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Broward prosecutor named new head of the state's Sexually Violent Predator Program

The Department of Children and Families today announced that longtime Broward County prosecutor Kristin Kanner has been named the new director of the state’s Sexually Violent Predator Program.

Here's the release:

For more than 20 years, Kanner has served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 17th Judicial Circuit and has led the office’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit since 2004.

“After seeing Kristin testify in front of the Legislature last month during hearings on sexually violent predators, I knew she was the right person to lead the program,” DCF Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo said. “This is the first time in the program’s 14-year history that it will be led by a former prosecutor who brings an intimate knowledge of each stage of the process and an increased emphasis on public safety.”

Kanner has dedicated her career to public service. She joined the Broward State Attorney’s Office in 1993 as a member of the Felony Trial Unit where she prosecuted more than 100 felony cases. She was quickly promoted to Senior Supervising Attorney in the Misdemeanor Trial Unit responsible for a team of 30 attorneys. She went on to serve in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Battery/Child Abuse units.

Kanner has spent the past nine years leading the Sexually Violent Predator Unit, prosecuting all civil commitment cases in Broward County from filing to verdict. Kanner is a graduate of Duke University with degrees in Psychology and Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida College of Law.

Greg Venz, who led the program in an interim status since September, will return to his role in the DCF General Counsel’s office.

Kanner will report directly to the DCF Assistant Secretary for Substance Abuse and Mental Health. Her first day at DCF will be Nov. 4.