Wausau Pilot & Review

A 34-year-old man who was committed under the state’s sexually violent person law will be released next week into the community and will reside in the town of Rib Falls, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.

William H. Craig. Photo courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department

In a community notification, Sheriff Scott Parks said William H. Craig targeted minor male and female children and was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child. After his sentence concluded, he was committed.

When an offender is committed to treatment, they can petition the committing court every 12 months for release. If the court determines the offender reached a point in treatment in which they are no longer more likely to reoffend than not, the court orders either community living on supervised release or discharge with no supervision.

Craig, on Feb. 1, will be released from Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center and will be supervised by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Craig will reside at 133400 Hwy. 29 in the town of Rib Falls, a property rented by DHS that has traditionally been used as part of its supervised release program.

In his release Parks said dsupervised release is a safer option than discharge to the community.

“Unlike direct discharge to  the community, the Supervised Release Program offers many supports aimed at helping a person  make a successful transition back to the community, including housing, employment, medication,  and continued treatment,” Parks wrote.

Craig, as an offender on supervised release, will face stricter conditions than other released sex offenders including required chaperones anytime he leaves the house for the first year; real-time satellite  monitoring of his movements; and frequent home and work visits. These conditions are designed to become less restrictive over time if there are no violations, Parks said. Offenders who violate supervised  release rules may have their community release revoked by a court. 

Chaperones are employed by an agency contracted by DHS for clients under the first year of supervision. The extent to which chaperones escort  offenders on outings after the first year is determined by the client’s Community Reintegration  Team. This decision is based on the individual’s cooperation and success during their first year  living in the community, Parks said. More than 70 rules are enforced.

The Community Reintegration Team includes: 

• A Department of Health Services supervised release specialist 

• The individual’s Department of Corrections probation and parole agent • A sex offender treatment provider 

• The individual’s case manager 

This group oversees the individual’s schedule and activities. 

Global Positioning System is used to establish offender location and to track offender  movement. GPS will serve as a supervision tool to provide risk control and surveillance of  offenders who meet specific selection criteria.

Craig will adhere to a  mandated curfew schedule and will be monitored electronically. Exclusion Zones are created around areas where offenders are not  allowed to enter such as schools and parks. The Department of Corrections Monitoring Center  will monitor and respond to any violations 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.  Warrants are issued when violations occur and police are notified of any violations.

For more information regarding the Supervised Release Program, please visit their website at:  www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/sr. 

The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office expects Craig to cooperate and comply with the above  conditions and rules. Any observed violations should be reported to the Marathon County Sheriff’s  Office at the non-emergency number: 715-261-1200. 

For further information, please visit the Sex Offender Registry at  http://offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/.