By | June 22, 2010 19 Comments

The high cost of locking up sex offenders

Twenty states have “civil commitment” laws to keep dangerous sex offenders off the street after their jail sentences are complete. This year, the programs will cost a total of more than $500 million—five times the cost of regular incarceration.

Why? Because of all the behavioral therapists, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists who are treating the predators.

In Lovefraud’s view, this cost could easily be reduced, because many of the sex offenders are psychopaths, and psychopaths can’t be rehabilitated. So the solution is to help those who can be helped, and throw the rest in jail.

Read: Treatment for a sexual predator costs a whopping $175,000 per person per year in New York: study.

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Ox Drover

You know, this is unconsicionable politically correct CRAPOLA!

There are some things going on in our Society that are so OBVIOUSLY WRONG and so obviously TWISTED that NO person with “one eye and half sense” should be so stupid that they would “go for” such a thing.

Our educational system, in order to be “fair” takes a 16 year old child who is NON VERBAL and unable to do even the most basic activities of daily living, like feed themselves, and puts them in an “age appropriate” classroom with an aide hired to do nothing but take care of them. This costs WHAT? and benifits WHO? A while back in Texas they were trying to put ANCEPHALIC children (children born with empty skulls, Only a brain stem) in “age appropriate” classrooms until the caregivers raised such a fuss at exposing these very fradgile individuals to the germs and diseases of “normal” kids they would have been exposed to—that the idea was dropped.

I am very much an advocate for ANYthing that will actually benefit a disabled child—however that child is disabled—but GET REAL folks—Look at what Witsend endured trying to get help for her kid who MIGHT HAVE benefited from an 1 on 1 aid, and some special therapy to keep him in school and motivate him, instead she got NOTHING and some kid who is blind, deaf and mute gets $50,000 spent on him which cannot benifit him.

Same thing with the dangerous “sexual predators”—-$175,000 would buy a lot of therapy and education for a lot of kids that it might benefit, but gimmie a break folks! Some one ought to be AWAKENED in the state legislature to GET REAL and find a reasonable solution. THIS IS NOT IT!!!!

BTW if anyone wants to talk to me tonight, you’ll have to do it on this thread, it is the only one I can get on!


I bet the lawmakers do not run their personal finances in this manner!!!!

I like the comment…….How much does a bullet cost!?!?!?!

If not…..throw em in a cell and forget to feed em! SLIME OF THE EARTH!!!


Erin and Oxy, some blogger on a post regarding that murderer that was executed last week said (LOL) … he’s a defective part and we are sending him back to the manufacturer.

I thought that was common sense Christian humor.

Elizabeth Conley

It doesn’t make sense that maintaining a prisoner should cost as much as it does. It makes even less sense to pour money down the drain treating sexual predators.

There are lots of people in this world with sick fantasy lives who never harm anyone. Sexual Predators are different. They have sick fantasy lives co-morbid with moral insanity. It makes no sense to ever free them.

There needs to be a place for criminals that costs the rest of humanity little or nothing to maintain.

We should be expending our resources helping our nation’s elderly, handicapped and poverty stricken.

Ox Drover

Devil’s Island, or the price of a bullet. LOL Yep, send’em back to the maker for repairs or replacement. Gullag or coal mine, I don’t care. Give them a reason to work. Make them PAY for their keep, not COST the tax payer.

Sorry, but IMHO Prisons should be a FOR PROFIT set up. Put them babies to WORK, Arkansas works them, they grow their own food and plant and harvest cotton and other crops, put them puppies on a hoe line with shot gun riders on horses and dogs on the sides.

Make’em dread to go back!

Ox Drover

Buttons & EB this is still the only one I can get on so can’t answer you on the other threads. Don’t know how long this one will hold out. 30 comments seems to be the max I can open up now. To town this week and Verizon!


I’m with you Oxy, make them work their butts off on chain gangs. This administration can start rounding up the dead beat parents to start the ball rolling, pull them out of their new relationships that they are conning to keep a roof over their head and make them pay society back with hard labor. I’m putting money on they all have an excuse that they can’t work … hobble, hobble. Where is that Cathy Bates when we need her?


Well I am going to toss my 2 cents in on this one. This article is about the exact same thing and has the same material as the article Donna has linked but it also has more that appears to have been cut from the article above

1st – most sex offenders (that is a broad term covering a wide array of offenses) are not psychopaths and most do not re-offend with a sex offense. (note how the article states sexual predators and treatment is only about 20% effective rather than saying sex offenders)

2nd – While it is a common saying that they can’t be fixed (psychopaths) the research studies so far suggest otherwise. As I have said before just because some won’t and don’t change does not mean they can’t. (starting on page eight)

3rd – Cost. It is costly not because of the treatment but because of this quote “the costs persist for years because most inmates will never be released.”

I made a post about this back in May talking about the UK’s program and hown it may be shut down. Here is a piece of what I posted on here in May:

Of course the UK has something similar to this already in place and running called the DSPD program (which also includes psychopaths). It was launched in 1999 and has cost an estimated 200 million pounds but they are considering ending the program because the program has been ineffective and has had a very high rate of false positives.

I think that the same may happen here as well. The actuarials commonly used are in question of just how effective they really are. For example if you remember Anthony Sowell he scored a low 1 on the Static-99 yet now he is accused of killing 11 women. (you can see his assessment here…..ntentBody). John Gardner III scored a 2 on the Static-99.

It is extremely difficult to try to pick out these kind of people because of the problem of low base rates. If you only have one sex offender out of ten who is paroled who will re-offend it is difficult to pick out that one and it is even harder, I would say next to impossible, to pick out those who commit the really rare crimes like Sowell’s and Gardners.

The majority of people arrested for sexual offenses are never rearrested for another sexual offense. (which does not mean they did not reoffend) and the majority of sexual offenses are committed by people who have never been caught before. To catch them would entail huge over-prediction which would result in a massive amount of false positives.

Rather than pouring money into the back end after the crimes have happened I would hope we would pour more money and resources into the front end of prevention programs that actually do help to reduce crime.

Sadly bad things happen in life and we can’t predict or prevent them all from happening.

It is easy to understand why people would want laws like this. It’s a way to deny their impotence and channel their feelings of sadness, guilt and rage. But the unintended consequences of these things are now starting to blow back on us.

I also posted this back in May and it applies here also:

I don’t think there is any one easy answer. A few things I personally think would help would be a change in the correctional system as a whole. We are the “land of the free” yet we lock up more people than even the soviet union did. We need to work on prevention and treatment for the low level non-violent crimes and save the long term prison sentences for those truly dangerous offenders.

In my state alone we spend over $1 Billion dollars a year on prisons while only spending about $670 million on education. Money better spent on prevent and education programs to help people learn about and better avoid predatory people. Money better spent on prevention, treatment and social programs to help decrease crime overall.

And sadly there is no 100% way to ever be safe or get rid of predatory people. And despite the myth some people who would be called sociopaths DO benefit from treatment. Just because someone won’t change or don’t change does not mean they can’t change. Many people with substance abuse issues won’t/don’t change for many years with some never changing. Some predatory people (such as a gang member) don’t/won’t change for years and do horrible things yet decades later they change and turn around and run programs to try to help others escape that lifestyle.

There are very few absolutes. There are some that won’t change. It is their choice though. And that is what makes it harder to predict. People, unlike animals, can overcome nature and nurture with choice in many areas. This is one of those areas.

I fully agree that there are people that should never be allowed in society again. Trying to pick out those that are not obvious cases is the issue and problem. On this I agree with Donna in that help those that can be helped and incarcerate the ones that won’t/don’t change.


Good post BloggerT. I’m still po’d that Hollywood’s directors/screen writers and PR folks constantly glamorize bad behavior in people aka hero worshiping is alive and well in our country giving fools something to aspire too. Just once would I love to see a story how an evil personality wasn’t made the hero of the story and they really showed the devastation these idiots cause. Also, I’m sick and tired of the slap on the wrist these courts hand out to these folks. I have nightmares about my EX finally being hauled in to court. Get convicted to find out he has to do 4 years or less (Sad frown) … and is out in less than 12 months. Not bad for conning me out of my life’s savings.


OxD, I’m in complete agreement with the politically correct approach!

Wini, the saddest thing is that these people will not only get out with a slap on their wrists, but they’ll do the same thing to someone else, and everyone will have the NERVE to act surprised!

Ox Drover

I realize that prison is two pronged, it is supposed to punish and rehabilitate (in come cases I think HABILITATE, not RE as they have never been habiliated to start with!) LOL

I think we as a society go to much overboard, spending great huge sums on “feel good” projects “politically correct” things like putting blind, deaf and mute kids into an “age appropriate” high school classroom at great costs, and children who are capable of learning are neglected because of lack of funds, or while we give “therapy” top sexual predators who are NOT going to improve, the same thing exists.

There should be a way to DIVIDE out the psychopaths, and also to divide out those that RAPE and kill, or rape multiple times and keep THOSE who are MORE LIKELY TO RE0FFEND locked up, but not wast money on the therapy. My humble opinion only.

Child molesters per se, life without parole. No ifs ands sor buts. Again, it may not be better when I am dictator of US but it will be DIFFERENT!!! Vote for Oxy for Life time dictator in November!



Thank you for another factually referenced and objective post. Do you happen to be familiar with Dr. Stephen Diamond? Following is what he writes about the overuse of the term psychopath and his disagreement that violent offenders can never be helped. He also seems to agree with Dr. Leedom’s statement from the Joran thread, “Serial killers are both born and made. Evil is in the genes of some people but like many other traits it needs the right soil to take root and blossom. ”

*”The knee-jerk reaction of calling all violent offenders “psychopaths” is inaccurate, irresponsible, misleading and unethical. According to the Handbook of (Forensic) Psychology (2003), “there are many ways that someone can be at high risk for violence that are unrelated to psychopathy.. . . This is especially true,” it continues, in cases of “spousal assault, stalking and sexual violence, where violence may be related more to disturbances of normal attachment processes rather than the pathological lack of attachment associated with psychopathy.” Indeed, there are a multitude of mental disorders associated with violent behavior, including substance abuse or dependence, bipolar disorder, dissociative disorders, narcissistic and paranoid personality disorder, and psychotic disorders. Violent behavior is multi-determined, and cannot be simplistically reduced to or conveniently explained away by glibly dismissing all such offenders as “psychopaths.” In reality, the bulk of violent behavior is not engaged in by individuals meeting the current diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder.”

“Equally irresponsible is the matter-of-fact assertion by some commentators that violent offenders, whom they view as psychopaths, can never be helped by therapeutic intervention. The truth is that most reports of therapeutic failures with psychopaths tend to be anecdotal. Personality disorders of any kind are notoriously difficult to treat briefly, requiring intensive, long-term psychotherapy by expert clinicians. According to forensic psychologists James Hemphill and Stephen Hart (2003), there have to date been no well-controlled and sophisticated studies of structured therapeutic treatment programs for psychopaths. Part of the failure in rehabilitating such dangerous individuals has to do, in my view, with our inability as mental health professionals to recognize and treat psychopathy or APD as fundamentally an anger disorder. (See my previous posts.) These are, without exception, profoundly embittered, resentful, angry and narcissistically wounded individuals. Violent antisocial offenders are mainly made, not born. Future research on treating this population needs to focus on acknowledging their resentment and confronting the roots of their pathological rage against authority and society in general, teaching them to redirect some of this anger into more constructive activity.”

“As we have seen in certain recent cases like that of the “Craig’s List Killer” (see my prior posting), it may be that some individuals are particularly skilled at masking their sociopathy and at cleverly evading detection–at least up to a point–and present no clear history of Conduct Disorder during childhood or adolescence. But I would argue that even in such unusual cases, antisocial behavior does not spring fully formed from the head of Athena.”

*Taken from Psychology Today, August 31, 2009, Masks of Sanity (Part Four): What Is A Psychopath?

I find it difficult to wind my way through a maze of conflicting and confusing information available from vast media sources on my way to making informed conclusions. But I think it is also a worthwhile effort so, especially as targets, that we are part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem of knee jerk reactions and fueling misinformation. If we are ever to see changes in archaic and misguided systems, we must be well and accurately informed. LF provides the platform and I appreciate the time bloggers spend dissecting these issues.



If someone is convicted and sentenced to Lwop…..WHY, regarless of their crime are we giving ANY therapy?
If this person is condemned to a life in prison…..who are we ‘fixing’ them for?

I’m sorry, but if getting my kids therapy is a huge financial burden, and one I can’t consistently afford…..THEN WHY DOES A PRISONER GET THIS consideration.

How about the victims of these viiolent crimes……is anyone fighting for THIER emotional health that was destroyed by these preds?

Our priorities are screwed up!!!!!

If we have $10.00 and we must
1. Feed 3 people.
2. put gas in car
3. pay for coffee
4. rent a movie.

Okay… we only have $10.00…..feed the people and if there is left over, put it back in the kitty for food the next day.
Walk, drink water…forgo the movie…..WE CAN”T AFFORD THE EXTRAS.

COmmon sense is lacking these days.

Oxy for dictator!!!!

Ox Drover

Dear Benz,

Thanks for your post. I recently read a copy of Dr. Anna Salter’s book on (Sexual) Predators. She is, I understand one of the better recognized authorities on pedophiles. Her conclusion is that they will never “reform” and that they will always be a danger to children that they essentially have no conscience. (I do know there are those that will dispute that).

I am still of the opinion that our theraputic and treatment monies as well as educational monies should be spent on those that can receive the most benefit from the dollars.

What gives the violent sex offender the absolute right to receive $175K of therappy a year and Witsend’s son a 16 year old to receive essentially NONE? Why should aa ancephalic child without any awareness or ability to learn receive a place in a 10th grade “age appropriate” classroom and a 1/1 aid when the kid who has dislexia can’t get help with learning to read?

Erin B’s analogy of the “budget” makes sense, but sometimes our country makes the ruling that we must rent the movie for the inmates while the kids go unfed.

In Arizona, “Sheriff Joe” was required to have CABLE TV for the inmates of his jail, so he got it, and I think they have two cable channels, both cartoons or something along that line.

Our prisons have two components and rehabilitation is one of them, and punishment is the other. The rehabilitation is sadly lacking in most of the ones I am aware of, and I’ve most likely spent more time visiting in prisons here than maybe anyone except “BloggerT” who used to work in them.

I don’t think the punishment part works, because there seeem to be too many people who are no longer AFRAID of jail or prison when they get out. They have adjusted and no longer fear it at all. So, they are back on the street with their buddies and back into crime.



Yes I am familiar with his writings. One of the problems we face is the Media itself and how things are reported (in regards to the confusing maze). Opinions and anecdotal information are often touted as fact, studies are stated to claim things they really don’t, junk science/junk studies are touted as credible, etc.

Erin B we are not spending the 175k on people in prison rather those are former prisoners that are now in civil committment which is different. The cost is coming because they are not letting them out. Because it is a civil committment “They are considered constitutional as long as their purpose is treatment, not detention”. Look at some of the States they talk about in the article I linked to about this. some of them have released zero.

When we incarcerate people they are afforded some basic civil/human rights and seeing as most people get out it behooves us to not only provide the basic human rights but to try and make sure they do not come back. If they come back it costs us a lot more money than trying to rehab them even though there are some that won’t/don’t change. Knee-jerk reactions and sweeping reforms against an entire group because of a few has caused a great deal of problems.

As it is now if you are say 19 and get caught with drugs and it is a felony conviction you are now a second class citizen in many ways and potentially for the rest of your life because of a mistake you made when you were young. As one person put it:

“Once labeled a felon, you are ushered into a parallel social universe. You can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits — forms of discrimination that we supposedly left behind.”

All that simply because you were foolish. It can be worse, you can be a “sex offender” and on the sex offender registry because you got drunk and urinated in the alley on the way home and got arrested for “public indecency”.

When it comes to talking about recidivism that is a very complex issue and many dynamic variables. For example talking about sex offenders here is what one study found:

Incest offenders ranged between 4 and 10 percent.
Rapists ranged between 7 and 35 percent.
Child molesters with female victims ranged between 10 and 29 percent.
Child molesters with male victims ranged between 13 and 40 percent.
Exhibitionists ranged between 41 and 71 percent.

Now that sounds pretty straightforward and the research was good science. BUT other researchers have found that the number offenders who “crossed over” age groups of victims is extremely high. So trying to put them into “typologies” or other exclusive categories itself can be problematic and misleading if people are not aware of it.

If you look at CSOM (Center for Sex Offender Management – a project of the US Justice Department) you will see they say this

About 12 to 24% of sex offenders will reoffend. When sex offenders do commit another crime, it is more often not sexual or violent.

Another recent study found that similar to other studies, only about 2% of offenders over 50 reoffended compared with 20% of those ages 25 to 35. –

This tends to be true with quite a few crimes. And it makes you wonder about the logic in keeping some people in expensive civil committment and never releasing them as they get older. 2% is a low base rate and a nightmare of false postives to try to predict.

There was a study of out of Texas about the revolving door issue with prisons and it basically states that mentally ill prisoners are not only more likely than others to go to prison, but they are far more likely to recidivate. This “revolving-door” is in a large part because of lack of community treatment options, massive downsizing of state hospitals, and a legal system that virtually ignores psychiatric issues. As one of the study authors stated “many people with serious mental illness move continuously between crisis hospitalization, homelessness, and the criminal justice system,”. This is so very true. AND the “rehabilitation” piece of the prison system is practically non-existant in most prisons now.

As for psychopathy and related areas there is much more research and people working on it than I think a lot of people realize. For example there is a new assessment tool that is and has been in development for psychopathic personality.



I appreciate your humor above, it helps when considering such frustrating circumstances. There are many “expert” opinions as well qualified and much disagreement, and that is part of my point that adds to the confusion and complication. I don’t think Dr. Diamond was saying all can be helped, he was saying that a diagnosis leading to “no conscience” should not be over used or used as a blanket diagnosis especially by those without expert medical training in that field. I thought perhaps you too might be familiar with Dr. Diamond because he often references Victor Frankl’s writings and claims to further his work. I am only starting to read Dr. Diamond and was just wondering if anyone else was already familiar with him.

But you made a couple of observations above that are not only accurate but seemingly always self-defeating cogs in the government funding wheel, fairness and misuse of money. And it’s not limited just to the two fractured systems you mentioned, education and justice, IMO. Few would disagree with you that our tax dollars should be spent wisely and where it does the most good. Few would disagree that they are not. There is inequity in equality and civil rights. But who should get what and how much? It is a complex process and slow to change.

The short answer about what gives the sex offenders the right to therapy and Witsend’s son none, obviously, is the law. Also obviously our government has made mistakes. We should try to make it better as we are able. We do that by thorough and objective examination of the facts, gaining an educated voice, holding elected officials accountable, and by voting. Government trial and error is expensive and the public pays the price in many more ways besides financially.

If we want to change where we’re going, sometimes it helps to know how we got here. In education, the federal government guarantees a public education for every child regardless of disability. Part of the controversy became what was considered a disability. Attention deficit wasn’t originally considered a disability either. The government dictated non-discrimination along with LRE (least restrictive environment) mandates. That resulted in erring on the side of at least temporarily attempting mainstreaming in order to remain in compliance and continue funding rather than risking litigation (for the school district and the teacher personally) and/or a US Dept. of Education civil rights investigation. The effects of laws passed aren’t always as planned.

I am curious about attempts to mainstream the ancephalic child in Texas you speak of since I am from Texas. I didn’t find it (no medical background). I did find information about anencephalic children with the same description so maybe it was just misspelled, but found they usually don’t survive and the longest survivor in the US was stated to have lived only two and a half years, so I’m not sure what illness or public school system you’re referring to in Texas.

At any rate, the government stumbled even in writing guidelines that defined “disability.” Through litigation and additional legislation it has evolved into what we have today. That brings little comfort, I know.

Success in legislating out psychopaths/sociopaths, brings much less. But the experts should come to some consensus of what they are first. Prison populations aren’t decreasing, neither are recidivism rates. I was told by a Texas detective that the man I had been involved with probably honed his skills during his brief prison stint. So much for his prison rehabilitation. I agree too that those incapable of change need to remain behind bars, but I just don’t know how they will determine who they are with any great success.


Ox Drover

Dear Benz,

I lived in TExas I think at the time and I left there in 1987 so it was probably before that, not sure though.

The children CAN live into early 20s though that is rare. Depends too on how much of a brain stem they have. They usually die I think from aspiration pneumonia and have swallowing problems, most are tube fed though some will suck at birth. Some few are even kept at home. I knew a lady in my X husband’s family who had such a child at home for 16 years.

Many times in the attempt to be “good” or “humane” to animals laws are passed that result in much more cruelty to animals. The NO slaughter (in USDA plants for meat) law for horses was intended to keep “pet” horses from being slaughtered for food which the horse lovers thoujght was horrible. Now, because an old, blind or otherwise useless horse is of “NO Value” as meat animals are left to starve rather than be put down humanely and the meat harvested for human consumption.

Horses are NOW being turned loose to fend for themselves in national parks, or dumped off at auctions with a phoney name just to get rid of them. It is EXPENSIVE to feed a horse, and more so for vet care, so people just “dump em” somewhere they can starve to death or get hit by a car. Now, that horse will “sell” for $50 and be hauled to Mexico for NON-humane slaughter after days on a truck to get there,prior to this law the horse was worth up to $600 and carefully hauled a short distance for slaughter under USDA regulations which are not bad.

“Least restrictive environment” has come to mean OUT ON THE STREET because of lack of family or friends for these mentally ill people and grave mental illness. Unfortunately too many of the males end up in prisons where they receive little to no therapy and at best medication that is FORCED on them if at all. Or they live on the streets.

I have worked in community mental health centers where we treated the chronically mentally ill between prison terms.

The “diagnosis” for “psychopathy” (under any name) IMHO is not applied rationally or consistently. I hope the new DSM V will help, but change is slow.

A “flasher” may be a “sex offender” but the label needs to be changed so that the “flasher” is not grouped with the RAPIST where incarceration is concerned. Supposedly that is done by “RANKING” them with an ASSESSMENT of how likely they are to reoffend. The Trojan Horse Psychopath that was our attacker, had 3 THREE rapes of gir5ls ages 9,11 and 14, and was a level $ Violent Risk in Texas, but when he came here he was reduced to level TWO, and I asked the rater “WHY in God’s name,” and the reply was “he didn’t commit any of these crimes in Arkansas.” DUH?????? I beg your pardon????

Arkansas does about 5,000 assessments per year and they get over 5,000 new ones per year, and they are continually BEHIND at least a year. The Trojan Horse psychopath was here for 10 months and had not gotten to the top of the list until I made a fuss.

This man had an OFFICIAL ASPD dignosis and CONVICTIONS for molesting three children and he is not even on the Arkansas sex offender charts unless you google him by NAME. He is not “mapped” at level 2. His parole officer did not even know he was a SEX OFFENDER AT ALL UNTIL I TOLD HIM. Didn’t seem to care either!!!! Pith me off!

Litigation is I think a lot of the problem with various special interest groups wanting their piece of the pie! Every school and every group is so afraid of b eing sued they throw the baby out with the bath water.

How can you determine who might be dangerous without a great deal of false positives? Answer: REALISTIC diagnosis for a start. Flasher? Probably not. VIOLENT RAPIST: WHY TAKE A CHANCE? PEDOPHILE: I can almost predict reoffense.

Okay, who is a pedophile? a guy who does a willing girl age 17 3/4 (or whatever the age in each state is) and he’s 30? Probably legally he’s a statutory rapist, but GET REAL, he didn’t rape her. A guy who does a willing 11 year old? Yep he knew that one was a NO NO. A man who does an 8 year old?

So there has to be some COMMON SENSE applied to our laws and the ENFORCEMENT of those laws. DAs have a great deal of latitude in how they prosecute or if they prosecute. That should be used.

There are “degrees” of “murder” from man-slaughter to capitol murder, and there should be different punishments for each of these, but also there should be some REALISTIC idea of who is going to reoffend and who isn’t, or who should stay in prison forever. A MURDER PLANNED IN ADVANCE used to be either a capital crime or life wihtout parole, now it is usually NOT life without parole.

People who PLAN A CRIME IN ADVANCE and carry it out, to me are the worst of the worst. Sexual offenders who plan in advance and molest a child are the worst of the worst, or people who plan in advance and rape others repeatedly should NEVER get out of prison. The PLAN IN ADVANCE, to me is the criteria, but the law doesn’t seem to get that.

FRUSTRATING! I think I’m going to see if I can get elected “dictator”—it might not be BETTER, but it will be DIFFERENT! LOL



Legislation providing for disabilities in education has been met with controversy and litigation, but changes have occurred since the original legislation and certainly since 1987. In Florida Supreme Court documents and in a task force study from Georgetown University, 1992 and 1989, they both state this is an incurable and fatal disease with survival rates at birth only five percent and longest documented survivor less than two years. In 1995 a documented case “defying medical science,” claimed “Baby K,” survived two and a half years. Conflicting information abounds, it is good to look back in order to move forward, and we need to make accurate and objective arguments so people like Witsend can be better prepared to evaluate, defend, or challenge issues that impact our lives.

As I said in my previous post, the long term effects of political positioning and legislation don’t always turn out as planned, for either the legislators or the public. Horse slaughter is another very controversial piece of legislation. Legislators passed a federal ban on their meat inspectors working in horse slaughter plants essentially shutting down the last domestic plant in 2007, but they did not pass an outright ban on horse slaughter. It is generally acknowledged this made conditions worse for horses because now they are being transported all the way to the Canadian and Mexican borders and slaughtered according to local regulations, or the lack of. As many as eleven states are considering legislation that attempts to circumvent current legislation and revive horse slaughter in the US. All have been unsuccessful in 2010 except in Wyoming, where without federal regulation it is restrictive. The Humane Society and anti-slaughter activists are pushing for the 111th Congress to pass a pending bill to ban horse slaughter in this session, ending the states’ attempts and any state transport for slaughter.

There are opposing arguments to yours as follows. There will always be abandonment, neglect and abuse of horses, with or without slaughter. Supporters claim there are statistics that show there is no correlation between the two. The proportionally few cases of abuse are no justification for the slaughter of 120,000 horses per year and point out that exchanging one form of abuse for another is nonsensical. If someone can’t afford the proper care of a horse then they shouldn’t own one, and it doesn’t justify illegal (dump em) behavior. Careful handling and humane slaughter sounds good in theory but horse slaughter is a matter of economics and not humane consideration. Kill prices used to be from 40 to 80 cents per pound, so an 800 to 1,000 lb. horse would have earned a seller around $600 for having the horse slaughtered, economics again. The assumption that it’s mostly old, injured, sick, or neglected horses that go to slaughter is a fallacy. According to the USDA, 92 percent of slaughter horses are “choice,” healthy horses. Many end up at slaughter just because they were taken to a sale barn where the horse is auctioned off to the highest bidder and the seller has no knowledge about who the buyer is unless you are able to recognize a kill buyer and you no sale your horse.

But this issue isn’t really about stopping your neighbor from slaughtering his pet or about him not being able to afford proper disposal of his horse, not with the numbers in annual slaughter. It is, however, all about economics. It’s about money, but big money–as most legislation is. The horse industry in the US, sport and pleasure, is a multimillion dollar business and it provides income for many horse-related businesses, and they all want the horse market kept high. Extensive breeding is practiced in the chase to produce that champion two-year-old that much too quickly outgrows its career and its usefulness, and leaves the annual culls, the imperfect, who never make it to the show or race circuit. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) since 2005 has spent nearly one million dollars lobbying to fight no slaughter legislation, claiming overpopulation and touting humane disposal. But the AQHA intensively and successfully markets membership and promotes artificial insemination and it logs 140,000 new foal registrations annually. The USDA estimates that half of the slaughter horses are Quarter Horses, as the compact and dense conformation of this horse along with its docile temperament is ideal for slaughter according to kill buyers. Since the slaughter of a former Kentucky Derby winner in Japan, the thoroughbred race horse industry has initiated retirement programs for their former race horses and it does not allow artificial insemination in order to help control the breed and its numbers.

Domestically horsemeat is no longer used in the manufacture of dog food or glue, food for zoos doesn’t generate enough demand for slaughter plants to operate, and Americans don’t eat horses. But other countries do and consider it a delicacy at $20 per pound, and the last three remaining horse slaughter plants in the US were all foreign owned, but paid little in taxes and no export fees. The former mayor of the Texas town that housed one of the last horse slaughter plants is a vocal advocate for no slaughter because of the unsanitary, pollutive, and violation laden effects the slaughter plant caused her town. Texas, Florida, Californina and several other sates have passed legislation banning slaughter in their states. The battle is about our culture versus big business. The horse has gone from being faceless farm livestock to pets and status symbols. Public opinion polls are around 75 percent in favor of no slaughter, but the powerful special interest groups in related industries who are fighting the no slaughter bill to name a few are, The Farm Bureau, National Cattlemen’s Association, American Quarter Horse Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Veterinary Medical Association, NY State Horse Council, and the American Horse Council. I’ll repeat, important issues are seldom simple and by being accurately informed are we able make good decisions.

Least restrictive environment was the verbiage assigned along with non-discriminatory language of the federal promise of a K through 12 public education, meaning as close to mainstream as possible. Beyond that you seem to be listing the many problems you’ve encountered with mental health services, diagnoses, prisons, and the justice system. With all those shortfalls you mentioned in the systems, they tend to support why I have little confidence in first being able to accurately “divide out” the unchangeable psychopaths and rapists, and secondly achieving it without violating civil rights. The solutions may seem like they should be simple and common sensical, but rewriting public policy and regulation legislation is anything but. With the lack of consensus and the lack of clarity among professionals and with the DSM, this dividing out seems impossible at this time to me. The revision for 2013 will undoubtedly be better, but time will tell just how much better. I know I am forever mystified at why some things are the way they are. But making laws, then having years of litigation refining them seems to be the way life in America.

And now I’ve arrived back to my original points. It’s difficult to sift through conflicting and confusing information. But we need to be as accurate and as objective as possible when we are collecting and disseminating information. Knee jerk reactions and misinformation hinder not help and policy makers need all the help we can give them–just in case you don’t get elected dictator.


Ox Drover

Dear Benz,

There are DEGREES of children who have “no” brain, just as there are degrees of other genetic conditions or birth defects.

I have in a professional capacity known children and treated children who had essentially “No” functioning brains except enough to swallow and breathe and some of the basic physical functions who were 10-16 years old. Essentially, they had about as much brain stem as a reptile, but without consciousness. These children for the most part lie like limp rag dolls, unaware of their surroundings.

I realize the horse issue is about financial issues. I lease my farm lands to people involved in the high end of the horse reproduction and training. Most animals which went for slaughter were more for disposition than for injuries, although animals with injuries were also slaughtered. The race horse industry does produce more animals each year than it races, but many of these are sucked up by some of the jumping and show and 3 day eventing groups. Others do end up slaughtered.

It is well known to sellers that when a horse is sold at a livestock auction the animal is most likely going for slaughter and it is the same today, except now the horses go to Mexico or Canada to be killed under their local regulations.

Humane slaughter is NOT “cruelty” to animals, in my opinion, although there are those that will argue with me on that. There are people who will say that ANY use of an animal, much less killing them for food, is cruelty.

In certain Asian cultures DOGS are bred and raised as FOOD animals, and personally I have NO PROBLEM with this though I love my dogs very much. It is a CULTURAL issue, and some people who don’t want horses killed because they are “pets” want to DICTATE to me what meat I can eat, or what I can do with my horses, by inflicting financial burden on me and lowering the price for my untrained adult animals, or the old and infirm animals.

For tens of thousands of years horses have been viewed in our culture and many others as beasts of burden and as FOOD and now a SMALL group of self proclaimed animal lovers are trying to legally dictate how those animals can be used because THEY want to dictate and legislate an industry out of existence by crippling it financially. As for 75% of people being in favor of NO kill for horses, so put it to a vote, but my opinion is that those 75% of Americans who favor NO kill somehow think that “saves” horses, which in truth, it doesn’t save them at all, just changes where they get killed.

The MARKET FOR HORSE MEAT is brisk in other countries and that was why a fat horse would bring from 50 to 80 cents a pound for meat for human consumption. (less than beef, but more than pork) on the hoof.

As far as slaughtering of ANYTHING being clean and sanitary, you might take a tour of any LARGE slaughter facility and you will become a VEGAN immediatelly, that is why I only eat meat I have personally killed and processed, or from a family owned USDA plant that kills one animal at a time, not 1000 a day.

Crippling the horse industry in the US is NOT keeping these animals from being slaughtered, they are still being slaughtered, just not in US and they are having to ride further in order to be slaughtered which is in itself a cruel and unnecessary treatment (in my opinion).

I am not in favor of ANYTHING that causes animals to needlessly suffer, but at the same time I am not trying to impose my beliefs on these people. They are free to take in and feed and support all the unwanted horses in the world, but to force me or any other horse owner to sell one for $50 to someone I know is going to haul it to Mexico where it will be NON-humanely slaughtered, is unconscionable to me.

I am in a position to slaughter it myself, or just kill it and drag it off in the woods and feed the bears and coyotes if I don’t want to harvest the meat, but most people are not in that position. A friend of mine in California just paid almost $1000 to have a horse of hers put down and the body disposed of. Prior to the effrective “ban” she could have sold the animal for $5-600 and the meat would have been harvested.

I’m on the ground around these animals, and have taken in and slaughtered quite a few horses, as dog food when I bred dogs, and kept the choice cuts for myself. The animals have been slaughtered because they were: blind, injured, old and untrained, in pain from a deformity, or so viscious they were dangerous. None of them heard the gun go off. None of them suffered.

And who knows, I may not get to be dictator! LOL And yea, the “making laws and having years of litigation refining them seems to be the way of life in America.” (VERY GOOD BENZ!) is the way we seem to do things here. LOL

Arkansas just passed a felony law about cruelty to animals, but it applies only to horses, dogs, cats, etc. not to cattle, goats, etc.

The first two cases that were PROSECUTED were: A pony was badly torn by a pack of dogs roaming wild and the vet told the man to put it down. He clubbed it in the head and killed it. The state prosecuted him for “cruelty”—the jury turned him loose.

The second case was an elderly man who had an old dog with a cyst on its leg. The man didn’t have the money to take it to the vet so he removed the cyst himself, and it got infected, so the vet he eventually took it to turned him in and he was PROSECUTED. The jury let him off too.

I give my dogs their shots, sew them up if they get cut, and if My horses need stitches I do that as well, if it is within my skill set to do so….if it is too complex I would either take the animal to the vet or put it down if the bill would be too high to warrant the cost of the vet bill. That is just good sense. They are animals, not children, on which you would spend your last dollar to treat!

I know people who would mortgage their home to have a heart transplant for their dogs, I’m not one of those people though. I think that ALL animals should be treated humanely and at the point they are to be harvested for meat, or put out of their sickness or misery, humanely put down, and the carcass used in whatever way is reasonable and useful.

As for psychopaths, and “dividing” out the ones that are on the high end of the continuuim from those on the lower end, it is difficult, will always be difficult, but PAST BEHAVIOR IS THE BEST INDICATOR OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR so if their past behavior has been VIOLENT and/or SEXUALLY deviant and VIOLENT I think that ought to be a HINT that they should be kept locked up.

Using “statistics” you can “prove” almost anything as:

A man with one foot on a red hot stove and the other foot on a block of ice, is STATISTICALLY COMFORTABLE.

I made an A in statistics too! LOL Vote for Oxy for dictator in November! LOL ROTFLMAO

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