This complex of reasons makes it unlikely that reporting figures will change dramatically in the near future and bring recidivism rates closer to actual reoffense rates.Several studies support the hypothesis that sexual offense recidivism rates are underreported.
This complex of reasons makes it unlikely that reporting figures will change dramatically in the near future and bring recidivism rates closer to actual reoffense rates.
They may fear that reporting will lead to the following: These factors are compounded by the shame and guilt experienced by sexual assault victims, and, for many, a desire to put a tragic experience behind them.
Incest victims who have experienced criminal justice involvement are particularly reluctant to report new incest crimes because of the disruption caused to their family.
Each of these criteria is a valid measure of recidivism, but each measures something different.
While the differences may appear minor, they will lead to widely varied outcomes.
Thus, this paper focuses primarily on adult male sex offenders.
Research on recidivism can be used to inform intervention strategies with sex offenders.For the purpose of their studies, researchers must determine what specific behaviors qualify sex offenders as recidivists.They must decide if only sex offenses will be considered, or if the commission of any crime is sufficient to be classified as a recidivating offense.The criminal justice system manages most convicted sex offenders with some combination of incarceration, community supervision, and specialized treatment (Knopp, Freeman-Longo, and Stevenson, 1992).While the likelihood and length of incarceration for sex offenders has increased in recent years (since 1980, the number of imprisoned sex offenders has grown by more than 7 percent per year; in 1994, nearly one in ten state prisoners were incarcerated for committing a sex offense [Greenfeld, 1997]), the majority are released at some point on probation or parole (either immediately following sentencing or after a period of incarceration in prison or jail).About 60 percent of all sex offenders managed by the U. correctional system are under some form of conditional supervision in the community (Greenfeld, 1997).While any offenders subsequent reoffending is of public concern, the prevention of sexual violence is particularly important, given the irrefutable harm that these offenses cause victims and the fear they generate in the community.In addition, research using information generated through polygraph examinations on a sample of imprisoned sex offenders with fewer than two known victims (on average), found that these offenders actually had an average of 110 victims and 318 offenses (Ahlmeyer, Heil, Mc Kee, and English, 2000).Another polygraph study found a sample of imprisoned sex offenders to have extensive criminal histories, committing sex crimes for an average of 16 years before being caught (Ahlmeyer, English, and Simons, 1999).If recidivism is determined only through the commission of a subsequent sex offense, researchers must consider if this includes felonies and misdemeanors.Answers to these fundamental questions will influence the level of observed recidivism in each study.