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Sex Offender Management, Higher Ed Issues, and Pet Care: Monday’s show (March 9, 2015)

The state agency responsible for supervising, monitoring and providing treatment for the most violent sex offenders in the state is undergoing some sweeping changes. Among the problems faced by the recently revamped Office of Violent Sex Offender Management: a shortage of housing for sex offenders released from prison and a perception that the state’s civil commitment program […]


The state agency responsible for supervising, monitoring and providing treatment for the most violent sex offenders in the state is undergoing some sweeping changes. Among the problems faced by the recently revamped Office of Violent Sex Offender Management: a shortage of housing for sex offenders released from prison and a perception that the state’s civil commitment program is nothing more than a thinly veiled prison sentence (since 2001, of the more than 360 convicted sex offenders ordered into the program after serving their sentences none has completed treatment and been set free). That’s due in part to a restrictive rules violation policy, which has sent more than half of those in the program back to prison despite not committing any actual crimes.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss the restructuring of the state agency, and what may be done to address these policies.

We talk with Jessica Marsh, General Counsel for the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management, and Houston-area attorney Nancy Bunin with Habern, O’Neil and Associates. She’s represented several men in the program and questions its constitutionality.

Also this hour: We talk with Benjamin Wermund, Higher Education Reporter from the Houston Chronicle, about a pair of stories in higher ed. First, we discuss Texas lawmakers’ efforts to weigh a tuition deregulation decision made more than a decade ago. Then, we talk about lingering concerns related to the funding and bidding process for contracts to build TDECU Stadium on the University of Houston campus.

Then: Veterinarian Dr. Lori Teller from the Meyerland Animal Clinic returns for our monthly conversation about the care and feeding of your beloved dogs and cats. Any questions you have for Dr. Teller about your canine or feline animal companion — from food and exercise to sleep to behavior to medication and beyond — will be welcome.

And: CultureMap Houston sports columnist MK Bower drops by to discuss the week that was for the Houston Rockets, the first week of pre-season baseball for the Houston Astros, and the Houston Dynamo’s season-opening victory over the Columbus Crew.

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