Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, the man who in March proposed chemical castration for sex offenders, has now scrapped a proposed post-prison civil commitment program as too expensive. From the Daily Reveille:
"It is a concept that DHH and the governor's office do support and will revisit when it's more financially viable for Louisiana," she said.
Rep. Fred Mills' bill would have provided treatment for certain sex offenders after their release from prison. Mills said the program would require about $12 million over five years — for surveillance equipment, medication and psychiatric evaluations — an expensive price tag in a year of budget cuts.
Jindal is backing several bills this year to crack down on sex offenders, but Mills' was the most ambitious. The others are changes to existing law, such as lengthening certain prison terms for sex crimes.
"We know that Rep. Mills has worked hard on this bill and we support his work to find a more cost-effective way to pursue this legislation, especially as we face multiple-year budget challenges," said Kyle Plotkin, a spokesman for the governor's office.
Mills said initial estimates for the civil commitment program — $26,000 annually per sex offender — turned out to be low compared to a similar program in Texas. Most sex offenders in the program would also require the treatments for life, Mills said, compounding the future costs.
Mills told the House Appropriations Committee that he agreed with the governor's office and DHH that the bill is too costly.
As the California experience with lifetime real-time GPS monitoring has illustrated, the economic woes of the country might slow the rate at which different governments adopt more restrictions on sex offenders.
H/T: Sentencing Law & Policy.