LOST DOCUMENTS

Submitted by a Former MTC Employee

As an officer goes through training, OJT, and even yearly in-service, it is stressed how important proper documentation is in every situation. MTC officers at Texas Civil Commitment Center must keep a logbook on each pod notating events that happen every day. These logbooks keep track of everything from security checks to count of residents on the pod and daily movements of the residents. Any situations that arose must also be documented in these logbooks and additional paperwork may also be needed. MTC/TCCO has many different forms for everything imaginable and the correct record keeping and report writing. I cannot tell you the number of times I had to re-write an incident report or statement to make sure it was good enough for “the report to stick”, meaning for the said violation against the resident to go ahead to the punishment phase. Officers are told over and over the papers can be used in court proceedings at the facility and in the “free world”. Our logbooks are also subject to review in the courts and may be audited.                                                                                                                            

This brings me to one of the many experiences at TCCC. Several months ago, during the lockdown when Covid was at its worst, I was assigned as the officer on Charlie dorm. A new sergeant came into the pod to serve a resident with a case. The resident was called into the hallway to be read the charges and I walked over to be a witness. The sergeant read over the paper as the resident interrupted him asking questions and shaking his head in disbelief at the absurdity of the case against him! The resident had phoned home and made statements, true statements, to his family about the lack of medical treatment he was getting during Covid. The resident informed the sergeant he was not guilty and would not be signing the report. At that time, he approached me about writing a witness statement on his behalf, stating that I knew the charges against him were false. It was known by the staff and residents that I did not always agree with things at the facility, and I did not hesitate to write the statement. I stated my name, position at MTC, date and time, and that I knew the men were not receiving medical care beyond the occasional aspirin or Benadryl to treat the Covid symptoms. No change in diet or medicine was done during the Covid outbreak at TCCC. The witness statement was turned into that sergeant, and I wrote the event in my logbook.                                                                                                                       

It has come to my attention that statement has since disappeared. How can a document, a legal document, disappear? This is just part of the corrupt activity that both MTC and TCCO do on a regular basis.

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