Inside the Texas Civil Commitment Center
On the west side of Texas lies the small town of Littlefield. Situated thirty-six miles from Lubbock, it’s where Waylon Jennings grew up. Littlefield is also the home of the MTC-operated Texas Civil Commitment Center (TCCC). Wayne Schmoker is the facility administrator.
“We’re a secure treatment facility. It is not a prison,” he says. “It’s a very extensive sex offender treatment program that we have here.”
The clients who live at the Texas Civil Commitment Center have served a sentence for a sex offense conviction but are still deemed ill-equipped by the courts to return successfully to the full embrace of society at large. These clients are assigned to Texas Civil Commitment Office, an agency of the State of Texas whose mission is to provide intense supervision and treatment to such sex offenders. This is largely accomplished at the Texas Civil Commitment Center. While a client’s stay at the center is not voluntary, it carries a completely different look and feel of a state correctional facility.
“Our main focus and responsibility here,” explains Administrator Schmoker, “is to provide these guys very extensive sex offender therapy from our licensed sex offender therapists that we have here on the facility.”
Eric Turpen is the mayor of Littlefield.
“MTC has done a fabulous job with the facility,” he states. “I’ve seen their name sponsoring Little League stuff and different events and organizations around town. I’m part of several civic organizations that MTC has supported.”
“We have a great staff our here that’s fully committed on what we need to be doing,” Administrator Schmoker says. “The officers and treatment staff here, as well as the TCCO case managers that are here on the facility, all work together to make sure that the needs of these clients are being taken care of.”
To meet the needs of the Texas Civil Commitment Office, the Littlefield facility is expanding.
MTC Vice President Michael Bell presides of over the region which encompasses TCCC.
“They see a need because the facility is at near capacity,” Michael says, “so, therefore, they reached out to us, potentially expanding the facility, and that’s the reason we’re doing it. So, yes, there’s definitely a need, but as we did a study of it, seeing the need for additional classroom space, office space for the counselors, where they can have the tools that they need to do conduct our classes.”
Mayor Turpen explains his feelings about the expansion. “’Does it concern you that there’s going to be potentially twice as many residents out there?’ No, it doesn’t, because I have faith in MTC’s operational ability. They’ve just proven their self and done such a good job.”
“The city of Littlefield has been great to work with,” says Michael Bell. “They have been excellent, their leadership there has been phenomenal to work with.”
“Very thankful for the staff,” states Administrator Schmoker. “That’s security to medical to therapy to the treatment that we have here. For them to come out with the can-do attitude that they have; come in with a smile, work hard, and do everything that we ask of them. I couldn’t be happier with the staff that I have.”