This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
Folks in Olympia may be soon looking for a new community to host 300 violent sexual psychopaths. Lakewood, call your home security service.
Those predators are now housed and supposedly getting treated at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. They are the worst of the worst – a small fraction of the state’s sex offenders.
They wind up at the SCC only if a court has concluded that they have committed a violent sex crime and suffer from “a mental abnormality” that hinders their control of sexual violence and are “more likely than not to engage in predatory acts of violence again.”
There’s a reason they confined to an island surrounded by deep, frigid water.
The Legislature now faces intense financial pressure to move them to the mainland. The SCC began to look like an extravagance last year, when the state shut down the regular prison on McNeil Island. The prison had shared some of the Special Commitment Center’s costs, an arrangement that originally made a good argument for the location.
Now the SCC is sitting out there by itself with an annual budget of more than $30 million a year. A large chunk of that, $6.6 million, results from the island location. The center also needs repairs and improvements – an estimated $12.2 million worth of work in the 2013-2015 biennium.
Most lawmakers would dearly love to divert that money to their pet projects.
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