Mental health experts are opposing Rhode Island officials’ attempt to have a convicted sexual predator, scheduled for release Friday, detained at the state’s psychiatric hospital, the Providence Journal reports. The unprecedented step of committing Todd McElroy to a locked ward simply to prolong his incarceration, would be a “gross abuse” of psychiatric standards, critics said. Rather than being detained, mental-health officials said McElroy should be tightly monitored on probation and immediately arrested if he violates any conditions of his release. McElroy will be on probation for the next 25 years.
McElroy, 39, was sentenced in 1989 to serve 17 years of a 42-year sentence for kidnapping and raping a 10-year-old boy. At the time, he was on probation for two other sexual assaults. Last week, state corrections director A.T. Wall called McElroy’s behavior in prison “abysmal.” H. Reed Cosper, the state’s mental-health advocate, blamed much of McElroy’s repeated prison infractions, including attacks on staff and inmates, on improper medical care. During his time in prison, McElroy served almost 4 1/2 years in punitive isolation.