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Google top 5 'sex offender recidivism' 

2007-February-9 on a Forum

Here are the top 5 Google results for sex offender recidivism rate. Some claim that sex offenders have a lower than average recidivism rate. Others show multiple studies, the majority of which make the same claim. 

In other words, anyone doing a simple Google search should find the tabloid TV claims of high recidivism rates bogus.

CSOM Publications - Recidivism of Sex Offenders

< Link does not work anymore  >

This 2001 paper discusses proper methodology in measuring recidivism rates.

Makes claim that sex offenders have a low measured recidivism rate while acknowledging that sex offenses are vastly under-reported. Both facts lead to high error rates in estimating the true recidivism rate (counting offenses committed but not leading to an arrest or conviction). It also says 

"There is wide variation in results [of sex offender recidivism studies], in both the amount of measured recidivism and the factors associated with these outcomes. To a large degree, differences can be explained by variations in the sample of sex offenders involved in the studies." 

It also cites one of its sources that studies sex offenders released from a psychiatric facility 
in saying 

"rapists had a considerably higher rate of rearrest/reconviction than did child molesters." 

On the other hand, another study showed 

"that over longer periods of time, child molesters have a higher failure [recidivism] rate--thus, a higher rate of rearrest--than rapists (52 percent versus 39 percent over 25 years)."

That same study showed a "failure rate" of child molestors at 

6% after 1 year, 
19% at 5 years 
(13% for years 2-5), 
30% after 10 years 
(11% for years 6-10), and 
52% after 25 years 
(22% for years 11-25). 

To put it another way, the per-year recidivism rate for child molesters dropped from 6% in year 1 to less than 3% after 5 years. 

CSOM Publications Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders 

August 2000, list of myths and facts of sex offenders. 

'Myth: "Most sex offenders reoffend." 
Fact: Reconviction data suggest that this is not the case.'

'Myth: "All sex offenders are male." 
Fact: "... studies indicate that females commit approximately 20% of sex offenses against children...."' 

'Myth: "Youths do not commit sex offenses." 
Fact: "... it is estimated that adolescents (ages 13 to 17) account for up to ... one-half of all cases of child molestation... [1993 citation]"' 

Sex Recidivism of Sex Offenders. Child & Family Safety Information 

[Link broken]

National Sex Offender Registry, Criminal records. 

Summary of the 1st link above: Sex Offender Recidivism
<  >

A study out of the John Howard Society of Alberta in 1999. It says sex offenders have a relatively low recidivism rate.

PS: See also 

- < > 

(Chapter 3)

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