Legislation filed by an Oklahoma lawmaker could send convicted rapists and child molesters to a mental institution after they complete their prison sentence.
The measure by Rep. John Trebilcock of Broken Arrow would allow sex offenders to be involuntarily confined once they are released from the state prison system.
Trebilcock says child molesters can still be a public-safety threat even after completing a prison sentence. He says courts have ruled that double jeopardy doesn't apply because civil confinement provides treatment and not punishment.
Under the proposal, when a sex offender nears the end of the prison sentence a prosecutor can ask a jury to have the defendant civilly confined if there is evidence the person may offend again. The bill is modeled on laws in Kansas and New York.