The Justice Department will detain some violent sex offenders after their federal prison sentences, reports USA Today. The initiative, modeled after “civil commitment” laws in 18 states that have kept 2,000 sex offenders locked up for mental-health treatment after their prison terms, will identify federal inmates authorities think would pose a threat if freed. Of the prison system’s 190,000 inmates, 11,000 are sex offenders.
So far, officials have referred 11 federal inmates for possible commitment after their time is served. They would be treated at a prison in Butner, N.C. Civil commitment laws, upheld in 1997 by the U.S. Supreme Court, have been one of the most extreme measures states have used to clamp down on repeat sex offenders. This year, Congress gave the U.S. government the authority to impose such a program.