The Special Commitment Center in the state of Washington is a post-sentence treatment facility, currently located on McNeil Island. It is controversial in that it allows the involuntary commitment of people who have served their prison sentence. It is unique in that allows for the commitment of people possessing a diagnosed DSM-IV: TR Axis II diagnosis (i.e., a personality disorder)and / or an Axis I diagnosis of a sexual nature (i.e. paraphilia), along with the judgment that the person poses a certain level of further risk to others. The traditional mental health requirement for involuntary commitment requires that the person suffer from acute symptoms of a diagnosed Axis I condition. The center works towards treating the offender then releasing them under supervision back to the community.
The Special Commitment Center's sex offender specific treatment program is organized into phases. Each treatment phase builds on the resident's earlier work - nothing is done once, as if on a checklist, and then never revisited. In later phases, more intensive family counseling and other services are offered to prepare residents for movement into a community transition program.
The higher the treatment Phase, the higher the expectation of sincere effort to change and understanding of diagnostic criteria, future risk, and past offending behaviors.