The state senate is trying to reverse budget cuts in the state program that keeps persistent sexual predators off the streets. 

State law lets the state commit sexual predators to a special mental institution after they complete their prison sentences.  The only such facility is in Farmington.  About 125 people are housed there….

Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington says the House has acted in a contradictory manner by cutting funding for that unit in the last couple of years…while pushing tougher laws to keep persistent offenders locked up.

The Senate has put money back into the proposed state budget…Engler tells appropriations chairman Chuck Gross, “They’re not mentally ill; these suckers are sick.”  He says it makes no sense to pass laws keep them off the streets and then to reduce spending to keep them in custody.  Gross says it costs about $100,000 a year to house and treat persistent offenders, about four times the average annual cost of a regular inmate.  Gross calls them “expensive sickos.” 

The House and Senate have two weeks to work out differences in spending plans.  Gross says the Senate has to stand by its increases to keep those offenders from being released for lack of treatment.

(The funding for the program is in SCS/HCS/HB10, section 10.345)


Download the Engler-Gross discussion (5:29 mp3)