The number of people Missouri holds as sexually violent predators is shooting up and leading mental health officials to seek millions of additional dollars for their care.
For the upcoming year, Gov. Jay Nixon's budget recommends more than $2.6 million for nearly 60 additional positions within the Sex Offender Rehabilitation and Treatment Services program at facilities in Farmington and Fulton.
A state law taking effect in 1999 allows certain sex offenders to be civilly committed as a "sexually violent predator" after completing a criminal sentence. Mental Health Department Director Keith Schafer says the growth has been about 20 people per year.
Schafer says the department regularly has sought and received additional staff in the budget.