Submitted by a Current Resident of TCCC
Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 841 -the Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators
Chronology of events:
- Legislation enacted September 1999 without public vote.
- Appointed 435th District Court Montgomery County, Tx and Judge Michael T.Seiler.
- About 350 Civil Commitment out-patient treatment and supervision final-judgments.
- Removed Judge Michael T. Seiler from the bench.
- Treatment and housing in Half-way houses Houston, Ft. Worth, Dallas, and El Paso
- About half returned to prison for rule violations without new crimes. Budgeted about $7M for 14 years = about $105M, no successful releases. Program Failure at 2% rate
- Legislative Reform Sept 2015, S.B.746 Created Texas Civil Commitment Office and total confinement treatment and supervision.
- Repurposed Correctional facility in Littlefield, TX as Texas Civil Commitment Center.
- Violating pre-existing outpatient treatment and supervision Final Judgments.
- New Correct Care Recovery Solutions Treatment Housing and Medical Contract Failure. New MTC treatment and Housing Contract (unlicensed treatment contractor) New Texas Tech Medical Contract/Contract Failure. New MTC medical Contract.
- About 378 inmates currently warehoused, 23 inmate Deaths, and about as many inmates returned to prison for program violations. Budgeted about $19.1M for 5.5 years and about $105M to produce 10 graduates at about $1.2M per graduate.
Actual Experience: Prior to 2015, it is impossible for any of us to tabulate commitments, deaths, and causes because of the revolving doors between the civil commitment program and prison. About half the men are still in prison waiting for release and transition to civil commitment which TCCO has not prepared for the treatment and eventual release of its inmates. TCCO’s narrative is that this program is only 5.5 years old, but men like me were committed prior to this new program and some have been civilly committed in this trap since 2002. The 2015 Legislation preempted civil commitment’s judicial failure and changed (but did not correct) many but not all its unconstitutionality. Texas’ civil commitment scheme is a 21-year failure affecting men much longer than five and a half years.
- The narrative reflects 5.5 years of acting ex-post facto on prior civil commitment judgments fixed in outpatient treatment and supervision.
- Most inmates have had 12 or more therapists and half that many case managers. “TCCO insisted, rather forcefully, that it’s inmates are “residents”, living in a “treatment facility”, in “Tooms”, and other deceptive language that 20-year sentence experience proves otherwise. We know what prison is, and prison has sex offender treatment just like this. The only difference is prison guards have guns and they release inmates after treatment.
- TCCO takes 33% of all inmate asset value, about 55 inmates work in the paid work program. Most inmates do not qualify to participate in the paid work program and have no income source. TCCO assesses support from friends and family, charity, and public assistance as income, when inmates are indigent by the court and cannot afford independent representation or evaluation. This “cost recovery” is insignificant to the program, but substantially restrictive to the inmate. The overreaching interpretation of the statute harms friends and family of inmates and discourages their support. To date, most of the deaths have resulted from inadequate and pervasively inaccessible healthcare (neglect). Texas’ civil commitment population is mostly an elderly group over 60. One inmate lost hope and committed suicide.
- TCCO creates an approved contact list in which inmates may contact only approved friends and family. Their policy is a general prohibition and does not specify contacting specific people for specific reasons. They prevent contact with the community and potential relationships.
- TCCO and Contractor write frivolous disciplinary cases against inmates to justify keeping them in the program.
- TCCO has failed to notify family or approved collateral contacts in case of emergencies. They are only notified after deaths of inmates. “These facts are not inefficiencies or unfinished learning curves. They are, in fact, systematic strategies intended to isolate family members from the community and minimize TCCO’s accountability. TCCO to protect patient’s personal information) to suppress controversial information and truth about the program. Since the beginning of Texas SVP civil commitment, the state has imposed, hidden, and lied about its operation.
- Now that we are suffering the effects of COVID-19, TCCO seems to have a blanket excuse for all manner of incompetency and failure.
Conclusion: The State did not put TX SVP Civil Commitment or any of its subsequent changes up for public vote because it is not for the public benefit. “If the People wanted a State intercity bus program, a State expanded school lunch program, State expanded healthcare, expanded emergency services, or any other public benefit product or service, it would have to go up for public vote to justify public interest and expense. Some Incorporated Texas towns do not have a $19M annual budget.
Your congress knows TX SVP Civil Commitment is wrong. That is why it is not a public choice, it is not transparent, and it has no benefit to the public. Congress, Texas courts, and the agency all know it is wrong. None of them take responsibility and all of them shrug their shoulders at each other in denial of any direct or culpable fault or blame. All of them deflect attention from their motives and intent. TX SVP Civil Commitment has all the hallmarks of being unconstitutional: There is no accuser, it is double jeopardy, ex post facto, cruel and unusual punishment, and class application of law.
The State cannot make unconstitutional work succeed. They use Legalism to justify and uphold TX SVP Civil Commitment to label and dehumanize(objectify) inmates that oppose treatment. That is “Basic Treatment”! If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, smells like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it must be a duck!
Pass this information on to your friends and family: TCCO is wasting your tax money! TCCO has been taking MILLIONS from useful public services since 1999 to waste on their program! This is a failed experiment at the cost of lives and time lost in life. It is a result of TCCO’s continued efforts to make money for a company that owns this shadow prison. About $210 million dollars and 5 graduates appears to be not only a failure but a travesty of justice for hundreds of men and their families.