High-risk sex offenders have nowhere to go

That some sex offenders in this State have no facility or residential program to go to after release is not news (especially since David Pollitt’s saga), but now we are seeing more examples of this problem (or maybe it is just being covered more by the MSM).

Ransome Lee Moody is a three-time convicted rapist who has finished his prison sentence but is still so dangerous and calculating, officials testified Thursday, that he defies all conventional sex-offender treatment and no facility — in this state or beyond — will take him.

Finding a permanent place for the 50-year-old Moody, who has served a total of 30 years in prison, is proving to be “an impossibility” even though a slew of state agencies are working on the problem, Superior Court Judge Robert L. Holzberg said Thursday at a hearing on the conditions of Moody’s probation.

Moody is not alone. At any given time, there are 50 to 75 sex offenders who have nowhere to go. They are staying in the shelters, Chief Probation Officer Dorian Santoemma explained, because they may be too risky for inpatient sex-offender treatment, or there’s no room in the programs, or there’s no living arrangement with relatives that would be appropriate.

There are only three shelters in the State that will accept them: one each in Hartford, New Haven and New Britain.

Holzberg rescinded a requirement that Moody be placed in an inpatient program because none could be found. The judge said that without “the good graces” of Warren Kimbro, the studious 73-year-old ex-Black Panther who runs Project More in New Haven, there would not even be a temporary solution to Moody’s placement problem.

“If we won’t take him, who will?” said Kimbro, whose programs help ex-convicts return to society. “Regardless of their offense, once they’re released, if we don’t assist them with re-integration, then we can expect them to re-offend.”

He can’t stay there forever. This will need to be addressed soon. I just hope we don’t go the civil commitment way.

16 thoughts on “High-risk sex offenders have nowhere to go

  1. AntonK

    If Moody, “…is still so dangerous and calculating, officials testified Thursday, that he defies all conventional sex-offender treatment and no facility — in this state or beyond — will take him.” Then put the f*cker back in prison! For God’s sake, what is society supposed to do? Let this animal terrorize again, and again, and again, and again…..?

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  2. AntonK

    Put him back in jail for what? Futurecrime?” Okay, now that I’ve calmed down, good question.

    Well (and I don’t mean this to sound as sarcastic as it does), apart from imagining some 24th-century, Star Trek-type fantasy world where rehab happily exists for, “…a three-time convicted rapist who has finished his prison sentence but is still so dangerous and calculating, officials testified Thursday, that he defies all conventional sex-offender treatment…,” what do you or others suggest?

    I suppose we could tell his soon-to-be-neighbors that, if you see this “…three-time convicted rapist who has finished his prison sentence but is still so dangerous and calculating, officials testified Thursday, that he defies all conventional sex-offender treatment” just run, or shoot him, or whatever… but really, what is society to do?

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  3. Gideon Post author

    That’s why we need some residential programs that are able to treat people like him or at least provide them a place to live with some monitoring.

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  4. AntonK

    Okay, but perhaps his type needs to be sent to prison for life in the first instance? That way, he gets both a place to live (though not “residential”), and monitoring.

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  5. Cat

    At least we’ll know where he is for the time being…

    More and more cities are placing restrictions on where sex offenders can live. In some places as much as 75% of the city’s area is off limits. Many offenders will be forced to drop off the map in order to have a roof over their head. They HAVE to live somewhere.

    I’d sure as hell rather know a sex offender is living in my neighborhood – than NOT know about the one who’s been forced into ‘secretly’ living next door to me.

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  6. Ilah

    Okay, but perhaps his type needs to be sent to prison for life in the first instance?

    As always, the trouble lies not in determining the strategy, but in implementing the logistics of it. While life imprisonment is a popular strategy, its logistical needs may far exceed its benefits. “If it saves one person” is not an acceptable justification if, to implement the policy, resources are taken from policies that may save two.

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  7. Alec

    Life imprisonment might be an option for serious recidivists, and it makes just as much sense as the habitual offender statutes in place in most jurisdictions. But the temptation to give long sentences to sex offenders who have offended against children will be too great. Moreover, mandatory minimums have proven as troubling in this area as they were in drug sentences. In AZ, for example, child pornography defendants face 10 year mandatory minimums for each image, to run consecutively. Yes, you heard me: 20 images, 200 years. And the feds have an effective 5 year mandatory minimum; keep in mind, these are not even offenses that involve victims per se.
    I think civil commitment may be a better option. It seems to be used sparingly in California (I have a feeling the federal government will not be so generous when its program kicks into gear). Or more state funding for sex offender treatment programs.

    I’m not surprised the MSM is paying more attention: more “stranger danger”/”predators among us” sensationalism.

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  8. Mark from Jersey

    This is a failure of the State. This guy has spent thirty years in jail. That gives the State thirty years to get treatment for this guy, plan ahead for his release, and find him a place to live. If society, and all of its citizens, are willing to ignore a problem for thirty years, then yeah, the people of the State deserve what they get.

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  9. Ilah

    I think civil commitment may be a better option. It seems to be used sparingly in California (I have a feeling the federal government will not be so generous when its program kicks into gear). Or more state funding for sex offender treatment programs.

    Reports from Coalinga indicate civil committment in CA is an abysmal failure–if one believes the state should endeavor to meet its SCOTUS-approved goals, that is. If, however, civ-com’s purpose is solely to extend confinement, then it’s working just grand–as long as everyone is prepared to accept the fact we must all pretend the state isn’t lying to the courts.

    Treatment does work, but it’s difficult to make it mandatory when, among other things, there’s absolutely no incentive to be a willing participant in any program (good time credit doesn’t apply in many states). So treatment doesn’t get applied until after release–when the registrant can’t find a place a live or work, but must pay for therapy.

    We know what reduces recidivism among high-risk offenders. Circles of Support and Accountability is an excellent example. Trouble is, the public simply doesn’t like the answer, evidenced by the continual cutting of funds to similar programs.

    We also know what increases the risk factors associated with recidivism: unstable employment, unstable living arrangements, and social isolation. Most lawmakers know this, too. They’ve done an excellent job so far of hitting each and every one.

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  10. Mark from Jersey

    SPO said:

    The people of the State “deserve what they get”.

    That says it all. Mark, you are one sick puppy.

    Yeah, you usually deal with the consequences of your actions. That’s what we tell criminals. It’s no different for the public at large, as they speak with a vote.

    Taxpayers and elected officials decide “No residential facilities for high risk sex offenders”, “No new prison facilities”, “No reentry services for inmates”. So let the guy go, with no support system, no treatment while incarcerated, no transition back to society.

    You want the cheap solution, you get what you deserve.

    I’d rather have a comprehensive solution. Not feel-good mandatory sentencing, not lock ‘em up and throw away the key.

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  11. Mark from Jersey

    SPO said:

    guess…future victims…animals…Sick

    So I bet Connecticut deserves a blue ribbon in its handling of this case? Don’t twist my words around.

    We’re already dealing with what we deserve by not immediately dealing with our problems, instead, locking ‘em away for thirty years. Overcrowded prisons, a clogged criminal justice system which ignores high-risk criminals, and cannot accomplish meaningful corrections or rehabilitation due to lack of funding and staffing.

    Anyways, what irrational fear-mongering propaganda you direct towards high-risk sex offenders: Maybe these sick animals must be euthanased in a gas chamber since they’re “undesirable”. No, that’s too painless, why not torture these animals to “protect the children”. Where are you headed in your quest to eliminate “future victims”?

    Maybe you should stop your guesswork, accept the reality that we live in a government bounded by the rule of law and the constitution, and propose a realizable solution?

    You can’t go with some pie-in-the-sky “lock ‘em up forever” scheme, as this doesn’t play out well in our system of plea-bargaining charges down. Victims don’t want to testify. Evidence can be inconclusive. This means, in essence, most criminals are let back out.

    Now, this is why treatment in prison is crucial:

    You identify the criminals who are highest at-risk to re-offend, and separate them from the ones amenable to treatment.

    For the compulsive and repetitive offenders, you find their triggers, their behavior pattern, psychological profile. Monitor the progress in therapy. Keep them in civil commitment if they are uncooperative.

    Once out, keep them on a tight leash. Eliminate sentences such as, thirty years to serve, followed by nothing, no aftercare or monitoring. It leads to trouble.

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  12. Thumbs

    “…is still so dangerous and calculating, officials testified Thursday, that he defies all conventional sex-offender treatment and no facility — in this state or beyond — will take him.”

    Why don’t to put the f*cker back to prison?
    Nietzsche was right. When society becomes soft and gentle, it is on the side of those who hurt it.

    Reply

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