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Washington’s McNeil Island – Civil Commitment Center

By Emily Gillespie…

A small island in the state of Washington houses a group of unlikely residents: they are all men the state considers its most dangerous sex offenders.

McNeil Island, nestled in Puget Sound, is unpopulated except for the 214 people who live at the special commitment center, a facility for former prison inmates. All men have served their sentence and yet, due to a controversial legal mandate, they remain confined indefinitely.

The only way on and off the small island is a passenger-only ferry, which makes the 15-minute trip every two hours. The ferry docks at a defunct prison on the island and a bus takes employees and visitors to the facility a few miles inland. Along the way, the bus passes an overgrown baseball field and boarded-up houses, remnants of the prison employees and their families who called the island home until the prison closed in 2011.

Few people who live in the region know about the island and its unusual residents, and even fewer know about the equally unusual law that put them there.

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  admin 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #47372 Reply

    MARK S.

    Yet, another death house……………… Instead. mete out a life sentence for a truly dangerous person after conviction, but prior to sentencing where all facts can be presented to a jury You know lie APPRENDI V NEW JERSEY holds with treatment. If one fails, he stays in prison, if one succeeds, there is a chance for parole…… Just sayin……………… See the states that have civil commitment, really, really do not them out – ever. That is the unspoken “group-think” among the governments…..

  • #47470 Reply

    Saddles

    Thats one thing about prisons or penal instutitions. Sure we can all study penology and yes I’m sure anybody in criminology understands that but incurable people that repeat sex offenses or the hopelessly helplesss. What legal mandate is justice today were people are throwaways to society today. If we had legal mandates on thought and deed we would all be their. Its interesting about the sex offender over any other cataorgy of crime, So rehabilitation seems to be in the Sigmund Frued area today.

    Even with the small computer catch all schemes does government know what they are really doing to prime the pump if one wants to look at it that way. So were does the physical and mental come into play in society today. Who is abusing to over-abuse one’s status if it involves sex? I wonder who is the master criminal today the one that is two faced or the one that holds the key to Justice. I wonder who’s considered the most dangerous for mouthing off today or should we just surrender all rights and let it go.

  • #47482 Reply

    Irene Rubio

    This is so bad,Why is there a secret prison as only sex offenders are being kept in prison,what about a killer? The sad part is us tax payers are paying the fees for these men to be kept. How is government getting away with this ,its bad enough our Country is being run by a felon of Ken Paxton,yet since 2014 ,he has not gone to Court. As yet Uresti has gone to Court and got his Sentence.These men have completed their time ,yet the state created a new prison called Civil Commitment,How do these people running it and creators sleep at night? This needs to be Dissolved. This is way past Treatment…..Its the State Tax paying it,BUT WE HAVE TDCJ.They need to Stop the Money paying this, Each man is costing $185,000………a year…..Government needs Changes!!!!

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