The state’s sexual predator treatment program has nearly reached its capacity, forcing officials to seek more than $2 million for an expansion, it was announced Thursday.
“This population continues to grow,” said Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. “SRS has an obligation to the people of Kansas to keep these individuals separated from society at large, and to house them in buildings that are both safe and secure.”
There are 214 people in the program, which is located at Larned State Hospital. An estimated 18 new residents are admitted each year, according to SRS.
Enacted in 1994, the program has been controversial because it indefinitely holds convicted sex offenders past their prison sentences if they have been civilly committed under the law because they have been deemed a continuing threat to the community.
SRS outlined a plan to remodel a building at Larned, which will provide space for 34 more people at a cost of $2 million.
The agency also wants to remodel facilities on the Parsons State Hospital grounds to house eight people who are transitioning for possible release. That will cost approximately $200,000.