GUEST BLOG #5 by a Resident at the Texas Civil Commitment Center; 04-16-2021
Every time Marsha McLane has the opportunity to punish all of us for the actions of a very few, it becomes abundantly clear that she can’t make sound decisions for us. Treatment is touted as individualized, when in fact it is global. She certainly has an ax to grind having been married to and having children with a sex offender. She can’t punish him or make his life miserable but she can certainly project those feelings onto us. It becomes clear that every time someone breaks a rule here the upper TCCO echelon overreacts and reacts immediately. However, when residents are doing right there is absolutely no urgency to move them forward. Several men have been waiting six plus months to advance. If a resident gets caught breaking the rules they make a beeline for the facility.
Several years back the American Psychiatric Association created a task force on sexually dangerous offenders stating: “We were concerned that psychiatry was being used to preventively detain a class of people for whom confinement rather than treatment was the real goal. This struck many people as a misuse of psychiatry”. It’s clear to most of us that we are here for many other reasons than treatment. To name a few, money, politics, and the personal vendettas of the individual who administers this program – a program riddled with corruption. As I mentioned in segment 4 the contraband phones and pornography come from staff. In the last two days three officers were fired. Two had nude photos on a contraband phone a resident had and one failed a drug test. MTC’s vetting process seems to need a little more scrutiny and although I don’t condone this behavior I don’t feel that the other residents that are doing the right thing should have to suffer for it. Last week, a resident was found with porn on a SD card watching it in a community area. The response to that was to take everyone’s electronics on that cell block. Yesterday a resident was caught with an illegal cell phone and the response to that was to take all of C Wing’s electronics away and lock them down with no recreation. Therefore 75 men are sitting in their bunks twiddling their thumbs because of the actions of 2 officers and 1 resident.
Tier 3’s and 4’s are allowed to have smart phones and pay extra money for parental controls to monitor and block access to the internet. TCCO can see the screen of every phone in the facility at any time and for the most part, residents act in accordance with the rules. Yet they still picked up all the cell phones yesterday, threw them all in a box and went through the phones. Many residents have flip phones with only the function of making and receiving calls, and their phones were collected too.
How can you call this a treatment facility when staff continues to encourage sexual deviant and unhealthy behavior? How long are elected officials going to allow this injustice to happen?