McNeil Island, nestled in Puget Sound, is unpopulated except for the people who live at the special commitment center, a facility for former prison inmates. All men have served their sentence and yet, due to a controversial legal mandate, they remain confined indefinitely. The only way on and off the small island is a passenger-only ferry, which makes the minute trip every two hours.
The ferry docks at a defunct prison on the island and a bus takes employees and visitors to the facility a few miles inland. Along the way, the bus passes an overgrown baseball field and boarded-up houses, remnants of the prison employees and their families who called the island home until the prison closed in Few people who live in the region know about the island and its unusual residents, and even fewer know about the equally unusual law that put them there.
Each of the residents has previously been convicted of at least one sex crime — including sexual assault, rape and child molestation. Civil commitment centers, which exist in fewer than half of US states, are meant as a community safeguard and a means of providing treatment for the offenders. Criminal justice reform advocates fear the implications of predicting future risk and basing confinement on what someone might do. On top of that, these costly facilities also have low release numbers, making little known about whether they are doing anything to keep communities safer.
During the s and s, Malone worked as a Boy Scout troop leader in various states across the country, as well as with an organization that works with at-risk youth. In these roles, he molested numerous boys and was convicted of sex crimes in California, Oregon and Washington. About a year in, he learned about Buddhism from a magazine. He started meditating and corresponding with Buddhists outside of prison. Those emotions, he said, have more to do with how he feels about himself.
Instead, he said he feels regret. On 26 September , convicted sex offender Gene Raymond Kane abducted, raped and murdered year-old Diane Ballasiotes.
Sex Offender Registration
At the time of the incident, Kane had been released from prison to a work release center. The act was a package of laws aimed at sex offenders, including tougher sentences, a sex offender registration and the creation of a procedure that allowed authorities to indefinitely lock up sex offenders when a court believes them a continued threat to the community. Since then, 19 other states have enacted similar civil commitment laws. There are more than 5, people civilly committed in the US, according to a survey of 20 civil commitment centers.
About half of the states with such laws allow the commitment of individuals who offended as juveniles.
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A widely used tool, the StaticR, produces a score based on a number of mostly unchangeable things including criminal and relationship history. The results, along with other evidence such as expert testimony from psychologists, is presented to a judge or jury, who determine whether the offender meets the criteria. Miner said that aside from the problems with risk assessment, he questions the entire civil commitment process.
The US supreme court has upheld the constitutionality of civil commitment statutes three times. That is about five times more per person than the average cost to confine one Washington prisoner in , the most recent data. Miner points out that sex offenders have a relatively low reoffense rate.
Of the offenders convicted of rape and sexual assault who were released from prison in 30 states in , an estimated 5. The King County Sheriff's Office maintains a searchable database on all registered sex offenders in Washington. An informed public is a safer public.
Sex Offenders Living in Bellevue | City of Bellevue
Notification is not intended to increase fear. Registered Sex Offenders have always lived in our communities. Unless restricted by a court order, Registered Sex Offenders are constitutionally permitted to live wherever they choose. The legislature has determined that the purpose of the Community Protection Act of is "to assist law enforcement agency's efforts to protect their communities" by providing relevant and necessary information. The Department of Corrections, the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, and the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board are required to classify all sex offenders released from their facilities into levels of risk low, moderate, or high.
These agencies then issue to appropriate law enforcement agencies narrative notices regarding the pending release of sex offenders. The narrative notices describe the identity and criminal history behavior of the offender and shall include a risk level classification for the offender. Upon receiving a narrative notice, local law enforcement agencies review all available information and assign risk—level classifications to all sex offenders about whom information will be disseminated for the purpose of community notification.
Registered Sex Offenders
Remember that these lists of registered sex offenders only contain the names of sex offenders who are obeying their requirement to register with the sheriff's office. You can search for offenders by Zip Code or by an offender's name. This abuse could potentially terminate our ability to release this important information to the public. The vast majority of registered sex offenders are classified as Level I offenders.
They are considered at low risk to re—offend. These individuals may be first time offenders and they are usually known by their victims. They normally have not exhibited predatory type characteristics and most have successfully participated or are participating in approved treatment programs.
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Many are first time offenders. Information shall be shared with other law enforcement agencies and, upon request, relevant, necessary and accurate information may be disclosed to any victim or witness to the offense and to any individual community member who lives near the residence where the offender resides, expects to reside, or is regularly found. Level II offenders have a moderate risk of re—offending.