Commitments protect the public

To the editor:

Your editorial on Feb. 24 discussed a very important issue concerning the release of offenders that have been convicted of criminal sexual conduct. Unfortunately, your editorial leaves the impression that county attorneys improperly pursue these civil commitments even when “doctors have recommended release.”

I will continue to pursue these commitments in a judicious manner with my primary concern being the safety of this county’s citizens.

It is well known that criminal behavior doesn’t stop simply because someone has served a sentence. Recidivism in criminal sexual conduct cases is of great concern to those of us charged with protecting the public. Too often the unfortunate victims of these heinous crimes are left with a lifetime of issues, long after the offenders have served their sentences.

It seems obvious that changes will be coming to the existing law. I just hope that those who make legislative and judicial decisions keep the safety of the public in mind as they debate and decide on these changes. The rights of our most dangerous offenders should not trump the rights of law-abiding citizens to live in safe communities nor prevent those charged with public safety enforcement from protecting the public from the threat of great harm.

Robert D. Hinnenthal

Brown County Attorney

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