Senator Golden's Push Leads To Agreement Keeping Sexual Predators In Civil Confinement

Martin J. Golden

March 01, 2007

Senator Marty Golden (R,C-Brooklyn) joined Governor Eliot Spitzer in an agreement to keep sexual predators under civil confinement after their prison sentences are over. Senator Golden announced that the State Senate and Assembly are expected to pass civil commitment legislation in early March.

"This agreement is a tremendous achievement that will save lives, protect our children and keep our neighborhoods safer from dangerous sexual predators," said Senator Marty Golden. "Right here in Brooklyn, we have the highest concentration of sex offenders in the entire State of New York. Civil commitment will help to protect women and children by keeping these deviants off our streets."

Last year, as a member of the bipartisan Civil Commitment Conference Committee, Senator Golden worked to reach an agreement regarding the civil commitment of sexually violent predators.

Regrettably, the Conference Committee was not able to reach an agreement on this important public safety issue. However, today’s agreement represents many of the hours spent by Senator Golden to get a bill that protects the public from dangerous sexual predators.

Under the legislation, civil commitment procedures will be streamlined. The initial screening of cases will be done by mental health professionals, who will decide whether the inmate has a mental abnormality that might predispose them to commit sex offenses in the future. A final decision on this issue is entrusted to the unanimous determination of a jury after a trial. A judge will then determine the most appropriate form of management – either confinement for the highest-risk offenders, or strict and intensive supervision for those who pose a lesser risk.

In addition to establishing the new civil commitment program, the new legislation provides for the following: