Senator Saland Announces Historic Legislation On Civil Commitment Passes The Senate

Stephen M. Saland

March 06, 2007

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that legislation that provides for the civil commitment of sexually violent predators at a secure treatment facility after completion of a prison sentence has passed the Senate. This crucial piece of legislation takes measures to protect the public from criminals likely to commit repeated acts of sexual violence. The bill reflects an agreement announced last week by the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governor.

"This legislation takes the steps necessary to ensure that the safety of our communities is upheld and that sexually violent predators are confined and given the proper treatment that they need," said Senator Saland. "I am pleased that we have reached an agreement on this long-awaited bill and eagerly await its enactment so it may protect our most vulnerable citizens, our children, from falling victim to those who prey on the innocent."

Under the bill, sex offenders will be referred to a case review team to determine if the offender has a mental abnormality that will make them likely to be a repeat offender. If so, the case will go to the Attorney General to file a petition for confinement in the county of incarceration. If after a trial, a jury confirms the findings of the case review team, a judge will determine the most appropriate course of action, either confinement for the most dangerous offenders or a program of strict and intensive supervision for those who pose a lesser risk.

In addition, the legislation also does the following:
Mandates treatment for all sex offenders, during incarceration and after their release;
Increases periods of parole supervision for sex offenders;
Establishes a new crime of "sexually motivated felony"; and
Creates a new Office of Sex Offender Management in the State Division of Criminal Justice Services to develop comprehensive policies and standards for the evaluation, treatment, and management of sex offenders.