I decided to post this article about the process to civilly commitment those deemed by the state of Virginia as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP’). If the state is successful then the inmate is transferred from the prison to the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation in Burkeville, VA for indefinite "treatment".
Today Galen volunteers with National C.U.R.E. and is a member of the Virginia State Chapter in Northern VA.
How 'civil commitment' enables indefinite detention of sex offenders
Many sex offenders are held indefinitely past their sentence on a recidivism assessment that's almost impossible to challenge
Most people would think that once you have served a jail sentence, you are free to go. But that's not always the case.
When it comes to sex offenders, a number of states and the federal government have laws that allow them to keep you in jail, simply because they consider you a potential recidivist. Through a legal procedure called "civil commitment", you can be classed as a sexually violent predator based solely on the subjective opinion of a state-employed psychologist or sex expert.
Once placed under a civil commitment, you are essentially in prison indefinitely. This can quickly become a nightmare, particularly in instances such as an "agreed disposition'' – similar to a plea bargain in a criminal trial – where a person may have been pushed to waive his right to appeal (pdf) during negotiations.
No one knows for sure how many sex offenders there are in the
The topic, especially with the Ariel Castro horror in Cleveland fresh in everybody's minds, is charged with emotion. There is little regard for sex offenders in the justice system: defense lawyers are loath to take a case before a jury, fearing instant conviction, and judges often can barely hide their disgust should they render a decision at a bench trial.
Baughman had been a college student in the early 2000s at the
The judge suspended part of the sentence; even so, Baughman spent nine years in prison – half of that time in one sort of segregation or another, despite serving his sentence without any infraction.
In 2007, just as he was looking forward to release,
One day, a psychologist arrived at the prison, and said he wanted to interview Baughman to determine whether he was a sexually violent predator. Baughman said he would be glad to answer questions but wanted an attorney present. At that, the psychologist left, never to return.