San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 24th, 2012
San Marcos police calm ‘riot’ at treatment center

by BRAD ROLLINS

San Marcos police took six teenage patients at the former Brown Psychiatric Hospital to juvenile detention following what an officer calls “a little riot” Saturday evening.


View San Marcos Treatment Center in a larger map

The episode started when a boy ran away from the facility at 120 Bert Brown Road yesterday evening, San Marcos police Sgt. Fred Wisener said.

The runaway was found not far away by a staff member and was being escorted back into a building when other 15- and 16-year-old patients became unruly, busting out windows and threatening violence against staff members and a police officer who had just arrived on the scene at about 8 p.m.

“Other officers showed up and they kind of calmed down. Six were identified as being active participants in inciting the riot and they were detained,” Wisener said.

Under Texas law, a riot is defined as “an assemblage of seven or more persons resulting in conduct which creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons” or “substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services.” Participating in a riot is a Class B misdemeanor.

Formerly the Brown Psychiatric Hospital, the 120-bed San Marcos Treatment Center treats adolescents and teenagers ages 10-17 for psychiatric, neuropsychiatric and developmentally delayed disturbances, according to the center’s website.

A woman who answered the phone at the center this morning said no administrators were available over the weekend to answer questions about the riot.

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71 thoughts on “San Marcos police calm ‘riot’ at treatment center

  1. The facility was there when I first moved to SM in 1962. Maybe 95, you should do your homework a little better, or fence your own property.

  2. You’re pretty arrogant Winnie. Trust me, I’m very familiar with that place. They have had a lot of walk offs lately. Maybe you work there and are defending your employer.

  3. And things have changed now with the park and trails in place. Twice I have stumbled on rough characters on the trail.

  4. You move to an area with a treatment facility that has been there for decades before you came, and then expect the existing land owner to change, and I’m arrogant!?! Are you sure those “rough characters” were from the facility, or did you assume again? There have been “walk offs” from correctional facilities as well.

  5. “You really are defensive of the facility. Maybe you have a child there?”

    There but for the grace, folks. Mental illness and psychological disorders are like cancer…they don’t care who you are, how much you make, how fine and caring your parents are. They just strike.

    As for the facility, I’ve lived in SM six years and this is the first time I’ve heard of a significant disturbance there. You’d think it would happen more often, considering they house a population of troubled kids, many of them teens.

    As an aside, I find it interesting that under Texas law, it’s a riot only if seven or more people are involved. Would love to have witnessed the legislative sausage-making that resulted in seven being chosen the Magic Riot Number. I mean, five or six able-bodied teens breaking windows and violently raising hell probably feels pretty riotous if you’re unlucky enough to be on duty that night. But it’s only a riot if you have seven!

  6. Not defensive at all, was taught by my parents, growing up in SM, to not suffer fools.

    BTW, love the way you instantly sunk to ad hominem attacks.

  7. Seems to me Winnie you were the first to bring the venom by suggesting I “check my facts” and fence my property. You have no idea.

  8. Ur, maybe you should reflect back to your first post 6/24 4:25 PM “maybe they should fence that place in” You brought all of the “venom”

    And BTW the name is Winchester, not Winnie, DAsince95

  9. BTW it was “do our homework” not check your facts. Damn at least quote me correctly.

    These “rough characters” how old where they?

  10. There was no homework needed. I just said “maybe”. And “they”. I didn’t say who they should be. Maybe I think the city should fence the park. I’ve seen a LOT more foot traffic in my neighborhood from SMTC in the last couple years. I don’t think a business has some sort of privilege to operate however they want just because they’ve been there for a few years. My understanding is this is an out of state entity operating this business in our town. For the record, I do think SMTC should fence their property to the best of their ability. I think there would be an upside to them as they could save on the dozens of vans they send out into the neighborhood each year rounding up their wanderers who, for the most part, seem fairly harmless. Harmless or not, it can be disconcerting when you come out into the front yard to find your 9yo talking to a scraggly teenager. I doubt it would kill their business to spend $40 or $50 thousand to install a secure fence.

    I could not care less that you know where the old HEB used to be.

  11. Knowing the history of an area provides one with a better perspective on growth/change in that area.

    In this case the facility used to be near nothing, in an unzoned and unrestricted area of the county. The City has grown toward the facility. It is in compliance (to the best of my knowledge) with all rules and regulations governing same. It therefore has no legal obligation to do anything. It’s not an issue of privilege, it’s a legal issue.

    I’m sure its insurance carrier would like it to be fenced, which might very well pay for itself in the short term. If I were offering them advice, I would suggest a fence as well, it reduces risk of injury, lawsuit, etc; but they have no obligation to fence their property.

  12. I feel about this the way I felt about Zelick’s. There’s what’s legal and then there’s what’s right. We all have civil obligations to our neighbors. The park improvements have clearly made the wods more attractive to the patients ata smtc based on the increase in calls we have had to make to the center in the past couple years. It’s a great source of insecurity for us and why we are careful to keep our garage door closed.

  13. If y’all only know what kind of kids are in that place. That place is a time bomb waiting to go off. That place really needs a gate are something around that place. They will not put a gate around that place till the ppl around there say something or till that bomb goes off and hurt someone. I worked there for all most three years and the things I seen, are things that happen in prison. Just bc they say there are kids in there means nothing. Most of the kids in there would do big time in our state for what there states send them to treatment for. So the person who say they somestimes see there 9yr old kids talking to a shady teens outside there home who have ran away. You should watch out bc that could be a sex offender, or a murder you kid is talking to. Bc that’s what kind of kids you have there.

    • Folks:

      First: thoughts and prayers to all affected by the flooding.

      Reading the string on the pro and con perspectives on SMTC.

      Haters gonba hate – or they just don’t know the value of having SMTC expertise and success records in their backyards. (Suspect most critics are unaware)

      I placed my 9 yr old in SMTC from way out of state – why? Because the most advanced treatment was unavailable within 700 miles from ATL; the best doctors in their field work there (not in ATL) ; SMTC enjoys unsually high tenure statistics as compared to competitive treatment centers across the entire USA.

      My son was there for 13 weeks and returned home demonstrating a dramatic change in behavior.

      The patients I observed in a dozens visits were never “raggedly dressed”. The staff is polite with visitors; caring and firm with the patients. No doubt some of the patients try for a run. It’s a creative runner that gets beyond the former public golf course and staff personnel are “on it” quickly.

      I’m fortunate to have found SMTC to help my chid. They did a fantastic job providing tests, six week observations of prescriptions effects on the patients – care not available in major cities and states within 700 miles of SM.
      Fast forward my child is headed to a tier 1 university on scholarship. SMTC played a key role in helping my child be successful.

      Texans shoiuld be (and I suspect many are) grateful that such help is so close to them vs a 3 hour flight into either SA or Austin and an hour drive to SM.

      My thoughts a prayers are with all Texans affected by Harvey’s flooding and destruction.

  14. And the basis of my lawsuit against San Marcos Treatment Center, should any of their walk-offs cause any trouble, will be that they have a known dangerous situation and they have failed to take reasonable measures to mitigate the risk.

  15. Now at least we are discussing the reality.

    Sorry SM it is not like Zelick’s; they altered the reality.

    Soup, I’d pay a little more attention if your grammar was better.

    SM, that would be my choice, but first you would have to prove that the party was a “walk off”

  16. Sorry Winnie but it is just like Zelick’s., folks suggesting they might hide behind the law rather than doing what’s morally right.

  17. Winchester no comment to you. Until something happens to you are you loved one bc of that place is when your eyes will open up. I said my two cent and now I’m done with this.

  18. As a former employee of SMTC, I can tell you that people in San Marcos have a serious misunderstanding of this place. A fence would be very beneficial for the facility, and probably for the mentality of the City of San Marcos. Having a good idea of much money that facility brings in daily, per kid, they should have no problem putting up a fence. The most unfortunate thing about SMTC is the lack of accountability this place actually faces. It’s not that there aren’t any honest people there, it’s the fact that the dishonest people there abuse their policies on confidentiality. There is so much confidentiality at that place, and rightly so, but what this has allowed as secrecy that covers up the corruption that takes place there. The people least at fault are the kids, though I do think that largely because of the wrong done to them, the kids can be dangerous to the general population. If anyone on here is interested in introducing something to the city, or whoever else that can make a difference here, please let me know. I would love to help and serve these kids however possible, as I have even contacted the corporate offices about the occurrences at the facility, to no avail. Anyone with advice or just with the same desire to influence change at SMTC, and in turn benefit San Marcos, please let me know.

    • I was a student there. I had (past tense) a twin brother as well. I just wrote a college report that discussed SMTC as a part of human trafficking. I got a 98% grade on the paper.

  19. NM, go get them.

    Soup, SM, pony up a case where you were damaged in some way. Otherwise it’s just whining about your not wanting the facility in the neighborhood that grew up near it.

  20. “If I were offering them advice, I would suggest a fence as well, it reduces risk of injury, lawsuit, etc; …”

    You already agreed with me. I don’t see why we’re still going on about this.

  21. Thanks for weighing in with truth NM413. Here’s a FACT for everyone out there:
    The State of Alaska revoked Medicaid approval of San Marcos Treatment Facility and pull all 19 youth from that facility on February 22nd of this year (2012). A short time later Nebraska followed suit.
    SMTC was deemed abusive and unsafe for the youth.
    The reported “riot” was far from being the first one; it is one of the few ways the kids can try to get attention/help.

    a mom of one of the victims

  22. Wow sincere, I am SO sorry for you and your child. I’ve heard nothing about this in the news at all. I hope they are shut down if they are really abusing the children who are depending upon them for help.

  23. Wow is all I can say ! I was a teen at SMTC back in the late 80s and can only say that at the time it was a hellhole! I witnessed other kids assaulted,threatened,and forced to the breaking point. I ran from the place several times until I was of the age that the insurance ran out. (thank god!) Some of the idiots above that have made some snide remarks havent a clue of how badly some of the kids were treated,(at least back then) I can honestly tell you that Infantry basic training in the US Army.was nowhere near as much of a mindf*ck as SMTC was! I strongly suspect the so called riot was provoked by staff. If any were to try to treat me today as I was treated then? I would kill them without reservation as a primary method of preserving my basic human dignity. Yes a great many of the kids at SMTC are disturbed! Let that be a suggestion that while being cautious , you treat them with a basic level of dignity. After all you just dont know how they are treated daily now do you? I wasnt dangerous then but 3 tours into combat later Id say you might also want to treat adults you encounter with a modicum of respect as well. 🙂

  24. I also should add that SMTC in no way made my life better, I did. And my warning of basic decency and respect should especially be heeded by your local police! A cop with an attitude problem shouldnt be on the job in the first place, but they should definetly be as far from smtc as possible. Im certain smtc still has enough of those types employed there as it is. Alot of those kids are treated as disposable as it is and Im sure will continue to be treated as such. Dont be too surprised by the results.

  25. I was at smtc from 2005 to 2007 it was a nightmare im from philadelphia thats mainly what state is sent there. I never been confined with murderers or sex offenders in my life before. I was there for a petty breaking and entering in philadelphia at age 15 & they sent me there. There are good staff members and there are bad staff members. There are staff members that abuse the kids there. The kids some of them arent innocent either, ive seen staff get jumped, stabbed, threatened, piss/bowels get thrown on them. The place is a nightmare. Male staff having sex with female patients. I learned alot from that place only.cuz ill never want to be in that situation again. The place does NOT treat people I can tell u that.

  26. Thank You mom of one of the victims and former staff. I was being directed to send my 14 year old daughter there this week because she has BPD. Never had a criminal, drug or alcohol issue. Now I will definetely NOT allow her to go there.

  27. I am reading all these things about the San Marcos Treatment Canter and I am scared. My son is due to go there within the next couple of days and I need help for him but it looks like this place has horrible reviews. Can someone with experience on it please email or Facebook me?? I am scared.

    • Laurie:

      I had a child there for 13 weeks – as long as the insurance would allow – turns out and further time would fit the “law of diminishing returns”.

      3 years later my child need to go back (6weeks). My child did not protest or relate the horror stories we both are reading.

      stay involved – understand the certification level of your child’s clinical team. Lobby for the clinical director to lead if you can. The facility has cameras everywhere except in the dorm room and bathrooms. If your child surfaces an issue – you can get Mgt to review the film and see the footage and have what ever staff separated from your child until the reveal in the footage – I guess further if your child is correct . The tenure levels are off the charts positive for the clinical staff.

      Some of the kids were on military insurance and at that time their insurance covered 18 mos. that would suck. 18 mos no visits from family. That would suck.

      Our families experience was a positive one.

      All the best.

  28. NM413, Soupbone76,Thank you both for talking truthfully about what SMTC is really about!!! I would like to think you are sharing this information with people that can help these children!!!

    Anonymously yours, Sibel Victoria, I am so sorry for your abuse and betrayal at SMTC. Thank you for speaking up about it!! I have a son who was there in 2005 at a tend age of 13, and never came back the same, but only tormented!

    sincere integrity Your post gave me such joy to hear that Alaska will not send children there agian!!! I too am an Alaskan mom of a victim and forever heartbroken for it!! If you ever want to chat I would love it!!

    anonymous, I am so happy you were able to read this before sending your child to SMTC!!! Blessings for you both!!

    Laurie PLEASE DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO STOP THIS!! DO RESEARCH ON ANY PLACE THAT THEY WANT YOU TO SEND THEM. THERE IS A LOT OF INFORMATION OUT NOW!

  29. My child was in this facility for almost 3 years. It is a prison masked as a treatment facility. When visiting him from out of state great care was always taken to not let us see the facility just pick him up for the day and leave.He came out with a much better understanding of how to manipulate the system and blame everyone else. He was a sweet looking (child) sex offender.

  30. I went to San Marcos when that happened and that place was the worst experience of my life I went the whole first 2 weeks and haven’t met my doctor or therapist and only reason I got out of that hell hole is because some girl fought me one right after the other and the insurance said that I’m not getting any treatment there and it’s not helping me at all so they got me out early

  31. They also kept forgetting about me and put my dad through hell just to talk on the phone with me and I wouldn’t ever get time to talk to him they also put us in are room the whole entire day I gained 10 pounds when I went in there because lack of excersize they also put me in the wrong grade in school and both my roommates would cut themselves cheek their medicine and were atheist and talked down on me cuz I had a bible a couple months after getting out I found my paper work they said I denied being sexually abused which I’ve never been abused in my life and another thing they didn’t believe ANYTHING I told them my dad was a manipulative alcoholic and he’s hit me multiple time but my dad told then that he didn’t drink and never hit me which is such a lie my dad told them I was lying and my dads supposed to be on medication for bpd and they still didn’t believe me……and they myomere had a history of giving me drugs without me knowing it and I know it was wrong of her to do that but they just talked trash about her right in front of me…the staff members aren’t even trustable one staff member was passing notes between my roommate and a boy and we cannot have any contacts with the boys what so ever and btw San Marcos doesn’t pay attention there patients because they forgot to search me when I came in and I hid a phone in my bra sadly there was only 10 cents on it but what if I had more? Worst place ever please parents do not put your children through it’ll only make them worse and lead you to no respect at all….all I wanted was my parents to act like they care about me but they never gave me any attention so I started acting out without realizing it just start talking to your kid and understand there problems and fix it cuz I know that’s all I wanted

  32. PLEASE someone connect with me… I have a daughter that has been there for a year now and she is expected to be there for several more months… I need as much info as possible. I live out of state and visit her one weekend a month.. She is not getting better… actually worse. (Was told it was the BPD) She is now wetting her pants(Something she didnt do at home)was told its anxiety.. etc… She is mentally low functioning but is violent and attacks and that is why she is in this treatment center(to find the right medication regimen)… Please someone connect with me…

  33. I went there back in April of last year for 20 days it was really really bad. The organization of the whole facility was completly out of order, there was always a shortage of staff, and most of the staff were still in college. And They don’t provide a good source of communication for family members because of their scheduled “time slots” for phone time. The facility doesn’t help regulate medication. They only provide you with the ones you come to the place with, it doesn’t provide a good source of education. I honestly didn’t feel safe at all. Not a good place. DO NOT RECOMMEND TO ANYONE.

  34. I am a former employee of the SMTC. While there I have saw many of the atrocities that were listed here. But I also saw the positive’s and the help some of the residents received. It is the same at any treatment facility that your child goes to. I would recommend constant communication with doctors at case manager at the facility. Also, remember that with anyone’s story there is always 3 sides. Their side, someone else’s and the truth. I know that many of the listed above stories are true to some extent (I worked there for SEVERAL years) but I also know there is some fiction. Good luck to anyone in this situation or with someone they care about in this situation.

  35. It used to be called Brown School,we did electrical work on the buildings, and yes, it has been there at least since the early 70s….Hopefully they will take corrective actions and secure the facility properly, as required, in relation to the danger level of its patients. jlb

  36. I was sent to SMTC Jan of 2012 to Nov of 2012. So I was there when that all happened. Everyone got sent back to there units and couldnt do any thing. The boy ran off because they had a new staff member and everyone knows what that means. We could just wild out. Thats what those boys did. Even though the boys where being impossible staff members still let them go to the cafe for dinner. The boys started acting upp even more once they saw the girls. Now lets remember Girls and Boys can not talk to each other! So you know how boys can show out just as while as girls can. They ran out and staff went after and they did everything they could have done. I remember that night bvecause where my unit was we saw cops ALOT of them! so o course everyone was questioning what happened and how bad it was. They had shut down all units to clam that one unit down. Maybe they shouldnt have left all new staff but let me tell yall. I give props to any one who works there! They put up with all kinds of things you cant even imagen! I kow because when I was there I acted up becasue I was mad at the world. Everyone putting there 2 cents in when they dont even know what goes on there just go ahead and lay back. It makes me upset because I was there for 11 months i cleaned up my act and got relased. The first thing that comes to some others mind is OMG!!! but yall dont know . Until you have worked there or had your child there dont “give advice” until u know.

    Ps : Sorry for the mistakes in my tying.

  37. I was a patient there in 92/93 and really have good memories of growth and learning. Known as Browns School then, it was touted as one of the best places in the country for treatment so I really lucked out. Even though you had most of the staff as interns, everyone was supportive and really helped me get on my feet. Of course that was 20 years ago. The state of the heath care industry is now run by suits who care about the bottom dollar and nothing else. Im happy I went there when I did but couldn’t imagine the state of privately owned “mental health facilities” now. They sound like for profit prisons. I really hope this place didn’t go down the toilet because I remember it being a great place to get treatment.

  38. Well i was there from age 15-17 and i still remember everything i never got forced to give sex to male workers but one day i was on elopement risk for trying to runaway with like four other girls and was on the unit acting bad and i was sent to the seclusion room by some of my favorite staff or so i thought they were and they called security and [NAME REMOVED] came in the time out room and told the staff leave the room i can calm her down i was a little 15 year old and i was laying down when i seen him coming he picked me up off the ground by my throat and choke slammed me against the wall and back to the floor i fucking really hated that place and the county outside of smtc investigated and said it was unfounded but i had bruises on my neck and all over my back and had to lay on my stomach for about a month and a half to go to sleep

  39. I can’t believe this place still exists!
    I was a child there, way back in the 80’s. It was an awful place.
    I tried to run many times. I was not a “bad” or aggressive child; I just had parents who had no rights being parents – then or now.
    These places should not still be open. Many children have suffered in them.

  40. I currently have my 17 yr. old son at SMTC. He tells me it’s like boot camp for troubled teens and the charter school is very remedial. He’s been there 3 weeks and continues to have increased anxiety and insomnia due to fear and agitation of the other residents. I am concerned that my son will soon become jaded and worse off then he was when first admitted. Does anyone have positive feedback of this place? We chose it primarily due to insurance & proximity to home. Thanks. And God bless all those children there.

  41. I was there when I was 12, and it was the worst experience of my life its really a prison and the abuse I had to face was crazy the first day I was there I was tested in the gym and I didn’t stand my ground to my new housing mates and later that night I was jumped in my room by my room mate and two others my room mate was 16! I’ve seen patients arm pulled so far behind their backs the staff broke thiers arm and know of the same thing occurring in another building. And the worst thing, I was held down by my house mates and was slapped repeatedly in the face by a female staff member named Ms. Mims I was hit so many times I was bleeding out the mouth then I was hit by my peers then put in a room I found a towel and cleaned myself up then hid the towel in my plants for proof to tell somebody I could trust, the towel fell out when she was there and took it from me. I still told ppl and some ppl did end up coming I was too young to tell what was really happening but I told my story to two guys with a recorder. She was not fired or charged with child abuse just simply moved to a different building. I remember I would be so happy when certain staff work because I know the wouldn’t let bad things happen to me. I remember the I felt “stuck” the whole time I was there I knew if I did my best couldn’t leave I was so depressed all the time I lost 40 pounds over my 18 months there. I remember they put up cameras in hall ways and living room eventually but it did nothing I really mean NOTHING they would simply take us too our rooms and treat us the same way (staff). I just turned 21 and that was still the worst experience of my life, if your a parent like my mom was and want the best for your child do not sent them here I see by the comments nothing has changed. My mom thought she was sending me to a treatment center not a prison, I wish people knew about places like this it really needs to be closed or looked at. I wasn’t perfect then ether but far from a lost cause at 12 years old to the people that wanna just put a gate up and be done with it.

  42. As a former patient at SMTC for about a year and a half, I can tell you for sure that San Marcos Treatment Center was not a place that was beneficial to me in any way, shape or form. The abuse and mistreatment by the staff was unacceptable regardless of why the patients are there. During my time there I realized just how corrupt and scandalous that facility really is. They say it’s a “Therapeutic” environment that provides safe services for at-risk youth but thats just a bunch of bologna. that place is controlled by fear and anger and is anything but safe and therapeutic. I remember seeing staff allow fights to happen and placing bets on which one would win and I also know that staff were regulary engaging in sexual relationships with the patients. it’s amazing that this place hasn’t been formally indicted on any charges or been brought to public attention. This place is horrible and I would suggest never sending your kids to this place because I promise, just as it happened to me, it will only make them worse and extrememly anger towards you for allowing that to happen to them.

  43. I also forgot ot mention that Child abuse by staff is a common occurence and there’s no worse and helpless feeling in the world than being stuck in a unit full of angry kids that the staff have no control over and not being able to do anything about it. I remember running away with one of my “Friends” back in 2006 and being found about 8 hours later and getting knocked around by the staff and locked up where no cameras were so the staff could teach us a lesson about doing that. I still have the scars and marks to prove it after all these years. Never send your kids here or to any other facility unless you absolutely have to. you have no idea what there about to go through.

  44. As a mom with a child inside this facility, let me say to all of you…. these are disturbed human beings! ANY facility will have every single things listed from day one’s comments. This world has good and bad and it’s inside churches, hospitals, police departments..,,every where. What the news. You are not safe anywhere. so, with all that said, I love this facility and I’m here for a week each month and yes, my son has been held aggressively. I keep constant communication with my child, the workers, and therapist at all times. My son was abused at his elementary school – so where is the safety now? Please open your hearts to these kids and facility as WE can make a difference for these kids by: volunteering at shelters, big brother -sisters programs, at schools, and such. I’m not lessoning the horrors that some of the above past commenters wrote – but, you know why you were put there and yes, in the end it is ultimately YOU that will need to change. We as parents, workers, doctors or therapists can only give you tools to change. As a Christian I’m asking for you to say a prayer for this facility and all the others to help our children – they are the only ones that matter here!!! Have a blessed day.

  45. Man, this story has legs.

    I don’t know if the comments are true, but if they are, I sure wouldn’t send my kid there and say “they wouldn’t be any safer anywhere else.”

  46. I’ll tell you that I went through 3 months of hell back in ’06. Staff were pummeling kids to the ground constantly. This was often done after they provoked kids to agression/self harm or were just angry at them for not following simple directions. Such instances I’ve witnessed were kids being thrown into the van or shoved up against the wall by CSO staff. These large staff members often were called into my unit for very minor infractions. And guess what, my unit had the mildest of cases who would do fine with community based services. The last thing they need to be is warehoused in an environment run by staff who have mental issues themselves. Many good staff leave because of how horrid it is. I was medically neglected and was injured by staff during three restraints. One that nearly ripped my arm out of my socket and two that could have killed me. The first was where I passed out while staff were pressing on my chest and choking me, I am very lucky to be alive from that. The only out of home placement kids should go to are psych hospitals if they are a serious threat, and for the mild cases it’s home.

  47. Reading through all of this brings back the horror that I witnessed at this facility. I was a teacher in the charter school . My contact with the facility was limited to what I saw in the school area. I agree, some of the ” most difficult” kids are housed here but so are kids with minor problems. Most of these kids are not from Texas and many are not allowed back in their state. Some of these kids would be doing hard prison time if they were from Texas. Some are kids with minor pbehavioral problems. They are in the same unit. I saw kids attacking other kids, staff and teachers. I saw staff provoking the kids. I saw staff encouraging the kids to ” act out”.several times, I saw staff hit and become very rough with students ” off the camera.” I saw kids come to school inadequality dressed. I saw kids forced to go to school while sick as no one could stay back on the unit. I witnessed numerous fights. I heard rumors of staff having sex with the kids, staff giving special favors for some kids . The units were kept very cold and the students especially the very young students did not have blankets and were often dressed in shorts. Often, the kids were on “lock down” and we won’t to the units to serve the kids. The kids were in their rooms all day with nothing to do. This would go for days and weeks. They even ate in their rooms. Some of the units consistently smelled like urine. Some of the staff were wonderful. Many were young or uneducated and often had many issues themselves. I quit teaching here as I was afraid for my own safety. I would never send one of om own kids here.

  48. There are still problems with prisons that have 3 fences around them and armed guards. SMTC was built with hardly anything around. You people are the ones who moved next to them and I am sure you were well aware of your surroundings and you probably got a hell of a deal on the property/home since it is next to there because not too many people in their right minds would sink money into a home with the dreams of being safe with their families if they knew their surroundings. You moved next to them so quit CRYING. Besides fences are like locks they only keep honest people honest…sometimes so a fence is not going to stop what you people want stopped.

  49. I was there as a student/ patient in ’74-75 and we never had any major problems. In fact, aside from some ” major health issues”, such as epileptic seizures and convulsions, I never witnessed or heard of any violence or abuse. We were a pretty mellow group and the staff, teachers and patients all got along great. I remember piling into a van and going to concerts, movies and the river walk in San Antonio monthly. Sounds like SMTC has crashed and burned since then. Praying for all those there. Gods peace love and abundant grace!

  50. Sadly, SMTC truly is nothing but a dumping ground for troubled youth from all over the country, and they will take anyone, regardless of what issues a child may have, for them, it’s all about the money, which isn’t spent on the children in the facility, but lines the pockets of the upper management. This was not the first time they had problems, most times these fares ups get covered up and hushed up. Fights with patients, sleeping staff members, staff who have allowed kids to just walk away, kids who have had the run of the facility because staff was directed by management to allow it, all behind money…The greed of SMTC…

  51. I commented on this back in 2013….im an adult now…i have my own daughter who’s the biggest blessing to me and i have an amazing loving husband…..im stable…i always have been….i just got mad at my father one night and left to a friends for the weekend and they sent me there…and now being an adult…i would to say this place still haunts me..some nights i cant sleep just thinking about this place….idc what anyone says…i was and still am a normal person. I work three jobs as a substitute teacher at two different areas and im a server….and even though this was in my teen years it still f#&$@ my head up….everything i said was true…tonight i somehow remembered what medication they put me on when i was there…so i googled the names of them…one was a antidepressant which was understandable and the other was medicine TO REDUCE SEIZURES!!!! I have never had a seizure….hell…ive never even had chicken pox….i have zero health problems….the only explanation is that they mixed up my chart with someone else…idk…but i will FOREVER be scarred by that place….idc what anyone says…that place needs to burn to the ground…juvenile and prison is more safe than that place….NOT TO MENTION…EVERYONE THERE IS PERSCRIBED MEDICATION….FOR ANYTHING EVERYONE TOOK SOME SORT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICATION! Apparently everyone there was for a actual mental disorder….

    Im serious though this place is safe and there is no such thing as treatment….its only hell…

  52. Judging by how old this place is and the abuse that goes on, there probably lies a darker secret. When I was there, I’ve seen several aggressive restraints and at least two suicide attempts. Has there been any children who have died inside SMTC?

  53. I agree. I am kind of struck by the number of people digging up this old article, to tell horror stories, and the lack of people chiming in to defend the facility.

  54. It’s not just this article though. I don’t know if it’s because of a relative lack of new content on this page or what, but there’s a lot of necro-posting going on lately.

  55. I have taught these kiddos for 5 years now and really could not be more proud of the interaction that we have with the facility. I saw these comments years ago, but understanding the types of people writing them – I chose to move on with my life. Disgruntled former employee’s, disgruntled former patients that say are perfectly fine (This is a level 5 facility folks – you are not fine if you go there). Anyways, all of this is a waste of finger energy.

  56. Sounds impressive, so I looked into it. I assume you are referring to MHMR Level of Need (LON). The scale appears to go:
    .
    1 – Intermittent
    .
    5 – Limited
    .
    8 – Extensive
    .
    6 – Pervasive
    .
    9 – Pervasive Plus
    .
    In that order.
    .
    Level 1, “would be an individual described as having a high level of functioning but needs some assistance to complete daily living skills.”
    .
    Level 9, “is an individual with serious behavior challenges. An example is someone whose behaviors are life threatening and require 1:1 supervision during all waking hours.”
    .
    I don’t have an explanation for Level 5, but it doesn’t sound all that severe.

    • No sir. What you’re looking for is a Level of Care scale; level 5 being Residential Treatment, which means the patient has been unsuccessful at all other levels of care (II-IV) and requires Psychiatric Residential Treatment.

  57. It seems possible that the mere fact that they are children would elevate them to a Level of Service requirement beyond those who only “need some assistance to complete daily living skills.” Most parents would agree that children need a fair amount of supervision, although probably not “during all waking hours,” as identified at level 9.

  58. @Teachthechallenged I speak from experience and what I saw. How dare you undermine us victims like this. During my stay, I saw kids with a full range of LON levels. This also explains the danger this place poses not to mention the fact the facility does NOT perform background checks on it’s employees. My unit including myself were Level 1, so we would fare well at home (where I was perfectly content minus the arguments with my parents). PSI facilities will take any LON child for $$$.

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