thought police have the potential of holding us back because of what we might be thinking. Everyone has fleeting thoughts and knowing what is at stake-our freedom-for failing a polygraph is enough to trip up anyone. It can’t be used in a court of law for a reason, yet it can be used to keep us locked up or even tiered down. The same thing goes for PPG’s-which has not been standardized in all segments of the population.
One resident’s Aunt contracted COVID and was on her deathbed and he asked for a video conference to say goodbye, but time was never made for him. TCCO was too busy tracking down stimulus money. When she died, he hoped to see the funeral, and again, no time was made for that either. But there is plenty of time for polygraphs and PPG’s because these activities contribute to the bottom line. It’s all about money and politics and everyone suffers except the one lining their pockets and soliciting votes. Be aware Politicians, the tide is turning with public opinion. We have a Petition going with people who are tired of the lies. With over 3,000 signatures so far, and in these days of tight election races, 3,000 votes can make a big difference. People are tired of their tax dollars being wasted with draconian laws that do more harm than good. We are not going to be silenced while people get rich from our suffering.
Thank you for your time and support and I look forward to keeping you updated.