1. Introduction 3
2. Recidivism 3
3. General Rates 5
3.1 Rapist Recidivism Rates 6
3.2 Child Molester Recidivism Rates 7
3.3 Exhibitionists Recidivism Rates 8
3.4 Women Rates 9
3.5 Juvenile Rates 9
4. Reasons Behind 10
5. Conclusion 11
6. References 13
Engagingin sex crimes is amongst the most prevalent forms of crimes not onlyin the United States but also around the world and instils much fearsince it often targets children and vulnerable women. In variousnations, there are a broad range of sex crime definitions andjurisdictions that applies to sex offenders. In agreement withKingston& Bradford (2013),they can range from petty sex crimes like sending or receivingindecent SMS messages to serious sexual acts involving one ormultiple victims. However, the latter cases attract more government,police, and community interest, making it necessary to creategovernment-centred prevention plans. Even with the different programsand efforts, the number of rearrests of sexual offenders is still acause for concern. In this paper, I will highlight the overall baserate of sex offender re-offense and determine if the rates varyacross the several categories of adult sex offenders. Additionally, Iwill aim to gives reasons as to why sex offenders are more likely torepeat sex crimes even after incarceration and treatment.
Asnoted by Calleja(2015),some researchers refer to recidivism as the sexual offencereconviction while others include all lawbreakers charged with newsexual crimes, whether they had prior convictions or not. Consideringboth fresh charges and convictions ultimately results in a higherestimate of reoffending. Hanson,Helmus & Thornton (2010)claim other recidivism investigations include self-report, childprotection agencies, police questioning, and conditional releaseorder violations informal reports. Resultantly, reoffendingestimation rates are directly proportional to their definitionexpansion extensive definitions permit larger recidivism estimates.To make a proper reoffending estimate, researchers should strive toconsider the following factors, recidivism criteria, follow -uplength, and sex criminal diversities.
Underfactor recidivism measures, investigators should be able to considerthe proportion of sex criminals who are convicted of or charged withanother form of sexual violation upon their release from thepenitentiary (Neller& Petris, 2013).Subsequently, an increase in the follow-up length factor shows a risein the aggregate recidivist numbers. Notwithstanding, Christiansen& Vincent (2013)stress that an elevated recidivist proportion is dissimilar to anescalated annual reoffending rate. Generally, criminals tend toexperience a behavioural decrease after abstaining from it for alonger time. For instance, the reoffending degree within the initial2-year prison release period is relatively greater when compared torates found between ten and twelve years after release. Accordingly,sex recidivism estimates must be time-limited or time-described.
Additionally,when making sex offender recidivism assessments, researchers shouldalso consider the diversities across this group of criminals. Asidentified by Cortoni,Hanson & Coache (2010),incest criminals often reoffend at a noteworthy lesser extentcompared to those who victimize people beyond their family. Further,the child molesters who target male victims normally repeat the actat substantially elevates degrees when compared with those whoprimarily victimize girls. However, these diversities are also verydifficult to follow because they bring forth multiple research areasto consider including the post-release period, percentage of malechild molesters either charged or convicted of additional sexualviolations.
Despitethe availability of these assessment factors, research clearlyindicates that a good proportion of sexual violations go unreported(Christiansen& Vincent, 2013).Notably, the possibility that the law enforcement will receivereports about a sexual assault act reduces with the age of thevictim. Furthermore, just a subsection of sex-related crimes reportedto the police lead to an actual perpetrator arrest (Kingston& Bradford, 2013).Due to these dynamics, there is an extensive knowhow that the formalsex offender recidivism frequency reports carry a weakenedquantification of re-offense. Even so, it is important for people toknow these rates and take the necessary steps to ensure that theyprotect their families.
In2003, Langan, Schmitt, and Durose presented the most popular sexoffender recidivism study to date (Neller& Petris, 2013).Their assessment studied the sex reoffending trends of nine thousandand sixty-nine male criminals who freed from prisons across fifteenstates in the year 1994. Upon evaluating their results, they found a5.3% sexual re-offense rate based on the whole sample after athree-year follow-up time. The general and violent recidivismproportions for this sample appeared much higher registering at 43%and 17,1 % respectively (Neller& Petris, 2013).About four out of ten sex criminals in the research managed to goback to prison within three years’ time after release because ofreoffending or violating the conditions placed upon release. Hanson,Helmus & Thornton (2010)note as part of these researchers’ studies, they directed a sex andnon-sex criminal recidivism comparative analysis. The resultsindicate that sex offenders where less likely to get rearrested whencompared to non-sex criminals with statistics of 43% and 68%correspondingly. However, their recapture rates associated with sexcrimes appeared to be four times more when compared to those ofnon-sex criminals 5.3% and 1.3% respectively (Neller& Petris, 2013).
Anotherstriking recidivism investigation occurred was led by Sample and Brayin 2003 who monitored the arrest reoffending of 146,918 criminals,initially detained in the year 1990 in Illinois (Neller& Petris, 2013).The sex offender arrestees had one year, three year, and five yearreincarceration rate related to another sexual violation of 2.2%,4,8%, and 6.5% correspondingly (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).They also had a 21.3%, 37.4%, and 45.1% chance of getting rearrestedbecause of new offenses that did not link to sex crimes.
Further,a meta-analysis process done by Harris in Hanson in 2004 involvingten distinct studies estimated recidivism grounded on new sexualoffense convictions or charges, utilizing five, ten and fifteen-yearfollow-up durations for a variety of the sex offenders (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010). The results in this investigation indicated the recidivism degreesto be 14%, 20%, and 24% for 5, 10, and 15 years respectively. Anotable result from this analysis is that the number of sexualoffender recidivism over the years increases. Further, thereoffending rate reduced with the amount of time an offender hasrefrained from criminal activities (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).
Asidefrom the general rates of recidivism attached to sex violations,there were studies that concentrated on the different classificationsof sex offenders including rapists, child molesters andexhibitionists. Further, it is significant to determine the basereoffending rates of female and juvenile sex offenders to get a clearpicture of the whole situation.
Rapist Recidivism Rates
Theinvestigators studying this category of sex offenders are reportingan increased reoffending rate. In their study, Langan, Schmitt, andDurose determined that 5% of 3115 rapists were reincarcerated due tocommitting an additional sexual violation within the three-yearfollow-up duration, 18.7% for violent crimes, and 46% for generalcrimes (Neller& Petris, 2013).the rapists with multiple previous arrests in this investigation gotrearrested two times more than those with one arrest 49.6 % and28.2% individually. In accordance with the 2004 study of Harris andHanson, rapists reoffending estimates were 14 % after five years, 21%after ten years, 24 % after fifteen years (Neller& Petris, 2013).
Anothersignificant study owing to its twenty-five-year follow-up duration isthe 1997 study conducted by Prentky and associates (Neller& Petris, 2013).Currently, oversimplifying some of the findings in this study tocriminals who indulge in rape mannerisms is difficult since theinvestigation time-frame commenced in the year 1959 and concluded inthe year 1985, and the management and treatment operations related tosex offenders then were very different compared to those used today.Additionally, they utilized small sample sizes like 136 rapists andcomprised of civilly committed people and those determined to engagein dangerous sexual behaviours. Nonetheless, Neller& Petris (2013)note that Prentky and associates discovered that several rapists arelikely to reoffend years after their release. Following thetwenty-five-year follow-up interval, the researchers concluded thatrapists have a 39 % sexual recidivism rate and a 74 % re-offense ratelinked to any other criminal charge (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).
Child Molester Recidivism Rates
Acomparatively large quantity of research is available on thereoffending extent of child molesters. The Langan, Schmitt, andDurose study featured 4295 child molesters and 5.3 % of this numbergot reincarcerated for an additional sex offense within three yearsafter being freed from prison, 14.1 % for violent crimes, and 39.4 %for other criminal activities (Neller& Petris, 2013).Parallel to the rapist patterns, child molesters that have multipleprevious arrests had a double recidivism rate compared to those withsingle priors 44.3 % and 23.33 % correspondingly. As expected, thechild molester class of sex offenders have the highest possibility ofgetting rearrested for sexual crimes against children upon prisonrelease. Additionally, the 2004 Harris and Hanson investigationbrought forth distinct recidivism rates associated withdifferentiated groups of child molesters (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).They included follow-up study periods of five, ten and fifteen yearsfor girl-victim, boy-victim, and incest child offenders. Incestoffenses show a constant reduction of recidivism rates, particularlythose that involve female victims but child molesters who choose boyvictims have a higher chance of reoffending after prison release(Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).Further, Prentky and associates in 1997 also evaluated child molesterrecidivism rates centred on their twenty-five-year follow-up durationand discovered a 52 % sexual reoffending rate (Neller& Petris, 2013).They assessed 115 freed child molesters in Massachusetts in1960-1984.
Eventhough there is a big difference between Harris and Hanson andPrentky and associates recidivism rates, it can receive variousinterpretations. The first interpretation can conclude that somechild molesters can commit a first-time re-offense after beingreleased twenty or more years later, and short-recidivism follow-upshave a chance of underestimating the ability of a child molester toreoffend (Duwe, 2015). The other interpretation may be due todifferences in the sampling numbers. Harris and Hanson’s outcomesare founded on a high concentration and diverse child molester samplecompared to the small percentage of Prentky and his associates.
Exhibitionists Recidivism Rates
Theexhibitionist sex offenders include the those who peep throughwindows and showcase their sexual organs to the public among others.There is a narrow amount of study concerning the exhibitionistsrecidivism rates (Neller& Petris, 2013).However, three relevant investigations by Rabinowitz-Greenberg andcolleagues in 2002, Sugarman and associates in 1994, and Firestoneand collaborators in 2006 (Hanson,Helmus & Thornton, 2010).Rabinowitz-Greenberg and colleagues and Firestone and collaboratorsexamined 221 exhibitionists between 1983 and 1996 with a 6.8-yearsand 13.2-years follow-up period respectively. The recidivism rateswere 11.7 % and 23.6 % new sexual convictions or charges, 16.8 % and31.3 % violent convictions or charges, and 32.7 % and 8.9 % newconvictions for charges associated with other crimes correspondingly(Neller& Petris, 2013).Sugarman and associates used 210 exhibitionists, following aseventeen-year follow-up period having 32 % of these criminalsreoffending on contact sexual violations while 75 % were rearrestedon other crimes but exposing.
Multiplestudies indicate that the female sex criminals often reoffend atnoteworthy reduced percentages when compared to males (Cortoni,Hanson & Coache, 2010).Upon sampling and examining 380 female sex lawbreakers, Cortoni andHanson’s 2005 study discovered 1 % of sexual re-offenses, 6.3 % ofviolent rearrests, and 20.2 % of overall criminal offenses over afive-year follow-up period (Cortoni,Hanson & Coache, 2010).Presently, a meta-assessment of ten investigations that entailedcombining a 2490 sample of female sex criminals registered a sexualreoffending rate of approximately 3 % after a 6.5 %-years follow-up(Cortoni,Hanson & Coache, 2010).
Juvenileoffenders are adolescents who engage in criminal activities at theage of seventeen or younger. Limited research exists concerning thereoffending rate of juvenile sex offenders however, it normallyoccurs between 1.4 % and 40 % and they often reoffend sexually atestimated rates of 9.9 % (Calleja,2015).It is sufficient to say that juvenile sex offenders have a lowpossibility of engaging in other additional crimes when compared totheir non-sex counterparts since the rate of the latter range from40.6 % and 65.2 % to 85 % (Christiansen& Vincent, 2013).In fact, juvenile sex delinquents with prior sex-related records areless likely to engage in sexual recidivism compared to the non-sexualjuveniles. Even though these juvenile sex delinquents have anegligible chance of sexual re-offense, they are more likely toreoffend non-sexually. After a 2008 study conducted by McCann andLussier, it was apparent that only 12 % of juvenile sex offendersparticipated in sexual recidivism but registered a 53 % reoffendingrate in non-sexual crimes (Calleja,2015).
Since the communities consider sexual offenses to be serious crimes,the concept has experienced attention in terms of defining thereasons associated with sexual reoffending. The most appropriatemethod to establish whether a specific trait associates withreoffending involves contrasting recidivism rates of criminalsdisplaying that trait with those without the said characteristic.Generally, Kingston& Bradford (2013)claim the strongest sex offense reoffending predictors are sexualdeviancy and hyper sexuality. They include early sex offending onset,deviant sexual inclinations, victimizing males, previous sexualoffenses, engaging in various sexual crimes, and victimizingstrangers. Additionally, people with sexual curiosity as far aschildren are concerned tend to reoffend when phallometric methods ofassessment are involved. As indicated by Craissati,Bierer & South (2011),this phallometric technique involves the direct examination of aperson’s penile response upon listening or viewing erotic material.Further, sex offender recidivism may be due to their choice oflifestyle, including the accumulative number of previous crimes andanti-social tendencies.
Otherinvestigations also claimed sex offender recidivism can also be dueto non-related factors to sex offense recidivism (Craissati,Bierer & South, 2011).They include lack of empathy towards a victim, low self-esteem,denying sex offense participation, and having experienced childsexual abuse. Most of these traits are hard to examine since they arenormal consequences of acting remorseful and victimized (Kingston& Bradford, 2013).Consequently, any probable connections with sex criminal reoffendingmay go unnoticed due to quantifying issues. Furthermore, the sexcriminal verbal statements may have a restricted predictive value.Generally, the reasons for both sexual and non-sexual sexualrecidivism are similar. They include minority race, juveniledelinquency, and young age among others. An additional factor thatmay result in sex crime reoffending are the dynamic factors, whichinclude harmful social influences, sexual preoccupations, mindsetsthat tolerate sexual assault, access to victims, supervisiondefiance, and unorganized release environment (Craissati,Bierer & South, 2011).
Anothercrucial reason that caused sex offender recidivism involves the harshlaws set offered to them post-release, almost activated by theiraddition in the sex offender registries. The residency controls suchas those highlighted in the Jessica Law are strict such that theregistrants are excluded in most of the housing available in thecommunity, which prevents them from residing close to their immediatefamilies (Willis,Levenson & Ward, 2010).Moreover, separate restrictions across multiple communities’ blockregistrants from utilizing institutions such as the public libraries,or enjoying family time in public parks (Duwe,2015).Additionally, their presence in these registries guarantees theirexclusion from job positions. In agreement with Willis,Levenson & Ward (2010),the registration extends for many years or lasts a lifetime in stateslike California, with minimal ways to get of the registry for manysexual offenders. Such treatments may lead to depression and maydrive a sexual criminal to reoffend because they lack the neededsupport to make them restrain from the habit. Particularly, sexoffenders who do not receive treatment post-arrest are more likely toreoffend in contrast to those who go through the process (Duwe,2015). Notwithstanding, people should realize that even with thesereasons of reoffending, not every sex criminal reoffends. As pointedout by Craissati,Bierer & South (2011),even the high-risk sexual criminals may find a way to modify theirbehaviour.
Withthe increased number of criminals arrested and convicted forsex-related crimes, the community, law enforcement, and governmentare increasingly about their release into society after the end oftheir sentencing. Many of the people in communities’ fear for thelife of their daughters, wives, and even sons because they have noidea whether these individuals have been rehabilitated. Resultantly,it is appropriate for the public to have an idea of the base rates ofthe sexual offenders so that they can take the necessary precaution.Besides, the public realizes that sex offender recidivism base ratesare dependent on the sample size, and the diverse groups of sexualcriminals and the length of followers. The base rates indicate thatit is more likely for child molesters to reoffend compared to rapistsand that the re-offense possibility tends to decline with theincreased abstinence from criminal activities post-release.Additionally, women sex offenders are less likely to reoffend incontrast with their male counterparts and juvenile sex offenders havea lower chance of engaging in a sexual re-offense. Apart from this,there are factors that elevate the possibility of a sex offender’srecidivism, they are sexual deviancy and hyper sexuality activities,non-related factors to sex crimes, dynamic factors like theoffender’s neighbourhood, and sex offender registration systems.Some of these factors are very easy to identify and measure, however,others such as dynamic factors are shared among all the criminalsmaking it difficult to assess sex offenders. It is true that oncepeople understand the base rates and reasons for sex criminalrecidivism, they will make more effort to rehabilitate sex offendersand live in a safe environment where all potential victims movefreely.
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