Hendricks and the Future of Sex Offender Commitment Laws
Developments in Mental Health Law, Vol. 18, Nos. 1 & 2, p. 1, 1988
4 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2010
Date Written: 1988
The Supreme Court's decision in Kansas v. Hendricks suggests that few constitutional limitations will be imposed. This article discusses the four elements imposed by the Court in Hendricks, and then discusses the likely implications of the decision, using civil commitment laws currently on the books and actual post-Hendricks decisions. The article concludes that the imbalance between commitments and discharges will cause commitment populations to grow over the foreseeable future. Eventually the huge costs of commitment schemes will force serious assessment of whether the facial logic of these programs hides seriously distorted resource allocation and anti-therapeutic side-effects.
Keywords: Sex-Offender, Civil Commitment, Systematized Risk Assessment, Kansas v. Hendricks, Mental Disorder, in re Linehan, Young v. Weston
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