Expectations Of State Sex Offender Laws Falling Short


New York State’s plan to confine sex offenders beyond their prison terms was hailed as a national model by Gov. Eliot Spitzer. The New York Times says in the first article in a series that in state after state, expectations of such laws have fallen short.

The newspaper examined the impact of state laws and found that sex offenders selected for commitment are not always the most violent, and some are past the age at which some scientists consider them most dangerous; treatment regimens are expensive and largely unproved, and there is no way to compel patients to participate; the cost is virtually unchecked and growing–states are spending nearly $450 million on them this year; and unlike prisons and other institutions, civil commitment centers receive little independent oversight or monitoring; sex among offenders is sometimes rampant, and, in one facility, sex has been reported between offenders and staff members.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/04/us/04civil.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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