01Jun04e Summary of a recidivism study

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I found the following on the web-site of the German ``Kriminologische Zentralstelle, e.V.'' in Wiesbaden, at URL
< http://www.krimz.de/projekte/laufende/sexualstraftaeter.html >

[ German text - Deutsche Tekst ]

It is a summary of research into recidivism for sexual delinquents.

A summary of the summary follows

We review research done at the Kriminologische Zentralstelle since 1996 into the recidivism of sexual delinquents. This study is based upon a large, representative sample of persons, taken from the persons sentenced during the first half of 1987, a total of 2.212.

Of these persons, the cases of about 780 have been analysed (criteria for the selection not given in the summary) and analysed with regard to the cases and to later prosecutions, as evidenced by the Bundeszentralregister (register of criminal cases) until 1996. In addition, special consideration was given to the cases with indefinite sentences (MassFregelvollzug) for which a special report has been prepared.

Three classes of offences have been considered:

Child abuse (174, 176, 179 StGB)

Violent sexual crimes (177, 178 StGB in the old version)

Exhibitionism (183, 183a StGB)

First it is evident that this class of sexual offences is highly heterogeneous.

Second the recidivism was highest for acts of exhibitionism (56 % within 6 years). It is also the case if this exhibitionism occurred before a child, when it is counted (and sentenced) as child abuse. Those cases appear very often among the relapsed offenders with child abuse as offence, inflating the total recidivism of this group, of 22 %. Offenders with violent crimes relapse at about 20 %. (All within 6 years.)

The results appear to agree with those of Hanson & Bussière (1998).

Child abuse is in respect to recidivism, a more homogeneous class than violent sexual crime. Some common variables with predictive power are:

Earlier related condemnations

Low age at first offence

No prior acquaintance with victim

Exhibitionism (classed as child abuse)

Children as victims (for violent crimes)

Male victims

No schooling

Earlier therapy

Some further results are:

About 70 % are one-time delinquents.

Less than 10 % offended at least three times (sexual offences).

The probability of reoffences diminished less steep than for general offenders.

There is little progression or variation of the offence.

A final report is in preparation. (A project bibliography is at the end of the German text)


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