Ben A. Reid

Ben A. Reid is a halfway house that seems to be having a little retention problem:

Timothy Rosales Jr.: Yet Another Escapee from a Houston Halfway House

Timothy Rosales Jr. is the first rapist of 2011 to escape from the privately run Ben Reid halfway house, and the second to escape in a little over a month.

The 39-year-old sex offender fled from the Beaumont Highway facility around 6:15 Monday night, according to the Department of Public Safety. He’s considered armed and dangerous. And, like Arthur William Brown, the rapist who escaped in late December, he was able to remove his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet.

We wrote about the unsecured Reid facility, and its parent company, the Florida-based GEO Group, in December. Two months before the story ran, Anthony Ray Ferrell escaped from Reid and allegedly shot and killed a 24-year-old good samaritan who intervened in a gas station purse-snatching. Another rapist split the Reid facility a few weeks before Ferrell slipped out.

Although the place is like a freaking sieve, there is nothing in
GEO’s contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice about a
maximum number of vicious sexual predators that can be let loose on the
public in a given amount of time. And once these monsters step off the
Reid premises, they’re no longer GEO’s problem: It is up to actual
real-life law enforcement officers to apprehend the escapees. All GEO
personnel need to do is pick up the phone and make a few calls once they
realize an offender hasn’t returned on time.

I was curious (rather, wanted to confirm my suspicions) about what this place has to offer, so I found their brochure posted online and see that they provide something called Therapeutic Relapse Assistance Program (nice acronym, dumdums). But if you do a search on that “program,” what appears at the top of the search list is… the same brochure, and there is no other reference to this program. Scroll down the brochure, though, and you’ll find this:

Key Services
The following voluntary programs and services help
prepare residents to return to their local communities
and provide for their well being while at the facility.

  • Substance abuse and addiction counseling services
    are provided through Alcoholics Anonymous and
    Narcotics Anonymous.

“Services provided through…”? Really!?! Really. [Channeling Amy Poehler here!]

Maybe they’re having such a hard time keeping people in their facility because they’re using AA’s definitions of retention and recovery. Is this when Recovery Landlords patiently explain “We’re not affiliated with them; they’re affiliated with us.”

BONUS QUESTION: Why do they call people who rape “rapists”? The “ist” at the end makes it sound like some kind of a skill or art. Why not “raper”?

  • AnnaZed

    At first I though this was amusing “We’re not affiliated with them; they’re affiliated with us.”

    Now it’s starting to really tick me off.

  • Mike

    AA and the clergy have no place being there. Kick em out and implement CBT-based programs.

  • Lucy

    I posted an article about this guy a couple of weeks ago. There was a companion blog with it which complained about the “repeated” escapes from Ben Reid and the problems they cause for the neighborhood.

    My daughter called today to tell me about an acquaintance from a brief high school fling with a boy who had been sent to an alternative 12 step school for kids with drug or alcohol problems. The acquaintance was his classmate and she had been in the news for driving over her mother, either in a blackout or a manic episode, and killing her.

    Once again, it hit me how many people, in desperate need of psychiatric help, get sent to AA, an AA based halfway house, an AA based high school, etc. because AA members haver arrogantly convinced a vulnerable person or family that they have an answer for them. The family member is dead, and this girl’s life is over.

  • anonymous of course

    GEO is a corporation that runs prisons all over the world. This is a half way house for prisoners transisting into society, not a drug and alcohol rehab center. Whoever wrote the brochure were mistaken by saying Alcoholics anonymous provides counseling services. They do not. There maybe on site meetings held there, but that ain’t counseling.

    GEO houses the inmates and they are not the ones that give them the classification of “minimum security”. The state of Texas would be the one to that do that. That’s exactly why GEO’s only responsibility is to call law enforcement when these dangerous guys escape.

    GEO also runs maximum security prisons and inmates there don’t get out so easy. GEO is contracted by states and the federal government to run prisons. They’re able to do it more effeciently than prisons ran by state or federal employees.

    I wouldn’t want to live near the reid house. It’s pretty dangerous. The state of Texas set up this program and decides who gets sent there. GEO is doing what they are contracted to do.

  • AnnaZed

    …Whoever wrote the brochure were mistaken by saying Alcoholics anonymous provides counseling services. They do not.

    Really? How on earth could such a thing happen!

  • Lucy

    AOC -I work with some Texas public agencies that work with Geo (which used to be Wackehut). I have had good experiences with them.

    The problem is less of who runs the facility than 1) sentencing guidelines which allow dangerous criminals to go into medium security facilities because the maximums are full, and 2) AA lobby of AA as a rehabilitation tool which can modify sentencing.

    The reason the brochure would say that AA provides counseling services is because there is a settled lawsuit (the infamous Ruiz case) which says that counseling services have to be provided for certain problems. AA is free, and it helps them meet the cost of prisoner care to the letter of the law.

    The only way to change that would be a lawsuit like Ruiz against AA in prison by a prisoner on the grounds that it is religion, not true counseling, and get another judge like William Wayne Justice.

  • AnnaZed

    Thanks for that information Lucy, and yes there really should be another lawsuit.

  • hulahoop.

    Substance abuse and addiction counseling services are provided through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

    People will read that sentence and breathe a sigh of relief because they assume AA and NA are bonafide ways of receiving counseling. I believe AA is religious program. Let’s say it was really the support group it makes itself out to be. How can a support group that has zero checks and balances in place, is responsible and accountable for nothing, and has no licensed professionals be recognized as a treatment program or counseling service?

  • Rick045

    I’m sure Lucy is right about the reasons for including that in the brochure. They are careful to say that counseling is provided “through” instead of “by” alcoholics anonymous, but the implication is the same. As Lucy said, AA is free, it’s available, and it will do nothing to stop someone from giving the impression it can be viewed as a sort of “counseling service” if that’s the way someone wants to portray it. Perhaps this could be a case where AA could stop it because they are directly using the name, but they wont.

  • anonymous of course

    @Lucy
    Thanks for the insight. My son just became employed by GEO. He’s 19 and is guard at a Federal Prison. They don’t have escapee’s there. They’re a higher security prison.

    I think the Reid house is a real bad idea. Dangerous people are being released into the streets because our prisons are overcrowded. I would like to see the jail cells cleared of non violent drug offenders to where there is plenty of room to keep violent people safely locked away from potential victims. Prisons in my view should be for justice, not rehabilitation. Maybe if we got back to the days where prisoners spent their days making little rocks out of big ones, people might try harder not to get sent to one.

    @Rick045
    As budgets get cut in government agencies, AA is being used to fill the void. Often in areas where AA isn’t appropriate. AA isn’t a counseling agency, a mental health organization or an anger management center.

    @hulahoop
    Very well put. AA and NA shouldn’t be recognized as a treatment program or a counseling service. They ain’t.