Civil commitment, the practice of keeping people considered “sexually violent predators” confined after they have served their sentences, has come under increased judicial scrutiny recently. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled civil commitment legal in a 1997 decision, Kansas v. Hendricks
The idea is that people will receive treatment before they are released. However, many people spend years, even decades, languishing in civil commitment programs, with little hope of being released.
This report from the Marshall Project looks at how civil commitment works – or doesn’t – in New Jersey.