The Pennsylvania State Police has released the first edition of an annual report which provides statistics and information concerning the registration of sexual offenders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Act 10 of 2018 was signed into law on February 21, 2018.Act 10 substantially changes registration requirements for certain sexual offenders in Pennsylvania.Sexual offenders whose offense was committed before December 20, 2012 may see their registration requirement change.
And while the idea of indefinite preventive detention might sound un-American or something out of the film “Minority Report,” the larger problem is that “civil commitment,” like hundreds of other regulations imposed on those required to register, has been justified by assertions about the recidivism of sex offenders.
But those assertions turn out to be entirely belied by science.
A few years ago, Ira Ellman, a legal scholar affiliated with the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley, and the researcher Tara Ellman set out to find the source of that 80 percent figure, and what he found shocked him.
As it turns out, the court found that number in a brief signed by Solicitor General Ted Olson.
But unlike prison, this “therapeutic” program, which aims to teach the patients to control their sexual impulses and was initially designed to last from two to four years, has no fixed end date.
Rather, program administrators decide which patients are safe enough to release.This will only be temporary until system upgrades are made to accommodate the requirements of the new law.The Pennsylvania State Police is now offering an Electronic Notification System.In the 24 years it has existed, only one “patient” has ever been fully released.There are now about 720 people in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, some with no adult criminal record, and others who, despite having completed every single program ever offered at the facility, have remained civilly committed for over 20 years.To register to receive electronic notifications click the Register link at the top of the page.