Does it occur to anyone else that civil commitment for sex offenders deemed likely to reoffend is… a bit of a civil rights infringement? You don’t get to indefinitely detain people! If someone is in prison for assault and is deemed likely to punch people in the face again, we don’t keep them in prison for a few extra years to see if they’ll get better– particularly since, as far as I know, we don’t have any evidence-based treatment for sex offenses that ensures that people aren’t likely to reoffend. That’s a violation of due process rights, particularly since many people never get released from civil commitment (in fact, in Virginia just 23 people have been released in the last eight years).
The Static-99 questionnaire used to assess whether people should be civilly committed is not very good, either. It led to the release of a patient who was concerned that he wouldn’t be able to control his compulsion to have sex with children; on the other hand, it’s also led to a huge increase in the number of people who can be considered for civil commitment. That seems like the opposite of a good assessment procedure.
And now a private prison company wants to take it over? Christ.
Private prisons make a profit, unlike government prisons. In addition, they advertise themselves as being “cheaper” than government prisons. What that means is that they’re cutting services– such as the treatment that is the whole fucking reason people have civil commitment in the first fucking place. Not to mention that the private prison company’s motivation is entirely based around profit. You can only increase your profit, if you’re a private prison company, by either cutting services further or by putting more and more people in prison. So they’ll lobby to put more and more sex offenders in civil commitment, and they’ll refuse to release the ones that are already there, a spiralling circle of cost increases and due process violations.