Submitted by a Former MTC Employee and sent to the D.C. NAACP
I am writing this email to bring awareness to a state-run program called Texas Civil Commitment. Twenty states have civil commitment for convicted sex offenders, but my focus is the facility located in the state of Texas due to my previous employment there for the past two years.
Upon starting my job there, I did not know anything about civil commitment. I thought I was going to be employed at a prison. This place is an old prison fitted with secured gates and razor-wire around the premises. Every door must be locked and only opened by an officer’s command and operated by another officer in central control. In every sense of the word, it is in fact a prison.
Texas Civil Commitment Office runs this facility under the guise of a treatment program, but it is far from that. During my time working there, I saw numerous violations made by TCCO and MTC, the security company contracted by TCCO. I reported violations to the MTC corporate office several times, but to no avail. I still have those emails. The living conditions violate many current jail standards and have continued to get worse as more and more men are brought to the facility located in Littlefield, Tx. As my employment went on, I got into contact with others who had witnessed the violations and I started doing research on my own. I have reached out to lawyers, reporters, state representatives, etc. to get assistance with getting something done with this facility, but no one will help. I feel like either people are unaware of what civil commitment is or they know what it is and are afraid to speak out because of TCCO and the influence it has.
Currently, there are several men with lawsuits pending against TCCO due to the mistreatment and the violations of their civil rights. There are over 380 men housed in the facility, and I have seen more men die than get released. The men held there are being denied their first amendment rights by not having access to a wide range of communication and express activity. They are told who they can and cannot talk to. Their personal mail has been confiscated. They are exposed to cruel and unusual punishment- being confined to cells up to 23 HOURS A DAY and many fitted with ankle monitors. Legal work, clothing and hygiene products withheld for punishment. Deliberate indifference to residents’ needs and degrading punishment that does not fit the rule violations or “crime”. Keep in mind these men are civilly committed and have already finished their sentences, meaning they are FREE MEN, or supposed to be. Many of these men were ordered by judges to be in out-patient treatment programs, living in the “free world”. The ninth amendment comes into play because the men’s rights are not just limited to those in the constitution. The fourteenth amendment prohibits the states from abridging the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States and depriving any person of life, liberty, or property. The men are confined, and the conditions deprive them of minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities.
I am seeking help in any and every way- legal representation, investigation, media, ANYTHING. The men are in desperate need of assistance. I am willing to be an advocate for these men and speak to anyone who will listen to the injustices they are going through.