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Inside Olympia — Special Commitment Center for Sex Offenders

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Since the early 1990s, the State of Washington has operated the Special Commitment Center. The SCC is located on McNeil Island in Puget Sound, where at one time a state prison, and before that a federal prison, were located.

The SCC is where some people deemed sexually violent predators are civilly committed after serving their prison sentences. Washington was the first state to create such a program. The courts have held that treatment must be offered to those in the SCC, and their cases must be reviewed annually to determine if they should be released from the facility.

Today, the population at McNeil Island is declining. So what is the future of the SCC? What are the challenges of operating on an island? What is the treatment regime for the residents? And what happens when it is time for a resident to leave the island?

In the first interview of a three-part series on Washington’s program for civilly committed sex offenders, we talk with the Chief Executive Officer of the SCC, Keith DeVos, and the facilities Chief of Clinical Services, Dr. Megan Reese.