We Have No Voice

Written By Current TCCO Detainee: July 10, 2021


In 1998 I caught two sex offenses. One was the burglary of a habitat with intent to commit sexual assault, then I also caught a sexual assault with a 14-year-old female. At the time I was 18 years old. I did not take these charges to trial for one, financial reasons mainly, so I plead out to two 10-year sentences to run concurrently. While doing my time around the last 18 months of my sentence I was put on chains to go to Goree Unit, not knowing that TDCJ’s multi-disciplinary team sent me to Goree Unit to be evaluated for a program called Civil Commitment. 

In my mind, I thought they were putting me in their 18-month program, and all I wanted to do was finish my time on the unit I was on and go home. This program was not part of the plea deal and not once was I offered to take a program while doing my time. The information that I gave them in these evaluations was me being honest about how I grew up and that’s what they used to force me into this program. I discharged my 10-year sentence on November 17, 2009 and was picked up by a DPS officer and transported to a Houston halfway house at the time called Ben Reid. It’s like I discharged one sentence to start another one. I was sent back to prison on April 20, 2011 because of a rule violation, not actually breaking another law, but for having a cellphone. In this program they dictate who you can and cannot have contact with, including family members. So, I was given 5 years in TDCJ because of this rule violation. 

During that time, they reconstructed this program in the legislature because of the flaws that were exposed in the program to keep a certain class of people locked up, a banishment if you will, but made it look good on paper as a “Tier Program”. These people are using this treatment title as a justification to keep people with sex offenses locked up. This newly revamped program took bits and pieces from the Correct Cares program in other states and removed the factors that benefited us to make our stay here longer. 

It is a tier level program with 4 tiers being here at the facility and tier 5 being in society. It used to be care level along with the tier levels, but Marsha McLane did away with them because a person could get a rule violation and not lose his tier but taking that away if a person catches a rule violation, they have action at taking a person’s tier level and making someone start all over again. This program has been going on since 2000. I have seen more people leave here dead than I have seen leave alive. As of now, I have been in this new program since April 20, 2016. I worked my way to tier 3 but caught a rule violation for having a cell phone on September 7, 2018. Now I have worked my way back to tier 3 and I’m 85% done with this tier level. 

We have no voice, we have nobody to challenge the people over this program, Ms. Marsha McLane and Senator Whitmire. This is his project and in reality, it’s a money scheme. There are over 385 residents at this facility that have all discharged their actual prison sentence, but we still live in a prison. The program is supposed to be integrating us back into society as productive citizens, but how is that happening when everything in the facility is prison-like treatment and mentality. Living here is 90% security/prison rules and movement, and 10% treatment. We need help. 

6 thoughts on “We Have No Voice

  1. The stories are important as we advocate for change to civil commitment. Keep them coming. Several “legal” type guys are working on lawsuits, using some very helpful, legitimate information… We need to continue to work together, those wrongfully detained and those of us who are family/friends of those wrongfully detained….


    1. Very well spoken! We definitely need to work together. The more we have working on the injustice of civil commitment, the more people will hear about what’s truly going on.


  2. Eldon Dillingham,
    Can you please contact me on FB? It is concerning paperwork for my loved one that is housed in TCCO.


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