Sex Offender Civil Commitment Exposed

Real talk from a former staffer at Virginia’s Shadow Prison | “sex offender civil commitment” should be abolished

Proponents call these laws “sex offender civil commitment” — but the people who know them best describe them as shadow prisons. In this disturbing look from an insider, we hear first-hand why Virginia’s so-called “sex offender civil commitment” facility is a shadow prison, and should be abolished.


This place is inhumane. [The author is a former staff member at the Virginia Shadow Prison, the so-called “Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation” (VCBR).  The former staff member is describing lived experience at this facility in this story.]

This is an image of the inside of Virginia's so-called "sex offender civil commitment" facility. The name of the shadow prison is "Virginia Center of Behavioral Rehabilitation" (VCBR) operated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

This image drives home how so-called “sex offender civil commitment” schemes are merely prisons by another name. This view shows the inside of a “pod” (or living unit) for the shadow prisoners at the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation. To mask their reality, staff at these gulags call the men who cannot choose to leave by the disturbing euphemism, “resident.”

Flagrant abuse of discretion by staff

If you ask for help — or be asking for assistance — and you need see someone to step in?  They write you up.

If you disagree with anything?  They right bogus reports, and won’t move you to the next phase [of treatment — meaning you effectively get imprisoned at the ‘not-a-prison’ prison longer].

If family sends you money?  They tell you “better leave a certain amount on the books or [we] will knock you back.”

They don’t like your opinions — and they don’t have to be rude or sexual [opinions]? [The fake therapists] will knock you back.

The [so-called] “investigators” have lied on reports and put people’s addresses on them — and they get read in front of residents [i.e. other shadow prisoners]….This is wrong and they do it anyway!

This is a medium distant image of the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation (VCBR) in Burkeville, Virginia.  This is Virginia's Shadow Prison, or so-called "sex offender civil commitment" facility. The image shows brown grass in the foreground, with an institutional prison-like building behinds a tall double razor wire fence that wraps over into the compound for the shadow prison, similar to the fence use to contain velociraptors in the original Jurassic Park film.

This is Virginia’s shadow prison in Burkeville. Virginia’s so-called “Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation” (VCBR) is operated by DBHDS and indefinitely imprisons persons who have already completed their sentences.

Chutes & Ladders

You can do all ‘the work’ and ace all your ‘classes,’ [but] if the therapist don’t like you they will make shore you stay another year until they see fit [to release you]….

The definition of “sex offender civil commitment?” A prison with a treatment sign out front

This is not real “treatment.”  [When it’s so obvious to me,] I can’t see why the [Virginia] AG [Office of the Attorney General] can’t see this.  [At Virginia’s shadow prison,] they don’t even go by their own rules. They [also] write untrue reports and nothing is done!

They nurses watch[ed] a man beg for help when he was sick and they told him wait till the next shift and he was laying on floor about to die!

Back to these reports: when a resident [shadow prisoner] proves to you that the “observation note” wasn’t true? It still sticks….  Why do that to someone? [People living behind the walls at these facilities think of themselves as “shadow prisoners” — a term coined by advocate and Soros Justice Fellow Galen Baughman.]

They serve[d] time for their mistakes [in fact, every shadow prisoner has already completed their sentence, and repaid their debt to society].  [As a result, I want to know] where do they get [the] right [to] inflict more punishment?  People have had mail open up with residents [read shadow prisoners] not standing in front of them. The “investigators” are known to do that. SSTTs [so-called Safety Security Treatment Technicians, aka shadow prison guards] never got the COVID pay.  They was at [the] bottom of the list!

Want a promotion? F*ck someone up inside “sex offender civil commitment” facility

I can go on and on about this place [Virginia’s Shadow Prison, the so-called “Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation“]…. You also have to f*ck someone to move up in a job position [e.g. get promoted] — and [the so-called] “investigators” are not qualified to work there (check their backgrounds)!

The logo for the Virginia Center for Behavioral Health (VCBR) is circular. Around the circle in a band like the inscription of a ring is the name of the facility.  Inside the circle there are shapes that look like puzzle pieces, however on closer inspection the shapes each match the aerial view of the shadow prison's main building. The shape (either a building viewed from overhead or a puzzle piece) is filled in.  This offers an eerie implication that the existing facility is merely a start, and that more cages to warehouse humans after the completion of their prison sentences remain to be built. The colors are a navy blue on white background.

The logo for Virginia’s shadow prison shows the disturbing pseudo-psychology frame used to portray so-called “sex offender civil commitment” schemes as part of the puzzle to ending sex-related crime.

The investigators knows a lot [of] black women work there.  And yet her comment [to black female staff] was: “If you come here with hair done pass your back, I will suspect you messing with a ‘resident.’” That’s discrimination. But they let it go on [regardless]!!!

This is unbelievable.  [As a result,] I had to leave there                    [the administrator has redacted information that might reveal this former staff person’s identity]. The [Office of State Inspector General (OSIG) and Virginia General Assembly] needs to look into this ASAP.


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Note from Administrator

Virginia law makers have called this shadow prison “appalling” and in 2021 Senator Joe Morrissey introduced legislation to abolish Virginia’s “Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators” Act.

Former Staff Member at Virginia's Shadow Prison (VCBR)

One Comment:

  1. My fiancé has been writing medical every week to be seen. And the doctor doesn’t even respond or acknowledge they got his request. I’ve witnessed a CO say something sexual to him. And nothing was done. But if a resident does it they get written up and held back another year or two. These guards need to be watched. Something needs to be done. How is this a behavioral rehabilitation center but they get treated horribly? The food they feed them is inhumane.

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