Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sex Offender Recidivism in TN

New sex offender recidivism study coming out of TN, finding as most do that those offenders come back to the system less often than other offenders. Their long sentences may age them out and they do tend to get heavy supervision. Also may benefit from the rarer reporting of their crimes. Still, the consistency of the findings of these studies is impressive triangulation of the reality of the numbers.


kim english said...

The TN study findings are consistent with most sex offender recidivism studies that rely on official record data to establish reoffense. It is not enough to tip our hats to the fact that lack of reporting is one reason the rates are so low. It trivializes what is a substantial and meaningful measuremement problem, and we should use the low recidivism rates as an opportunity to remind people how difficult it is for victims to report this crime. Most are children, and most know the perpetrator and struggle with tremendous issues of the trust violation and self blame. Actual recidivism rates are significantly higher. Remember, most sex offenders carefully choose victims who will not or cannot report the crime. Research on victims shows 30% are under the age of 12--this group is not even included in the National Crime Victimization Survey. Our studies in Colorado and other states of sex offender self-reported sex crimes shows that about 1-5% of crimes leads to an arrest. Only half of those are prosecuted. I believe we should never report sex offender recidivism numbers without a completly referencing the lack of reporting by victims. This crime is different from other crimes: we still blame the victim, especially when they know the perpetrator, and the victim and the perpetrator know each other 90% of the time. The guy who stole my car did it because I left the keys in it, not because he thought I wouldn't tell. I didn't hesitate to report my car stolen--But I am not brave enough, I'm quite sure, to report to law enforcement if I were raped by a stranger, let alone a loved one. It would be too horrible to recount with strangers, especially at a time when I felt most vulnerable--and I would have a ton of emotional support, yet I am quite sure I would not report it. And this is coming from a person who really believes crimes should be reported! The victimization literature shows half of victims are assaulted multiple times; that most know their perpetrators, that over 60% were young (17 or younger), and that when victims do report, they tend to do it years later, making prosecution nearly impossible. The low recidivism rates of sex offender populations lack face validity when you consider the findings that 1 out of 4 women and 1 out of 6 men have been sexually abused by the age of 18. The BJS study found that the sex crime recidivism rate was just over 5% but that the known sex offenders were 4 times more likely to commit a new sex crimes compared to the non-sex offenders. And don't forget the high non-sex crime recidivism rates among sex offender samples, showing that most of these folks are NOT criminal specialists--like all offenders, most are criminal generalists--and so low sex crime recidivism rates is a non-story. The story is that here's a group of sex offenders who, despite the odds, got actually convicted of a sex crime. They chose the wrong victim, one who told and was credible enough to see the case through, or they got caught in the act. They won't make that mistake again. Those who get caught again probably have impulse disorders and so can poorly plan the crimes--a small subgroup. I believe we should use low recidivism rates as an opportunity to educate others about the low reporting rates and our real lack of knowledge here. This is no reason to jump to silly public policy like residency restrictions, however. Like our wonderful colleague Dan Storecamp at the Minnesota DOC reports--it is not geographic proximity that matters to sex offenders, it is relationship proximity. And this relationship complicates substantially our ability to measure the crime. True triangulation comes from similar findings from multiple data SOURCES, and there is no triangulation among official records of sex crimes, self-reports of sex crimes and victim reports of sex crimes. But there is nearly a perfect correlation between the self-report of sex offenders and the self-reports of victims. Many studies, many methods, many samples.

truthfinder said...

these numbers dont lie, so dont try to tell the public to spend more money on programs that dont work. fact. if confrounted with your child being raped or being killed by a drunk driver (god forbid) any parent would 10 times rather have their child come home alive. Yet we do nothing to put drunk drivers on the internet, nor do we even show the same intrest. Ask a mother who has lost her child what she thinks. What? You dont have the courage. Yet we all know that drunk drivers have a much higher recidivism rate and are like to strike again and again as there disorder cant be cured. wake up Kim. My son was convicted of a sex crime due to faburcating evidence by the D.A.'sand yes the judge which is supported by legal transcripts, yet these D.A.'s and attorneys are immune from prosecution. UNTIL WE HAVE LAWS that judges, D.A.'s and attorneys are held libal and ALL OFFENDERS are treated JUST, One should talk from experence not just media hype. Futhermore, sex offenders sell things like GPS from microsoft which judges and attorneys have lots of stock. Not the kind of motive I'm looking for how about you. It's time for a change and the truth.

S.O. said...

This is a rant about the Post-sentencing laws being past to further incarcerate convicted and NON-convicted sexual offenders. (yes there are NON-convicted offenders on the registry) I am not talking about the predators, of which only 3% of persons on the registries are predatory. I am talking about the generalist, draconian laws blanketed to cover all offenders, whether they are two consenting children of 14, or the guy that 'relieved' himself in an alley away from the public eye, or the one time offender. The Prosecutors will tell you there is no such thing, but MOST persons on the registry are not predatory, will NOT re-offend, and have no want to go back to the delusional, ego-feeding lifestyles that they once lived. Ask yourself this, if sex offenders all want to re-offend as people like Ms, English would lead you to believe, why are there not 550,000 new sex offenses a day in this country. That is the number (approx) on the registries today.

Ms. English, Although you seem to be good at quoting opinion, I am curious. if you claim that 86% of all sexual offenses are not reported, how do you get that number? It sounds very much like you are quoting the numbers heralded by John Walsh, and the likes as fact, or the numbers from to catch a predator (which have been told by Chris Hansen as a number he pulled out of thin air)when actually you have no idea. The FACT that statisically Sex offenders will NOT re-offend bothers you doesn't it? Because you will not be able to put more draconian laws on them. As for your hand picked statistic of Sex offenders are 4 times more likely to commit another sex offense than a non-sex offender would.. how about reporting ALL of those statistics? Well ofcourse, as murders murder, and wife beaters , wife beat, so a sex offender will sexually offend. That number is hype. Fact that non-sexual criminals will be 60% more likely to be re-arrested for a new non-sexual crime? And this garbage about how we "still Blame the Victim"? I am an RSO, and I do not blame the victim of my crime. I am fully responsible of the actions I did to create my victim. What about the fact that 95% of all NEW sexual offenses are NOT created by someone on the registry? Also, Would you mind explaining to the audience how , in fact, that the registries, nor restrictions on places to live, are SHOWN not to have any affect on sexual offenses?

We as sex offenders on your Scarlett Letter list, would like Government persons, such as yourself, to start telling the real truth. Not the lies that you make up to get elected, or to get more funding, or a nice new shiney plaque. It is true that 3 to 5% of Registered Sex Offenders re-offend after being placed on the registry. That leave the 95 to 97% of us that do not re-offend, and do not WANT to re-offend stuck in your draconian laws which persecute us after we have paid our time. The facts are out there. YOU and people like you enjoy creating the hysteria of the old man in the bushes, when in actuality, no one knows who will be the next sex offender. All we DO know though is that 9 out of 10 times, it is someone in the home, or that KNEW the victim previously. It is also true that another 4% can be shaved off of the originally LOW re-offense rate by allowing them to go to sex offender treatment, instead of throwing them into jail , then releasing them back into society to be oppressed by your laws.

What you and others like you cannot allow, nor want to allow is that sex offenders have the lowest re-offense rate out of all but offenses of murder. You also will never publish the fact that less than 1/3rd of all sex offenses are against children, nor the fact that you put public urinators (who don't have anywhere else to go) on the registry for 10 years, or teens that have sex are put on the registry. you have backed yourselves into the corner now, that if any one of you were to put the REAL truth out there, you are afraid that the people will begin to question exactly WHAT you are doing.

Remember Kim, 19 DNA exonerations to date in Dallas County, with even more to come. Prosecutors are after the big win, by lying to defendants about "deals" and lying to victims about justice.

Saying that you are an "expert" on sex offenders due your position as a prosecutor is akin to saying that a Dog Catcher is an expert on PARVO that puppies catch in the first year of life. You, madam, are no expert. You did say one thing that looks to be true, You and your kind have a very low lack of knowledge.

@Truthfinder. I cannot agree with your points. Given a choice of sexual offense and killed, then yes, i would agree, however being a responsible parent, I will ensure that my children are prepared as well as I can make them for all situations. GPS is the new buzz word. a little know fact is that GPS can only track someone within 10 meters. that is 30 feet. Only Military GPS will track someone with in 3 meters. (9 feet). I cannot tell you what stocks judges, or prosecutors trade, and that isn't a question in this matter. It is all about 'feel good' laws, that allow them to appear tough on crime. Ms. English knows the truth in all of this but will not bring out facts for fear that the public will no longer hold in regard the "Tough Court Systems". Legislators, and Courts all have a vested interest in persecuting ALL peoples that have committed crimes. If not, they do not continue to get the funding. This has never been more evident than in Texas were currently 19 people have been exonerated from Prison, two off of death row, due to faulty persecution and ignored DNA evidence by the Courts. It is her job to put people in jail. It is her job to make everyone look like a monster. The truly heinous, right along with the stupid 14 y/o girl who sent a naked picture of themselves to a boy friend. They all have a vested interest in locking up the 'offenders' no matter who they might be, I just don;t think it is as simple as a stock option.