News About Sex Offenders and Civil Commitment

“Broken beyond anyone’s imagination” is how the State of Texas’ civil commitment program was described in this Southern Poverty Law Center article that was posted this weekend.

The “civil commitment” scheme, which indefinitely confines (pretty much synonymous with “incarceration”) individuals under (a) the guise of treatment and (b) the belief that they may commit future crimes. The civil commitment “centers” (pretty much synonymous with prisons – in fact many are old prisons) are generally run by private prison companies who profit from having individuals committed to their facility, for so long as they are there.

Texas’ center has been in the spotlight this past week, but it’s hardly an isolated problem. Over 20 states have civil commitment schemes. Minnesota’s center was the subject of a lawsuit because in the decades of it’s existence, it NEVER released an inmate (remember – this is not supposed to be incarceration). Last week. Florida’s civil commitment scheme was described as a “Living Death Sentence” by Prison Legal News.

Florida’s civil commitment center is the largest in the United States (over 720 individuals). It is run by Correct Care Recovery Solutions, a spin-off company of the GEO Group, and gets $272 million in revenue from taxpayer money for running their “program”. Geo Group’s lobbyist is Ron Book and Geo Group is one of governor Rick Scott’s largest donors.

For those who believe there’s something inherently wrong with incarcerating people “for profit”, consider adding the element of incarcerating them indefinitely! Where’s the incentive for providing treatment? If they treat them and they get released, the private prisons stop profiting off that person. If they keep stockpiling more human beings, they make more money! That’s more money for Ron Book and Governor Scott (who needs to be mindful of a forthcoming senate campaign)

We are really glad to have some focus turning back towards Civil Commitment and in particular, FOR PROFIT CIVIL COMMITMENT.

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