Worldwide, a new trend in the law is capturing the outrage of the public and the imagination of legislators: legislation designed to punish sex offenders and protect the public. This legislation encompasses a desire for community protection, a need for retribution, and a disregard of civil rights. Many of the Englishspeaking countries have recently introduced, or are wrestling with the introduction of, laws that fall under the rubric of "dangerous offender legislation." These laws carry grave implications for those criminals dubbed dangerous offenders. Not surprisingly, the criminal most likely to be considered a dangerous offender is a repeat violent or sexual offender whose behavior indicates a high probability of committing further crimes in the future.
Amy M. Lageman, Dangerous Offender Legislation: A Short Term Solution to a Long Term Problem, 16 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 203 (1997).