AP: Locking Away Sex Offenders Stressing State Budgets

In these tough economic times, no expenditure is safe. And that even applies to locking up the most sexually predatory sex offenders, the topic of an Associated Press analysis piece published Monday.

Twenty states operate treatment facilities that keep sex offenders locked up indefinitely, including Washington — home to the nation’s first such program on McNeil Island. These so-called “sexual violent predators” haven’t committed a new crime, but under the Community Protection Act passed in 1990, they’re deemed too dangerous to risk having them on the streets.

But, as the AP found out, they’re expensive to keep locked up.

The AP said 5,200 sex offenders are in facilities, including on McNeil Island, at a price of around $500 million — about $96,000 per person. That’s a lot more than it costs to keep prison inmates locked up.

The story says such laws allowing the facilities were passed when budgets were bigger. And as Martiga Lohn writes:

“The programs have created a political quandary for lawmakers who desperately need to cut spending in the midst of a recession but don’t want to be seen as soft on rapists and child molesters.”

What do you think? Is it time to rethink spending all that money? Or are they simply too much of a risk in the community?

10 thoughts on “AP: Locking Away Sex Offenders Stressing State Budgets

  1. Are you SERIOUS??? How can it be MORE expensive to keep sex offenders locked up than it is to keep a lesser conviction? There are some violent sexual predertors out there- free- and you people want to send out more to this world full of vulnerable woman and children? That is absolutely sick and twisted. Here is what you should do: All violent sexual predetors should be locked up alone in a room with a toilet/sink contraption, a single sized flat matress, and 3 meals a day of Ramen noodles and/or Macaroni and Cheese. Keep their comunication with other inmates to a bare minimum (say 1 hour a day), they should have NO television to watch and if they want entertainment, they read a book-the most boring books ever printed. That is what you should do. You want to cut budgets? Keep our streets safe and take this into consideration.

  2. Euthanizing the sex offenders would be by far the cheapest and deserving, they take the life of their victim and should have theirs taken, These sick people cannot be rehabilitated. Maybe that would make other sickos think about the consequences.

  3. Josh, The Community Protection Act of 1990 was put in place because of a pervert named Earl Shriner. A known child predator the State of Wa released him in Tacoma and he committed a heinous against 7 year old Ryan Hade within weeks. From this crime the Tennis Shoe Brigade was formed to get laws in place to protect the rights of victims. (Something criminal justice does NOT care about).

    If the pervs are costing too much then make them work for their keep.
    Our own family had a run in with a relative that molested and abused over a dozen family members. Like a fool I thought the law would protect us. Wrong! We got the screwing of our lives by the system. We now are playing catch up,like taking care of our dental work which we put off to pay all the bills incurred. Our perv went to his grave with his assets intact.

    Two of the creep lawyers we had to deal with our now judges! Our children saw alot of lying and wheeling and dealing in the courtroom. Here’s a funny,two of the defense witnesses own children told me they were also incest victims after they learned their parent had been a witness.

    Good schools and nice parks mean nothing when your child has been harmed.

    Keep the pervs locked up and away from decent people. The kid you might save may be your own!

  4. “The programs have created a political quandary for lawmakers who desperately need to cut spending in the midst of a recession but don’t want to be seen as soft on rapists and child molesters.”

    No child should be vulnerable and subject to a convicted pervert turned loose to destroy another life.
    The crime isn’t against only one child -the crime is against the entire family whose lives are forever more changed because of that crime and our lax and uncaring society.

    The only solution then, is for each person who helps turn a convicted pervert loose and that pervert commits another crime against an innocent child will be jailed along with the person they let loose and who destroyed another child innocent with the adult betrayal. The ultimate betrayal by a society… that such a criminal should -ever – see the light of freedom to commit another atrocity against a child.

  5. “Euthanizing the sex offenders would be by far the cheapest and deserving, they take the life of their victim and should have theirs taken, These sick people cannot be rehabilitated. Maybe that would make other sickos think about the consequences.”

    I certainly understand the emotion behind your statement. I feel that way about women beaters, rapists and pedophiles.

    Unfortunately, the balance between who has more rights, the offenders or the victims gets muddy in our justice system.

  6. In my opinion, the sentence for this type of crime should automatically be life (if not the death penalty.) If they are deemed too great a risk to be let out (as they must have been if they’re sent to McNeil Island), they would never get parole. Then there would be no need for a separate facility for them, and they would cost the same as any other prisoner.

    We can obtain extra empty prison cells to put them in, extra money to keep them in the prison cells, and extra cops to hunt them down and put them in the prison cells in the first place by legalizing marijuana use and releasing everyone in jail or prison whose only crime is related to marijuana use. I don’t know about you, but I would rather see 1000 people smoke pot in their house, even if they are a burden on society because of it, then see 1 sexual predator go free and rape a child.

  7. What do you mean cheaper to let them go, how about the damage they have already done, not mention will most likely do in the future. I am tired of these bleeding heart liberals who say a level one or two is not likely to reoffend. How many more children are going to have to die, have their lives ruined because someone somewhere figured it was cheaper to let them out of prison. I have long held the belief that if you sexually molest or rape a child that should be life sentence with no possibility of parole period. These people can not be cured; they can not be treated successfully. While they are in prison they profess to have found God, they say they are sorry and will never again do such a thing. All they do is give mouth service to the program, conning the shrinks, and the liberals of the parole board into thinking they are safe for release. What is really happening is these animal get out after learning how to better hide and commit their next crime, Look at the last couple of child murders committed by sexual predators who were level 1’s, they killed their victims and hid the bodies. In the long run keeping them behind bars, locked away from the public forever is the cheaper way when you add in the long term cost of therapy for the victim, as well as emotional damage that lasts for a life time. Lock em up, throw away the key, or execute them either way is fine by me.

  8. Can anyone really put a price on the safety of our children?

    I don’t care if it gets to the point where the state has to establish a volunteer program to work at the prisons if it means that my children are that much safer. Put me at the top of that list.

    Besides, look at usdebtclock.org. We will always be in debt so at least keep our children safe.

  9. Yes, it’s time we stop spending money on this. And yes, these sexual perverts are too much of a risk to let out. So, everyone needs to come around to the right way of thinking. It’s high time we EXECUTED all these perverts.

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