Aging Washington sex offenders needed 557 medical trips

MCNEIL ISLAND, Wash. -- The sexually violent predators of Washington state are getting older and thus requiring more medical attention.

The News Tribune reports there were 557 planned medical trips away from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island last year. There have been 271 so far this year.

State law says offenders found to be "sexually violent predators" are sent to the center after finishing their prison sentences.

The facility handles general medical care for offenders, but specialty care — such as cardiology and urology appointments or and imaging appointments for MRI and CT scans — happens elsewhere.

That means taking residents to appointments off the island.

The average annual cost to the state for housing residents was $153,488 for the 2017 fiscal year. It's projected to be $185,136 for the 2018 fiscal year.