Texas Faces Housing Crisis For Sexually Violent Predators


The Texas agency responsible for supervising, monitoring and providing treatment to sexually violent predators is facing a housing crisis, the Texas Tribune reports. The Office of Violent Sex Offender Management is out of space to house sex offenders being released from prison, agency officials told the House Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services. “Everyone I've called, no one has come up with a building we can move into,” said agency director Marsha McLane.

The agency was created in 2011 to track sexually violent predators and provide them treatment through a civil commitment program in an effort to reduce the likelihood of repeated predatory behavior. Sexual predators are defined as individuals who have committed at least two sexually violent offenses and suffer from a “behavioral abnormality” that deems them a threat to society. When those individuals are released from prison, they can be ordered to enter the agency's civil commitment program. Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle reported that Texas routinely sent sex offenders back to prison as new arrivals entered its civil commitment program, lacking funds to accommodate all of those being confined for what is supposed to be ongoing treatment.

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