David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Monday, February 20, 2006

Opinion: Predator therapy

from the Press Enterprise

10:08 PM PST on Monday, February 20, 2006

Convicted sexual predators should be confined and required to get treatment for their destructive impulses. But until now the Democrats who run the Legislature have been reluctant to embrace that view. It is heartening to see the message get through.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez last Tuesday said California needs to overhaul the way it handles sex offenders. Nuñez proposed that the state oblige sexual predators to undergo therapy before the predators can leave state custody.

Under existing law, California sends sexually violent predators to a state hospital after the felons complete their prison sentences. While hospitalized, the sex offenders are supposed to undergo a four-part treatment program. But in the 10 years since that law took effect, only four of 538 men have actually completed the program. The reason? It is too easy for sexual predators to appeal to a judge for release and avoid treatment altogether.

Truth is, the state judicial system is unsympathetic to confining criminals after they have served their prison sentences, no matter how dangerous these felons may be or what the Legislature says.

But returning untreated sex offenders to California neighborhoods is a dangerous, unpopular practice. And so Nuñez's statement coincided with news that sponsors of the Jessica's Law initiative had collected more than enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. Jessica's Law would, among other things, mandate treatment for offenders while the offenders are incarcerated.

Nuñez's shift is a welcome sign from one of the state's top-ranking Democrats that protecting children from sexual predators is a truly nonpartisan issue. Perhaps now the speaker will let some of the Republican-backed bills to toughen California's sex-crime laws actually reach the Assembly floor.

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