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CERTAIN ASPECTS OF SEX PSYCHOPATH LAWS
KARL M. BOWMAN; BERNICE ENGLE
Am J Psychiatry 1958;114:690-697.
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Professor of Psychiatry, Emeritus, University of California, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.

Research Associate, University of California, School of Medicine, San Francisco, Calif.

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Abstract

Our review of the status of sex psychopath path laws, brought up to date, shows the addition of special laws in 3 states, Florida, Iowa and West Virginia, bringing the total number to 27 jurisdictions. The laws in a dozen or so states have been changed or revised, varying from a whole new law in Illinois to minor changes in New Hampshire and other states. Several states reported bills for revision pending. Appellate court decisions, in general, support the constitutionality of these laws and the trial procedures. Trends in the laws and their administration point to more satisfactory treatment results than reported earlier; a low rate of recidivism; more use of probation, at times with outpatient psychiatric treatment and supervision; release of patients on parole as good risks; and the extension in a few states of diagnostic studies and treatment to persons convicted of serious crimes other than sex crimes.We acknowledge gratefully the help and cooperation of many state agencies in supplying us with current information on sex offense legislation.

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