Anthony Perillo, Department of Psychology, presented his recent work on
sexually violent predator commitment, “Evaluating Selection for Sexually
Violent Predator Commitment: A Look at Those Nearly Committed,” at the
American Psychology-Law Society in Memphis, Tennessee.
Perillo analyzed data from over 3,000 persons evaluated for indefinite SVP commitment, of which 8.5% were committed. Results suggested clinicians’ evaluations were consistent with the letter of the law and that factors predicting recommendations for commitment were indeed those associated with higher risk for sexual reoffending.
He further examined a subset of 117 “nearly committed” offenders who were recommended for commitment but, for various reasons, were instead released from prison. Those “nearly committed” were twice as likely to reoffend as others. Nonetheless, almost 90% did not reoffend within 10 years, suggesting SVP commitment’s potential to prevent sex crimes has a low ceiling.
The paper was recently submitted for publication.
During the APLS conference, Perillo also visited a Memphis high school to talk to local students about career options in psychology and law.