Factors Predicting Selection of Sexually Violent Predators for Civil Commitment
This study investigated the degree to which independent variables predicted civil commitment selection in a sample of 450 sexual offenders evaluated for civil commitment as "sexually violent predators" under Florida's Jimmy Ryce Act. Using logistic regression, this study examined the relationship between the dependent variable, commitment recommendation, and several sets of independent variables. Results revealed that the statistically significant predictors of recommendations for sex offender civil commitment were diagnoses of pedophilia and paraphilia not otherwise specified (NOS), psychopathy, actuarial risk assessment scores, younger age of victim, and nonminority race (R2 = .88). Discriminant function analysis confirmed that these variables correctly predicted commitment recommendations in 90% of cases. Sex offenders recommended for commitment consistently met the criteria set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kansas v. Hendricks (1997): They suffered from a mental abnormality predisposing them to sexual violence, and risk assessment determined that they were likely to reoffend.
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
College of Arts and Sciences
Levenson, J. S., & Morin, J. W. (2006). Factors predicting selection of sexually violent predators for civil commitment. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 50(6), 609–629. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X06287644