Written by: a RESIDENT at the TEXAS CIVIL COMMITMENT CENTER
in Littlefield, Texas
Honesty happens when we tell the truth. In our clinical treatment groups, we are told by our Therapist and Case Managers that we must be honest. We are also told we must be honest about what we did/do and our desires, planning and fantasizing. “Secrets make you sick.”1
“Bias is difficult to prove, but at least two people in positions of authority in the civil commitment program have personal backgrounds that advocates said raised questions about their ability to make objective judgements.”2
Apparently, the top Texas Civil Commitment Office Executive Director, Marsha McLane was once married to a man who was sentenced to ten years probation as a Sexually Violent Predator in 1996 for Indecency With A Child and ordered to attend “treatment”. About eight years later (2004), he allegedly reoffended by exposing himself to two other children. His Probation was revoked and his sentence was reduced to a six year prison sentence. Ms. McLane and her husband were divorced in 2004. Ms. McLane, apparently, was not forthcoming. It is unconscionable to imagine her getting such a high ranking job for the State of Texas and not being vetted and investigated with an extensive background check which should reveal such information. If it was revealed, then other party’s kept the secret as well! It seems to be unknown who all knew about her personal experiences with being so closely involved with a “Sexually Violent Predator” [SVP]. It highly begs the suspicion that it was not only her secret.
It would seem that her experience with an SVP who was so intimate with her, she would consequently have some unfiltered bias towards those similarly situated. Certainly this would seem to be a conflict of interest and subsequently disqualify her from any position of supervision and treatment of SVP’s, unless of course if it was kept a secret. Is there even a need to go into the need and importance of prosocial and healthy behaviors of not keeping secrets?
The drama does not stop there. It is interesting that McLane’s husband, being released from prison conveniently escapes the:
A. “Notice of Potential Predator” (Texas Health & Safety Code $841.021) before his anticipated release date;
B. “Multidisciplinary Team” (Texas Health & Safety Code 9841.022);
C. “Assessment for Behavioral Abnormality” (Texas Health & Safety Code 9841.023);
D. “Subchapter C Petition Alleging Predator Status” (Texas Health & Safety Code – $841.041 & $841.042); and
E. “Subchapter D Trial” (Texas Health & Safety Code – $841.061).
This individual, knowingly has sexually assaulted at least three children, that we know of, and due to what seems to be a case of privilege, the Texas Statutes were conveniently not applied to him. This unequal application of the law and scandalous “privilege” has the appearance of an ascertained product connected to the prospect of a new upcoming Executive Director for TCCO, who just happens to be closely connected!
Ms. Mclane minimizes her experience with an SVP who was so intimate with her by saying in an email: “His actions, having occurred almost 25 years ago, have no bearing on my duties or decision making today,”3 and Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston justifying Ms. Mclane: “…does a good job and does not believe that something that happened 30 years ago impacts her ability to do her job,”4 stated spokeswoman Lara Wendler. So…do the Client’s deviant sexual actions, having occurred say about twenty-five years ago, have no bearing on their duties or decision today to be prosocial and healthy and not reoffend?
Let’s take a look at Ms. McLane’s performance of doing a “good job”. In the process of over twenty years, the State of Texas has virtually failed to produce a single successful treatment, restoration and release of any Civil Commitment Client and allowed them to return home to their family and/or community, until September 2020 when the State finally released two clients. Aside from these two Clients, not a single Client has ever been released, except through “toe tag release”. Toe tag release is a prescriptive term used when a Client passes away while he is warehoused by TCCO. The only other form of release of any TCCO Clients have minimally come from litigation through the Courts, of which the State and TCCO has venomously opposed each and every one of them. While the Texas Legislature also asserts “that a civil commitment procedure for the long-term supervision and treatment of sexually violent predators is necessary and in the interest of the state”, it seems that over twenty years of supervision, management and treatment without any success or advancement/betterment is certainly problematic, at least for a considerable portion of us warehoused in the distinctively isolated and largely segregated from society, TEXAS CIVIL COMMITMENT CENTER (TCCC) in Littlefield, Texas. The so called “long-term supervision and treatment of sexually violent predators” for the State of Texas has distinctively and undeniably become penology legislation retribution on “sexually violent predators”.
The State’s true mission, as demonstrated, is “management” through confinement, institutionalization, detention, and punitiveness. No one is better suited to emphasize this than Senator Whitmire, one of the original authors/creators of the civil commitment statutes in Texas in 1999. He was quoted on Oct. 09, 2012 by the Houston Chronicle as saying “[w]e’re going to review the whole process…but the program has been a success.” Senator Whitmire said: “It’s accomplished its intended mission to just put overwhelming supervision on these guys. There’s nothing lax about this and they’re on it forever. It’s designed to send them back to prison.” Emphasis added.
How does this connect to Ms. McLane? She is Senator Whitmire’s puppet, perpetuating intent and motive for civil commitment Clients in Texas to never be released, as outlined above. The State [Senator Whitmire] changed the statutes in 2015 to do away with criminal charges being filed on Clients for a violation of the the supervision and/or treatment rules to placing all the Clients in a prison [the Bill Clayton Detention Facility/Texas Civil Commitment Center] and fulfilling Senator Whitmire’s prophecy “to send them back to prison.”
And, unfortunately, the secrets don’t end there. Ms. McLane has overseers in the Texas Civil Commitment Board. This Board is now occupied by five Governor appointed persons: three current/former Prosecutors, one Police Chief, and one civilian.
In 1981, Wesley Miller burglarized eighteen year old Rheta Stratton’s home and murdered her. He did not commit a sexual offense. After doing his time, the State civilly committed Miller as a Sexually Violent Predator.6 Rona Stratton Gouyton, the victim’s sister lobbied lawmakers to extend the Civil Commitment Statutes to comprise any crime not prosecuted as a sexual offense but had sexual intention(s).
Rona Stratton Gouyton now sits on the Texas Civil Commitment Board as the lone civilian. Gouyton also contends in a written statement that she “[w]ould not allow my personal history to impact my decision-making,”7
Suppose the government passed legislation that placed people who had COVID 19 in a hospital to be treated, but the government said the people had to stay in the hospital for, allegedly, continued treatment because they “might” affect and harm others. The whole time though, the intent of the government is to keep the people in that hospital for the rest of their life, in the name of protecting society! You might think that it is an interesting story but there is no way it could ever happen because the people would have explicit liberty issues which would hinder the government from ever doing such counterfeit treatment.
Many of the Clients in the Texas Civil Commitment Center are of average intelligence, if not above average. That being the case, how long should it take a person of average intelligence to work through a “traditional mental illness treatment” platform called “Cognitive Therapy”?8 The State of Texas would insult your intelligence and tell you, first and foremost, it is up to the Client. That sounds good and logical on the face, but that dog don’t hunt in reality. In the real world, there are Clients here who have completed each and every assignment and they are doing scores of additional made up assignments now. They have been totally compliant with the rules of treatment and supervision. They have family/support. They have financial and material resources. When their family/support call TCCO in Austin and ask when their loved one is coming home, they are told, “That is up to them.”. And this has gone on for years!
This is not “treatment”. The State has counterfeited the traditional mental illness treatment platform with imprisonment. Since 2000, many Clients have done the same assignments multiple times because of a change in therapist and/or new treatment providers such as “COUNSEL of SEX OFFENDER TREATMENT” [CSOT]; “OFFICE of VIOLENT SEX OFFENDER MANAGEMENT” [OVSOM]; “CORRECT CARE” [CC]; “WELPATH” [WP] and now, “MANAGEMENT TRAINING CORPORATION” [MTC]. Who is up next? Each and every single one of these treatment providers have had their own version of “traditional mental illness treatment” platform called “Cognitive Therapy” which is the same curriculum with the individual treatment provider’s twist on it. And when they take over, they do not acknowledge the previous work Clients have done for the preceding treatment provider. For example, one treatment provider group may call it “Life History” while another “Jonnie come lately” treatment provider might use the term “Sex History” to give the same assignment with the same information in it. This is done intentionally to set the clients back in their progress. If the State can keep the Clients set back over and over again, then the State can place the blame on the Clients for their lack of progressing in treatment. The real cause is secretly hidden.
This is how the State of Texas is treating the class of humans referred to as being Sexually Violent Predators in their care at the expense of the public’s taxes. But why? What would motivate the State to want to do this? It can not be in the interest of public safety. That is contradictory to the Client’s public safety. The Texas Civil Commitment Program is demonstrably repulsive to every matter our democracy and justice system esteems. And those responsible for holding secrets and intuitively restraining Clients from progress in this counterfeit treatment program must be held accountable immediately.
1 “LEAD WORKBOOK: Treatment for High Risk Sexual Misconduct” P. 29 – © Copyright 2012 by Matthew L. Ferrara. This text is a significant part of the sex offender treatment curriculum at TCCC.
2 Houston Chronicle – “Left To die’: Therapist say Texas sex offender treatment program too often fails on purpose” Feb. 11, 2021
3 Houston Chronicle – “Left To die’: Therapist say Texas sex offender treatment program too often fails on purpose” Feb. 11, 2021
4 Houston Chronicle – “Left To die’: Therapist say Texas sex offender treatment program too often fails on purpose” Feb. 11, 2021
5 Houston Chronicle – “Halfway House Escapes Spur Security Review” Oct. 09, 2012
6 Miller 262 S.W.3d 877, Tex. App. LEXIS 9131
7 Houston Chronicle – “Left To die’: Therapist say Texas sex offender treatment program too often fails on purpose” Feb. 11, 2021
8 “LEAD WORKBOOK: Treatment for High Risk Sexual Misconduct” P. 5- © Copyright 2012 by Matthew L. Ferrara. This text is a significant part of the sex offender treatment curriculum at TCCC.