Locked up for what you might do: the Good Lives Model perverted

By Michael M. . . . Imagine what it would be like to be Jason Schoenfeld, a disabled military veteran who was convicted of aggravated assault of a child, sent to prison for 18 years, and then released at the end of his term to a halfway house in Houston, Texas. At the halfway house, he stayed in relatively comfortable quarters and was allowed to come and go freely while he looked for work and a permanent place to live. That lasted until he was unceremoniously and without warning hustled into a corrections van and transported 570 miles away to the Texas Civil Commitment Center (TCCC) in Littlefield, Texas. The facility was opened in 2015 on the site of an old state prison in the remote Texas panhandle town with a population 6,372. It currently houses 382 prisoners, or, as the staff prefers to call them, “residents.”

Once Schoenfeld recovered from the shock of his sudden re-incarceration, he took stock of his new surroundings.  Fifteen-foot razor wire-topped fences surround the facility. His white, cinder-block, two-man cell was furnished with a stainless-steel jailhouse toilet/sink combo, an angle-iron bunk bed with a depressingly thin mattress, and a metal stool permanently bolted to the concrete floor.

He was told by staffers that they were not to refer to themselves as prisoners; they were “residents.” And this wasn’t a prison, it was a “treatment facility.” And as for when they might ever be allowed to leave, the answer was less clear. In the two and a half years since TCCC opened for business, only five “residents” have been released, yet just one made it all the way back into the community of free citizens. The other four were released to medical facilities, where they subsequently died.

If you’re thinking that this sounds eerily like the plot of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Reportthe 2002 movie about a future where people are arrested not for the crimes they’ve committed but for the crimes they might commit in the future, you’re right. In the movie, prisoners are fitted with brain devices that put them permanently into a dreamlike sleep for the rest of their lives. As the offender sinks into unconsciousness, the warden tells him that all of his dreams will come true.

The TCCC residents’ handbook claims, “The goal of our program is to prepare residents for the safe return to the community.” It goes on to say, “Services provided at the TCCC are based on empirical studies that support a comprehensive approach to sex offender treatment, known in the literature as “The Good Lives Model.

According to the developer of this model, individuals with a history of offending are goal-directed and need certain “primary human goods,” similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. These “primary goods” are certain states of mind, personal characteristics, and experiences that are intrinsically beneficial and sought for their own sake and represent an individual’s core values and life priorities.   They are: (1) life (2) knowledge (3) excellence in play (4) excellence in work (5) excellence in agency (i.e., autonomy and self-direction (6) inner peace (i.e., freedom from emotional turmoil and stress) (7) friendship (including intimate, romantic, and family relationships) (8) community (9) spirituality (10) happiness and (11) creativity.

This all sounds wonderfully warm and fuzzy until one is forced to contemplate just how in the world any of these basic needs can be met while a person is incarcerated for what he might do, cut off from his family and friends, and given little to no hope for release, ever. That is the stark reality of their “Good Lives Model,” which is like the Minority Report warden telling doomed inmates that all their dreams are about to come true.

Gary Cardenas, a 40-year-old sex offender at TCCC, doesn’t believe the hype. In an exclusive interview with A-J Media, he said, “This facility is, in fact, a prison and it is operated with excessive security. I am a free man not on parole or probation and yet I am held in a maximum-security prison.”

Andre Johnson was a teenager in 1991 when he was imprisoned for five aggravated sexual assaults on female victims that he committed when he was 15 and 16 years old. In a 2016 letter provided to A-J Media, Johnson wrote, “I am locked away again, not for reoffending, but solely on a prediction; a prediction…that indicate[s] I’m capable of doing it again.”

There are over 51,000 sex offenders currently in civil commitment facilities nationwide, and all but a handful of them are men.  Twenty states currently have civil commitment programs for sex offenders. Additional states are considering such programs, while others, such as Minnesota (which has never released a single person from its program), are having to retool theirs due to constitutional challenges.

One doesn’t have to be a constitutional scholar to know that locking people up indefinitely for crimes they may commit in the future or holding them long after their sentences have expired is wrong.

The question is what are we going to do about it?

 

Sources:

Texas Observer, “Prison by Any Other Name”   by Michael Barajas, 2/12/2018.   https://www.texasobserver.org/a-prison-by-any-other-name/

Lubbock Online, “Exclusive look inside the home of the state’s most sexually violent offenders” by Sarah Rafique, 6/4/2016. http://www.lubbockonline.com/local-news/2016-06-04/video-exclusive-look-inside-home-states-most-sexually-violent-offenders

Research Gate, The Good Lives Model: Does It Work? Preliminary Evidence, Gwenda M. Willis and Tony Ward, Deakin University AU, March 2013.   https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286826077_The_Good_Lives_Model_Does_It_Work_Preliminary_Evidence

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Michael McKay

Michael McKay is NARSOL's Director of Marketing and a frequent contributor of articles to the NARSOL website. He is the published author of several non-fiction books, contributing editor & board member at LifeTimes Magazine, the executive editor of The Registry Report, and founding host of Registry Report Radio on BlogTalkRadio.

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    • #41302 Reply
      Avatar
      Maestro

      “aggravated assault of a child”

      Which could be that states way of saying:
      “Consensual sexual intimacy with a post pubescent, horny, hormones popping teenager that likes the idea of being with older men BUT…we don’t like that idea so the older man is a threat to public safety.”

      Let’s call it what it is – BULLSH*T!

      “The question is what are we going to do about it?”

      Well, first, organizations like NARSOL can file lawsuits against the state for such practices and ask the judge if he thinks mind reading is a trending practice these days.
      Then, we could organize a protest and/or argument that if someone with a sex crime must be civilly committed, then so should armed robbers, drug dealers and gang members who are convicted of their crimes.
      The temptation of doing whatever it takes to get money is far greater than a sexual desire which can be relieved through self pleasuring.
      So when your gang members are released from prison and they decide they want your car or your wallet, guess what they’re gonna do 🤷🏻‍♂️
      It’s not rocket science. Well, maybe to some idiots it is.

      No one should have to be going through this. But I’m going to stick to the argument of: Why not other criminals?

    • #41308 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      Maestro you know you are right and so is NARSOL. As a matter of fact every one of you are right that has commented about these unconstutional laws and meaningless laws, and I am glad I’m wrong because if we were right one wouldn’t need any righteousness. We would all be perfect and wouldn’t need any help from my friends. Now thats some beetle mania for ya.

      Sure all this sex offender ordeal is a bit unconstitutional but if it actually involves another physical human being in the physical sense of touchy, feely than look out as that person can and will deceive you, you can call it blackmail, payback time, or whatever so who do you trust. some mind control government that wants to mind bend your spirit or some dark force that says obey until we say that its ok to let you walk the streets of freedom. Obeying does have a lot of stipulations that are punitive and harsh.
      Lets all face it, a lot of this sex offender stuff is mind controling of the state. Once a person does his or her time that should be his or her debt paid for. but not so for the sex offender. I wonder how they can predict the next shooter of a school or the next temper tantrum one has in public or the next car accident. Nobody can predict human behavior and that is why we need to address this the more. So are we all controlled by the state’s callous actions or the hear say of some gal or actual victim.

      You all on here talk about radical issues, protests, unrest, and things like that when a lot of this is just common sense about these factors that don’t add up. Are we all imprisioned by our minds or are we controlled and manulipated robots waiting for a non productive life.

    • #41309 Reply
      Avatar
      Joe123

      I don’t understand how this could hold up in court. Where is the proof that he is dangerous? How could this ever stand up to all emperical evidence that shows after 17 years the ‘worst of the worst’ have as much of a risk to re-offend as the average citizen?? Where is the list of quantifiable achievements that a person in such a facility needs to reach to be released? How the hell is 18 years or however many years he did NOT enough punishment? It’s not enough because there is MONEY to be made by keeping him locked up. We need more Lawyers with ‘balls’ to step up to the challenge and knock down this unconstitutional system of slavery. I don’t know how some of you can be proud of the country you live in when such ATROCITIES are committed by manipulative, political scum that gives no damn about human rights, freedoms, or their fellow citizens. It’s DISGUSTING and absolutely Nothing to ever be ‘Proud’ of.

      • #41450 Reply
        Michael McKay
        Michael McKay

        [Joe123 said: I don’t understand how this could hold up in court. Where is the proof that he is dangerous? How could this ever stand up to all emperical evidence that shows after 17 years the ‘worst of the worst’ have as much of a risk to re-offend as the average citizen?? Where is the list of quantifiable achievements that a person in such a facility needs to reach to be released? How the hell is 18 years or however many years he did NOT enough punishment? ]

        All very valid questions. The fact of the matter is, the states have been civilly committing people to mental institutions for hundreds of years, and for much of that time, the victims had no legal recourse whatsoever. The past few decades have seen a trend towards deinstitutionalization and greater protections of the rights of those being committed. Generally speaking, even people facing civil commitment because they are suspected of being psychotic or mentally incompetent get a competency hearing and have chance to defend themselves. Sex offenders, not so much.

        The would-be assassin of Ronald Reagan, John Hinkley, was released from civil commitment on Sept. 10, 2016. Think about that. A guy who shoots the President stands a better chance of getting out of civil commitment than does a sex offender.

    • #41341 Reply
      Avatar
      Steve

      “aggravated assault of a child”

      Which could be that states way of saying:
      “Consensual sexual intimacy with a post pubescent, horny, hormones popping teenager that likes the idea of being with older men BUT…we don’t like that idea so the older man is a threat to public safety.”

      Except it’s the not the state’s way of describing consensual sex with teenagers and you sure as hell don’t get 18 years in prison for that in Texas.

      “aggravated sexual assault of a child” in Texas usually refers to child molestation. The individual in question was convicted of molesting (with penetration) a 10 year old girl according to the registry

      https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffenderRegistry/Search/Rapsheet?Sid=05440372

      With that amount of time, I imagine there were other aggravating factors beyond the victim’s age. This guy probably is the worst of the worst.

      • #41361 Reply
        Avatar
        Maestro

        Steve,

        I’m preeeeeeeettttyy sure that Genarlo Wilson at age 17 was convicted of “aggravated sexual assault” for receiving oral sex from the 15 yr old girl who WILLINGLY gave oral sex to a bunch of BOYS at a house party. I specifically recall reading the article that called it “aggravated”.
        So yeah, I’m sticking to what I said – It’s only “aggravated” based on how the individual state titles it’s general statutes.
        Just like “risk of injury” (to a minor), regardless if the “minor” is a teenage, single mother who is NOT unfamiliar with what sexual intercourse is.

    • #41346 Reply
      Avatar
      Anonymous

      Time to get radical?

    • #41384 Reply
      Avatar
      d

      What I have not done since my wrongful conviction:

      1. A sex Crime.

      2. Sought revenge against a prosecutor, and a few Judges who abused their power to make the public happy.

      3. Lashed out in anger, and destruction at the media machine that destroyed me.

      4. I have not given up on life and killed myself.

      5. I have not given up on my case and am still fighting it in court even after my entire sentence has been served minus the additional registry punishment.

      6. Start a You tube show exposing every case for the past 3 years until the end of time, that Indiana has violated the constitutional rights of citizens in the court of law. The double jeopardy violations alone are hundreds. They are abusing their authority to punish citizens, and also to get plea deals then it is up to the citizen to hire a lawyer to get the BS charges dropped in the mean time you get punished and Indiana gets paid.

      7. A similar You tube show exposing the media for what they are garbage.

      The only thing that has stopped me from 2,3, or 4 is my fear of God. The people who have done this to me should be on their hands and knees thanking God that I am a Christian because I have the skill set of a mad scientist and i’m struggling with hate issues every day.

      I now know more about law then I ever wanted to know and I am going to use it to expose the Indiana injustice system.

      behold a small example of the seeds Indiana has sown:

      You admitted that you violated these citizens rights but what compensation have you given to them for these violations and the financial, pain, and suffering injuries there of?

      1 year of Double jeopardy cases:

      1: O.L.,
      Appellant-Respondent,
      v.
      State of Indiana,

      2: Nathan Robinson,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,

      3: Ryan A. Phelps,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintif

      4: Anthony Lewis,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintif

      5: Richard L. Berg,
      Appellant-
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      6: James L. Reynolds, Jr.,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana

      7: Charles S. Whitham,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      8: Larry Owens,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      9: Billy Luke,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      10: Lionel R. Mackey, Jr.,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      11: Michael Johnson,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintif

      12. Timothy Schoonover,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintif

      13. Basden Breakfield,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      14. Alexander Dupree,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      Double jep and prosecutor misconduct in one case and no reprimand and still convicted LOL!

      15. Darreus Rainwater,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      16. Patrick Cummings,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      17. Hubert Wheat,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintif

      18. Demetre Brown,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      19. Mark Johnson a/k/a Garland P. Jeffers, Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

      20. Jonathan J. Tipton, Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

      21. Myles K. Martin, Jr,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      and one judge disented to having the hearing at all what a stupid ass judge

      22.

      William McGrath,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      23. Regina N. Miller,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      24. Amanda N. Gonzales,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      25. Vino Mason,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      26. Jacoby Sanders,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      27. Troy Stevenson,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      28. Jamel Owens,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      29.
      Calvin Griffin,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      30. Donald C. Newlin,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      31. Ridiculous double jep case!

      Michael Pugh,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff.

      32. Myron Tools,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      33.
      Shawn Towell,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      34. Joshua Thompson,
      Appellant-Defendant,
      v.
      State of Indiana,
      Appellee-Plaintiff

      I will never stop this will never end I am going to beat you over the head with my 1st amendment rights until you admit I did not break the law.

    • #41399 Reply
      Avatar
      Rajendra

      Organizations like NARSOL need to file lawsuits challenging the sex offender registry itself as well as the surround laws. There needs to be a bold statement so the government, society, politicians, law enforcement, etc. do not see the people labelled as sex offenders as a punching bag to benefit their agenda.
      If not now, when? How many more lives ruined?
      Some may say that the time is not ripe or right to challenge these unconstitutional laws but these draconian laws can be challenged and rechallanged again. That “right moment” may not come with the way things are going.
      I implore organizations like NRSOL to seriously think about this. Millions of lives are deliberately ruined.

    • #41398 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      I wonder if anybody knows what a pervert is?. A person who’s sexual behavior is regarded as abnorbimal and unacceptable or should we say someonet picking their their nose at at court room drama, or someone who who tryes to pervert justice. Humm.. Seems like there was a television program called Perverted Justice. I wonder who was perverting those getting “bites” with their sex type of opportunity “bait” schemes to lure those men in with the opportunity. I guess people don’t give public opportunities anymore unless its the girl giving the bj. Give me a break.

      Now I would talk a bit about God and what the good book says, but since some have called me down for that because of certain people that are offended by the gospel. I will just leave it up to man’s wisdom. I believe this handbook, ” The Good Lives Model” is a bit over rated to the bait and switch tatics that police do. Police need to clean their act up on this ordeal.

      Although doing the right thing is right. This giving bj’s by someone is a bit unacceptable Its in some perverted mind or the one presenting the pervision to another. I mean we all have morals. Who with common sense would pop open a brewsky in public and walk down main street with a can of beer? That would be unethical. Same thing with a lot of this sex treatment and sex sting challanges. Sure we all can all believe the,rocket scientist stuff or the bullshit or the radical approach but were is love in any of this dilemna . Isn’t rationalization and reasoning a bit better than the “bullshit theory. True and positive results get positive reactions. Do you think law enforcement are always right in court systems. All I could do for my plea deal is listen to her say facts but the principal wasn’t their and it was a more of a fear factor that we all go thru. Proof is the key to anything. A fact could be someone who breathes air daily or the fact that they gave bj’s. We can all get carried away by the facts but proof is the real judge.

      Sure I would hate to be locked up and someone saying well we don’t think your fit for society so since you did a sex crime and although you served your sentence we still have our doubts that you will fit into society without committing another sex crime.. Talk about double standards or controling factors. Call it manulipation or whats wrong with these sex offensed or police playing the devil to keep one inprisoned but the truth will come forth in the long run.

    • #42170 Reply
      Avatar
      David Kennerly

      Mike St. Martin’s original, and complete, tagline is: “I’m locked-up for a crime I might commit in the future by those who are committing a crime today.”

    • #45504 Reply
      Avatar
      Derek

      I am from a state who civilly commits SO for crimes they have not committed yet. Massachusetts, I was at the Massachusetts Treatment Center as a state inmate. We use to be mixed in with the civils and I saw a few of my friends get brought over the day of there release to the civil side(witch I called the twilight zone) some were first time offenders who didn’t finish the sex offender program. They would be kicked out for lies or assumptions that were unfounded. It was insane! All it they do is a name changing game. Instead of a inmate you are now called a patient and instead of a prison they call it a treatment center. You eat the same food, order from the same canteen and share the same yard and gym. It’s Prison!!! It’s just a play on words!! Plus DOC run it with a iron fist! You are locked in prison cells and treated the same as any other inmates. I could go on and on about the injustice going on but I don’t want to be to long. They have two QE’s (Psychologists) interview you for about an hour. Then put labels on you that are false and don’t apply. Common one’s are if you offended a child you are a Pedifile. Or if you have a criminal record you are antisocial. Because the QE needs to put a diagnosis of a mental disorder on you to justify civilly commiting you. (I would like to ask the QE where’s your cristal ball) they they say these made up disorders make you likely to reoffend if no given a life sentence of forced treatment. The county I’m from the DA looks at all SO’s being released because they don’t want anyone getting out and them reoffending and it comes back on the DA. So many have to be held beyond there prison sentences for political reasons and many others are chought up in the process and given life on something they “might” do in the future. I can’t believe this happens in this country today and if I didn’t see it myself I probably would not have believed it.

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