Nine states have statutes that authorize the confinement and treatment of highly dangerous sex offenders following completion of their criminal sentence: Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. These laws are commonly referred to as “sexual predator” laws. Other statutes authorize commitment and treatment for sex offenders as an alternative to sentencing.
This paper reviews the four principle categories of civil commitment laws for dangerous sex offenders. Summaries of individual state statutes are also included.