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Washington State Institute for Public Policy
December 2003
Washington was the first state to pass a civil commitment law for violent sex offenders; the law was part of the state's 1990 Community Protection Act. The Sexually Violent Predator statute permits the indefinite involuntary civil commitment of persons found in civil court to be sexually violent predators. This study examines the recidivism of 89 sex offenders released between July 1990 and July 1996 who were referred by the Department of Corrections as meeting the filing standards for civil commitment petitions, but for whom no petitions were filed. The study reveals that this group of individuals have a high pattern of recidivism.
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