Letter to Rushville civil commitment facility in Illinois

By Sandy . . . The forced detainment of individuals after they have finished serving a sentence for a sexual crime is abhorrent. A significant number of states allow this. The men — always males, as far as we can determine — find their incarceration continued, due to a determination that they MIGHT commit another crime in the future. The purpose of such a practice is SAID to be for treatment and rehabilitation so that the persons can be returned to society. The very existence of such a practice is abhorrent enough; the failure to provide treatment and rehabilitation is unconscionable; the failure to provide them when funds have been given for the express purpose of providing them might be considered by some to be criminal. NARSOL has been alerted, initially by a detainee there, that a serious lack of rehabilitative and educational programs exist at Rushville, a facility operating in Illinois under the Department of Human Services. After diligent research into this facility, the concerns are a reality.

NARSOL has written this letter to the administration of Rushville with copies going to the governor of Illinois; appropriate administrative staff at the Dept. of Human Services, which is Rushville’s governing body; and the Chicago Tribune. We will update this as needed.

Rushville Commitment Facility, 17019 County Farm Road, Rushville, IL 62681

October 11, 2022

Dear Administrators of the Rushville, Illinois Civil Commitment Facility,

It has come to our attention that the patients at your facility have few if any programs in the way of vocational, technological, or educational training.

The Rushville facility is exclusively for persons who need treatment, and the purpose for their involuntary commitment, as we understand it, is to prepare them for release into the community. Most returning to society from a lengthy period of confinement experience difficulty finding employment. Those whose encounter with the legal system was for a sexual offense experience this difficulty even more.

This employment difficulty is compounded by the fact that many with sexual offenses are young men, often still in their teens, and they had not yet become established in a profession or received the education necessary to pursue a career. Their prison terms before being committed were their punishment, and that is completed. The current confinement is intended to be focused on treatment and rehabilitation, and we want to know what you are providing in these areas. Without them, the technological advances that have occurred during these lost years compound their lack of ability to function and survive in a society that has passed them by.

Our organization is committed to optimizing the success for persons on the registry, shown in numerous studies to contribute to a lack of recidivism, which leads to a safer society. Without appropriate classes and programs while they are confined, all chances for a favorable outcome for these individuals are erased; their chances of success, rather than being optimized, are without doubt severely diminished.

It is our understanding that the state of Illinois receives a significant amount of funding and grants for the purpose of providing these educational opportunities for Rushville’s patients. Is there a board of governors or oversight committee or any entity or person who is monitoring what is done with that money?

Please correct this unconscionable failure of your institution and let us know what steps you are taking to rectify this untenable position.

Sincerely,

Sandy Rozek, secretary and communications director, on behalf of the NARSOL Board of Directors

CC: Illinois Dept. of Human Services

The Chicago Tribune

J.B. Pritzker, Governor, state of Illinois

Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Dept. of Human Resources

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24 Thoughts to “Letter to Rushville civil commitment facility in Illinois”

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  1. AJ

    Great letter Sandy. Minnesota/Wisconsin are about as good as Illinois. The public is uneducated when it comes to prisons, or these so called institutions, that are to rehabilitate. I was in prison riot 1983, due to over crowding guess what, Wisconsin is still over crowded. More so now, than in 1983. Yet the feds have continued to pour monies into a failing system.
    Forget job training for the future, for these folks. It’s all about stack, pack, and collect as much as they can in federal funding, and convict fees. Money rules. Nothing else.

    1. Tim in WI

      WIDOC Kinda resembles the U.S. post office service in the financial respect. The Walker administration ordered a comprehensive review of all aspects of DOC properties and it is available via PDF online. The Administrative report is quite extensive. It is primarily the expense of operating these properties & systems – budgets that State’s look to electronic solutions including surveillance strategies- regimes. And their are many suitors for the bride of public safety. In this case – of registration- we talk databases! Fact is Illinois is known for former politicians with criminal records, maybe more than any state in the nation. The Chicago mayor is backed by the Os! Oprah Winfrey was very publicly all for SO registration & notice and I seen her TV audience applaud to the mantra “We’ve a right to know!” Clearly she never for a second considered the down side or drawbacks to such a caste system. Wasn’t it in Illinois where that teen boy jumped to his death following an interview with an ignorant local cop about his VERY NORMAL behaviour with his girlfriend + the possibility of sex offender registration & status. for his normal behavior? Illinois is currently beyond hope and folks are moving out of the state in droves.

  2. Arax

    Good on you, Sandy. I am so happy that you are going to bring attention to the idiocy of civil commitment of people who have committed a sexual offense but continue being punished, indefinitely.
    I hope with so much pressure, things may change in this country. 20 states and the federal government have this unconstitutional law of detaining people after they have served their time in the tune of Millions of dollars per year. These funds surely can go towards education and prevention of sexual abuse.
    Thank you again

  3. Brian Wittman

    It will be interesting to see what the Tribune does with this notice and I really want to see what the state of Illinois does with it. I would be willing to wager a year’s wages that the State of Illinois lacks any culpability in this matter nor that they were not a willing participant in frauding the Federal Government of funds meant for the recipients and not some beuracrats pockets.

  4. Vince

    I still find it amazing that people hold sex offences in worse regard than murder. You can get therapy for being a victim of a sexual offence, but there is no coming back from death. Sex offence registries don’t work. It’s a Scarlet Letter system that didn’t work in the book and doesn’t work now either. This is a form of cruel and unusual punishment that needs to be erased and civil liberties need to be returned to offenders who already served their time. It’s ridiculous that someone who pees on a dumpster has to have their entire life ruined. Rapists, obviously more dangerous than the indecent exposure case, should be tracked by police ONLY. Maybe one day when the politicians can afford to speak the truth and not just the lies the public wants to hear, so they keep votes, this system will no longer exists.

  5. Jim

    There hasn’t been ANY rehabilitation in this defunct country’s so called correctional system in many decades. The purpose of this system is to remove as many humans as possible from freedom and to be able to take as many privileges as possible, YES PRIVILEGES not rights. Because rights do not exist anymore and havent for decades, except for anyone on the government’s payroll. This way they will be able to control every aspect of every human’s existence once they are able to put them and keep them in this gang run system. Also, once everyone in this country has been awarded a felony, then they will not have any way to protect themselves from an oppressive government. The constitution says, “The Right To Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.” That little dot at the end of the sentence is a period. That means that is the end of the sentence. If the sentence had a , Thats a comma. Meaning the sentence can continue. Like ” The Right To Bear Armes Shall Not Be Infringed, Unless the government decides you made a mistake that denies you this right. Also, a God given right is not a right if anyone can simply take it away. Its then a privilege. We need to stop this s#!t somehow.

  6. Lee Culpepper

    Sandy,
    This is an excellent article. Apparently, this type of problem occurs in other states as well as Illinois.

    I read a Memoir last year about a situation experienced by someone in Florida. The name of the book is “Just Facts, Not Fear: the harrowing true story of the struggle that changed my life” by Steven Whitsett. It is a very good read and explanation of an additional problem for people who have been sentenced for a sexual offense.

  7. mut

    money was a good place to start the conversation

  8. Former Offender

    A well worded letter for a cause that needs to be address. Hopefully you will get a response from someone. I agree that it is wrong not to provide people in prison some kind of education whether it be vocational training or college. I was lucky enough to be involved in both (electrical VT and college classes). The classes kept me busy and my mind focusing on getting out and never coming back. While in prison I was able to apply to a state university and saved up enough to start seven months after I got out. Learning while I was incarcerated was the spark to get me motivated to get my bachelor’s degree and then go back for a MBA and DBA later. Had it not been for these programs, I have no idea what I would have done.

    I am also concerned about the additional punishments being put on top of sex offender’s sentences. When the state can detain you indefinitely beyond the sentence given by the judge, we should be worried. There are also many laws that have been passed after people have been convicted and release both federal and state (I’m sure someone will chime in and tell me the word for it. It alludes me right now). This is going to take many battles in court to push back on all of this.

    1. CherokeeJack

      If I understand what you are saying, I am thinking you are looking for the word, “Retroactive”?

  9. Linda Ward

    This situation is real in most facilities. I understand that society is leary of releasing sex offenders because of the fear they will do it again. Why doesn’t society fear the release of murderers and drug dealers and thieves like they do sex offenders?! Most sex offenders have done their time, learned their “lesson” and can be an asset to society.
    I will never understand why they are treated worse than any other type of offender. They need our help, not to be shunned by all.

    1. CherokeeJack

      Linda
      These facilities are overriding the sentencing judge. If you got 10 years, if you did your time, with or without gain time, you should not legally be able to be held for not reason other than the public doesn’t like what you did to get arrested.
      And no one seems to care except our families, a few lawyers and some sites like Narsol.

      1. Linda Ward

        Totally agree. This country needs to wake up! So many deserve to be free and home with family…with forgiveness and no labels.

  10. A Mistake They Made

    The people with no voice thank you sandy!

    1. The Criminalized Man

      Those of us with a voice also thank you. Great letter, looking forward to the response.

  11. CherokeeJack

    Judges are also to blame. They could overrule this rather than give the facility a free reign to do as they please. They continue to deny it is punishment, so are these men going to end up living the rest of their lives locked up?

    We all know this is all political in nature and has nothing to do with the law. Makes them look good on being “Tough on crime”. But at what cost? And who is paying for these commitments? You know the answer, the taxpayers.

  12. Edward Schrader

    Thank you Sandy for your kindness and hard work. I had the opportunity to participate while in prison in a low intensity sex offender program. I completed and passed the program and also completed my sentence only to find myself now having to attend counseling and doing a polygraph once a year at my expense. We can only classify this as punishment after punishment. So many cases have been heard before the courts and found to be punitive and unconstitutional, and yet here we are still in the same boat never to reach the shore. Yes i agree when will the judges and Legislators decide to open there eyes and admit that this registration process and numerous regulations placed upon individuals is truly punitive and unconstitutional. They need to wake up.

  13. w

    It’s a good letter. You are making a clear inquiry into an area of concern that the respondent has an opportunity to address. So let’s hope that they respond and take the necessary actions to fix the issues. In most cases like this however it’s a repeat of bad policies and bad staff who get away with their deeds because they feel nobody’s watching. Also they feel they’re in control and exert their power abusively against their detainees/patients.

  14. Max

    Thank you Sandy for working so hard to get people to see the light of a dark rule. We need many more Organisations like Narsol, that not only work on specific laws that are not only completely wrong but out of balance as well. Starting with the top down, Bottom up and inside out.
    Meaning the Federal Government, The local Government and the treatment of the people caught in the messed up money making system. This is true for many law’s. Political, economic and criminal. Due to the fact that so many are derived from the motivation of money and power, we need to start restructuring the entire system and put watchdogs in place much like the Government did to us with the IRS ! We need them to watch our Government and legal systems and their money trail’s. ( Our Money they are Squandering )

  15. Screwed over in Mississippi

    This will never end til be rid the world of politicians. They lie to get elected they create offenders to make their bs policies look like they are protecting ppl. When in truth it does nothing but play on the fear of uneducated sheeple.

  16. Pam

    I don’t believe Illinois is the only one with lacking education or therapy for sex crimes.
    It’s seems to be throw away the key, rather than find a solution to the problem .
    Thank you for investigating Illinois.

  17. Paul

    Well written letter and it just goes to show that our corrections departments will do anything for a buck including trampling on the rights of every citizen.
    Now here’s a new issue for you from Louisiana.
    I just finished my parole time and according to Louisiana law, I am entitled to a First Time Offenders pardon, without any action by the parole board or the governor. That law clearly states that all first time offenders of non violent crimes are entitled to the pardon upon completing their sentence. However, it also makes it clear that it does not relieve the obligation to register as a sex offender.
    I received my release papers, but did not get my first time offender pardon. It seems that an appeals court ruled in another case in 2003, that a sex offender has not completed his sentence until he has completed his registration period. A case of history (State of La vs Moore – 2003), Moore received his first time offender pardon, but chose not to register since he felt the pardon relieved him of that requirement. Obviously, by law, it didn’t. But thanks to that case, the DOC will not issue me a First time offender pardon on the basis that I haven’t completed my sentence. I believe this wrong and that the appeals court got it wrong.

    1. H n H

      Everything sex related is orchestrated to make every portion of any statute impossible to ever be released from any obligations to the registry, parole or whatever punishment comes as a result of the conviction. No registry if you’re off parole? We’ll just make any sex offense with parole automatically lifetime parole, that seals up getting off the registry. You can be off parole if you’re not required to register…. Registration is for life, that makes parole impossible to get off. See how that works? It’s all impossible to fight. Politicians love these laws with passion and laugh at everyone caught up in the vast web of the “gotchyas” they purposely put in the fine print of all these laws. But hey, we have to protect those teenage girls who are incapable of ANY wrongdoing.

  18. Tim in WI

    What both civil commitment & registration regime highlight is America has abandoned constitutional discipline for the sake of political popularity. Socialism was s always popular for a little while, but when the financing runs out the regimes begin to collapse. This inevitable outcome always leads to disaster as nations struggle to pay the bills. America isn’t the first nation to create the unsustainable regime and support it by printing money backed by nothing of concrete value.