Controversial Sex Offender Hospital Costs Taxpayers
A spacious sparkling new mall, a lovely jogging path and state of the art medical care. No, it's not the latest five star retirement community. It's actually a controversial home for sexual predators.
Dr. Maria Piccillo said, "We are now coming up on what we call the main mall."
INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guerrero got an exclusive look inside central California's Coalinga State Hospital, where sex offenders who have already done their time in prison are sent because they are deemed likely to attack again are sent. Most are never allowed to leave.
Guerrero asked, "What is this?"
"Casino night," said Dr. Piccillo.
"They have different activities in the evening hours," said Piccillo.
"Coalinga Idol. It's like American Idol singing," said Guerrero.
Dr. Maria Piccillo oversees treatment at the facility where residents also enjoy movie night and theme parties.
A BBC documentary film crew captured a Halloween celebration that included singing the theme song to The Addams Family TV show.
And there is a beautiful garden that is also the work of sexual predators.
Guerrero asked, "This is part of a gardening therapy?"
"Gardening therapy, yeah. It's that use of time to really develop pro-social and healthy ways of spending time," said Dr. Piccillo.
Rodney Short served 17 years in prison for rape, then was sent directly to Coalinga, where it costs about $175,000 a year to house one person.
Short said, "I get to play tennis, run around the track, and lift weights."
Treatment at Coalinga includes top-notch medical care that many families in America could only dream about. And that's not all.
Sanford Jones, a convicted child molester, told INSIDE EDITION that, like many of the other sexual predators, he is allowed to keep X-rated material.
"You're allowed to have adult legal pornography here. Is that true?" asked Guerrero.
"Yes," replied Jones.
Ernest Marshall helps run clinical operations at the hospital.
Guerrero said to Marshall, "I walk around this faciility and I see casino night. I see a barber shop. What is the purpose for having such a nice environment for these folks?"
Marshall replied, "Our goal is to create safer communities. You don't do that by increased punishment. That was the prison part. This is hopefully the rehabilitating part."
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is fuming over the cushy environment
"Frankly, it's startling. This is a complete boon doggle. This is a huge wast of taxpayer money," said Rackauckas.
It cost nearly $400 million to build that facility.