New York state will build what the New York Post calls a “pervert prison” – a maximum-security facility for the most dangerous sex offenders. Gov. George Pataki said the facility is needed to confine 500 convicted sex predators considered too likely to strike again to let back on the streets after their prison terms are over. $130 million to cover construction will be part of the governor’s budget proposal next week. Pataki aides say there are similar facilities in other states including Florida, Washington, and California. “We think this will be the most state of the art, secure mental-health facility in the country when it opens,” one aide said.
While there won’t be any bars and offenders will not be locked in their rooms, there will be electronic surveillance within the facility and some restrictions on where they can go, the aide said. “Today there are 5,000 sexual predators awaiting release from New York’s prisons,” Pataki said. “We must do everything in our power to keep those who still represent a danger off our streets — and away from our children.” A new facility, which would open in 2009, would allow the mental-health system to keep dangerous sex offenders whose prison terms expire away from nonviolent mentally ill patients, Pataki said. Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union said the governor is “putting the cart before the horse” because New York does not yet have a civil-confinement law on the books.