About 1,000 sex offenders are released from state
prisons every year.
most, come back into our communities with that level
of warning, signifying their likelihood to reoffend.
But, a select few are flagged as potentially sexually
violent - and, sent not to a prison, but to a state
mental facility on an island in Puget Sound.
I MADE THAT COLD FERRY RIDE TO MCNEIL ISLAND ABOUT
10 YEARS AGO..
THE NUMBERS THEN AT THE SPECIAL COMMITMENT CENTER
WERE ABOUT THE SAME AS THEY ARE TODAY - RIGHT NOW,
243 MEN AND ONE WOMAN, DEEMED SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS
IN A CIVIL TRIAL.
WHILE THE FACILITY ITSELF IS EXTREMELY SECURE.
LIFE WITHIN THE WALLS IS MUCH MORE RELAXED FOR MOST
THEY COME AND GO AS THEY PLEASE.
SOME HAVE ROOMS THAT LOOK LIKE COLLEGE DORMS.
THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TO TREAT MENTAL DEFICIENCES
THE STATE SAYS KEEP THEM FROM NOT HARMING OTHERS.
BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE TREATMENT.
AND, MANY NEVER DO.
AT THE TIME I VISITED, NO SEX OFFENDER HAD LEFT THE
ISLAND FOR GOOD.
THE FEW WHO HAD BEEN GRANTED CONDITIONAL RELEASE REOFFENDED
AND WERE BACK ON THE ISLAND.
BUT THAT HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY.
AS OF YESTERDAY, MORE THAN 120 OFFENDERS HAD BEEN
DEEMED BY A JUDGE TO BE READY FOR RELEASE.
SO, WHERE DO THEY GO?
WE ASKED THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
AND THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.
INEXPLICABLY, BOTH AGENCIES SAID THEY DON'T TRACK
THE STATE DID SAY MOST OFFENDERS ARE RELEASED TO KING,
PIERCE AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES.
AND, THAT TWO RELEASED TO SPOKANE IN A MATTER WEEKS
IS HIGHLY UNUNUSAL.
I also asked how many of those released reoffend,
which would put them not on McNeil Island, but back
Strangely, neither agency could provide that information.
but, I'll keep asking.
I'm Melissa Luck, kxly4 news.