CRIME

Commission: Virginia's civil commitment program flawed

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The General Assembly's investigative arm says Virginia's process of evaluating sex offenders to be detained for treatment after their prison sentence is over is flawed, meaning some offenders could end up spending years in treatment based on faulty information.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission said Monday that the tool Virginia uses to assess the risk that offenders will commit another sex crime often overestimates that likelihood.

But because Virginia's law specifies that tool must be used, it would require legislators to change the law in order to fix the problem.

Legislators ordered JLARC to review Virginia's civil commitment program for those deemed sexually violent predators when the program experienced budget shortfalls due to the dramatic increase in offenders committed for treatment after their release from prison.

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