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Florida law fails in treatment of sexual offenders

Jason Grotto of The Miami Herald analyzed more than 100,000 cases of sexual crimes, reviewed court cases, state records and documents and conducted dozens of interviews to show that seven years after the passage of the Jimmy Ryce Act, Florida's program for screening, confining and treating the worst sexual offenders is failing. The four-part series reveals that, while the state has spent millions placing 825 men at the Florida Civil Commitment Center, at least 600 offenders who were passed over by the screening process were later arrested for new sex crimes — many against children. "Even when offenders are placed at the center, more than 60 percent still receive no treatment because the Legislature has not fully funded the program and because a loophole in the law allows the men to refuse therapy." Meanwhile, hundreds of offenders have been freed from the facility without completing a comprehensive treatment program — including nearly 100 who didn't participate in a single hour of therapy.

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