Washington State spends $12 million a year on legal bills for 280 sex offenders it has locked up indefinitely, says the Seattle Times. The “civil commitment” program has been plagued by runaway legal costs, a lack of financial oversight, and layers of secrecy.
The state has little or no control over the — nearly one-quarter of the commitment center’s budget. This results in overbilling and waste of taxpayer money at a time when the agency overseeing the center faces deep budget cuts. The civil-commitment law has created a cottage industry of forensic psychologists who have been paid millions of dollars for evaluating sex offenders and testifying across the state.