A Place For Paedophiles – Coalinga

Episode 1 Coalinga State Hospital

I actually managed to watch this last night without having to slice and dice. Perhaps this is just as well, because I didn’t pick up much in the way of useful information.

Coalinga State Hospital is in California, was built at an astronomical cost, holds a high number of ‘patients’, and the average annual cost per person is $200,000 per year.

Convicted paedophiles get sent there when their prison sentence has been served and once in Coalinga, they get two choices. The first is to enter the rehabilitation programme, in which case they have a miniscule chance of getting out. The second is to refuse to enter the rehabilitation programme, in which case there is zero chance of getting out i.e. it is a whole-life sentence.

The term of choice for this approach was ‘warehousing’. Some of the patients said this was due to the public fearing they might re-offend. For the handful of patients who had been approved for release, there was a NIMBY approach by the public.

None of the offenders who appeared on the programme seemed to personify evil. Most seemed articulate, quietly spoken and open about what they had done. A few seemed less open than others.

I didn’t pick up a lot because there seemed to be no overall pattern or direction to this episode. The programme seemed to fall into the ‘look-at-Coalinga’ bracket, so I learned about a hospital in California. But beyond that, I was in an information vacuum.

Perhaps next week?