Thirteen and Locked up for Life?


October 2, 2012


At 21, Thomas Simmons has spent nearly half his life in confinement. When he was 13, Simmons was sent to a juvenile detention center for raping and sexually abusing a younger relative over a period of years. When he was 17, Simmons became the youngest person indefinitely committed to South Carolina’s adult violent sex offender treatment program, according to court testimony. The government initially placed Simmons in a restricted wing and assigned a staff member to stay with him to protect him from the other residents, many of them middle-aged child molesters, a program psychologist testified earlier this year. Four years after his civil commitment, Simmons is asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to order his release.
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