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:aF *.:a Reform school … are for homosexuals and suspected homosexuals. The Mountain View method for determining homosexuality is a lot better than the Puritan system of ducking to test witches. “Oh, any kid who was quiet or kind of passive always got sent to the punk dorms,” said Derrick. “And the small ones. They always sent the small ones.” Otis got along okay at Mountain View. His dorm parent gave him good reports and all his teachers liked him, so Derrick, his caseworker, recommended that he be released. That was a mistake. Because caseworkers are known to be bleeding hearts and sissies and eggheads and generally unfit judges of men and punks: So quite naturally it counted against Otis’ that his caseworker thought he should be released. He stayed at Mountain View for two years. Robert Kneebone, who had been chairman of the TY,C board for 13 years before he resigned Sept. 21, was recently moved to remark of TYC inmates, “They’re not Sunday school children.” Along with the father-rapers and mother-killers in the TYC population are some kids so psychotic they have to be shipped off to state mental hospitals as fast as they can be committed. There are also a goodly number of retarded kids. “We’ve got one with an I.Q. of 42,” said Marcia Veges, a medical-psychiatric social worker at Gatesville. They don’t know what they’re doing with a kid whose I.Q. is 42. They don’t know what to do with him. “Different judges use different yardsticks in deciding who to send here,” said Veges. Once Mountain View got a retarded, epileptic Latin kid, about five feet, 90 pounds. The kid was having grand mal seizures on medication. So Mack 0. Morris, who resigned as assistant superintendent of Mountain View in mid-August, decided to cure the kid. He thought gas would do it. They locked the kid in solitary in the security wing and threw some tear gas cannisters in after him through the slot in the bottom of the steel door. The kid backed away from the gas and finally dug his fingernails into the wall as the gas hit him. He clawed marks into the wall all the way down. They found him later, curled up in the far corner. “He was subdued,” reported Derrick. Morris’s gas treatment didn’t work as well on a black kid. Him they gassed three times in one morning and since he was still kicking, they tied him to his bed. Morris had a lot of great ideas about discipline. He diapproved of naughty language. For some reason the logic of a 15-year-old delinquent kid straight from the ghetto saying, “Motherf this and motherf that” instead of, “Oh, fudge,” did not burst upon Superintendent Morris. He kept one kid in solitary for 30 days for cussing. Solitary was a cell with a bed. No light, no john, no contact with people. Another Mountain View specialty was make-work pulling up grass for hours at a time without bending the knees, digging up a pile of dirt, carting it 15 feet, shovel by shovel, and then carting it back and then carting it forth and then carting back and then. . buffing the same section of floor over and over for hours, etc. Oh well, it beats slapping, punching and kicking, also favored forms of discipline at Gatesville. Or racking. Racking consists of having an inmate stand against a wall with his hands in his pockets while “correctional officers” beat him in the face. Well, you have to do something about kids who break the rules. The rules at `They’re not Sunday school children,’ Chairman Kneebone said Mountain View were wunnerful. Rules about hair and clothes and talking and sitting and sleeping and eating and working and when you could and when you couldn’t and when you had to. They still pass out toothbrushes to the inmates at Mountain View just before toothbrushing time and take them up again after it’s over. You never know what harm a kid will do with a toothbrush, especially if it has a gum massager on the end of it. But fear not, those kids are clean. There’s a guard who watches them to make sure they shower every night. With soap. But all was not grimness at Mountain View, even in the old’ days. The boys at Mountain View played. Games. On assigned playgrounds. Every Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. However,’ having fun was not mandatory. A lot of this coddling was brought to an abrupt end by Judge William Wayne Justice of Tyler, who issued a temporary restraining order on Aug. 31. The order was the result of a lawsuit that took two years to hear Alicia Morales v. James Turman. Morales, et al brought a class action suit on behalf of all minor children who are now, have been in the past or will be in the future involuntarily committed to the custody of the Texas Youth Council. Sued were Dr. James Turman, executive director of the TYC, TYC board members and TYC staff members responsible for running Mountain View, Gatesville, Giddings, Gainesville, Crockett and Brownwood. The simple, albeit revolutionary fact that a lawsuit had been brought at all wreaked wondrous changes in the TYC. During the two years it took to hear the case, the population of Mountain View went from over 400 to 180. As more and more testimony became part of the court record, more and more people had to resign from the TYC staff. Mack 0. Morris resigned on the last day of the trial. There were other changes. As the judge soberly noted under Point 20 of his Findings of Fact, “During the pendency of this lawsuit, inmates were permitted to adopt a kneeling posture, rather than a bending posture with unbent knees, for the performance of the grass-pulling.” Justice’s decision is full of knee-slappers. Under point 27, he finds that, “Experts testified that denying a child access to a regular bathroom whenever he needs one is demeaning and unnecessary.” The judge also had a lot to say about requiring children to remain silent, censoring their mail, permitting their familes to visit them, allowing them to speak Spanish, particularly if they speak no English, putting them in Mountain View without minimal due process, racial segregation of TYC facilities, and, well, I mean, he just went on and on. He found that pulling grass, with knees bent or unbent, and beating kids up and gassing them and putting them in joints without medical care and keeping them in solitary and having tacky people supervising them and a whole lot of other stuff was just bad and wrong and in violation of more constitutional rights and Texas laws and federal laws than you ever heard of, all with footnotes and case references and all that good business. 0, it was a humdinger. Judge Justice ordered the TYC to do so many things and not to do so many other things, you’d’ve thought he was running Mountain View. He ordered that Charles Derrick, chief psychiatric social worker at Gatesville, become ombudsman for the kids at Mountain View. On top of everything else, he ordered the decision to be read and explained to TYC staff members and to’ be posted where the kids could read it. And what happened next? Just what Spiro would have told you. They had riots at Mountain View and Gainesville. Permissive judges’ll do it every time. Or permissive somebodies. The riots are worth a close look. In the first place, changes were already underway before the decision came down. One Ace Myrick was named new superintendent of Mountain View on Aug. 13. Myrick keeps muttering nervously about “positive, not negative; constructive, not destructive; the kids are not here for punishment, they’re here for treatment; we’ve got to get some color in this place, we’ve got to get rid of this institutional gray.” October 5, 1973 3