At a time when fellow Americans in the great state of Minnesota and other states in this great union seem to struggle with how best to treat sex offenders once they have served their sentences, I feel compelled to offer my opinion concerning civil committment.
As I have stated in previous posts, I am 52 years old. I am also old enough to remember air raid sirens in school and to have learned from the “Greatest Generation.” My dad was a city police officer during my entire childhood. I served in the U.S. Army during the “Cold War” when our enemies were great communist powers of the eastern bloc nations. I also consider myself to be a Christian, dad, Strict Constitutional Conservative, a patriot and yes a registered sex offender.
Aside from the fact that I am a registered sex offender and happen to be blessed enough to reside in a state that if memory serves me correctly, prevents civil commitment via the state constitution, it jars my conscience by which in essence a state or the federal government can force a person to remain incarcerated beyond their maximum sentence this absolutely goes against virtually every fiber I have in my being.
As I was growing up I learned about a convict’s debt to society and how once paid, society in theory then owed that convict a second chance.
As I grew up, I also learned about the concentration camps of the Nazis, the gulags and the purges of the communist nations and about our own slavery issues and then our internment camps of World War II. I also learned about our own horrific mental institutions of the past.
I cannot in my own mind reconcile civil commitment as being a good thing when it so resembles and conflicts with what I was taught as a young person as being bad and wrong. I believe in freedom, with some restraints, but not restraint based upon what a person might do in the future. When we go there, any of us can be locked up because I might rob a bank tomorrow and I can’t prove otherwise. These inmates who are civilly committed rely on assessments done by “professionals” who are paid by the state and know where their bread and butter come from.
Just yesterday, I had an e-mail conversation with Kim ****** our state leader of Indiana Voices, the state chapter of the national RSOL about the possibility of trying to get an interview with the head of the Indiana Sex Offender Management and Monitoring (INSOMM) Program for a future article in our newsletter which is sent out to our incarcerated members. I wanted to try to write an article concerning the future of the INSOMM program, which inmates hate and always swirl rumors about its demise. However, research shows therapy is effective in deterring sex crime recidivism.
I wanted to let inmates who have been convicted of sex crimes in the state of Indiana know that there is absolutely no (zero) buzz out here concerning the end of funding by the Indiana State Legislature for the INSOMM program and at the same time gain the support of the director of the program in fighting for less restrictive legislation based upon the success of the INSOMM program with Indiana’s 1.05% sex offender recidivism rate (one of the lowest in the nation), which should also help to insure continued funding for the INSOMM program by allowing them to tout their success to our state legislators. Kim’s response to me was, “I have met with Dr. Deming with Liberty Behavioral. He literally through me out of his office! His boss is DOC. He’s not going to give us any info! Nor is he going to testify on our behalf.”
This type of reaction is anecdotal evidence that Dr. Karen Franklin is correct in her article “Remarkable experiment proves pull of adversarial allegiance” in which she states, “Psychologists’ scoring of forensic tools depends on which side they believe has hired them.” These people know where their paycheck comes from and seem to base their responses to questions posed to them upon who is paying them and what they believe their employer wants to hear and not the facts of the case.
These are the same people who write the reports determining whether someone who has been civilly committed rely to give a fair assessment as to whether or not they should or should not be released from detention. This is an abomination of all that is right.
This is beginning to appear to look like a cross of the old Soviet gulags, World War II era internment camps and our not so long done away mental hospitals where shock therapy and frontal lobotomies were performed.
This treatment of our fellow citizens of these United States should be abhored all citizens and the fact that it doesn’t, abhors me. It makes me seriously wonder about the “State of our Union” and what kind of country my children are going to grow up to live in. I believe it is time to find ways to do away with civil commitment, if Indiana and 29 other states can do without it, the other 20 states and the federal government can too.
If you’re not worried, your eyes aren’t open.
If you’re not worried, your eyes aren’t open.