Senate Mental Health Committee Approves Civil Confinement Legislation

Thomas P. Morahan

March 05, 2007

New York State Senator Thomas P. Morahan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities announced that the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (S3318), was approved today by his committee.

The bill establishes comprehensive reforms to enhance public safety by allowing the State to continue managing sex offenders upon the expiration of their criminal sentences, either by civilly confining the most dangerous recidivistic sex offenders, or by permitting strict and intensive parole supervision of offenders who pose a lesser risk of harm. Treatment is mandated during both criminal and civil confinement and during the period of strict supervision. It also creates a new crime of a "Sexually Motivated Felony," and provides for enhanced terms of post-release supervision for all persons who commit felony sex offenses.

"We expect the bill to be passed by the full Senate this week," said Senator Morahan. "Sexual predators prey on the innocent --they are among the most dangerous criminals, and recidivism rates for these offenders are especially high. Almost half will end up back in prison from a parole violation or for committing a new crime. This important new legislation ensures that these individuals will be housed and treated in separate and secure facilities."