Topeka Lawmakers on Tuesday expressed concern about the effectiveness and increasing cost of the state's sex predator treatment program.
"There doesn't seem to be any treatment program that can claim success," said state Rep. Bob Bethell, R-Alden, chairman of the House social services budget subcommittee.
But, Bethell said, the sex predator treatment program "is one that is absolutely necessary" to treat and hold people who are still a danger to society.
The program at Larned State Hospital is at capacity with 160 people. It provides treatment for convicted sex offenders who have finished their prison sentences, but have been civilly committed to Larned under the Kansas Sexual Predator Law.
Several members of the House Appropriations Committee asked why the state had to pay for treatment if it didn't appear that treatment was helping.
Ray Dalton, a deputy secretary with Social and Rehabilitation Services, said treatment must be provided to legally hold the offenders after they have fulfilled their prison sentence.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has proposed supplemental budget increases of nearly $800,000 to hire 28 more people to operate the program.
One of those will be an additional lawyer to respond to litigation filed by offenders in the program. Already one attorney is assigned to that task but "it's getting (to be) too much for this lawyer to handle," Dalton said.