Stories

Our Deeply Flawed Civil Commitment System | Cato Institute
Blog
David Prescott acknowledges that sexual offender civil commitment has many inherent problems. If we’re going to lock someone up, we must be sure that it’s for a good reason. Yet even by these programs’ stated rationales, governments might do better with a less restrictive means of treatment. Surprisingly, this appears true even for high-risk offenders. […]
Texas Uses Failed Private Prison to Hold Civilly Committed Sex Offenders | Prison Legal News
Blog
In 2015, Texas converted its outpatient program for civilly committed sex offenders into a “tiered” treatment program, in which participants start out in a “total confinement facility” at twice the cost of the original program. The state awarded Correct Care Solutions a $24 million contract to provide housing and treatment at the Texas Civil Commitment […]
Questionable Commitments | Cato Institute
Blog
    Civil commitment is the legal practice of holding individuals who suffer from severe mental illness so that they may receive treatment. Even within its traditional bounds, civil commitment was problematic enough. But in recent years, civil commitment has expanded significantly. Now, young people who commit a sexual offense early in their lives stand […]
The Rise of the Preventative State | Cato Institute
Blog
Pre-crime isn’t science fiction, says Eric Janus. It’s our system of civil commitment. The problems are simply stated: Civil commitment moves from punishing a specific act toward punishing a type of person. This approach to justice rarely works out in practice, as members of marginalized groups typically find that they can’t possibly clear their own […]
Let’s Stamp Out Perversion | Cato Institute
Blog
Amanda Pustilnik draws a sharp contrast between civil commitment as it is practiced for the severely mentally ill — and the utterly different system that has been imposed on sex offenders. The latter system she terms “a perversion,” one that both destroys civil liberties and stigmatizes the treatment of genuinely mentally ill individuals. Genuine civil […]
Our Deeply Flawed Civil Commitment System | Cato Institute
Blog
The inherent problems in sexual offender civil commitment should concern all citizens. Mr. Baughman’s article addresses a number of concerns worthy of exploration. There is no question that some sex offenders are truly dangerous and that the public is understandably concerned. As currently practiced, however, civil commitment rarely delivers on erstwhile promises of either public safety […]
Bad Deals: Look What Happens When an Innocent Man is Labeled a “Sexually Violent Predator” | Reveal News
Blog
On a stifling afternoon in the summer of 1996, Rodney Roberts pleaded guilty to a kidnapping. He had never met the victim, let alone held her against her will. Yet this is what he told the judge in the cramped Essex County courtroom. His court-appointed defender had convinced him his other choice was life in […]
New Rules Spark Uprising at California Pre-Crime Facility | Prison Legal News
Blog
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that persons held in involuntary psychiatric commitment facilities are not prisoners and cannot be subjected to punitive treatment. Matt Clarke at Prison Legal News paints a vivid portrait of how prison-like these not-a-prison prisons really are. Protests met California officials when they began to make Coalinga State Hospital look even […]
When Junk Science About People Labeled “Sex Offenders” Infects the Supreme Court | NYT Op-Doc
Blog
American criminal justice policy for sex-related crimes is built on a myth. The U.S. Supreme Court green lighted draconian restrictions that relegate persons with former sex-related convictions to a permanent pariah status based on the erroneous findings that they commit new crimes at an astronomical rate. Watch filmmaker, lawyer, activist David Feige unravel this “frightening and […]
Challenging Incarceration Stories: Farah Ly
Video
Every mother...has the right to fair and equal health care. - Farah Ly