From McNeil Island to Our Neighborhoods: Tracking sexual predators
SPOKANE, Wash. — The release of two men from Washington’s Special Commitment Center to Spokane in recent weeks is raising questions about the safety of our communities from those deemed sexually violent predators.
Charles Tillman was released to Spokane without condition, meaning he is free to come and go as he pleases and doesn’t have to check in with a probation officer. David McCuisition was granted LRA – less restrictive alternative – which means he’s under state supervision and has to comply with strict rules and regulations.
Both men were released from the state’s facility on McNeil Island, where they were ordered to spend time and receive treatment after their release from prison on sex offenses.
The SCC is not a prison; it’s a mental health facility operated by Department of Social and Health Services. The facility sits on an island in Puget Sound, which has served as a prison site since the late 1870’s. A 20-minute ferry ride from Steilacoom, the island is isolated and the facility is surrounded by razor wire. But, within the fences, most offenders come and go as they please. Rooms look, in some cases, like college dorms.
For years, no offender had been released from the facility. Now, DSHS says more than 120 men have been released in recent years. We asked the state where they’ve gone and were told both by DSHS and the Attorney General’s Office that they don’t track that information.
The state does say that most offenders go to Pierce, King and Snohomish Counties. State agencies also say having two men released to Spokane in a matter of weeks is extremely rare.
Once released, if sexually violent predators re-offend, they go to prison, not back to the SCC. KXLY4 News asked the state how many have reoffended and we were told that information is not available.