Dear NYATSA and Alliance Members

From: Richard B. Krueger, M.D. Vice-President, New York Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Dear NYATSA and Alliance Members:
The focus of this newsletter is on Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) statutes, which provide for civil commitment of high-risk sexually violent predators. As you may know, after many years of submission of such legislation by the Governor and passage by the Senate, the Assembly this year also passed its version, but the Joint Conference Committee delegated with the task of writing a law acceptable to both houses was unable to agree on a joint law.

In January of 2006, the Board of the NYSATSA and Alliance approved and distributed a policy statement on SVP legislation to the Legislature and posted it on its website, nysatsa.com. Included in this issue of the Newsletter are this policy statement, a subsequent letter sent to the legislature in May of 2006, and an op-ed that was published on May 21st, 2006, in the local edition of the New York Times by John La Fond and Bruce Winick, two national authorities on such legislation.

While SVP legislation has apparently stalled in New York for this legislative term, the Federal Government recently passed its version of such an act in the Adam Walsh Child Protective Act of 2006. This provides for support for states to explore SVP options, which suggests that such legislation may be a matter for future consideration in New York State.

The position of the NYSATSA and Alliance Board is that SVP statutes should be carefully considered before enactment because of the enormous financial costs of such programs, the inability to control such costs, and because such programs compete for available resources used to manage offenders in the community.

Accordingly, the NYSATSA and Alliance Board recommends that the Governor appoint a commission to thoroughly review other SVP programs and sex offender management policies in order to develop an integrated and forward-thinking set of recommendations, which will, in the end, be more fiscally sound and effective at reducing sexual violence.