Senator Dale M. Volker Statement On Court Of Appeals Decision On Civil Commitment Of Sex Offenders

William T. Stachowski

November 21, 2006

(Depew, NY) Although, from a public safety standpoint, I am extremely disappointed by today's' Court of Appeals decision reversing a lower courts decision authorizing the civil commitment of sex offenders under the current mental hygiene law; we now have the opportunity to review, draft and pass a new statute that would appropriately house, treat and confine violent sex offenders.

This past legislative session, the State Senate took the lead in creating and convening a conference committee to reconcile differences on the issue of civil confinement of sex offenders. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached. Knowing full well that the current mental health laws which were being utilized to involuntarily keep these sex offenders from reentering society would potentially be overturned, the Senate worked aggressively to reach an constitutionally sound bill addressing this pressing public safety issue.

Now is the time to immediately reconvene the conference committee on civil commitment and work out those differences so that our families and children will be better protected from those who prey on our children and loved ones. Our citizens demand results and I am urging the State Assembly to come back to Albany and negotiate in good faith to address this matter.