Illinois prosecutors plan to meet this week with prison officials on why sex offender Julius Anderson wasn’t committed indefinitely to a detention facility after his release from prison, reports the Chicago Tribune. Anderson was placed on parole this summer; then he is alleged to have raped two women. The case is raising larger questions about a controversial law that allows Illinois courts to lock up sex offenders even after they have served their prison sentences.
Under the 11-year-old law, prosecutors have secured indefinite civil commitments for more than 400 offenders after arguing they had a mental illness and were substantially likely to offend again if released, according to state officials. Only 33 of the patients have successfully won release since 1998. The subjective process of selecting offenders for commitments has raised concerns. Affiliated Psychologists, a private agency hired by the Illinois Department of Corrections, reviews nearly 2,000 sex offenders released from prison each year. Most offenders whom the agency recommends to be committed end up remaining in custody, illustrating the sway of its evaluations. Affiliated Psychologists has no written protocol for deciding who should be recommended for civil commitment, said Barry Leavitt, its vice president. It draws on risk assessments and guidelines of the state’s Sex Offender Management Board.