Group fights the “prison hell-hole” that is the Texas Civil Commitment Center

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By Mary Sue . . . Chances are that almost no one reading this has ever heard of TACC, Texans Against Civil Commitment.  This is a spin-off of Texas Voices, NARSOL’s Texas affiliate. Begun by two of their members early this year, they are now a small group whose dedicated members are doing great things to help the men who are civilly committed at the Texas Civil Commitment Center in the isolated fields outside of Littlefield, Texas —  a place that has been called “A hell-hole of a prison.”

Run for the state by a private company, and like all civil commitment facilities dedicated to those with sexual convictions, the men incarcerated there have already completed their sentences.

Littlefield’s system works this way: The men have to complete five levels before they are released with an ankle monitor into the free world, where they are not really free either.  But it seems that most of these men are knocked down a level for simple violations, and very few ever actually get to the level they need to be released.  One man, after being there for several years had finally reached a top level only to be told he would be knocked down a level (once again) for a trivial violation.  He returned to his cell and killed himself.

Treatment providers are also a problem for the management at Littlefield.  They stay a few months and then leave. Some of them have been instrumental in bringing the sham of a treatment program to light. A few of the guards have, secretly, aided in this exposure.

The Texas Civil Commitment Center takes from the men and their families 33% of everything.  If a family member sends clothing or food, 33% of the cost of those items has to be paid to TCCC.  If one of the men receives $100.00 from a family member, TCCC takes 33% of that .  Then, if the man orders $35.00 worth of food from Walmart, TCCC takes 33% once again. When the men received their stimulus checks, TCCC was the first one to profit by taking 33% of their checks.

However, some positive changes are being seen, definitely in part due to the relentless efforts of TACC. It appears that someone turned TCCC into the IRS, and they must have gotten into some legal trouble.  The rules have drastically changed.  They will no longer charge the men or their families for merchandise like clothing or food; they will no longer take a percentage of any government-issued checks or any inheritance received due to the death of a family member, nor will they assess the 33% fee if a wife sends money to her husband. This is PROGRESS!!! They are still charging if a family member other than a spouse sends cash, but the fee has gone down to 25%.

And now, the facility in Littlefield has been sold to another private company. Anecdotal reports indicate that the facility will be used for another purpose and that TCCC will no longer house over 300 men out in the middle of nowhere, so distant that most family members can’t get there to visit. These same reports indicate the men will be moved to an as-yet undisclosed location.

Wherever they go, so will TACC. The group will continue its efforts to bring about much needed reform in the Texas Civil Commitment System. The wish of TACC is that the program is disbanded, not only because it is totally ineffective but because, like all civil commitment programs of this nature, it is an affront to civil and constitutional rights and to human dignity.

TACC, Texas Voices, NARSOL, and civil rights and advocacy groups across the nation stand in support of the protests at the Minnesota Civil Commitment facility and in support of all voices being raised against the concept of forced confinement after the completion of a sentence.

 

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14 Thoughts to “Group fights the “prison hell-hole” that is the Texas Civil Commitment Center”

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  1. Christopher Brown

    They can’t use a ankle monitor on a free citizen when they get out.see grady vs NC 2015 us supreme court.
    There participation in a civil program doesn’t mean they don’t have 4th amendment rights.

    1. Mary Sue Molnar

      Believe it or not, some of the men inside the civil commitment center are required to wear ankle monitors. Who know why because they are locked in just like a prison.

  2. LD

    As a Texan (born and raised but now living elsewhere), I want to say: God bless you, Mary Sue, and all who work with you on TACC and Texas Voices! May you keep it up and have victory after victory in the near future!

  3. carl ricker

    The current state of affairs in America’s system of reincarceration is as abysmal as it gets. This one, in Texas, where purportedly statistics support it’s reputation of being the worst state of all 50 in which to be imprisoned stands as a prime example , indeed a disgrace and lie to the concept of “justice and liberty for all.”

  4. Tim in WI

    A Corporate Oligarchy runs Texas. One trait inherent in oligarchy is all the individual parties tend to behave alike. Furthermore, these cabal tend to compete in readily apparent patterns referred to as mimicking and colluding for price fixes(rent seeking) higher than market value. In short states use of private prisons, is outside what was intended under the cons where only two powers were established.

  5. A Mistake They Made

    The 5 levels of tests what ever they may be must be tested by regular non sex offender men to make sure that they are passable by a regular person. This is how you shut this crap down.

    1. A Mistake They Made

      If it is profitable for the inmates to never be released then they will die there. Private owned business has no place in this, because the main purpose of business is to profit. The needs of these inmates are contrary to the purpose of the company so they will always be neglected, and never escape. Get private owned business out of civil commitment facilities, and prisons.

      1. Irene Rubio

        Thank you Mary Sue,
        Its time that we put a Stop to this TCCC. These men have done their time according to the Law and TCCC is taking advantage of all our Tax Dollars. TCCC has continue to charge for all the Therapy these men are placed in,yet nobody is completed. We need to change the statue,where its given within 6 months of Therapy. We don’t need more prisons,this facility is just like a prison,yes I have seen it inside.
        Let’s Close this place down. We don’t need this here in Texas.

    2. Tim in WI

      A social scientist did just that very thing. He, with the aid of DOC cheifs, implanted 35 individuals (never actually convicted at all but with phony pre-made judgement), into prison system. 27 ended up in treatment programs and 15 were declared “highly dangerous” by treatment staff.

      1. Lenore Skenazy

        Hi. I would love to see that study if you can find it. I will quote it!

      2. Tim in WI

        I’m pretty sure the mans name was Sykes. I learned about the study in 1983, From what i recall some of the participants really enjoyed playing the role of convict. The author admitted their enthusiasm likely influenced the ” dangerous diagnosis. ” Some he surmised was in part ” what treatment providers wanted to hear. ” This behavior goes on in treatment programs all the time. I’ll try and find it myself but posting hyperlinks violates TOS.

  6. Cynthia Barrientez

    Thank you so much Mary Sue! Thank you for being the voices of those who no one will listen to. My brother appreciates it and so do I !!

  7. LaDonna L Smith

    Hello My brother is in Texas Civil Commitment. I have been fighting with them for a while because of the way they treat him and others there. I would love to talk to someone and get involved with this.

  8. Vincent Rocha

    Its all about money. Follow the money and you will see who profits.