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Federal Judge Strikes Down Lawsuit Against Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Program

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A lawsuit challenging Kansas’ civil commitment of sexually violent predators has been dismissed. The plaintiffs remain involuntarily confined at Larned State Hospital.

Since 1994, Kansas has required that people found to be sexually violent, and likely to reoffend, be involuntary confined in a state facility and undergo treatment.

The 20-plus patients who sued claimed high staff turnover and inadequate access to treatment made it extremely difficult to complete the program, and had left them in indefinite confinement in prison-like conditions.

As of December 2014, there were 243 individuals in the program. Only three had successfully completed it and another 30 died during confinement.

In dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ruled the plaintiffs failed to state a claim for relief that could be granted.

No decision has been made yet about an appeal.

Dan Margolies is KCUR’s health editor. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.

Dan Margolies is editor in charge of health news at KCUR, the public radio station in Kansas City. Dan joined KCUR in April 2014. In a long and varied journalism career, he has worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star and Reuters. In a previous life, he was a lawyer. He has also worked as a media insurance underwriter and project development director for a video production firm.