The United States Supreme Court today confirmed the end of a long legal challenge over the treatment available to civilly committed sex offenders sent to the DSHS Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
The Supreme Court declined to review lower court rulings that ended court supervision of the SCC by dissolving the lawsuit and a 13-year-old injunction. This case, Turay v Richards, first went to trial in 1994. It was dissolved in 2007.
At one point, the SCC faced a fine of an estimated $12 million before convincing the court that it had made substantial progress on treatment and other issues.
SCC Superintendent Kelly Cunningham praised past and current staff for their trailblazing efforts to create and fine-tune the nation’s first Special Commitment Center.
“Since its creation in 1990, the SCC staff worked long and hard to generate a blueprint for the nation’s best civil commitment program,” said Cunningham. “But we won’t rest on our laurels. We will continue to look for ways to make our program even better.”
The 300 SCC residents are housed and treated at facilities on McNeil Island, in Seattle and in supervised less-restrictive living quarters in various communities.