Thursday, August 09, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, Sex Offender Articles


NCJ 219090
Caroline J. Oliver; Anthony R. Beech; Dawn Fisher; Richard Beckett
Comparison of Rapists and Sexual Murderers on Demographic and Selected Psychometric Measures
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:3 Dated:June 2007 Pages:298 to 312

This comparison of 58 sexual murderers and 112 rapists who were about to undergo treatment in prison focused on characteristics of background, personality, offense, and victim. The study found that sexual murderers were less likely than rapists to have been in an intimate relationship prior to their offense, which might support previous findings that sexual murderers are more socially isolated than rapists. The victims of the sexual murderers tended to be older, but this does not mean that they targeted older people for attacks. It might be that older victims of sexually aggressive men were more likely to die from injuries suffered than were younger victims, which then turned a rapist into a sexual murderer. Still, there is clearly a subcategory of offenders who intentionally kill their victims, such as the sadistic murderer described by Brittain (1970). Brittain's profile of the sadistic sexual murderer, however, does not fit all sexual murderers. In the current study, rapists tended to be more open about their problems and scored higher on scales that measured historical deviance (nonsexual), paranoid suspicion, and resentment. Also, rapists reported lower self-esteem than sexual murderers. The authors note, however, that some personality differences may be due to differing periods of time in prison and adjustments to prison life rather than to stable personality traits. Study participants were drawn from 55 sex offender treatment programs operating at 7 prisons in England between 1998 and 2002. Information was obtained through a combination of interviews and case-file analysis. The sample did not include psychopaths, since inmates with this diagnosis were generally excluded from prison treatment programs. Assessment instruments were used to measure verbal intelligence, perceptions of parents' behaviors toward them in childhood, sexual deviance, enduring personality characteristics, and antisocial personality characteristics. 4 tables, 3 notes, and 27 references

NCJ 219091
Rebecca L. Jackson; Henry J. Richards
Diagnostic and Risk Profiles Among Civilly Committed Sex Offenders in Washington State
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:3 Dated:June 2007 Pages:313 to 323

This study obtained data on 190 civilly committed and detained sexually violent predators in Washington State, who had completed their prison sentences but were deemed too dangerous to release into the community. Washington's sexually violent predator (SVP) law was intended to detain only a small proportion of highly dangerous sex offenders after they completed their criminal sentence. The findings of this study indicate that the sex offenders detained in Washington State had psychiatric disorders that made them higher risks for reoffending than average sex offenders. As a group, those civilly detained after completing their sentences posed a moderate to high risk for reoffending as determined by each of the actuarial measures used in this study. Rapists scored significantly higher than child molesters on both the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSost-R) and the Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG). Consistent with previous reports, the child molesters had significantly lower scores on the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) than did either the rapists or the mixed offenders. Only individuals who were admitted to the Special Commitment Center after completing their criminal sentences were included in this study. Several actuarial risk assessment instruments are commonly used in Washington State, including the MnSost-R, Static-99, Violence Risk Appraisal Guide, and SORAG. Scores for each of these instruments are commonly found in offenders' commitment evaluations or annual review evaluations. In cases where these data were not readily available, the instruments were scored by two trained raters from file information. 3 tables and 27 references

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