Archive for Sunday, December 20, 2009

Price high for sex offender treatment expansion

SRS seeks $40M to increase capacity at Larned State Hospital

December 20, 2009


— Facing perhaps the worst budget crisis in state history, some lawmakers are balking at the prospect of spending tens of millions of dollars to expand the controversial Sexual Predator Treatment Program.

The program treats convicted sex offenders who have finished their prison sentences, but are kept confined through a civil commitment because of an assessment that they would be a continuing threat to the community.

But the program’s costs continue to increase, and some have questioned its effectiveness.

There are currently 189 people in the program, which is housed at Larned State Hospital. The capacity at Larned for the program is 214, and that is expected to be surpassed in 2012.

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has proposed a 90-bed expansion at Larned that will cost $2.5 million to plan and approximately $40 million to construct.

This comes at a time when Gov. Mark Parkinson and the Legislature have slashed spending several times across all areas of state government, including education, health, social services and public safety.

At a recent meeting of the House-Senate Building Construction Committee, several members were taken aback at the price tag of the sexual predator program expansion.

Noting cuts that have been made at mental health community centers, Rep. Bill Feuerborn, D-Garnett, said, “My concern is that we’re concerned about sex predators, but maybe we are not worried about mental health services at other institutions. I don’t support the SRS plan to build new facilities at Larned.”

Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire, also voiced opposition to the plan.

Sen. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, said some kind of balance must be struck between budget pressures and maintaining a treatment program that can withstand court challenges.

“I share the concerns about the $40 million,” he said.

The law that set up the sexual predator treatment program was prompted by the 1993 rape and murder of a Pittsburg State University student by a sex offender who had been released from prison seven months earlier. It was challenged up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the program on a 5-4 vote. Those who have challenged the law say it is unconstitutional to hold someone after he or she has finished a prison sentence.


redmorgan 8 years, 6 months ago

The best "treatment" for them would be a .40 caliber to the brain.

bigdave 8 years, 6 months ago

redmorgan (Anonymous) says…

The best “treatment” for them would be a .40 caliber to the brain.

And I will do it for free!!!! I would pay to do it!!!

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 6 months ago

you can't treat them their problem is power / control issues

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 6 months ago

"you can't treat them their problem is power / control issues"

Actually you can; it's called a bullet to the head.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 6 months ago

I agree with branding them that way they can suffer for a lifetime just like their victims.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

why are we imprisoning them instead of getting them immediate treatment? is it better to lock someone way for 5-10 years, make sure they're good and repressed and institutionalized, then let them out and begin a treatment program? why aren't we putting them into a program on day one?

Our entire criminal justice system is skewed and we had better do something about it soon. The United States has more people locked up in prison than anywhere else on earth. The current system isn't really helping to reform anyone, and it's costing us hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

trinity 8 years, 6 months ago

i am just flabbergasted that anybody had the audacity to ask for that kind of money, in the first place-what with the entire judicial system having week long furloughs looming as a possibility. geez louise. if there's 40+mil laying around up for grabs-how's about putting it toward oja so that we can keep working full time??? and not have to close down the courts at ALL???

trinity 8 years, 6 months ago

oh ps-i think bill feuerborn would make an excellent dem candidate for governor!

trinity 8 years, 6 months ago

areU, the whole sex offender thing at Larned is a treatment program...that they are wanting to expand.

i do not disagree that the criminal justice system is not what it should/could be.

Stephen5000 8 years, 6 months ago

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jaywalker 8 years, 6 months ago

"why aren't we putting them into a program on day one?"

Any program other than chemical castration is a waste of money. There is no "rehabilitation" for sex offenders, the psychologic community has posited this for years.

acg 8 years, 6 months ago

Sex offenses against children should be either a life imprisonment sentence or the death penalty. Or, maybe we should use them as the guinea pigs the medical community needs in order to improve our medicines and surgery skills. There should be no other options open to them. They are scum and should be treated as such. Don't spend one single penny of our tax dollars confining them anywhere. If its that much of a problem, then we need to get the gallows built and start cleaning them out.

trinity 8 years, 6 months ago

i totally agree acg. i've taken a tour of the larned facility within the last year or so-and i tell ya, i thought it was very huge and seemed more than enough for its "stated purpose"; and now to hear that they want more money-wow. that blew me away. heck there were empty UNITS-not just a bed here&there, but UNITS-when i toured it!

acg 8 years, 6 months ago

barry, give it up. Stop trying to blame everything on Democrats, You're a one trick pony and everyone is tired of hearing it. You've become a boil on the ass of humanity.

somedude20 8 years, 6 months ago

The C.L.a.P??? Don't think so chief more like the C.R.A.P (Cheney,Rice,Ashcroft and Powell) cause all of this (you know 8 years of lies, death, running the USA into the ground)

head in the sand, denile aint just a rive, and hatred of people different than yourself

natural selection will weed you out

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

trinity, i understand that Larned is for rehabilitating, but why are we warehousing them in jail first? then when their time is up, we begin treatment. that just doesn't make sense.

It looks like some people say there is no hope for those who commit sexual assaults. I find it hard to believe that out of the tens or hundreds of thousands of cases, there is no chance of helping any of these people get beyond their issues.

how about we turn one major prison in this country into a place for perverts. then we can try different tactics. modern science grows by leaps and bounds every single day. Why would we give up hope that something could be done, short of killing or castrating every sex offender, Which has been the societal cry for hundreds and thousands of years. "we don't know what to do about it, lets kill them".

acg 8 years, 6 months ago

Norml, generally I agree with u on most everything, esp. being an avid norml supporter, but I have to disagree with you here. Recidivism for this particular type of crime is at 95%. 95 out of 100 of these sickos will do it again. I'm not willing to try and save the 5 that may not. My feelings towards child sex offenders has grown stronger since I became a parent, and maybe that makes me a bit biased, but when I look at my little daughter's face and think of the atrocities that befall little kids everywhere at the hands of these animals, my own first instinct is to kill.

LoveThsLife 8 years, 6 months ago

Here is some information on sex offender programs....

I'll warn you...reading it isn't for the faint of heart..some of the stuff talked about is pretty darn uncomfortable.

At least you can have an informed opinion on those kind of programs though.

pace 8 years, 6 months ago

Make it a factory, light industry heavy guards, just don't let them out. SRS is the industry that needs to be reformed. Break it up. it is a dynasty.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

ACG, thank you for most of your agreement. the recidivism is exactly what I want to address. why are people coming out of prison or treatment programs only 5% effective? It's either that we haven't stumbled upon the correct treatment, or they really are completely hopeless.

I'm also the father of an amazing little girl, and it would destroy me if something happened to her, and I would probably be the first person tracking the SOB down to castrate him. But that is an emotional response. not a logical one.

I'm the type of person who will ask a lot of unwanted, and hard to handle questions, because somewhere in the current mess is an answer that is being overlooked.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 6 months ago

The KDOC does have a program while the offenders are incarcerated called the sex offender training program ( SOTP) all convicted sex offenders are required to participate in this program while housed in a facility. If they do not complete the program while in prison they are required to complete it before they are released from parole. The program which is the topic of this article is for habitual offenders who have reoffended or are determined through psycological evaluations to be probale reoffeners.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 6 months ago

patrick, have you read the scarlet letter? it didn't work too well back then and i don't think it would fare well in modern times.

i actually agree w/ freash (yeh, i know, crazy, huh?).... rape is a crime of violence. you could literally castrate these individuals and they would still find a way to harm people.

acg 8 years, 6 months ago

You are so right, norml, I will agree that my response to this issue is more emotions than logic. I don't know how to turn off my emotions on this one. I guess we do need to get to the root of the problem and identify if this is bad wiring, bad genes or bad behavior and if so, if it can be modified in any way. I don't understand crazy. I have a friend who's a paranoid schizophrenic and I know that crazy people don't see the world the same as we do, but I just don't get this compulsion. I don't understand how a child can be sexually attractive to anyone, especially the little ones. I don't understand if it's a sex crime, a violent crime or one that's all about control. Whatever it is, it has to be the most heinous thing one can do to a child, besides killing them. For our most heinous of offenses, I think we should take the most heinous of punishments out of the arsenal and consider using it. Maybe if these sickos saw that we had no problem with frying them for what they did, they would rethink their actions. See, just thinking about it, I see red and want to hit a pervert with a baseball bat. Yay, Schism's on the radio. That'll mellow me. :)

Calliope877 8 years, 6 months ago

artichokeheart (Anonymous) says…

I agree with branding them that way they can suffer for a lifetime just like their victims.

I'd like to point out that most sex offenders started off as victims. Don't get me wrong, I share the outrage and lack of sympathy felt towards sex offenders, but I think many people lose sight of how such predatory behavior starts in the first place. It's a tragic cycle, and I think the best chance in preventing future offenders is by giving the victims of such offenses copious amounts of love and professional care.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 6 months ago

So are you suggesting we start some " Hug a sex offender" program?

Stuart Evans 8 years, 6 months ago

for a minute i thought calliope was going to say that we should kill all sex crime victims to stop the vicious circle.

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