No easy exit from sexual predator program

As a task force began drafting its recommendations last week on how to improve the sexual predator treatment program at Larned State Hospital, some striking numbers emerged: Of the more than 250 patients who have entered the program in the past 18 years, only four have been released. (At least 16 have died.) The Kansas Health Institute News Service also reported that each patient costs taxpayers about $87,000 a year. It’s been 16 years since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1994 law allowing Kansas to keep some sexual predators behind bars even after they’ve completed their prison sentences. But if, as then-Attorney General Carla Stovall once said, “our goal is treatment so these people can have a productive life,” that doesn’t seem to be working very well.