Damaged Goods

by Mike Powers

Until now, I’ve avoided saying too much about the sex offender treatment program and its participants. This was mainly because I was trying to keep an open mind about the program itself, and I thought it best to get a reasonable amount of time in before I started drawing any conclusions about it. However, I think the curtain has been raised on this show long enough for me to make some observations.

Please remember, foremost, that the men being treated here are just that... MEN. And as I’ve ate, worked, and showered with these guys for the last three months, one thing is sadly apparent: damaged kids make for damaged men.

I was watching the pastor of Denton Bible Church teaching a marriage seminar on a video we were watching almost 15 years ago when I first started my time. I was new to the prison culture, but even then, I couldn’t help but thinking of how immature the full-grown men around me acted. Not just guys being guys, with horseplay and kidding around, but adults who would bully or sulk like adolescents if they didn’t get what they wanted when they wanted it. The pastor was talking about marriages troubled by addiction, and he said something like this, “When a man’s addiction begins, his emotional maturing stops.” The wisdom explained so much, not only about the behavior around me, but about my own failures and shortcomings as a man. It impacted me greatly, and was an important moment in my own recovery. And since that time, I’ve tried and (mostly) succeeded in exercising more patience with other people’s struggles. After all, I’m in no position to be someone else’s yardstick for success or failure.

With this in mind, I was observing some of the outrageous behavior in the first dorm I lived in here on the Hightower Unit. Every day, men could be seen holding hands, kissing, and, on at least one dark occasion, having oral sex in the dayroom. Meanwhile, officers seemed to look the other way or burst into the dayroom yelling about “altered” t-shirts and sitting down in the dayroom while ignoring the obvious. As frustrated as I was by this, I began to pair the obnoxious behaviors with the stories I was hearing in the program.

Some of these men couldn’t remember a time in their childhoods when they DIDN’T know what sex was, because from their infancy on up, they’d been victimized repeatedly by step-dads, uncles, live-in boyfriends, or their moms’ drug dealers. And just like the variety of socioeconomic backgrounds applied to the offenders around me now, it has applied to those perpetrating sex offenses as long as the laws have been on the books. Hurt people hurt people.

This helped me to avoid taking offense at offensive behavior and started me thinking more about some of the incredible stories these men had survived. Instead of tut-tutting the flamboyant homosexual who’d shaved off his eyebrows and had new ones tattooed on in the manner of Joan Crawford, I began to wonder, “What kind of hell does a child have to go through to become that kind of man?”

Here’s the deal, my friends. You know by now I’m no bleeding heart by any stretch of the imagination. But use your brain for a minute and THINK! Do you think ostracizing, mocking or even imprisoning this guy is going to get him any closer to a healthy definition of manhood? Of course not! No more than making fun of the exercising fat guy is going to encourage him to keep on exercising. And herein lies the ultimate failure of any state-run SOTP. It actually manages to get this far, and this far only: The understanding that self-esteem is a huge part of recovery if sex offenders are going to be successfully reintegrated into society.

And it is. However, our whole society is just as muddled and confused about its own identity and sexual awareness as any of these guys here at the Hightower with me. Even in my class, my teacher said, “What is between your legs is your ‘sex’. What is between your ears is your ‘gender’.” That’s it? That’s your solution? “Hey, instead of resenting a healthy model of manhood, we’ll just change the definition of manhood and make the molester feel better about himself so he won’t do this anymore.” And then they wonder why it doesn’t seem to be working. NEWSFLASH! I don’t get to pick what color the sky is. I don’t have any say in whether it snows on Tuesday, Wednesday, or not at all. Even the color of my eyes isn’t up to me. And until God or Science make it otherwise possible, I DON’T get to pick what I get “between my legs”. (And for the purposes of this discussion, I’m referring to birth sex. Medical operations to change one’s sex are a whole other can of worms.) And instead of hemming and hawing, we need, as a society and as a people, to determine once and for all that the way we are equipped “down there” needs to determine how we are equipped “up there” between the ears. If we continue to fail in this regard, as one on the inside, I can assure you that these prisons will only devour more and more of our children as man less men seek to fill the voids within them with all sorts of deviant and illegal behavior.

I’m not saying that the historical/traditional presentation of manhood has been accurate or beneficial, but I am saying that liberal revisionists are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. In their war on Imperialism, the left have allowed third world countries to flourish even on our own borders. In their war on Chauvinism, they’ve decimated the home with no fault divorces and killed countless unborn with abortion on demand. And now, in their war on Hate, they are promoting an “anything goes” philosophy that will ultimately rip the moral fabric of America apart taking its people with it.

If you don’t believe me, just come on over to the Hightower and spend some time observing the outcome of 50 years of “sexual liberation”. It led them right to the prison.

The Attorneys
  • Francisco Hernandez
  • Daniel Hernandez
  • Phillip Hall
  • Rocio Martinez