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Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act: The First Year

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2008
17 pages

This report presents an overview of the implementation of the New York Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act establishing civil commitment and management for sex offenders, improved treatment of incarcerated sex offenders, and the creation of the Office of Sex Offender Management.


In April 2007, the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (SOMTA) took effect in New York. This law established three primary things: (1) "civil management," a new legal process to civilly confine and/or closely supervise sex offenders who are about to be released from prison or complete their time on parole, but remain a clear threat to commit additional sex crimes; (2) required the Department of Correctional Services to provide improved treatment to incarcerated sex offenders; and (3) created the new Office of Sex Offender Management within the Division of Criminal Justice Service. Passed only 1 year ago to provide a new mechanism to protect New Yorkers from dangerous sex offenders, the law has made great strides in implementing this goal. Accomplishments within the 1 year include: (1) the Civil Management system is now operational across New York State; (2) cases are being reviewed, petitions filed, and trials held; and (3) 36 dangerous sex offenders have been civilly confines so far, and this number will climb over the next 12 months. Providing an overview of the implementation of SOMTA, this report is divided into four parts: an explanation of how Civil Management works; an explanation of the Department of Correctional Services' new treatment program; and a quick overview of the initiatives that the Office of Sex Offender Management is working on to support Civil Management. Although, it may be too early to predict what long-term impact SOMTA may have, it is clear that if it were not for the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act dangerous sex offenders would be released into the community with little or no oversight. Because of SOMTA these individuals can now be confined or place on intensive supervision, thereby, enhancing community safety.