Here’s the press release from DSHS about a court ruling on the constitutionality of the state’s civil commitment facility for sex offenders:
Appellate Court upholds the constitutionality
of the DSHS sex offender treatment program
OLYMPIA — A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of the DSHS Special Commitment Center treatment program for sexually violent predators.
The Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the March 2007 action of U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez to dissolve a federal injunction against the SCC. At one point, DSHS faced a contempt fine of $11 million before completing improvements that satisfied the court.
The underlying lawsuit, Turay v Richards, first went to trial in 1994. The last major court-required treatment improvement to the SCC was the opening of a transition facility in Seattle in 2005.
As he did two years ago, DSHS Deputy Secretary Blake Chard praised SCC staff for their hard work over the years to improve the mental health treatment of sex offenders. "We will continue to fine-tune our program to maintain its place as a leader in civil commitment programs," Chard said.
The 292 SCC residents are housed and treated at facilities on McNeil Island, in Seattle and in supervised less-restrictive living quarters in various communities.