You requested that we identify the states in Region VIII with laws expressly providing
for court-ordered confinement of sexually dangerous individuals, as it relates to
POMS GN 02607.360, which allows suspension of Title II benefits for convicted sex offenders who are
determined to be sexually dangerous and are confined to an institution under a civil
Out of the six states in Region VIII, only North Dakota has a statute specifically
authorizing civil commitment of sexually dangerous individuals
POMS GN 02607.360 provides as follows:
Section 402 of the Work Incentives Act of 1999 provides for the suspension of Title
II benefits of those individuals who meet all of the following criteria (GN 02607.350):
The individual had to have been confined in a jail, prison, or other state penal facility
pursuant to a conviction of a criminal offense, and
The criminal offense had to be related to sexual activity, and
Upon completion of the conviction/sentence, the individual was immediately transferred
and confined in an institution under a civil commitment (i.e., a court order) because
the individual was determined to be a sexually dangerous person.
. . . .
SSA will only enforce the sexually dangerous nonpayment provisions in those states
that have formal laws expressly providing for court-ordered confinement of sexually dangerous individuals. (Emphasis added).
Pursuant to the passage of the Jacob W~ Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent
Offender Registration Act, enacted in 1994, and Megan's Law, enacted in 1996, all
50 states have laws requiring sex offender registration and community notification,
and many states have more stringent laws relating to intensive supervision of sex
offenders who are further classified as "sexually dangerous individuals" (also known
as "sexual predators" or "sexually violent predators)." While the precise definitions
vary from state to state, "sexually dangerous individuals" may be generally defined
as sex offenders who are found likely to commit sexual crimes again if released from
All 50 states also have laws providing for indefinite civil commitment of mentally
ill individuals who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or the safety of others,
including convicted criminals, individuals found not guilty by reason of insanity
or mental defect, and individuals found not competent to stand trial. However, laws
expressly providing for the civil commitment of sexually dangerous individuals as required under POMS GN 02607.360, are much less common. At this time, only 17 states in the country have statutes
expressly authorizing civil commitment of sexually dangerous individuals.
Of the six states in Region VIII (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota,
and South Dakota), only North Dakota has a statute expressly providing for the civil
commitment of sexually dangerous individuals. See N.D. Cent. Code § 25-03-3.01 et. seq., as amended by 2005 N.D. Laws 249 (H.B. 1289).
North Dakota's law provides, in part:
An individual may not be committed unless evidence is admitted establishing that at
least two experts have concluded the individual has a congenital or acquired condition
that is manifested by a sexual disorder, a personality disorder, or other mental disorder
or dysfunction that makes the individual likely to engage in further acts of sexually
predatory conduct. The respondent has a right to be present, to testify, and to present
and cross-examine witnesses. . . . If the respondent is found to be a sexually dangerous
individual, the court shall commit the respondent to the care, custody, and control
of the executive director [of the Department of Human Services]. The executive director
shall place the respondent in an appropriate facility or program at which treatment
is available. The appropriate treatment facility must be the least restrictive available
. . . necessary to achieve the purposes of this chapter. . . . Unless the respondent
has been committed to the legal and physical custody of the department of corrections
and rehabilitation, the respondent may not be placed at and the treatment program
for the respondent may not be provided at the state penitentiary or an affiliated
penal facility. . . .
N.D. Cent. Code § 25-03.3-13.
In sum, of the six states in Region VIII, only North Dakota has a statute expressly
authorizing civil commitment of sexually dangerous individuals for purposes of POMS
Deana R. E~
Regional Chief Counsel, Region VIII
Dorrelyn K. D~
Assistant Regional Counsel