July 30, 2009

New sex offender studies

The booming sex offender industry is producing lots of literature these days. A few current studies of interest, all with negative findings:

Child porn use not linked to contact crimes

Men who use internet child pornography are not at high risk of committing hands-on sex offenses, especially if they do not have a prior criminal record of such activities, suggesting that other risk factors must be taken into account to identify potential offenders.

The article, The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending, by scholars in Switzerland and Germany, is available online for free, through the open-access site BioMed Central.

Actuarials fail to predict juvenile recidivism

There's a lot of demand these days for tools to predict which juvenile sex offenders will reoffend. The recidivism rates are very low, which makes this task especially difficult. In this study, Jodi Viljoen of Simon Fraser University and colleagues tested four widely used instruments, and found that none of them significantly predicted sexual reoffending. The instruments were the ERASOR (Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism), the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI), the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV), and the Static-99.

The abstract of Assessment of Reoffense Risk in Adolescents Who Have Committed Sexual Offenses: Predictive Validity of the ERASOR, PCL:YV, YLS/CMI, and Static-99 is available through Criminal Justice and Behavior's "online first" website, but you need a subscription to see the whole article.

Adam Walsh: Only an illusion of safety

This project used a sample of sex offenders in New York State who are registered under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA), to perform the fist empirical assessment into whether the Act's implementation is likely to increase public safety. The answer, unsurprisingly, is a resounding no. As it turns out, the offenders classified as lowest risk (Tier 1) reoffended at higher rates than those classified as moderate (Tier 2) to high risk (Tier 3).

Again, you can see the abstract of this study, The Adam Walsh Act: A False Sense of Security or an Effective Public Policy Initiative? by Naomi J. Freeman and Jeffrey C. Sandler, at Criminal Justice Policy Review's "online first" site, but the article requires a subscription.


Neuroskeptic said...

Thanks for this. I'm glad that there does seem to be some serious research being done in this important area. And negative findings are still findings...

suetiggers said...

The truly dangerous make up between 1% and 5% of the total population (and growing) of people forced with the label and stigma of sex offender. Most do not deserve the label just as we are finding out, many who are in prisons for various offenses or non-offenses don't belong either. Our legislative and prosecutorial systems are corrupt to the hilt. People tend to deny this fact, but honestly we see the corruption every day of our lives. Judges have a few amongst them that are the worst of the worst and yet they keep sitting on the bench.

A study was done a few years back on the numbers of people stigmatized with the label of sex offender, and correlated the data from three years of data by the Justice Department, three different studies. The data showed remarkably that the vast majority of sex crimes against children and early teens was in fact familial and that holds true even to this day that anywhere from 85% to 90% of molestations were incest and similar extended family and friends contact.
The politicians know the score, they know the facts because the facts have not changed, but courage amongst politicians is a rarity, something not often seen.
Remember the nude antics in Boulder, Co. where groups of people annually get naked and run down the streets? well some of those people have already be adjudicated where they plead guilty to a non sex offense charge, but they were originally charged with indecent exposure, should I say more - they now have to register as sex offenders, and the DA says others will be charged similarly and it will be their choice to either take a plea and become a sex offender or take their 50-50 chances in a court room in front of a jury and possibly go to prison.
People on the registry have been murdered, committed suicide, had their homes set on fire, been evicted, lost their jobs,etc.etc. Stephen Marshall killed two men who were on the sex-offender registry in Maine. Immediately after, he took his own life. One of the men Marshall killed, Joseph Gray, was on the registry for raping a child. The other, William Elliott, was listed because he'd slept with his girlfriend before she turned 16.
Eighty-seven percent of people who were arrested for sex crimes had not previously been convicted study.of such an offense, according to a 1997 study. Just 14 percent of all sexual assault cases involved strangers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. These are examples of who is on the dreaded registry:
1. Romeo and Juliet liasons, false accusations of vindictive teens against an older teen (18 or 19)
2.False accusation by vindictive parents in child custody cases and/or family feuds- There are more of these than most people would believe. There are many reports of people who admit to having lied about being molested when they were younger. Now they would like to have the person wrongly convicted on their testimony set free.
3.mutual consensual sex- but being 3 yrs. and 1 day older than the willing teen (can bring and has brought multiple felony indictments)
4. Sex between consenting teen prostitute (who looks older and even may have lied about her age) with an adult male
5. Criminal charges that later are dropped for insufficient proof but not appealed in time, so still on registry
Watch MSNBC’s Witch HuntW/Sean Penn.
My mentally-ill son was falsely accused many years ago of sexually abusing an 8 yr. old girl. in recent years, she recanted. Her grandmother and a nosy, neighborhood watchwoman who did not like my son's looks encouraged her and she was an extraordinarily wilfull(and smart) child who wanted to get my son away from her big sister. She was jealous of their relationship.Few would believe a child this age would lie about something like this but it is true. To learn more, go to RSOL (Reform Sex Offender Laws ) or F.A.S.T. (False Allegation Support Team) http://false-allegations-team.com/fasthelp.html http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/index.php

Magister said...

The more studies the professionals do, the more we can quote and show the Lawmakers in this country how ineffective and harmful the laws they are making are. Please keep the studies up. It would also be invaluable if there was a way for the sex offender treatment professionals and researchers could get more publicity for their findings. The info is invaluable but we have to educate John Q. Public. John does not often read the Journals or look for professional studies. He watches TV news and reads the newspaper.