mental health, civil commitment, sex offenders, recidivism, risk management, public safety, liberty, sicherungsverwahrung


This article addresses civil commitment of sexually predatory offenders. It first outlines the most common American approaches to controlling sexual offenders, then details the German concept of Sicherungsverwahrung and greater state control, and finally proposes adopting a modified German approach that assures proportionality and public safety without sacrificing individual liberties. The article concludes by arguing that criminal penalties and safety-based detention should both be seen as elements of social control, which requires that safety measures with clearly punitive components be recognized as part of the punishment process.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.