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“Our costs are rising like crazy in this particular field,” said Delegate Johnny S. Joannou, Norfolk Democrat, who asked whether the state could potentially lengthen offenders’ sentences while providing similar rehabilitative services at its prisons to keep costs down.

“At the rate this is going, if a person can’t be cured of this particular [behavior], that’s a lifetime in civil commitment.”

The cost-per-patient of $91,000 is higher than the Department of Corrections’ roughly $24,000 per-inmate cost.

Compared with the total number of prisoners released from correctional facilities, the percentage of offenders who make it into the program is rather small. More than 4,000 offenders were convicted and later released for sexually violent predator crimes since 2003, and about 7 percent of those have been civilly committed.

Since that time, three of the 78 sexually violent predators placed on conditional release have been charged with a new sex offense. All three had been committed to the rehabilitation program. Two were not convicted and one was convicted of assault and battery after inappropriately touching minor females at the shopping mall, the report said.

Circuit courts have also approved the conditional release of 21 offenders that were housed at the rehabilitation center.