In re Personal Restraint of Young

In In re Personal Restraint of Young, 122 Wn.2d 1, 857 P.2d 989 (1993), the Court held that the basic scheme of the SVP statute in effect in 1993 was constitutional. Young, 122 Wn.2d at 59. However, it agreed with the petitioners that the statute violated equal protection because it did not require consideration of LRAs to confinement as did the mental health statute, chapter 71.05 RCW. Id. The Court held that equal protection requires the state to comply with provisions of chapter 71.05 RCW as related to the consideration of LRAs. Young's case was remanded for consideration of alternatives to confinement. Id. In response to Young, the Legislature amended the SVP statute in 1995. In addition to addressing other concerns raised by Young, amendments to RCW 71.09.090 allowed the confined person to be released to an LRA or discharged if he or she has so changed that the person is no longer likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence. Such a release or discharge occurs only after a hearing. RCW 71.09.090. The hearings provided for in RCW 71.09.090 take place after the probable cause hearing and the commitment trial determining whether the person is an SVP. In Young this court stated that the State has a compelling interest in treating SVPs and protecting society from their actions. Young, 122 Wn.2d at 26. The Court agreed with the State that there are good reasons for treating SVPs differently from mentally ill people because SVPs are generally more dangerous to others than are the mentally ill. Id. at 44-45. In Young the Court stated: "We conclude that where the individual is currently incarcerated no evidence of a recent overt act is required." statement goes well beyond the legal principle necessary to decide Young because the petitioner there was continuously incarcerated from the date of his most recent conviction until the filing of the sex predator petition. Young, 122 Wn.2d at 13-14.