- Associated Press - Thursday, January 15, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - State lawmakers from Pierce County have called for sex offenders treated and released from McNeil Island to be sent back to where they came from.

Seven state senators introduced legislation on Wednesday pushing for judges to send released detainees back to the county where they were committed, The News Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1ymmMEP ).

An analysis last summer by the newspaper found that 15 of at least 41 detainees released from the Special Commitment Center since 2012 had stayed in Pierce County, even though just three of them were originally committed there.

The legislation is a request, said Sen. Jeannie Darneille, a Tacoma Democrat taking the lead. “It’s a process we’re asking the courts to go through in this bill.”

Sex offenders detained at the McNeil Island center have completed their sentences but have been involuntarily committed because a court deemed them sexually violent predators likely to return to violence. Some are never released, but more than 100 have been freed over a decade, not counting those moved to transitional facilities on the island and in King County.

The restriction proposed by lawmakers would apply to a particular kind of release that usually involves a group home where the Department of Corrections has supervision and tracks offenders with GPS devices.

Of 16 detainees given one of those releases from 2012 to mid-2014, none came from Pierce County but nine ended up there.

Mental health services tend to cluster around Western State Hospital at Lakewood, and some offenders may have nowhere else to go.


Information from: The News Tribune, https://www.thenewstribune.com

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