One of the foundations of a civilized society is the concept that people who do wrong need to be held accountable for their crimes. What naturally follows from that precept is that once a person has successfully paid society back by serving their prison sentence, they have earned the right to be free and return home.
What would you think about a slick scam that legally circumvented such justice? A system where, after serving years in prison and mere days before being released, the state went back to a new court and a different judge to seek an additional sentence that would keep that individual incarcerated for the rest of their life? This is what the criminal justice system calls “civil commitment” and it is quietly still occurring in over 20 states.
If the moral injustice of this doesn’t upset you, maybe this will help: Civil commitment costs state taxpayers between $100,000.00 – $268,000.00. Per year. Every year. Per person. For the rest of the inmate’s natural life. In Minnesota, more people have died in civil commitment then been released. There are nearly 7,000 souls being held captive under civil commitment sentences in the 20 states that still have these laws, and because so few ever get released, this number only increases.
Civil commitment is additional incarceration, often for an “indeterminate” period of time, after a person has served their entire prison sentence for a sex offense. People are housed in a prison-like facility with chain-link fences topped by razor wire and patrolled by uniformed armed guards, background checks for visitors, monitored phone calls & mail and numerous other restrictions. The only difference between a prison and a commitment facility is a prisoner has a scheduled release date.
For additional information on civil commitment, please visit www.cure-sort.org or www.aiustfuture.org. For specific information about stopping Minnesota’s civil commitment program, visit endMSOP at Facebook, or email [email protected].