Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Who’s bringing the ‘candy’ into the Special Commitment Center?

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on Oct. 1, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
October 2, 2009 12:11 pm

Consider the source, but we’ve gotten several letters from sexual predators at the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center who insist that child pornography is getting into the place through staff members. (Seven of the center’s sex offenders were recently indicted for possessing child porn.)

One writes:

For the past four years I have been at the center, all of our incoming mail is first X-rayed, then is checked closely by the SCC mailroom staff when residents open their mail. Pictures that come in from our family and friends are looked at closely before we are allowed to have them. …

All packages we residents get must first be approved. Then when the package is received here in our mailroom, it is opened in front of the resident by the mailroom staff and every item is checked …

And so on. The conclusion:

So, editorial board, if pornography cannot get in through the mail, and cannot come in with visitors, and since residents (are) only allowed escorted off-island trips for major medical and court appearances, what source does that leave? STAFF.

Another, somewhat less appealing, letter, from a child rapist:

To stop staff from selling porn for extra bucks, arrest staff, not mental health patients. The patients are there because they are ill. Why are we punishing them? That is like punishing a child for eating a piece of candy we gave them!

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