March 2, 2022
To whom it may concern:
My son, Rodney D. Pollard, was released from TDCJ January 24, 2015, one day before serving his entire prison sentence of 20 years. As a sex offender, he had completed sex offender rehabilitation therapy at the Hightower prison unit near Dayton Texas. This program has been wonderfully successful, with a very low recidivism of only about 3%, for over 20 years now. Rodney’s release was transportation with a prison guard in
a private truck to the Ben Reed Center in Northeast Houston, where he was still locked up in a halfway house to begin more therapy, including sessions with family present. We were repeatedly told how essential these sessions with family were to sex offender rehabilitation. The Therapy Director, Dr. Nicholas Edd stated that to us on more than one occasion.
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 consequences of “coming clean.” I do not know who makes that decision. No Miranda rights
No doubt that the “coming clean” was a huge step in Rodney’s healing. From that day until now, he has shown a changed heart.
So, in March 2014, after completing the prison program, Rodney was sued by the state of Texas in the 435th 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 held 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 into society, the civil commitment program always has
been and remains simply a way to keep offenders imprisoned.
In September 2015, the whole sham program was moved to a vacant maximum-security prison in Littlefield, Texas. The offenders were pressured to sign an agreement to change the “outpatient” treatment defined in TCCO paperwork to “inpatient.” Some did, some did not, including Rodney Pollard. So, that very important family involvement in counseling recommended by Dr. Nicholas Edd was impossible! We lived 623 miles from
the TCCO prison. 9 hours and 54 minutes via automobile – if you didn’t stop to eat or use restrooms. For us, it amounts to 2 days travel each way, 1 day to visit and the wonderful experience of going through 2 locked doors to the restroom and sitting in the visitation room with a “not a guard person” monitoring every word spoken! Rules for visitation have changed every time we visit. It is a prison to keep people who have served
their sentences locked up. For 20 years, we regularly visited our son, as did his siblings in 6 different prisons. There was never any charge for us to go, and we sent money to the commissary for him all those years. There was never a tax charge by the prison for whatever we sent him, but suddenly there was a 33% TCCO charge for everything sent to him or brought to him when we visited. That has been dropped now to 25% – whoopee!
But, there are some perks. A few of the inmates have cellphones with very limited amount of contacts they can call. A handful were carried in 2016 to vote in the election. Whoopee again! Other than that excursion, medical attention or death are the only ways out.
Since 2015, there has been and continues to be a constant turnover of counselors. About 2 years ago, a trained counselor declared a resident did not have a behavior abnormality. She was quickly informed she was not qualified to make that statement. It must be reserved for a court, politician, the TCCO Director, or maybe a combination of all these – none of them trained in counseling.
In the past week, 3 more counselors have resigned.
So over and over these men go through the same training and testing. But none get to return to the outside world. Therapists and other staff come there to work, and soon learn that they’re not really there to help these men, but just 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 electrodes attached to the penis, then the person being tested is shown provocative pictures of nude men and women in suggestive poses, or babies, small children, or teens in swimsuits to see what arouses him sexually. Wow! Is pornography really a good thing to show these men? Perhaps who ever dreamed that up should be tested for an 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 is Double Jeopardy, in any and every way you twist it or re-label it! It is against our Constitution, and against civil rights of these man locked away in 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 healed our son.
Pastor First Baptist Church of Flynn, Texas.
Father of Rodney Pollard
One thought on “Please, Someone Who Can, Do Something to Stop This terrible Program.”
Mr. Pollard – Rest assured, more and more individuals & organizations are dedicated to exposing the inhumane treatment/abuse that civil commitment laws (in 20 states plus the federal program) freely allows for. The U.S. Supreme Court, in Kansas versus Hendricks laid out conditions that must be followed for civil commitment to meet constitutionality of civil commitment. Most, if not all, states clearly violate the U.S. Supreme Court condition requirements. It is sad, that with the documented abuse and corruption that is being tolerated (by elected officials including judges and others) in these “civil commitment” states, advocates for change have to work so very hard to inform, educate, file legal challenges, etc. in their efforts to cause change.. My personal experience in working for change (elimination) of civil commitment has been that when most individuals (not necessarily elected officials – politicians) learn about civil commitment, they have very strong reactions that “this is not right.” I note you are the pastor of a church. I am always interested in learning the position of the church pertaining to individuals who were charged and found guilty of violating an applicable state statute. For those individuals, most who have been incarcerated and completed their sentence, then were detained and placed in a “treatment” center, lifetime registered as a “violent sex offender/predator,” would the church be one of forgiveness, acceptance, especially after release from a “treatment center.” Frankly, I don’t see the churches standing up for these individuals. I hope I am wrong, but currently haven’t witnessed the welcome mat out. I am pleased to read your comments and appreciated you making them. I hope your congregation is in footstep with you. Again, please know there are many wonderful individuals, organizations and incarcerated working to address this horrible abuse of human beings. Thank you.