Sexually violent predators; conditional release of those civilly committed. (SB1470)

Introduced By

Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mount Solon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sexually violent predators; civil commitment.  Provides that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Attorney General's Office shall examine, as possible components of conditional release of civilly committed sexually violent predators, the feasibility of the use of physical castration as a treatment option and the use of residential housing facilities, operated by the Commonwealth or by private providers contracted with the Commonwealth on property owned by the Commonwealth, and shall report the results of the examination to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1, 2012. The bill also directs the Department to review the offenses that qualify as sexually violent offenses, the Department's process for evaluation of individuals to determine whether they meet the criteria for treatment as sexually violent predators, and the Commonwealth's program for treatment of sexually violent predators to determine whether changes may be made to reduce the cost of treatment and care of sexually violent predators while protecting the safety and welfare of citizens of the Commonwealth. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/21/2011Presented and ordered printed 11104189D
01/21/2011Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/27/2011Assigned Education sub: Health Care
02/02/2011Impact statement from DPB (SB1470)
02/03/2011Reported from Education and Health with amendments (13-Y 2-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2011Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2011Read second time
02/07/2011Reading of amendments waived
02/07/2011Committee amendments agreed to
02/07/2011Engrossed by Senate as amended SB1470E
02/07/2011Printed as engrossed 11104189D-E
02/08/2011Read third time and passed Senate (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/09/2011Placed on Calendar
02/09/2011Read first time
02/09/2011Referred to Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety
02/15/2011Assigned MPPS sub: #2
02/17/2011Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (3-Y 0-N)
02/17/2011Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
02/18/2011Reported from Militia, Police and Public Safety with amendment (20-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/18/2011Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/18/2011Assigned App. sub: Health and Human Resources
02/21/2011Impact statement from DPB (SB1470E)
02/22/2011Left in Appropriations


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 3 minutes.


robert legge writes:

The Castration Bill. This ought to make the "interesting bills" list.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

The interesting bills list is generated automatically, using data that includes traffic, Photosynthesis portfolios, comments, comment e-mail subscriptions, and a couple of other factors. So consider your comment (and, I guess, this one) a step towards that. :)

L.L. writes:

Senator Hanger has also submitted a bill to study the behemoth that is the Sex Offender Registry, looking at the effectiveness in preventing sexual offending along with the financial and human costs. The second portion of this bill also seems to focus on examining our broad definition of "sexually violent" in the Code. He appears to be "getting" the fact that we're painting offenders with a very broad brush, and we need to target our resources at the most dangerous offenders. However, the "physical castration" concept is abominable - the permanent mutilation of a human being. While chemical castration is also a violation of civil liberties, limited and temporary use with repeat offenders may be an option as an alternative to incarceration or civil commitment.

J.L writes:

I find it completely ludicrous that "physical castration" is even in this bill. Everything else is agreeable, at least it's known that the definition of a violent sex offender, let alone sex offender, in this state is too broad.

Rachel W., tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

This bill concerns me for several reasons. Firstly, of course, physical castration as a "treatment option" for sexually violent predators represents an egregious violation of human rights, as others have pointed out in their comments. Secondly, while the bill seems to acknowledge the over-classification of sexually violent predators, might it not also be interpreted in the opposite fashion? That is, might the bill actually propose to expand the definition of sexually violent predators? Finally, the bill identifies a decrease of treatment funding for sexually violent predators as an eventual goal. I believe funding treatment for this population is of paramount importance, not only for the safety of our communities, but in order for those convicted of sexual offenses to move forward and live full, healthy lives. Thoughts?

Rickey Moore writes:

I thought such things as castration and hysterectomies, on the mentally ill, were deemed unconstitutional. Check out wikipedia,

"In recent years, the governors of many states have made public apologies for their past programs beginning with Virginia and followed by Oregon and California. None have offered to compensate those sterilized, however, citing that few are likely still living (and would of course have no affected offspring) and that inadequate records remain by which to verify them. At least one compensation case, Poe v. Lynchburg Training School & Hospital (1981), was filed in the courts on the grounds that the sterilization law was unconstitutional. It was rejected because the law was no longer in effect at the time of the filing. However, the petitioners were granted some compensation as the stipulations of the law itself, which required informing the patients about their operations, had not been carried out in many cases."

So, we're to do this again?? I pray that someone reads the "Red Words", in the New Testament, and see if Jesus would condone this. I think not.

Elsie Dawson writes:

Treatment for sex offenders as opposed to incarceration for life is an excellent and practical concept, but castration is out of the question. This would surely be considered a human's right violation. I can't believe that Virginians would support such a barbaric practice. God help us, if we stoop to this level.

edward writes:

dear folks,

this is coming forward to SAVE MONEY only - since the growth in cases of civilly committed sexual offenders has been growing dramatically - it has little to nothing to do with medical care

sexual offenders - having committed a wide variety of crimes, but having served all the time adjudicated for them - can be processed into civil commitment (a form of coerced 'hospitalization' (or 'incarceration', depending on how you consider it) by a judge, having heard information from a review panel

Virginia 'hospitalizes/incarcerates' so many that the costs of rising dramatically; and the program is not very well treating them, in order to release them from civil commitment. So, they'll either need to spend more and more and more money to 'hospitalize' them - and of course continue the high legal costs of reviews that are required since these men (mostly men) have already SERVED ALL THEIR TIME, and have not committed any new crimes

we see that legislators supporting this are calling this 'treatment' and saying that this is like 'patients who ask for treatment'.

so, what do you think: if your liberty has been taken away, although you have NOT committed any (new) crime, would your decision to 'ask for the treatment of castration' be free and unencumbered? or might it be encumbered, or even coerced? (for example, it you're told that the facility is going to be crowded - they are proposed double bunking! (what hospital, anymore, has 'shared bunks'?)?