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The Logic of Sexually Violent Predator Status in the United States of America

Author(s): Daniel F. Montaldi

Journal: Sexual Offender Treatment
ISSN 1862-2941

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: sexually violent predator | forensic evaluation | risk assessment | paraphilia | hypersexuality | compulsive sexual behavior

Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) laws have placed great legal weight on psychosexual evaluations of sex offenders by mental health experts. The conclusions of these evaluations are used to civilly commit hundreds of offenders throughout the United States after the completion of their criminal sentences, possibly for life. This paper examines the reasoning used by evaluators and attorneys for the state to justify the claim that someone is SVP. I discuss serious flaws in this reasoning and show how argument for SVP status must proceed if the case for civil commitment is to be logically coherent and consistent with constitutional values.
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