Sex offender commitment laws are one manifestation of an innovative transformation in the societal stance toward sexual violence. In contrast to the traditional criminal law approach, which is essentially reactive to crime, the contemporary approaches to sexual violence place upon the society an obligation systematically to identify the risk of sexual violence, and to prevent it. Although these goals are salutary, civil commitment is a means that is controversial legally, morally, and practically. The Hendricks case resolves many of the questions about the constitutionality of the commitment laws but leaves unresolved serious questions in the application of the laws. Further, critics worry that civil commitment programs will consume an increasingly disproportionate share of the prevention and treatment resources and will distort public policy decisions about this important area.
- Sexual Predators - Bibliography
- Sexual Predators - Second Generation Sex Offender Commitment Laws
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