Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sex Offender Recidivism

What is the likelihood that a released and now-registered sex offender will reoffend? Under what circumstances is any particular offender likely to reoffend? What can be done to reduce the likelihood of reoffense?

These were the questions posed in the introduction to a May 2001 study entitled Recidivism of Sex Offenders. The study was published by the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM). CSOM was created by the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, as a national project supporting state and local jurisdictions in the effective management of sex offenders under community supervision.

The purpose of the study was to answer the questions posed in the first paragraph by examining the critical issues in defining and measuring recidivism. The report also discusses the current research devoted to measuring the reoffense rate of adult male sex offenders.

The study arrives at several conclusions:

  • Research on sex offender recidivism must be designed and applied to practice with the goals of preventing further victimization and creating safer communities.
  • Research and the studies it produces must be ongoing and up-to-date. This current research drives intervention strategies individualized for particular offenders. The more valid and reliable the studies, the more likely that individual interventions can be developed.
  • Researchers must strive to identify dynamic characteristics associated with sex offending behavior that can serve as the focus for intervention. In other words, it's the things that change rather than remain the same that will dramatically influence the success and failure of intervention strategies.

For a better understanding of why communities should care about sex offender recidivism, read San Jose police: child molester may have had thousands of victims in the Thursday, June 16, 2005, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The article reports that, "A convicted child molester with ties to Washington, Idaho and Oregon may have committed sex crimes against thousands of victims, police said Thursday after finding computers, notebooks and meticulous, handwritten lists with more than 36,000 boys' names and codes apparently indicating various sex acts."


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