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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Minnesota and Texas Have "Roach Motel" Sexually Violent Predator Programs

In 1981, the Black Flag Roach Motel was introduced. "Roaches check in, but they don't check out."
The Duluth News Tribune reports that of all the states that have civil commitment of sexually violent predators, Minnesota is the only one that has never released anyone from civil commitment. This is not quite true; Texas has never released anybody either. The story seems to envision committed sexually violent predators "mov[ing] . . . through the community." Except to go to doctor's and dentist's appointments, it's extremely difficult for them to do anything but hang out at the halfway house. The story says that Washington state's program- generally, the model program- was held to be unconstitutional ten years ago. What was needed to make it constitutional was real treatment structured so that SVPs could earn their freedom. Texas doesn't meet that standard.

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