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

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.

*While TAC is still involved, the organization FACTS is additionally involved in fighting shadow prisons in Texas.

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

  1. AvatarChristopher 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 MolnarMary 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. AvatarLD

    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. Avatarcarl 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. AvatarTim 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. AvatarA 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. AvatarA 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.

    2. AvatarIrene 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.

    3. AvatarCharles Wood

      They should be held like this especially if they are violent offenders. All I heard is all about the perpetrators. What about the victims and children some of these people scarred and injured along the way. Imagine how they eel to know these people are back on the streets. If they don’t want to deal with the punishments, then they shouldn’t have done what they did. They definitely had time to think about and plan what they did to their victims. So deal with the consequences of that. Someone has to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
      If indefinite confinement protects children and others from these sexually violent offenders, then so be it..

    4. AvatarTim 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.

    5. AvatarLenore Skenazy

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

    6. AvatarTim 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.

    7. AvatarDavid

      The treatment providers only stay a few months then quit because they are disgusted at the barriers in place that make it difficult for them to provide the program as intended. Every time a “resident” gets a new treatment provider, they must start back at level one. If anyone completes the treatment, it is a miracle.

  6. AvatarCynthia 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. AvatarLaDonna 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. AvatarVincent Rocha

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

  9. AvatarPerry Pickens

    I have much to say on this, but I can’t. However, I will say only this: When Lawmakers decide to FULLY REFORM The Criminal Justice System, then we might…just might see the end of Private Companies’ involvement with Corrections. This is unlikely to happen, within the next ten to fifty years of the future for certain though!

  10. AvatarNicole Roberson

    I totally agree with the factual inadequacy of the entire program and am one of the people from F.A.C.T.S that is in this fight to reform or if need be dismantle this ineffective and unconstutional program. TCCO and MTC do not value life they value profit and are getting away with no accountability of any laws broken in the process to achieve their monetary and bias goals. We need more people to stand for the unjust treatment of tthese men. They are human beings and have been punished excessively for their crimes. The state is trying to take their entire lives away on a premise that “THEY MIGHT REOFFEND” and purposely not giving them the the court ordered treatment by licensed thetherapist, using small infractions to hold the them back and excessive force when
    these guys try to stand up for their civil rights.

  11. AvatarCJB

    RIP off the ‘666’ bracelets and head to the nearest boarder of your choice and live there

    Thank you

    Tell the Judge to Wear one If you are forced to wear one….and what do you think the spineless person would say……they are spine-less…have zero balls!

  12. AvatarIrene Rubio

    Civil Commitment is Unconstitutional, The Courts give out the Sentence and after completed they are to be Released not placed in other Confinement, that is called a Secret Prison,We are in United States and this is not Allow, The facility at Littlefield Needs to be Closed Down. I don’t understand why Court Documents take so long as to make a decision, a Writ of Habeas Corpus has been on the Docket since 2011 and yet they have not Ruled on it,Why are these not Being Reviewed? It seems that the Courts are already Failing the People, The Judge at the 435th Court sat on it for 3 years,Where is Justice?? Where is In God we Trust? Judges Cannot be Bias due that they are inmates,Get off your bench and Rule…We are the People whom Elect You.

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