Maybe putting sex offenders on an island wasn’t such a good idea

The Tacoma News Tribune reported Sunday that some state lawmakers are hoping to move the state’s center for sexually violent predators off McNeil Island in South Puget Sound.

The move could save the state some $6.6 million a year. The problem with moving it: would you want to live next door to such a place?

The center, which the Kitsap Sun devoted a special report to in December 2010, was a bit cheaper to run when the state Department of Corrections ran a prison on the island, and could save money by having inmates work aboard the ferries and other core island tasks. But now that corrections is gone, the Special Commitment Center, home to nearly 300 people deemed sexually violent, is even more expensive.

The SCC houses those who’ve done their prison time but have been determined by a jury to be too dangerous to release until they can be treated.

I ask you, dear readers: Is it worth saving the money to move this facility?

19 thoughts on “Maybe putting sex offenders on an island wasn’t such a good idea

  1. Josh,

    The first problem to be faced is, where will the center be placed? I do not believe very many citizens and municipalities will want this placed near them. Just look at what DSHS had to go through to place a sexual offender halfway house in the SODO neighborhood in Seattle.

  2. Okay, I presume we are not talking about people who got arrested for indecent exposure because they lost their trunks while water skiing. Presumably these are horrible predators who will stop at nothing to get at their victims until they have been judged “cured” of their lusts. No, I don’t want them living next door, or anywhere else that they might have access to victims. Let ‘em hold bake sales or something.

  3. Sharon,

    first the neighborhood would have to be identified. No neighborhood will want a sexual offender center (irredeemable) in the area. These are the “people” that have been judged not eligible to be in society where victims can be found, it doesn’t matter if the victims are 5 – 90 years old, male or female, they are sexual predators and have shown no remorse for their destruction of innocent lives.

  4. As an attorney that represents those housed at the SCC on McNeil Island, I am always interested in what the public has to say about the process that Washington has developed in an effort to handle these offenders. There are many options to save money that do not involve “violent offenders” living next door to vulnerable citizens. (However, I find it equally interesting that people are not aware they live among sex offenders in their communities already). The irony is that since we are so “tough on crime” these days, making broad sweeping laws based off of anecdotal incidents that apply to a very small number of people, we have created this problem of siphoning huge amounts of money to areas that do not (or are barred from, often by statute) use the money in the most productive ways long term. The “location” of the SCC is not the SCC’s biggest problem. Dig deeper.

  5. “…siphoning huge amounts of money to areas that do not (or are barred from, often by statute) use the money in the most productive ways long term. The “location” of the SCC is not the SCC’s biggest problem. Dig deeper….”

    Interesting comments Jennifer. What IS the SCC’s biggest problem

  6. I am limited as to how I can respond given my position. But I can offer a resource: “Assessing Sex Offenders, Problems and Pifalls” by Terence W. Campbell.

    Here is a relevant portion: “Despite being the first program to enact a SVP statute (1990), numerous problems have plagued Washington’s program. In 1994 a federal district court found that Washington had failed to provide constitutionally mandated treatment. The federal court identifies the following problems: most of the treatment staff were inexperienced in treating sex offenders . . . The training had been ad hoc, consisting mostly of lectures . . . no clinical psychologist or psychiatrist regularly available . . . Treatment plans with objective measures had not been developed, making it difficult to know if the individual was improving . . . Trust is important for successful treatment. There was little trust between residents and staff. Staff had been verbally abusive . . .

    The federal court ordered the state of Washington to improve the quality of its program and personnel. In 1999, however, the federal court ruled Washington’s response was inadequate. The federal court then found the state of Washington in contempt, fining it $50 per day per resident. As of November 26, 2001, the fines had accumulated to $3.5 million . . . suspended payment as long as the state of Washington demonstrated progress in complying with the court’s orders.

    Washington’s experience demonstrates how SVP statutes are too often implemeted haphazardly without sufficient consideration for costs and benefits. Costly as SVP programs are, they are frequently underfunded. Without adequate funding, SVP programs may provide shoddy services that fall far short of their intentions. Unfortunately, too many legislators find the political appeal of SVP statutes irresistible. The political advantages of appearing tougher on sex offenders, along with the benign intent of “treating” them seduces politicians. Simultaneously, they neglect to carefully think through the many problems created by the SVP statutes.”

    Basicially, if you do not believe in the program having any value or success in rehabilitating sex offenders, then do not create the program. Otherwise be prepared for the public to be furious. It is like paying to heat Safeco field while the roof is open. Then getting sued and fined by the federal government who saw that your effort to make it any warmer was a sham to begin with.

  7. So first the state arrests someone and spends ten of thousands of dollars proving they are sane. Convicts them and spends tens of thousands dollars imprisoning them. Then spends tens of thousands proving they are NOT sane and spends tens of thousands of dollars to inter them in a 3-star concentration camp for “treatment”, which costs tens of thousands of dollars. The “sex offender” industry at work! Siphoning millions from the taxpayers to line their own pockets.

  8. from what I have read , sex offenders actually have an orientation . So the problem appears to be more do we want to try to use methods that sometimes may work , most often do not to rehabilitate sex offenders. Just like trying to rehabililitate someone from being hetrosexual , perhaps you can stop some from particpating in their orienation , but we have even seen the best intentioned people fall off the wagon so to speak .

    I am in favor of keeping these individuals locked up , severly increasing the penalty for crimes . Not for them to be punished in the sense of serving sentences with horrible living arrangements , or putting them in the general population of regular offenders . Which more often then not are drug related .

    The expense of keeping these people locked up seem to be way over the amount of regular prisoners if my information was correct .

    Jenifer is right , there are many sexual offenders who have put back into our neiborhoods . Recent events tell us even into our Universitys .

    Lock them securely , humanely , then figure out what we can afford . But I have to say I believe we have many more priritys then trying to treat sexual offenders with attemts at rehabilitation . The cost to society is much greater when they are out in the communitys then when they are in jail in my opinion .

  9. Mick, that sounds a lot like the original German solution to the “Jewish Problem” in the thirties, and we all know how that turned out. We do not need a concentration camp for sex offenders who the system dosn’t want to release. We have existing secure mental health facitlites for the violently mentally ill.

    The fact is that the vast majority of sex offenders do not commit a new sex crime. Their recivitisim rate is far lower than the Industry wants you to believe, and the complicit media is all to happy to Spread the Panic. So-called sex crimes (many/most of which do not involve a sex act)are the root of a billion dollar industrythat has no interest in reporting the truth. They rely on the sheeple believing the misinformation and continuing to support the Tax Funded gulags and other programs (and the payroll that goes with them)for their livlihoods, why would they want to “rehabilitate” any of their cash cows? Mick the “cost to society” here is the sacrifice of the liberty of us all, if it is “ok” to randomly lock some one up for something they “might” do that imperils us all.

  10. yep , me and Adolf have alot of similiarities Mike .

    But locking sex offenders up with the regular prison population endangers the sex offenders the most . I do have hatred for the sex offender , in most cases, if they have a conscience , their guilt may be more then a penalty and justice system will ever bring upon them . Perhaps its my pre 30s nazi concepts of showing concern for those we ock up . ;0)

    http://www.vnews.com/sexcrimes/recidivism.htm

    The re offender rate is about 5 percent with treatment if studies are correct . 30 percent if not treated .

    So say 10,000 sex offenders released, only 500 kids get molested again . You think that that is a good thing ? Ok , only 500 I guess is your reasoning . .

    But I don’t . Since you believe in a concept of liberty is under fire by keeping sex offenders behind bars is hurting all our freedoms , the 10,000 sex offenders who are released with out treatment are what , molesting 3000 kids . What the heck , liberty is saved ?

    I see certain crimes that deserve harsh penalties , murder is one . life behind bars . Molesting a defenseless child , I consider that right up their with the most hideous of crimes . For one the young child turns into an adult . The crime he or she lives with often remains part of their life in a detrimental way . There will never be justice for that child . Never . No matter if the person who commited the perverted crime is re trained to act approriately or not . No matter if the sex offender commits the crime before or after he or she was released from prison .

    your thought or belief is we lock someone up for what they may do is a side issue , its the original crime that agaisnt the most vulernable among us , the child who does not have the full force of society to protect it , will no longer have debates about liberty in the future in my opinion . There will be none .

    You do not agree . Your comparison to Nazi germany is well taken .
    Off to my gas chamber .

  11. While I understand your concern for the “safety” of children you conviently overlook the historical precedent that once you start taking away the freedoms of one group of “undesireable” people, Gypsies for example, it gets easier to go after the gays, then the catholics, then the Jews, then eventually you will find yourself in tha next “undesireable” group, and there’s no one left to speak for the rights you so eagerly stripped from someone else.

    The recivitisim rate for sex offenders across the board, “treatment” or not, is less then 5%. http://www.leg.state.vt.us/workGroups/sexoffenders/AWA_SORNsummary
    in the first three years after release, and actually goes down from there. You speak directly to the crime of Child Molestation, are you aware that molestation doesn’t require any kind of actual sex act? In fact it specifically excludes sex acts in its definition. You can “molest” a child by patting him on the head! Hugging is a felony sex crime! Molestation is the only offence with no requirement for corrobrative evidence, hearsay as admissable evidence, and a 98% conviction rate. The “testimony” of an accuser is all it takes.
    You have no idea how frequently false molestation charges fly in divorce cases, and how many innocent parents are rotting in jails as we speak, you would be outraged if you knew the truth, and were not in lockstep with the abuse industry propaganda.
    There is no real correlation between childhood victimization and future offences.

    I believe that if we have determined that crime “a” is punishable by sentence “b” and an individual is PROVEN by a true Standard of Evidence(not just an unsubstantiated accusation) to have comitted Crime “a” then he/she should serve sentence “b” and then be allowed to resume citizenship with their “debt” paid. If you don’t think that sentence “b” is sufficent than work the process to have it changed, don’t try to backdood an additional sentence posing as a bogus “treatment” program.

  12. “…”undesireable” people, Gypsies for example, it gets easier to go after the gays, then the catholics, then the Jews, then eventually you will find yourself in tha next “undesireable” group, and there’s no one left to speak for the rights you so eagerly stripped from someone else. …”

    There are ‘groups’ and then there are ‘groups’…we are speaking here of convicted incorrigible sexual offenders….not Jews, Catholics and the like.
    Law breaking, convicted sexual offenders deserve nothing more than to keep them away from society until they die. They deserve nothing beyond reasonable – tv, books, cot – care.

    No computers or Internet access for writing letters to the editor or to blogs such as this one.

  13. Mike I never defended putting people in prison for patting children on the head . You needed to make that false point to make a point ? With who ? If your having a conversation with me , realize I will know I never said such a thing . ;0)

    The fact you are comparing gypsies to child molesters make the conversation quite weird . As if sexually molesting a vuklerbale child is just jay walking . But it better then comparing me and Adolf , so your getting better I guess. But have to wonder if you at all understand the topic , you appear to be looking at it from defensece attorney angle only . I have not once heard you speak on behalf of those who are sexually molested . What studies have you investigated to what happens to them , or actually how many perverted acts on children ever even get reported . What is the effect on society , the fact that we have people in our neigborhoods with the label most likely to re offend on their faces on web sites .

    You conveniently forget about them . I really don’t care if the person is homosexual, heterosexualexualJew , Catholic ,Wiccan or protestant, atheist or whatever . I put the crime of child molestation as a crime in the range of the highest category against humanity, I don’t consider the locking up proven sexual predators as a human rights violation against them . Other states have toughened up there laws . Nothing is sicker then a society that knowingly releases a person they believe will molest a child again because they lack the fortitude to make provide jail space for those who commit such crimes and laws to do it .

    I am well aware of of false accusation of others , We have all read not in just molestation cases , but murder cases and such where innocent people go to jail . We seen many cases of false accusations in marital disputes as well .
    We do not reduce the penalties for murder because the system is not perfect . We do not change the penalty for assault with a deadly weapion because at times people have been falsely accused . We should not allow a person to sexually molest a child and ever have a chance to do it again .

    You don’t , fair enough . Your the defender of the child molester because you just think they are undesirable , because next will be gypsies and jews . if that works for you ?

    I happen to think the original crime , not the possibilty of the person committing it again is enough for a long sentence behind bars .

  14. Sharon, thanks for the slanderous innuendo,If you think that will make me go away you’re wrong. By the way SCC internees do not have internet access. Jews who owned property in Berlin were also lawbreakers after that was outlawed by the NAZI government, so were homosexuals (sex offenders!) did that make it ok to round them up? That’s aparantly what you would have us do. That’s a pretty slippery slope.

    Mick, I am talking about people who have already paid the price society has placed on their offences. You would lock them away withot cause, tossing away the most basic of rights because of something they might do, that is exactly the how the Holocaust began and now 14 million corpses later you’d start down that same primrose path, Mick if your feeling a little Hitlerish it’s because you’re advocating much the same position.Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.
    If you want to increase the penalty for the original offence then you need to understand what the offence really is, yes you can be convicetd with no evidence for something no reasonable person would consider a Sex Act. If you want to make these things a capital offence fine, just do it knowing that you are casting a very wide and amorphus net into which you could just as easily be ensnared.

    Perhaps my perspective is diffrent, I have seen both sides of this up close and personal,I have a close friend who died in prison before he could be cleared of the false charges against him, a case based on the coerced testimony of his 7 year old grandaughter, Her mother admitted to have invented the story and forcing the little girl to parrot it to the police, case workers, therapists, and prosecutors and whoever else for over a year while my friend spent everything he had to defend himself. His Widow has nothing left to retire, and the girl attepmted suicide on her 12th birthday, confessing to the lies in the note she left. She survived but is seriously damaged by her mothers attack on her Grandfather, using her as the weapon.

    I have patched up a couple kids beaten to a bloody pulp by their stepfather and had the “authorities” refuse to even take a report.

    I know a young man who was used sexually by family members for more than a decade as a child, he feels that the “therapy” foisted on him as a victim was far more damaging than the “abuse”.

    This is a very complicated issue. The Abuse industry would have you believe in the myth of the drooling predator lurking in the bushes, fear of this bogeyman keeps the tax money flowing. Make no mistake this is all about keeping the money flowing, the indusrty cares nothing for the victims.

    It might surprise you that I would support stiffer sentences for abusers but only for those convicted with real, tangeable evidence, not just baseless accusations.

    I am defending all of us really from surendering to an unaccountable Government beaurcracy the power to simply “declare” anyone they find undesireable a “danger” and inter them into “humane” captivity. I object to the ease by which ambitious prosecutors and unscruplous adults use vague laws and unreliable testimony to secure evidenceless convictions for serious “crimes of intent”.

    Our system of justice is based in the ancient Ango-Saxon concept of Pennance and redemption, if you commit an offence, you pay the penalty and you are redeemed. We have been wandering away from that for the last 60 years or so and it isn’t making any of us more safe. Concentration Camps, no matter how comfy, are a direct threat to Libery that you can’t see it is a shame.

  15. “Mick if your feeling a little Hitlerish it’s because you’re advocating much the same position.Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.”

    Well actually Mike that was a bit of satire on my part from your previous obnoxious remark , but I welcome the comparison from you who defend child molesters. You equate those whose force perverted sex on children being treated in courts as Gypsies and such. Well I actually thought you might realize what you said , only hope your side of the issue will use you for the debate next time . For the thousands of children who never report because of the guilt they feel , what the child feels . We get your sad story . Right up with your Hitler comparisons . Obviously your pain has only caused a SELECTIVE sensitivity to people . The silent ones , ahhh forget them , right Mike .

    “It might surprise you that I would support stiffer sentences for abusers but only for those convicted with real, tangeable evidence, not just baseless accusations.”

    Read more: http://pugetsoundblogs.com/kitsap-crime/2011/11/28/maybe-putting-sex-offenders-on-an-island-wasnt-such-a-good-idea/#ixzz1fFU1DCLC

    In fact we often hear of perverted sexual predators if they are caught cause a long line of victims finally come forward . The rates of child molestation are way under reported , not over. A 2002 study by the United States Department of Justice indicated that recidivism rates among sex offenders was 5.3%; that is, about 1 in 19 of released sex offenders were later arrested for another sex crime. The same study mentioned that 68% of released non-sex offenders were rearrested for any crime (both sex and non-sex offenses), while 43% of the released sex offenders were rearrested for any crime (and 24% reconvicted).[2]

    Your link which actually spokerecidivismvism rates ,the person writing the paper was a person who makes their living and supporting an industry which makes a profit by treating released sexual offenders . i figured as much there was a stake in her spin . She shows increased rates increasing after three years . And on another web page after i googled her name you find statistics actually are show a worse rate as the years go by . But the most interesting she had different rates on one site then another for the same thing , perhaps the dates of the papers were done on different times , I know child molester defence is a carreer job these days .

    A 2002 study by the United States Department of Justice indicated that recidivism rates among sex offenders was 5.3%; that is, about 1 in 19 of released sex offenders were later arrested for another sex crime. The same study mentioned that 68% of released non-sex offenders were rearrested for any crime (both sex and non-sex offenses), while 43% of the released sex offenders were rearrested for any crime (andre convictedicted).

    So using the data as saying because your a child molester you are not as bad as say a drug user who re offends at a higher rapplesapplesa and oranges .

    Your defending no one but child molesters . You have used data in a way to make it appear sex offenders just have a bad day and say hey , let me force anadvantagedvanatage on a young person . Oh well ,

    Fortunately many states have not listened to your side of the view , that kids have no rights , that child molesters not only have special rights that they should be held less accountable because they MIGHT be falsely accused , that because of our system of tria by jury and guibeyondded beyound a reasonable doubt this somehow brings us to Nazis .

    The story you told leaveunderstandingubnderstandng of your view , and not sure how I would respond . I would hope if I did share your opinion on this , I woularticulateto articluale it beattemptd not attemet to you . Your standing up for all of uspejoratives perjvitriolic analogieslic anologies suggests you stand up for yourself and your opinion only .

    “It might surprise you that I would support stiffer sentences for abusers but only for those convicted with real, tangeable evidence, not just baseless accusations.”

    Thats the only kind of convictions i will supprot for short or long sentences Mike . If their is not evidence in our system you are innocent till proven guilty . Perhaps if you lived in this country and not in some hight and mighty palace that would happen more often . Till then , your part of the problem .

  16. Unfortunately, when there exists a malignant ailment it must be removed and or destroyed. This is a fact in medicine and used in daily treatment of humans. What we need to do to determine to the best of our human capacity at this time whether the individual is malignant and if so, remove them from society or destroy them. Cost cannot be considered. It is either removal or destruction. Both have their costs involved, emotionally and financially. However, the solution remains the same.

  17. no child wants older people selfish attention, they begin by making friends, which kids are always friendly,= why should a childs freedom be taken away by a groomsman that was probably groomed themselves, sickness spreads, these people can earn thier own way in a semi locked up society, the island is big, let them be contained and do labor work, be productive, be guarded, and sell thier wares, and make some profit, most are not volient, just selfish and can not contain thier needs just to themselves, they prey on youngher or others to full fill thier needs!the island is away from the general public and doesn’t have to have internet use or the like!

  18. I am sure glad that non-sexual criminals never re-offend. They serve their time and get released fully rehabilitated. They don’t even have to tell everyone where they live. What a great prison system we have!

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