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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Advisory Board learns about predator screening

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Citizen's Advisory Board met for their quarterly meeting at the Mental Health Institute on July 25th, and heard a report from Dr. Waldemar Kuczwalski, a psychologist on the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders (CCUSO). Dr. Kuczwalski spoke of general characteristics of sexual predators and, specifically, about two screening instruments CCUSO uses to screen their patients, during their early days in treatment, in order for the staff to develop a patient's profile. The two main instruments the staff uses are the PPG and the Abel Screen, used to assess deviant arousal.

Dr. Jason Smith, CCUSO Superintendent, was also present, and he answered questions from advisory board members. Dr. Smith said that there are currently 74 individuals at CCUSO for in-patient treatment. The one resident who has been released into a community is doing reasonably well mentally and emotionally, said Dr. Smith, and is actively engaged in therapeutic activities, though he has had some medical problems. Dr. Smith said the unit does have another resident who, he feels, is getting close to being ready for discharge into a community.

Dr. Smith mentioned that, though the recidivism rate for sexual offenders is much lower than it is for other crimes, the CCUSO residents are all considered "high-risk" offenders and require extensive therapeutic treatment to reduce their chances of repeat offenses.

Dr. Smith also reminded Advisory Board embers that their unit receives an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature, and the per patient cost depends upon the number of patients they treat. Thus far, the per patient cost has run between $70-100 a day.

Advisory Board members were also given a tour of the hospital grounds and the MHI museum.

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