Idaho laws do not require treatment programs for sex offenders, a federal appeals court says.
"Idaho does not sentence sex offenders on the basis of mental conditions which predispose them to commit sex offenses," the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an Idaho case."Rather, Idaho sex offenders are sentenced solely for the commission of crimes," the court said.
Department of Corrections Director Richard Vernon said the decision will make little difference, because Idaho offers little in the way of treatment of sex offenders.
But department legal experts said the ruling is important because it makes it clear that sex offenders have no inherent right to demand rehabilitation.
The ruling came earlier this month as the latest development in a lawsuit filed in 1981 over overcrowding and other conditions at the Idaho State Penitentiary south of Boise.
Because of the lawsuit, state officials were spurred into building a new maximum-security prison adjacent to the main prison and expanding prison facilities at Orofino. The new prisons are expected to be ready later this year.
The federal appeals court decision upheld most of the rulings by U.S. District Judge Harold Ryan in the inmate lawsuit, but overturned his finding that the state must establish a special psychological treatment program for sex offenders.