Letters to the Editor

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SCC: What about the prisoners’ rights?

Letter by Edith Chan, Seattle on Nov. 30, 2011 at 11:32 am | 20 Comments »
November 30, 2011 11:32 am

Re: “Budget cuts may bring sex offenders to mainland” (TNT, 11-27).

The article was about possibly moving the Special Commitment Center from McNeil Island to the mainland.

My problem with this article is not the move itself, but the fact that you describe the prisoners as  “those deemed so dangerous the courts have confined them even though their prison sentences are over.”

What happened to the prisoners’ rights? If their prison sentences is over, then why are they still being confined? What happened to rehabilitation? Are we just locking people up now and throwing away the key without even trying to rehabilitate them and committing them without thinking about their basic right of freedom?

People assume that sex offenders are beyond help, but really what they need most is rehabilitation and a chance to be integrated back into society. When did prisons become a dumping ground for sex offenders?

What we need if we are to close the McNeil Island SCC is the creation of a program that focuses on rehabilitation and treatment for convicted sex offenders. If we want to make up the deficit of the budget, then why are we not focusing on rehabilitation, which has been proven time and time again will lower the lifetime cost of a felon because of the lower recidivism rate once the offenders has been in treatment?

Prison is not and should never be a dumping ground for our most violent offenders. We need to focus on treatment for prisoners.

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