Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Conundrums Common in TX of Sexual Predators. (Medication, Issues Often Arise)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Conundrums Common in TX of Sexual Predators. (Medication, Issues Often Arise)

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -- Psychiatric treatment in civil commitment centers for sexual predators poses unique challenges for psychiatrists.

"There are some unusual legal and professional conundrums that you come up against in this type of treatment," said Dr. Mark McClung, who directs psychiatric treatment at the Special Commitment Center, McNeil Island, Wash., and is a psychiatrist in private practice in Seattle.

The SCC in Washington was created after the state legislature passed its sexually violent predator law in 1989, following several highly publicized sexual assaults and sexually motivated homicides. The legislature cited the need for a commitment law for a "small but extremely dangerous group of sexually violent predators" who did not have a mental disease under the existing involuntary commitment act.

There are currently 127 male and 1 female sexual predators on the SCC unit at McNeil Island, ranging in age from 18 to 70 years. Sixty percent of the residents, mostly rapists and pedophiles, have chosen to participate in sex offender treatment, and 30% are on psychotropic medication. Six have been released by court order and are living in different community settings, either assisted residential living or with family members, Dr. …

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