Risk communication in sexually violent predator hearings§


  • We would like to thank the Creighton University College of Arts and Sciences, the Creighton University Graduate School, and Psi Chi for providing the funds necessary to complete these research projects.

  • We would like to thank Daniel Krauss, John Edens, and Laura Guy for providing stimuli from previous studies that we used to construct stimuli for this study.

  • §

    Study stimuli are available on request from the last author.


Sexually violent predator (SVP) laws use the civil commitment process to confine mentally disordered and dangerous offenders who are at high risk to reoffend. Few studies have examined how jurors decide SVP cases. As a result, a pilot study and three experimental studies were conducted, in which victim type, risk communication, and juror education were manipulated to assess juror response. Results continually illustrated that victim type was the most salient manipulation across studies and that the manner of risk communication and juror education had little impact on jurors. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.