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Accuracy of Sexually Violent Person Assessments of Juveniles Adjudicated for Sexual Offenses


This study reviewed the records of 198 juveniles who were committed to secured custody after being adjudicated delinquent for a sexually violent offense that qualified them for possible commitment under a Sexually Violent Person’s (SVP) civil commitment law. For an individual to be committed, the statute requires that the individual have a qualifying mental disorder and is “likely,” to commit a future act of sexual violence.

Each youth was screened by at least two expert examiners in a two-step process. Fifty-four of the youth were found to meet the commitment criteria in an initial examination and were subject to an SVP petition. The remaining 144 were screened out. Subsequent criminal charges were collected over a 4.97-year mean follow-up.

The results showed that the prevalence rates for general sexual offending and felony sexual offending did not differ between youth who were screened out and those who were subject to a petition. Among petitioned youth, 11.76% were charged with a new sexual offense including 9.80% who were charged with a felony sexual assault.

By comparison, 17.36% of the youth that were screened out were charged with a sexual offense including 13.19% who were charged with a felony sexual assault, a nonsignificant difference. ..Source.. by Michael Caldwell, PsyD

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