State Attorney's Office No. 1 for committed sexual predators

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The State Attorney's Office of the Fourth Judicial Circuit ranks No. 1 in the state for sending sexually violent predators to indefinite civil commitment at the Florida Civil Commitment Center in Arcadia, according to statistics compiled by the center.

The center is a secure treatment facility designed for those who have been deemed sexually violent predators.

As a sexual offender approaches release from prison, a full evaluation is conducted to determine whether or not the offender would be a danger to others if released. If it is found that the offender should participate in the sexually violent predator program, a recommendation is passed to the state attorney, who then decides whether or not to file a petition seeking commitment.

Ultimately, the decision to commit a sexually violent predator is left up to the jury or judge.

Currently, there are 575 sexually violent predators committed to the center; 57 of those cases are from the Fourth Circuit. The circuit also has 15 detainees (respondents awaiting trial), which is the highest number in the state.

The statistics show the Fourth Judicial Circuit is responsible for 10 percent of sexually violent predators committed to the center. Orlando is responsible for 8 percent, Miami for 7 percent and Tampa for 3 percent.