Target: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
Goal: Stop plan to privatize Virginia’s sex offender treatment centers
The state of Virginia currently has a civil commitment law which allows for the indefinite imprisonment of habitual sexual predators in state treatment centers; criminals imprisoned in treatment centers are imprisoned until mental health professionals deem them no longer a danger to society. Since the enacting of this law, these treatment centers have been run by the state, however recent discussions between the state and private prison corporations indicate a very high likelihood that the state will privatize the sex offender treatment program.
The civil commitment law of Virginia is controversial because it allows for the detention of sex offenders, after they serve their jail sentence, until they are no longer dangerous; these people have served their time in jail, but are detained for treatment out of concern that they would re-offend if released. As it takes significant amounts of time for sex offender treatment to work, many sex offenders are imprisoned in these treatment centers for years, if not forever.
The fact that prisoners detained in sexual predator treatment centers are being treated for a mental illness, rather than simply serving a prison sentence, makes these centers wholly inappropriate to privatize. Private corporations depend upon occupancy to make money, thus there is no incentive for them to treat those who they are detaining. If imprisoned sex offenders get poor treatment (or no treatment at all) during their detention, there is no possibility that they will be released from the treatment centers. Corporations cannot be expected to run a treatment center which has the goal of rehabilitating sex offenders, when their profit margins are fundamentally dependent upon such sex offenders remaining detained in their facilities.
Sign this petition in order to demand that the state of Virginia not privatize its sex offender treatment system. Under the current system, these individuals are receiving help for their illnesses, but if for-profit corporations take over, these prisoners will likely become fuel to build corporate profits. Sex offenders have done repugnant things in their lives but this does not justify our letting them be imprisoned and neglected to profit a corporation.
Dear State of Virginia,
There are currently negotiations occurring between private prison corporations and officials in your state which have the potential to result in the privatization of Virginia’s sexual predator treatment centers. This privatization creates a terrible mal-incentive for the corporations and will likely result in prisoners being turned into a captive resource in service to corporate profits.
Because private prisons make a profit from imprisoning criminals, they cannot be expected to imprison people who will only be released after treatment—this treatment will simply never come because it doesn’t benefit the corporation to provide it.
Every citizen should be concerned about his state victimizing prisoners, even those guilty of the most repulsive crimes, by letting them be imprisoned without hope by a private corporation. I, as well as everybody else who signed this petition, implore the citizens of Virginia to notify their Representatives and elected officials that they do not support the privatization of sexual predator treatment centers; hopefully, if enough outcry is raised, these treatment centers will remain in state control and the profit motive will not obscure justice.
[Your Name Here]