Former Special Commitment Center Resident Arrested

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Washington State Department of Social & Health Services

    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A former resident of the Special
 Commitment Center (SCC), Joseph Aqui, was arrested today by Department of
 Corrections (DOC) community corrections officers for allegedly violating
 conditions of his release.  Aqui was taken into custody at his home in College
 Place in Walla Walla County.
     Aqui is alleged to have violated conditions set by a King County Superior
 Court for his "less restrictive alternative" (LRA) placement.  His violation
 is based on the suspicion that he had a consensual affair with an adult woman.
     Aqui has been living in his wife's home since January 1997.  His wife is
 an approved escort when he leaves the house.
     Aqui was transported to the SCC, a facility operated by the Department of
 Social and Health Services (DSHS), on McNeil Island in Pierce County.  His
 situation will be reviewed by a King County Superior Court to determine if
 conditions of his LRA should be modified or revoked.  Those assisting the
 court with the review are the King County Prosecutor, defense attorneys, the
 sex offender treatment therapist, SCC staff and the DOC.
     This is the first former SCC resident out on a court-ordered LRA to have
 allegations of a serious violation.  Five SCC residents, including Aqui, have
 been released on LRA's by the courts.  The remaining four live in Snohomish
 and Kitsap Counties.
     DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock says that although there was no evidence of
 a crime being committed, the state is taking this case very seriously and is
 acting quickly.  "There was no immediate threat to any individual or to public
 safety," Braddock said, "But whenever we receive an indication of a violation
 of any kind we will act decisively without hesitation."
     The SCC is a mental health treatment facility for convicted sex offenders
 who are transferred into the treatment setting by a court after completing
 their prison sentences.
     Currently, there are 135 male residents of the SCC on McNeil Island and
 one female resident of a facility at Purdy.
     The Superior Court placed Aqui in his family's home because there was no
 state operated LRA facility at the time of his release.  A proposal before the
 state legislature would create a DSHS operated 36-bed LRA on McNeil Island.
     Operational plans for the state's LRA include close supervision of each
 resident.  There would be one-on-one, line-of-sight supervision of residents
 on all authorized trips to jobs and other approved activities on the mainland.
 
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SOURCE Washington State Department of Social & Health Services
    OLYMPIA, Wash., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A former resident of the Special
 Commitment Center (SCC), Joseph Aqui, was arrested today by Department of
 Corrections (DOC) community corrections officers for allegedly violating
 conditions of his release.  Aqui was taken into custody at his home in College
 Place in Walla Walla County.
     Aqui is alleged to have violated conditions set by a King County Superior
 Court for his "less restrictive alternative" (LRA) placement.  His violation
 is based on the suspicion that he had a consensual affair with an adult woman.
     Aqui has been living in his wife's home since January 1997.  His wife is
 an approved escort when he leaves the house.
     Aqui was transported to the SCC, a facility operated by the Department of
 Social and Health Services (DSHS), on McNeil Island in Pierce County.  His
 situation will be reviewed by a King County Superior Court to determine if
 conditions of his LRA should be modified or revoked.  Those assisting the
 court with the review are the King County Prosecutor, defense attorneys, the
 sex offender treatment therapist, SCC staff and the DOC.
     This is the first former SCC resident out on a court-ordered LRA to have
 allegations of a serious violation.  Five SCC residents, including Aqui, have
 been released on LRA's by the courts.  The remaining four live in Snohomish
 and Kitsap Counties.
     DSHS Secretary Dennis Braddock says that although there was no evidence of
 a crime being committed, the state is taking this case very seriously and is
 acting quickly.  "There was no immediate threat to any individual or to public
 safety," Braddock said, "But whenever we receive an indication of a violation
 of any kind we will act decisively without hesitation."
     The SCC is a mental health treatment facility for convicted sex offenders
 who are transferred into the treatment setting by a court after completing
 their prison sentences.
     Currently, there are 135 male residents of the SCC on McNeil Island and
 one female resident of a facility at Purdy.
     The Superior Court placed Aqui in his family's home because there was no
 state operated LRA facility at the time of his release.  A proposal before the
 state legislature would create a DSHS operated 36-bed LRA on McNeil Island.
     Operational plans for the state's LRA include close supervision of each
 resident.  There would be one-on-one, line-of-sight supervision of residents
 on all authorized trips to jobs and other approved activities on the mainland.
 
                      MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X12654049
 
 SOURCE  Washington State Department of Social & Health Services