Washington Democrats passed legislation in 2021 that amended state law to make it easier to equally distribute conditionally released sexually violent predators which they refer to as "residents" in counties across the state. The legislation established what lawmakers called "fair share principals," requiring each county in the state to provide community-based housing for conditionally released sexually violent predators who are from their respective counties. The sponsor of the legislation, Democratic State Sen. Christine Rolfes said at the time that the purpose was so that “people who are potentially dangerous, but not necessarily dangerous, back into communities where they can live safely and with their constitutional liberties protected.”
The Community Protection Act originally designated McNeil Island a first-of-its-kind civil commitment center in the 1980s. According to The Guardian, the 200 residents have “been convicted of at least one sex crime – including sexual assault, rape, and child molestation. A court has then found them to meet the legal definition of a ‘sexually violent predator’, meaning they have a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes them likely to engage in repeat sexual violence.”
Those that were deemed a continuing threat to the community after completing their prison sentences were civilly committed to McNeil Island. One of the inmates at McNeil is Calvin Malone, who according to the Guardian, “worked as a Boy Scout troop leader in various states across the country, as well as with an organization that works with at-risk youth. In these roles, he molested numerous boys and was convicted of sex crimes in California, Oregon, and Washington.”
Now Democrat Governor Jay Inslee, Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and other progressive politicians in the state are working with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Department of Corrections (DOC) to execute the 2021 legislation, depopulate McNeil and release the offenders who are likely to re-offend into residential neighborhoods.
Glen Morgan of We The Governed, told The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, “There's a couple hundred of 'em out there (on McNeil), 215 or so, and what they've decided to do is instead of keeping 'em on an isolated island in the middle of Puget Sound where they used to have a federal prison, they decided, ‘Hey, this is a great idea. Let's distribute 'em equally … equal distribution throughout all the counties in Washington state. And we'll stick 'em in neighborhoods and we'll hand 'em over to for-profit companies who don't have to be subject to public records, act laws, or open public meeting the rules.”
The legislation also granted each violent predator the right to develop a discharge plan and petition for a Less Restrictive Alternative (LRA) outpatient treatment program.
Neighbors in Thurston County which will be responsible for housing 11 of the conditionally released sexually violent predators, discovered that one of the homes, to be operated by Supreme Living LLC, qualifies as an LRA. The residential care services company with two existing supportive housing facilities in Olympia, was to be opened in Tenino, near Maytown, next month without community input, to serve five of these offenders.
The neighbors heard rumors of the facility, but those whispers were not confirmed by officials until a January 11 meeting, less than a month before the facility was scheduled to open on February 1.
Thurston County Sheriff Derek Sanders posted on Facebook that his primary concern was Supreme Living's enforcement plan.
Though the 15-acre facility has cameras, the house is not secured, there is no fence and no plans for armed security to prevent residents from leaving.
In case of an incident or breach, Supreme Living CEO Angela Rinaldo said the plan was to contact the state Department of Corrections (DOC), which the company expects to respond 24/7 to arrest a resident who leaves the property in violation of their probation.
Mayor of Tenino Wayne Fournier posted on Facebook, “DOC did not appear to be aware of this sex offender house being installed, and, as suspected, they do not have a 24-hour responder to detain an individual who flees. They also acknowledged some of those clients may not even be under their jurisdiction.”
Sanders confirmed Fournier’s claims with the DOC writing, "It is easy to see why this is not viable. This installation would leave former McNeil Island sex offenders, self-described by the government as the worst of the worst when it comes to sex offenders, in an unsecured, rural residence with no enforcement for absconding."
He added that the Thurston County Sheriff's Office has no enforcement authority unless the resident commits a crime. Additionally, due to changes made by Democrats in the legislature to state law, law enforcement is not allowed to pursue an escaped resident.
Jennifer Wienes told Fox 13, “My husband and I were the original owners of that home that they purchased and [they] told us they were going to be fostering children and [we] later found out that their intent was not to do that.”
Supreme Living will collect $38,000 a month per resident until it is fully occupied. Once the facility is full with five predators, the state claims that the average cost will become $20,000 a month
Washington Senate Republican Leader John Braun said in a statement on Monday "The people of this area have every right to be outraged by what they are learning about this plan. The situation is more serious than a classic case of government failing to be transparent and respectful of public concerns because it involves criminals who have committed truly heinous offenses, and state agencies that aren't known for running a tight ship."
Republican state Senator Drew MacEwen said, "The public outrage should not surprise us. When a project like this one is foisted on a small community, it tells us state agencies are simply not interested in the burdens they place on neighbors and the surrounding area. State agencies must be held to account for decisions like these. The people of Tenino and southern Thurston County deserve to know how the state plans to protect them."
While lawmakers work on legislation to combat the Democrats’ plans, another facility has been revealed in Enumclaw in King County which currently houses a level 3 sex offender.
According to a resident who found out he lived down the street from the facility, “I was told by the detective handling this that they have plans to put more in the same house. This is outrageous, there are children all over this area, including two that live right next to the house.”
Dozens of other facilities throughout the state have not yet been revealed.
DSHS released 22 sex predators to LRAs in 2022. Two have been released in 2023. So far, eleven of the sex predators were sent to Pierce County, eight were placed in King County, four in Spokane County, and one in Snohomish County.
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