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.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Catch-and-Release Sex Offender Strikes Again, Captured Again

On Friday, March 17, 2006, Fox News and other national news media reported that Kenneth G. Hinson had been captured near his home in South Carolina. Hinson, convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl in 1991, had been given an early release from prison in 2000. Prior to Hinson's release, a state review committee had recommended he be civilly committed indefinitely to a Department of Mental Health facility for treatment. A circuit court judge refused to make that recommendation, saying prosecutors had failed to show Hinson was likely to reoffend.

After being released, Hinson allegedly did reoffend.

On Monday, March 13, 2006, Hinson allegedly broke into a neighbor's home, kidnapped two 17-year-old girls, and took them to his own home where he bound them to prevent their escape. He then took each of them individually into a specially-created room, characterized as a dungeon in the news, under a shed on his property where he raped and assaulted each girl. The room is in photos available at the Fox News link. The girls managed to escape and run for help. Hinson was captured Friday near his home.

Hinson's case once again raises the question about how reliably and accurately prosecutors or mental health professionals can predict which sex offenders are likely to reoffend. In May 2001, the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Center for Sex Offender Management published a study entitled Recidivism of Sex Offenders. The introduction to the study notes, "The purpose of this paper is to examine the critical issues in defining recidivism and provide a synthesis of the current research on the reoffense rates of sex offenders. The (study's) sections summarize and discuss research findings on sex offenders, factors and conditions that appear to be associated with reduced sexual offending, and the implications that these findings have for sex offender management. Although studies on juvenile sex offender response to treatment exist, the vast majority of research has concentrated on adult males. Thus, this paper focuses primarily on adult male sex offenders."

Though somewhat dated, the study is a decent primer on adult sex offender recidivism.


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