Through their inherent police power, states in the United States are permitted to civilly commit certain individuals, usually those who are deemed dangerous, in order to promote public security. Although the commitment process is purely civil, it often functions synchronously with the criminal justice system and effectively absolves local law enforcement of the burden of ongoing surveillance or monitoring of the individual. Arguably, society as a whole is safer when dangerous offenders are civilly committed because they are physically removed from society. Society may also be more secure when law enforcement resources are not taxed by having to monitor individual offenders.

Four types of civil commitment are the most common: (1) postsentence for sex offenders, (2) post–trial/plea for persons found not guilty by reason of insanity, ...

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