Can violent criminals be rehabilitated?
Convicted serial rapist Christopher Evans Hubbart's scheduled release from a mental hospital in Los Angeles County has stirred up a lot of emotions. Hubbart admitted to authorities he has raped nearly 40 women throughout California between 1971 and 1983. He was first arrested in 1972 for a series of rapes in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. After his release from a state mental hospital in 1979 Hubbart moved to the Bay Area and reoffended. In 1996, Hubbart was classified as a sexually violent predator and was committed to Coalinga State Hospital, where he is still incarcerated.
In May, a judge in Santa Clara County granted Hubbart conditional release, saying that there's enough evidence to show that Hubbart "would not be a danger to others due to his diagnosed mental disorder while under the supervision and treatment in the community."No release date has been set, and authorities still need to determine where Hubbart would go. But the college town of Claremont, where Hubbart grew up in, is already gearing up to fight his release. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said her office will also challenge his release decision.If released, Hubbard would be put under strict supervision. He would be the first sexually violent predator to be conditionally released in Los Angeles County. Hubbart’s lawyer says he is unlikely to reoffend.
What’s the process to determine whether a serial sex offender is ready to re-enter society? What are steps and treatments sexually violent predators must go through before they could be released?
Vonda Tracey, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney, the Forensic Mental Issues Team that’s handling Hubbart’s release
Christine Ward, Executive Director of Crime Victims Action Alliance