The below is OCEAN Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 5, Article 3 (Nov. 13, 2019) published by Russell J. Hatton & Daniel A. Wilson from the gulag in Moose Lake Minnesota.
[To protect his family from added stress, the client I interviewed does not wish to disclose his identity.
Therefore, we will call him TW]
There are many clients at MSOP who truly believe that participating in treatment, spending years trying to convince their therapists that they are safe again, is the only way out. However, those like TW have come to realize that if we truly want to go home, we must consider new routes. Gaining public support and filing lawsuits, seem to make more sense than buying into anything offered by MSOP-including psycho-therapy.
What struck me about TW when I first met him was his peacefulness. His calm demeanor and consideration for others, is quite a contrast to the stereotypes of a man of his stature. At 6 foot 5, TW may intimidate some, until they get to know him. TW has lately put new efforts, in addition to participating in treatment, towards release by finding a reporter to speak with a few clients about their stories. We hope to see her article published soon.
TW has been at MSOP for almost 12 years, and has been in treatment that whole time. When I asked him if MSOP has acknowledged the changes he has made, he quickly exclaimed, “no … if you want to call this treatment.” He went on to explain that the real way to be released is clearly through the court process and not treatment. TW says, “real doctors will tell you that 2-3 years of treatment is too much. This is 5-10 years of ongoing treatment, without relapsing.” TW could not remember how many therapists he has had in the 12 years he has been at MSOP. He said, “20 or better. But I’m probably being nice.”
I asked TW what he believes the public needs to know about MSOP. These were his words:
This is a big waste of money. We are not the worst of the worst. That’s a scare tactic from politicians and others that benefit from it. There are women, sometimes pregnant women, that work here. They are never assaulted. There are 2 that work on my unit that are young and pretty and no taller than 5 feet. They look like 10 and 11 year olds, and they are safe. They play cards with guys for most of their shift and they are not in danger. This place needs to be exposed for the fraud that it is. There are no checks and balances. They don’t have to answer to anyone. Due Process is nearly absent. When staff do something wrong, at best they will move them to another unit, away from the client they wronged.
Staff tend to bring their personal problems here. They seem to have axes to grind and they have their own agenda.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, has said “[i]f the civil system is used simply to impose punishment after the State makes an improvident plea bargain on the criminal side, then it is not performing its proper function.” Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 373 (1997) (Kennedy, J., concurring).