Washington State has something that no other State has. Well… other States have them, but not like ours.
We keep our civilly committed sex offenders locked away – even after they’ve served their sentences – on an island in the Puget Sound. The whole thing is arguably unconstitutional, but also touches that point of our society where the overall safety of citizens meets the rights of the accused (and in this case, convicted).
There is a bigger issue here in that there is only so much room on McNeil Island, and there are more Sex Offenders than space.
To be clear here, we aren’t talking about the 19-year-old kid who had sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend. These are – as Washington State classifies them – Level III offenders (because there is no Level IV). They are “likely to re-offend” despite their sentences being served along with whatever efforts were made at rehabilitation. These are the worst of the worst of the worst.
The State of Washington has established LRA’s (Less Restrictive areas) so that Level III Offenders – those who are “likely to re-offend” – can be placed in neighborhoods.
Now, one of those LRA’s in my general area. And at least four Level III offenders are roaming about…