Comparing Sexual Offenders at the Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) and the Florida Civil Commitment Center
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Sexual offender civil commitment (SOCC) continues to be a popular means of managing risk to the community in many U.S. jurisdictions. Most SOCC states report few releases, due in large part to the reluctance of the courts to release sexually violent persons/predators (SVPs). Contemporary risk prediction methods require suitable comparison groups, in addition to knowledge of postrelease behavior. Low SVP release rates makes production of local base rates difficult. This article compares descriptive statistics on two populations of sexual offenders: (a) participants in high-intensity treatment at the Regional Treatment Centre (RTC), a secure, prison-based treatment facility in Canada, and (b) SVP residents of the Florida Civil Commitment Center. Results show that these two samples are virtually identical. These groups are best described as "preselected for high risk/need," according to Static-99R normative sample research. It is suggested that reoffense rates of released RTC participants may serve as a comparison group for U.S. SVPs. Given current release practices associated with U.S. SOCC, these findings are of prospective value to clinicians, researchers, policy makers, and triers of fact.
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