Good morning. Here’s a look at opinion content published in The Journal News today, Tuesday, Jan. 25:
Civil commitment: Editorial
We comment on New York’s four-year-old civil commitment program, which monitors high-risk sex offenders and has its roots in a White Plains tragedy. The program has been the focus of a series of articles published since Sunday in The Journal News; the reports were prepared by staff writer Gary Craig of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, our sister publication.
… Taxpayers, however, have every reason to question the extent to which the program requires refinement: It is very quickly becoming one of the state’s most expensive answers to the problem of recidivism among sexual offenders — to the extent that even program proponents are sounding the alarm on costs, which currently stand at some $175,000 for each civilly committed offender. …
… The questions surrounding best practices and strategies will doubtless grow more urgent in the future, as the number of offenders enrolled in the program grows. As staff reporter Gary Craig of The Democrat and Chronicle — our sister publication based in Rochester — writes in a series that concludes today, “Since many offenders who are locked away are unlikely to be released for years, if ever, the costs will continue to escalate.” Craig noted that even before the program was two years old, officials from the state Office of Mental Health warned that the “population growth (of committed offenders) will continue unabated for many years and at costs that may well be unsustainable in an uncertain fiscal climate.” About 70 offenders a year are deemed so dangerous, following a due-process laden assessment, as to require civil confinement. With that growth rate, treatment costs alone are projected to increase by some $12 million annually. It is the costliest program of its type in the country. …
Mount Vernon dogs: Reisman
Phil Reisman tells the story of Jerry Ronan, a Yonkers resident who works as a mailman in Mount Vernon. Over the years, Ronan has rescued no fewer than seven abandoned dogs he’s found along his route.
Obama must seek tighter gun-control laws: Editorial, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Presidential Pitch: Editorial, The Buffalo News
Human side of state deficit: Editorial, Albany Times Union
Obama must focus on economic growth: Editorial, Syracuse Post-Standard