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     Civil Commitment:      Concerns      In Society      In Commitment
     Sections Below Covering "In Society" Issues:      News Articles      Court Cases
*** Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders ***
(-Before Initial Commitment Hearing- -OR- -Upon Release Back Into Society-)

--- News Articles of What Occurs in Society ---
As Detainees: When being held in jails or still in prison awaiting hearings before actual commitment
As Releasees: Once it has been determined the offender is being returned to society!
We only show a few articles, when there may have been many. Many of these stories go on for a long time.

» CC »10-27 Virginia: Judge rejects state's civil commitment request! ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A judge in Alexandria rejected a request by Attorney General Jerry Kilgore to commit a convicted child molester as a sexually violent predator. In his ruling Friday, Alexandria Circuit Court Judge Alfred D. Swersky agreed with the state that Brian K. Manuel is a "sexually violent predator" who remains a threat to the community even though he recently finished serving an eight-year prison term for his crimes.

But the judge stopped short of granting the state's request to have Manuel confined indefinitely to a mental institution. Swersky instead ordered that Manuel never be alone with a child and that he participate in sex offender therapy, take hormones to squelch his sexual urges and undergo regular polygraph tests. (by Associated Press)
» 9-19 Florida: Ryce Act decision keeps rapist in facility: The 4th District Court of Appeal keeps Vero Beach rapist Todd Gray, 46, confined! Gray was released from prison Feb. 19, 2000, after serving 12 years of a 27-year prison sentence. He immediately was rearrested under the Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators' Treatment and Care Act, which allows for the continued detention of repeat sex offenders still considered dangerous. Those alleged to need more help can be arrested the moment they are released from prison and brought before civil juries to decide if they remain a danger to society.

Harllee said he and Assistant Public Defender Rusty Akins, the team challenging the Ryce Act here, also expect to hear soon if the state's high court will uphold an April 2002 appeals court ruling that required mental-health experts who evaluate prisoners under the Ryce Act to swear their findings are valid. The attorneys want the court to declare the law unconstitutional on grounds it denies sex offenders their rights to due process, according to a report of Akins' argument to the high court in June. (By Jayne Hustead staff writer)
Something is very wrong when, one arm of the state (parole board) says "An inmate is fit for society and paroles him," THEN another arm of the state (prosecutor / attorney general) says "the man is a threat to society." Both arms of the state cannot oppose each other, the doctrine of "Laches" is supposed to bar the second action!

__In Prison Awaiting Initial Civil Commitment Hearing__

» CC » 8-22-03 Florida: Convicted rapist faces commitment proceedings! A convicted rapist has been released from prison, but the state wants to lock him up in an institution for sex offenders.

But while he was incarcerated, the Florida Legislature passed the "Jimmy Ryce Act," a law that can force institutionalization for sexual predators if they need treatment and still threaten society. Sublett has lived in an institution for sex offenders since 2001, waiting for this week's trial.

Meanwhile, he resides in Florida Civil Commitment Center. It's a reconstituted prison with 420 residents, all of them men, Director Robert Briody said in a phone interview. (by Ken Lewis, StAugustine.com)
» 7-29-03 Kansas: Sexual predator trial begins in Johnson County, based upon the sex offender's thoughts!!"Thoughts lead to intentions lead to actions." Those words of Robert A. Ward will be a key theme this week as a Johnson County jury decides whether he should be confined as a sexual predator. Assistant District Attorney Scott Toth quoted Ward several times during his opening statement this afternoon.

Defense attorney Bob L. Thomas told jurors that Ward, a former substitute school teacher, has never even been accused of improperly touching a child. His most serious transgression, Thomas said, was making "dirty phone calls." Ward, 47, was convicted in August of making the threatening calls. He was sentenced to six months in prison. Prosecutors filed the predator case when he was about to be released. .... (by Tony Rizzo, The Kansas City Star)
__Communities Don't Want Those Released From Civil Commitment__

» 8-17-03 California:.Other molesters to follow DeVries 432 'sexually violent predators' have already served prison terms ! The outrage Soledad residents vented this week when the first child molester to graduate from a state treatment program became their neighbor is certain to become a regular ordeal for California communities, according to state officials and prosecutors. Brian DeVries was just one of 432 "sexually violent predators" the state is holding as mental patients after their prison terms have been served.

With the program's population growing about 10 percent annually, the state expects to be treating about 600 offenders when a new $365 million, 1,500-bed Coalinga State Hospital opens in 2005. The state's current population of 511 sex-predator patients -- including 79 awaiting involuntary commitment trials -- will be relocated from Atascadero State Hospital. It will cost $180,000 annually to track, treat and house DeVries -- compared to a cost of $28,500 for the average inmate in state prison. A top sex-offender prosecutor fears the state will be challenged to maintain that expense, given the predator treatment program's growing annual cost of between $40 million and $50 million.

"One of the concerns I have is that they're not going to do this level of supervision for all of them who get out," said Nancy O'Malley, chairwoman of the sexual assault committee of the California District Attorneys Association and Alameda County's chief assistant district attorney. "It's troubling because you put all of these resources into one person. But are we going to do it for everybody? Does everybody need it?" (by Alan Gathright, Chronicle Staff Writer)

» 8-17-03 California:.Soledad -- a town in outrage With sex predator in their midst, elected officials urge crowd to turn up the heat! Freed child molester Brian DeVries showed up to register with local police Wednesday, trying to reassure residents "they won't find me disturbing their community." Clad in a teal sports shirt, jeans and white sneakers, DeVries appeared relaxed as he strolled into this Monterey County farm-and-prison town's tiny police station. He was fingerprinted and had to state his residence as part of the registration required of sex offenders. Security was tight as a squad of local police, sheriff and state prison officers scouted the civic center grounds before the former inmate arrived.

But at an overflowing meeting in Soledad's cramped City Council chambers, elected leaders lauded citizens' protests that have ranged from picketing to rallying outside his new prison home[Note who is inciting the public, their elected officials. Picketing and Protests -outside his home- violate Megan's Laws -harassment- i.e. police & prison guards apparently did nothing to stop it.] and lobbying state lawmakers. "We have to continue this in hopes of getting rid of this individual," said Vice Mayor Ted Barrera. Mayor Richard Ortiz said the council would weigh legal strategies in closed session.

Outrage boiled up from the audience, led by people like Elda Oliveros, the single mother of a 6-year-old son, who demanded to know why she had to learn from the newspaper that "this monster was living in our community."

"It's my hope that eventually people will understand that a treated offender is someone who has learned a lot more and has built his empathy and caring (for others)," DeVries told reporters. He also cautioned that people jeopardize the law that allows the states to civilly commit sex offenders for treatment "by making it hard" for patients to be released.Many legal experts have likewise warned that law could be struck down as unconstitutional if a judge decides the program is warehousing sex offenders who've served their time. (by Alan Gathright, Chronicle Staff Writer)
__Landlords Refuse To Rent To Those Released From Civil Commitment__

» 8-17-03 Wisconsin:.State seeks to place sex predator in isolated area: Rental home in industrial area is third bid to find housing for Morford! The state Department of Health and Family Services will ask a judge to place sexual predator Billy Lee Morford in a house in an "isolated industrial area" in Milwaukee. In a letter dated Friday to Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Franke, department Community Services Director Deborah McCulloch wrote that the new location is "a much better site" than Morford's current home on Milwaukee's northwest side or the West Allis house the state tried to place him in July.

Morford, 57, has been living at 6535 N. 51st St. since June, when he was released from the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston. On July 30, the state released details of a plan to move him to 5619 W. National Ave. in West Allis, but the owner of the house who had agreed to sell to the state said last week he would not sell after the community rallied against the sale.(Notice that the seller of the home suffered harassment from the community.) Morford, whose record of sex offenses with children dates to 1968, has not violated any rules of his release since moving into the N. 51st St. house in June. (by Reid J. Epstein, JSOnline.com)

» 8-15-03 California:Landlord denies molester a home! A landlord in Martinez has withdrawn an agreement to rent a house to sex predator Cary Verse, delaying Verse's release from a state mental hospital and setting up another knotty search for housing elsewhere. "We're breathing a communal sigh of relief," said Mark Ross, a city councilman in Martinez.

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder said the state did not appear to have a firm plan about how it handles releasing the offenders after they finish treatment. "They seem to be groping in the dark," he said. (by Corrie Lyons, Contra Costa Times)

» 8-10-03 Wisconsin:West Allis home proposed for sexual predator taken off market: Owner decides he won't sell; state to try again to find location for Morford! Ferdinand Vargas, the owner of a home at 5619 W. National Ave., said Saturday night that he will not sell the house and will rent it out instead. "I want to let the community and the state know I will not be selling the house to the state," Vargas said. "My brother and his children will be renting it."

The state was looking to purchase the home and use it as a residence for convicted pedophile Billy Lee Morford, who was released from a secure mental health center in June. Morford, 57, has been convicted four times since 1968 of sex crimes against children. (by Rachael McCormick, JSOnline.com)

» 8-9-03 Wisconsin:The director of the Christian Civil Liberties Union takes up collection to buy home proposed for offender: He hopes to prevent the state from using it to house Morford! In front of the house at 5619 W. National Ave., Robert Braun said he has a meeting Monday with the homeowner to discuss the purchase. Braun said he is trying to form a coalition called Save the Children from Sexual Predators and asked people to donate money to buy the house, which the coalition would own if the purchase can be arranged. (by Rachael McCormick, JSOnline.com)

» 12-25 Wisconsin: Convicted Sex Offender's Housing Still Uncertain: State Rep. Stone Wants Standards Passed For Housing Sexual Predators! FRANKLIN, Wis. -- There's still no resolution on where to put a convicted sex offender after an emergency meeting Tuesday night in Franklin.. A judge told 12 News Billy Lee Morford (pictured, left) won't be moved to property near 51st and Ryan. There is a school and park nearby. Franklin officials heard from residents. "This guy has no right being anywhere near anybody. If I'm 90 years old without kids, I still don't want this person in my neighborhood. All these other people in this room are going to be imprisoned in their houses so this guy can be free. He's the one that's got the problems," said Franklin resident Christian Lindsay.. (The Milwaukee Channel.com)

» 12-20 Wisconsin: Morford Will Remain At Current House: Judge Wants To Build Housing Unit For Convicted Sex Offenders! MILWAUKEE -- Convicted sex offender Billy Lee Morford will stay in his house on North 51st Street, at least for now. A new judge is taking over the Morford case. In court Friday, she discussed finding a place for all convicted sex offenders to stay. The judge said she wants to set up a task force to look for a place for all sex offenders. Until it can be built, Morford will stay in his current house. There will not be another hearing until February.. (The Milwaukee Channel.com)

» 8-5-03 Wisconsin: Judge rules West Allis home is OK for Morford (A HIPAA Covered Case) A house on West Allis' east side would be an appropriate home for sexual predator Billy Lee Morford, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge John Franke ruled Friday, despite emphatic indications from neighbors that Morford wouldn't be welcome..

Franke said the law does not allow him to alter the proposed plan, only to approve it or veto it. "The court cannot withhold approval simply because the court believes that the department might be able to 'do better' or might be able to find a placement more acceptable in the community," Franke said in a written statement. (By Tom Rybarczyk, Journal Sentinel.com)

--- Court Cases Related to What Occurs in Society ---
As Detainees: When being held in jails or still in prison awaiting hearings before actual commitment
As Releasees: Once it has been determined the offender is being returned to society!



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