Begun in 1994, Wisconsin’s $32 million program to reform high-risk sex offenders is planned to double in size through a proposed expansion of the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center, says the Wisconsin State Journal. Despite costing taxpayers nearly four times what it costs to keep an offender in prison, Sand Ridge and a companion center near Oshkosh have contradictions built into their cores, says the newspaper:
Billed as places for the worst sex offenders, the centers house just a small fraction of those whose crimes make them eligible to be sent there after prison. Most are released from prison directly to supervision. The program has a goal of treating patients to provide “a safer return to the community.” Taking part in treatment is voluntary, and officials say up to half of the patients at Sand Ridge are untreatable. Finding a home for patients judged ready for release can add months or years to their stays, with delays often driven by public opposition. Even after release, patients aren’t deemed anything like “cured.” Treatment providers must only reduce their risk of re-offense from worse than that of an average sex offender to the same as an average sex offender. Last year, it cost taxpayers about $27,800 to house a prison inmate for a year. The average annual cost for a sex offender for treatment after prison: $102,500.