IA: Prisoner advocates feel more hopeless after sex offense civil commitment presentation

Source: newtondailynews.com 12/5/23

Families and advocates of incarcerated individuals at Newton Correctional Facility had been waiting months for the Iowa Board of Corrections to provide some semblance of an answer to their questions regarding the state’s civil commitment program. It was finally put on the agenda. Open for all to see.

Although the department of corrections and its board members acknowledged their concerns, advocates left the meeting last month feeling hopeless.

Despite a presentation about the sex offender civil commitment referral process from its program manager, Ken Pirc, those in attendance were still left scratching their heads and questioning whether the code directing the process is adequate. Final words from board member Webster Kranto further solidified their anguish.

“What I’ve learned over the years on this board and the conclusion I’ve come to is that I can’t actually change anything. I don’t think we can change anything. As time goes on, the rules change constantly to give us less and less power, less and less access,” he said. “In real life I don’t think there’s anything we can do.”

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Interesting quote seemingly justifying endless civil commitment: “someone who completes a substance abuse program may not change their ways. That’s a choice they make, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t offer them programming,” Nelson said

Indiana residents, if you want change, Show Up, Stand Up, and Speak Up

Related: Is Graydon Comstock still in civil confinement? He was the person who, six days before he was to leave after serving his full sentence with no parole in the mid-2000’s, was sentenced (yes, I know “committed” is the correct term, but “sentenced” is the ACTUAL result) to civil confinement, and SCOTUS ruled civil confinement was legal in 2010.

I have a hard time comprehending how this article can talk about CIVIL commitment, but talk about the process in legal terms such as the individual being referred to the AG for prosecution and then having to go in front of a judge. There’s nothing civil about the process at all.
So I am suggesting a solution to this. How about just getting rid of civil commitment and let the judge decide everything during the criminal sentencing. In other words, if the crime is so heinous, or the individual demonstrates predatory behavior, let the judge pass down a sentence of life with the possibility of parole. That way, the individual will at least know where he stands because no one seems to get released from civil commitment anyway.