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Sexual Predator Civil Commitment: A Comparison of Selected and Released Offenders


This study compared two groups of sex offenders who were considered for civil commitment under Florida’s Jimmy Ryce Act: Two hundred twenty-nine sex offenders who were recommended by forensic evaluators to be civilly committed and 221 sex offenders who were recommended for release.

It was hypothesized that selected offenders would be more likely to display risk factors for sex offense recidivism than those who did not meet criteria. Data analyses revealed that selected offenders, as a group, scored significantly higher on actuarial risk assessment instruments.

There were also significant differences between the groups on other risk factors that have been empirically correlated with sexual recidivism. Selected offenders had higher frequencies of paraphilia diagnoses and antisocial personality.

These findings supported the hypotheses and suggested that evaluators are correctly selecting for civil commitment those sex offenders who have a mental abnormality predisposing them to sexual violence and who are at higher risk for reoffense. by Levenson, J.S. (2004). Sexual predator civil commitment: A comparison of selected and released offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 48(6), 638-648.

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