ERIC Number: EJ843724
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
Policy Interventions Designed to Combat Sexual Violence: Community Notification and Civil Commitment
Levenson, Jill S.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, v12 n3-4 p17-52 2003
Much attention has been given to the problem of sexual predators and the struggles of the legal-justice system to contain them. In response to public outcry over high-profile sex crimes, federal and state legislators have responded in the past decade with innovative but controversial public policy initiatives, called "sexually violent predator statutes." In 1996 President Clinton signed "Megan's Law," mandating all 50 states to develop requirements for convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies and to notify communities when a sex offender lives in close proximity. Less publicized have been the civil commitment statutes introduced by 16 states which allow convicted sex offenders to be evaluated for involuntary and indefinite confinement in a psychiatric hospital following their release from prison. This article will review the literature regarding community notification and civil commitment as interventions designed to combat sexual violence. The history and context of each policy will be discussed, as will a review of available research evaluating the impact of each policy. Implications for future research and social policy will be examined.
Descriptors: Proximity, Violence, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Abuse, Correctional Institutions, Psychiatric Hospitals, Law Enforcement, Justice, Public Policy, Federal Legislation, Criminals, Place of Residence, Intervention, History, Crime Prevention, Police Community Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A