Article

Quantifying the Decline in Juvenile Sexual Recidivism Rates

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Data from several sources have indicated that violence in general (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2012; Finkelhor & Jones, 2004; Sickmund, & Puzzanchera, 2014), and sexual recidivism in adult offenders (Duwe, 2014; Helmus, 2009; Wisconsin Department of Corrections, 2015), has declined substantially in recent decades. This finding is significant because the potential effectiveness of public policies intended to reduce sexual violence in society rests in part on the base rate for re-offense of adjudicated violent offenders. This study examined whether the recidivism base rate for juvenile sexual recidivism has undergone a similar decline in recent decades. We examined 106 studies from 98 reports or data sets involving 33,783 cases of adjudicated juvenile sexual offenders that were carried out between 1938 and 2014. Results showed a weighted mean base rate for sexual recidivism of 4.92% over a mean follow-up time of 58.98 months (SD = 50.97, Median = 52.75). The year of initiation of the study predicted the sexual recidivism rate after controlling for the follow-up time (F? = 14.72, p = .0002). Studies conducted between 2000 and 2015 reported a weighted mean sexual recidivism rate of 2.75%; 73% lower than the rate of 10.30% reported by studies conducted between 1980 and 1995. The implications for public policies, risk assessment methods, and clinical services are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Recidivism rates of adolescents who offend sexually following treatment have ranged from 2.75 to 15.5% (Caldwell, 2010;2016;Calleja, 2015;Chu & Thomas, 2010;Hargreaves & Francis, 2014;Tidefors et al., 2019). A twoyear follow up study comparing 40 adolescents who had offended sexually to 133 other adolescent offenders found a 3% recidivism rate among adolescents who offend sexually compared to a 23% recidivism rate among other adolescent offenders (Calleja, 2015) while a study of 83 adolescents who had offended sexually yielded a 7.2% sexual recidivism rate over a three year follow up period (Calvert & Bauer, 2018). ...
... Sexual recidivism rates among adolescents who offend sexually have also decreased over time. In fact, a meta-analysis involving more than 100 studies conducted between 1938 and 2014 and 33,783 adolescents who had offended sexually found a weighted mean sexual recidivism rate of 2.75% for studies conducted from 2000 to 2014 compared to a sexual recidivism rate of 10.30% for studies conducted between 1980 and 1995 (Caldwell, 2016). ...
... As such, the findings represent the first empirical support for what may result in the identification of an evidencebased model that reduces both sexual and non-sexual recidivism. The 2.9% sexual recidivism rate of adolescents in the Forward-Focused Model treatment is among the lowest to date of a single study, and similar to the 2.75% weighted mean sexual recidivism rate found in the meta-analysis of studies from 2000 to 2014 (Caldwell, 2016). Despite the small number of recidivists (n ¼ 20), the low recidivism rate also reinforces previous findings that following treatment, adolescents who offend sexually pose little risk of sexual reoffending. ...
Article
The purpose of this pilot program evaluation is to examine the effectiveness of a developmentally-informed treatment model for adolescent sex offenders. To accomplish this, 62 adolescents receiving treatment as usual were compared to 68 adolescents receiving a specialized developmentally-informed treatment (i.e., Forward-Focused Model). A total of 130 adolescents who offended sexually and who were confined in secure residential treatment were included in the analysis. The specialized treatment emphasized the promotion of prosocial development and included cognitive behavioral interventions specifically adapted to meet the developmental needs of adolescents. Clinical interventions were delivered individually and in group therapy with an emphasis on identification and treatment of complex needs (i.e., trauma-related symptoms, substance misuse, serious mental health disorders). Recidivism was evaluated at three years following release from long-term residential treatment (i.e., incarceration). Treatment as usual participants recidivated at almost double the rate of those participating in the Forward-Focused Model while the sexual recidivism rate for adolescents in the Forward-Focused Model was 2.9%.
... What's unfortunate is that this rhetoric-which is supported by a small number of extreme cases that receive the lion's share of media attention-overshadows the tremendous breakthroughs in treatment that have taken place over the past few decades. For instance, the increase in multisystemic therapy and risk-need-responsivity-based programs has dropped the sexual recidivism rate among juvenile sexual offenders to below 3%-and there is indication that this is continuing to improve (Caldwell, 2016). Further, Kim, Benekos, and Merlo (2016) concluded that treatments were more effective with juvenile than adult sexual offenders, based on their review of treatment meta-analyses. ...
... McCann and Lussier (2018) followed this with a larger meta-analysis of their own, reporting that sexual recidivism among juvenile sexual offenders is in the 5-10% range (McCann & Lussier, 2008). Caldwell's (2016) meta-analysis indicates that these may be an overestimates, as more recent studies report an average sexual recidivism rate of 2.75%. This is notably smaller than the rates reported in the meta-analyses published by Reitzel and Carbonnell (2006) and McCann and Lussier (2008), which is largely attributed to the increased availability and quality of treatment programs (Caldwell, 2016). ...
... Caldwell's (2016) meta-analysis indicates that these may be an overestimates, as more recent studies report an average sexual recidivism rate of 2.75%. This is notably smaller than the rates reported in the meta-analyses published by Reitzel and Carbonnell (2006) and McCann and Lussier (2008), which is largely attributed to the increased availability and quality of treatment programs (Caldwell, 2016). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since the mid-1800's, the Western world's response to juvenile offending has continued to evolve, reflecting our increasing understanding of adolescent development, the formative role of their environment, and their treatment amenability. Yet the 1980's fostered in a new response to juvenile crime, one of fear and retribution. Perhaps no group has fallen victim to this zeitgeist than juvenile sexual offenders, who are often subject to registration on public sexual offender databases. While an American practice, there is some evidence that a similar approach is supported in Canada, at least regarding adult sexual offenders (Kelly, 2013). Thus, the purpose of the current study was to gain a better understanding of Canadian attitudes and support for responses to both juvenile and adult sexual offending. In doing so, 376 individuals were recruited from the University of Saskatchewan and responded to a series of attitudinal, penal, and responsive measures which followed one of three vignette conditions. This was repeated for both juvenile and adult sexual offenders in a counterbalanced order. Vignettes were either provided or were articulated by the participant either prior to or following their responses. Results indicated that juvenile sexual offenders are seen less negatively and were treated less harshly than their adult counterparts. While registration was largely endorsed for both groups, differences in support between public and non-public registration differentiated the groups. Effects of vignette condition were minimal, although there was some support that the provided vignettes elicited more positive attitudes. Participant estimates of sexual recidivism mediated the relationships between attitudes and punitive responses for juvenile sexual offenders, while playing a more limited role for adult sexual offenders. The implications of these results, as well as study limitations and future directions are discussed at length below.
... Recidivism itself has been a major focus of research on ASO (Caldwell, 2016;Kettrey & Lipsey, 2018). Several studies have tried to quantify recidivism rates as well as to identify those risk factors that could be associated with sexual and general reoffending among ASO, with relevant findings (Calleja, 2015;Christiansen & Vincent, 2013;Mallie et al., 2011;Worling & Langstrom, 2006). ...
... Researchers frequently use official records to quantify rates of recidivism, although different official data, such as arrests, charges, and convictions, can be found throughout different studies (Mallie et al., 2011). Moreover, recidivism is usually assessed after follow-up periods, ranging from some months to several years (Caldwell, 2016). Consequently, depending on the follow-up interval, sexual recidivism is measured, in some cases, when ASO are still in their adolescence while other findings are related to adult sexual reoffending. ...
... Consequently, depending on the follow-up interval, sexual recidivism is measured, in some cases, when ASO are still in their adolescence while other findings are related to adult sexual reoffending. In any case, the vast majority of recent research on ASO reveals rates of sexual recidivism below 10% (Caldwell, 2016;Cale et al., 2016;Calleja, 2015;Christiansen & Vincent, 2013;Fanniff et al., 2017;Newman et al., 2019;Ozkan et al., 2020). ...
Article
Although a very small group of adolescents adjudicated for sexual offending (ASO) will persist into adulthood, the use of official records of sexual recidivism after long-term follow-up periods underrates the repetition of sexually coercive behaviors during adolescence. Additionally, limited research has considered sexual reoffending as a criterion to classify this heterogeneous population. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of ASO who engaged in repetitive sexual offending before their adjudication, and to use it as a classification criterion to examine the differential characteristics associated with each group. A sample of 73 adjudicated ASO in Spain was examined. They were divided into sexual reoffenders (SR) ( n = 34) and sexual nonreoffenders (SNR) ( n = 39). An ex post facto research design was carried out. Assessments included reviews of official files, interviews with professionals in charge, and interviews with the ASO in which the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) was administered. Descriptive analyses were conducted for all variables and Odds Ratio ( OR) was used to compare intergroup differences. Results showed that SR had 12.95 times the odds of sexual victimization, 6.91 times the odds of having lived in a sexualized family environment, and 3 times the odds of bullying victimization. Deviant sexual fantasies were exclusively present among SR (44%). Significant differences between groups were also found in some sexual crime variables but not on the empathy scale. These results have implications for the distinction between ASO who have repeatedly engaged in sexually coercive behavior and those who engaged in a single event of sexual offending. The identification of specific risk factors and criminogenic needs for each group would benefit court decisions and more tailored interventions.
... Juveniles comprise 15 to 20 percent of those offenders arrested for sexual crimes, a disproportionate representation of this age group compared to other age groups (Caldwell, 2016). ...
... Over approximately five years, adjudicated youth sex offenders were found to have a very low sexual recidivism weighted base rate of 4.97 percent and 39.40 percent for general recidivism. Imposing longer sentences on juvenile offenders and requiring them to submit to registration and community notification has not significantly affected the reduction of sexual recidivism (Caldwell, 2016). ...
... Maurelli and Ronan (2013) used Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) to evaluate crime data from more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies across the US in a time-series analysis to determine the effect of registry interventions in the 1990s on forcible rape rates nationwide. They found a TAKING THE HIGH ROAD 16 significant decline in rapes reported to law enforcement in 17 states after implementing sex offender laws, which aligns with the decline in general and sexual crime rates noted by Caldwell (2016;Maurelli & Ronan, 2013). Community notification with liberal dissemination of offender information was used in eight of these states (Lasher & McGrath, 2012). ...
... These legal and clinical approaches represent downward extensions of services for adults who offend sexually, despite concerns that such services are largely ineffective (and possibly harmful) with sexually offending youths (Dopp, Borduin, Rothman, & Letourneau, 2017). Although our understanding of service effects has been complicated by the fact that most youths who engage in illegal sexual behaviors have low rates of recidivism for sexual crimes in adulthood (e.g., 5%-7% in meta-analyses by Caldwell, 2010Caldwell, , 2016, it is well-documented that these youths have a similar risk for nonsexual recidivism as do youths who commit nonsexual offenses only (nearly 50%; Caldwell, 2010Caldwell, , 2016 and that a subset of sexually offending youths shows sexual recidivism rates as high as 30%-60% into adulthood (Langstrom, 2002;Lussier et al., 2012). In sum, it seems imperative to move beyond the status quo in our societal responses to youths who commit harmful sexual behaviors. ...
... These legal and clinical approaches represent downward extensions of services for adults who offend sexually, despite concerns that such services are largely ineffective (and possibly harmful) with sexually offending youths (Dopp, Borduin, Rothman, & Letourneau, 2017). Although our understanding of service effects has been complicated by the fact that most youths who engage in illegal sexual behaviors have low rates of recidivism for sexual crimes in adulthood (e.g., 5%-7% in meta-analyses by Caldwell, 2010Caldwell, , 2016, it is well-documented that these youths have a similar risk for nonsexual recidivism as do youths who commit nonsexual offenses only (nearly 50%; Caldwell, 2010Caldwell, , 2016 and that a subset of sexually offending youths shows sexual recidivism rates as high as 30%-60% into adulthood (Langstrom, 2002;Lussier et al., 2012). In sum, it seems imperative to move beyond the status quo in our societal responses to youths who commit harmful sexual behaviors. ...
Article
Objective: Although there is evidence that the positive impact of multisystemic therapy for problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB) reaches as far as young adulthood, the longer-term effects of MST-PSB into midlife are unknown. The present study examined criminal and civil court outcomes for sexually offending youths who participated on average 24.9 years earlier in a clinical trial of MST-PSB (Borduin et al., Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2009, 77, p. 26). Method: Participants were 48 individuals who were originally randomized to MST-PSB or usual community services (UCS) and were at high risk of continued criminality. Arrest, incarceration, and civil suit data were obtained in middle adulthood when participants averaged 39.4 years of age. Results: Intent-to-treat analyses showed that MST-PSB participants had 85% fewer sexual offenses and 70% fewer nonsexual offenses than did UCS participants. In addition, MST-PSB participants were sentenced to 46% fewer days of incarceration and had 62% fewer family-related civil suits. Moreover, the favorable effects of MST-PSB on participants' crimes and civil suits were mediated by improved peer and family relations during treatment. Conclusion: The current study represents the longest and most comprehensive follow-up to date of an MST-PSB clinical trial and demonstrates that the positive effects of an evidence-based youth treatment for sexual crimes can last well into adulthood. Implications of the findings for policymakers, service providers, and researchers are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Available follow-up periods ranged from 504 to 3,471 days (M = 2,040, SD = 777). We considered all available data regarding recidivism occurring within a follow-up period of up to 3 years (1,095 days; M = 1,061, SD = 101, range = 504-1,095) since sexual recidivism rates have been found not to increase significantly for follow-up times over 3 years (Caldwell, 2016). Recidivism information was coded as sexual (κ official = .89; ...
... In line with previous studies, we found rather low rates (7.1%) of sexual recidivism following the index sexual offense in this consecutive sample. However, the rate appears higher than the weighted mean sexual recidivism rate of 2.75% found in a meta-analysis by Caldwell (2016) for studies conducted after the year 2000. Differences in follow-up times and the inclusion of nonofficially registered recidivism in our study may have contributed to this difference. ...
Article
Research has identified meaningful subtypes among the heterogeneous population of juveniles who sexually offended (JSO). However, studies that test the validity of risk assessment tools with JSO subtypes are limited. This study compared JSO who offended against a child victim (JSO-C) and JSO who offended against an adolescent/adult victim (JSO-A) with regard to rates of recidivism and the predictive validity of two risk assessment tools (Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism [ERASOR] and Juvenile Sexual Offender Assessment Protocol-II [J-SOAP-II]). Data were analyzed from case files of 185 JSO-C and 297 JSO-A aged 12 to 18 years ( M = 14.11, SD = 1.44) from a consecutive sample of JSO with contact sexual offenses. A total of 34 (7.1%) juveniles reoffended sexually, with no significant difference between the subtypes. The present results suggest that the ERASOR, particularly the structured professional judgment, and to a lesser degree the J-SOAP-II are better suited to predicting sexual recidivism in JSO-A than in JSO-C.
... Letourneau et al. (2014) description of balkanized professional fields resonates in an Australian context in which victim and perpetrator services have evolved in silos. Victim services emerged out of the grassroots Second Wave Feminist Movement in response to crisis levels of sexual assault and domestic violence, whereas perpetrator services have traditionally been restricted to forensic responses (Carmody & Carrington, 2000). ...
... The evidence about the trajectory from adolescent harmful sexual behavior to adult child sexual abuse perpetration appears to be conflicted. It is well-established that children and young people who sexually harm are not likely to continue abusing in adulthood, especially if they have received therapeutic treatment (Caldwell, 2016). However, some studies appear to contradict this. ...
Article
Children and young people living in residential care are vulnerable to sexual abuse, and there is scant evidence about what sexuality education could help address this vulnerability. This paper explores the impact of the Power to Kids: Respecting Sexual Safety programme, which involved capacity‐building workers to have ‘brave conversations’ with children and young people in residential care. The aim of the study was to capture the perceptions of workers about changes in their skill and confidence levels in relation to having brave conversations with children and young people and the impact of those conversations on children and young people. A mixed‐methods study was undertaken, involving multiple sets of interviews with 27 workers associated with four residential houses. The qualitative and quantitative data analysis showed that workers perceived the impact of the capacity building and brave conversations as strengthening protective factors available to children and young people vulnerable to sexual abuse. The research revealed the ‘LINC model’ as a viable approach to capacity‐building workers to educate children and young people in residential care about sexual health and safety. Workers perceived the enhancement of the following protective factors: stronger safe relationships, greater comfort disclosing abuse and improved knowledge of normal versus harmful sexual behaviour.
... An initial error of prior efforts to assess level of risk in persons of concern was the misuse or overreliance on base rates for targeted violence. Studies have consistently shown that base rates for general, sexual, and bias-motivated violence are historically relatively low, and in the case of general and sexual violence, have actually decreased in recent years (Rayburn, Earleywine, & Davison, 2003;Levin & Amster, 2007;Caldwell, 2016;Elbogen, 2016). Even in studies where proxy variables, such as approaching with a weapon or showing up to a congressional office uninvited, are used in place of actual violent attacks, the rates remain low (Scalora et al., 2002). ...
... In addition to the nature of the offense, specific traits and characteristics of the victim have also been found to influence reporting of otherwise motivated violence and aggression. Victims are less likely to report when they are young generally, or at any age when they perceive they are younger than the perpetrator (Caldwell, 2016;Ballard & Prine, 2017). Some studies have found that adolescents and college age students are up to seven times less likely to report even serious physical assaults than individuals between the ages of 35 and 45 (Briere & Scott, 2015). ...
Article
Acts of targeted violence are of great concern to college administrators. Additionally, targeted violence motivated by bias (e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.) is occurring at an increasing rate on campuses across the country. Previous research has identified potential pre-incident behaviors which may serve as indicators that an individual is escalating towards violent action. However, very limited research has been conducted which examines pre-incident behaviors which occur in bias motivated violence or aggression. With an undergraduate population (n = 1342), this study utilized a survey asking about exposure and response to both otherwise and biased motivated potential pre-incident behaviors on a college campus in order to make an initial attempt to compare events with differing motivations, and to provide initial estimates of the prevalence of these bias motivated pre-incident behaviors on a college campus. When compared to a no assault group, individuals who reported that the behaviors escalated to eventual physical or sexual assault witnessed more types of pre-incident behavior, higher numbers of pre-incident behavior, and increased repetitive unwanted contact, stalking behavior, threatening messages, and unwanted sexual advances. When compared to a group who reported non-bias motivation, those reporting behaviors motivated by some form of bias reported increased rates of disparaging, offensive or crude remarks, and threats. When reporters and non-reporters were compared, those who reported indicated witnessing a higher number of pre-incidents behavior. These findings suggest that while rarer than otherwise motivated events, bias motivated pre-incident behaviors occur on campus, can escalate to violent behavior, and are reported at a lower rate. Overall, it was found that increased pre-incident behavior is correlated to heightened risk of violence on campus in both bias and otherwise motivated events. The current study had multiple implications for managing bias motivated pre-incident behavior and improving reporting rates including improved community outreach, implementation of a threat assessment model, and further research to better understand bias motivated behavior on a college campus. Advisor: Mario J. Scalora
... Recidivism of adolescents adjudicated of sex offences followed into adulthood is often derived from meta-analyses (e.g. Caldwell, 2016) or systematic reviews (e.g. Gerhold, Brown, & Beckett, 2007). ...
... Studies show contraventions are generally low for youth adjudicated for sex crimes; unreported, however, is whether recidivism occurred as juveniles, or adults. In a metaanalysis of 106 studies (from 1938-2014), Caldwell (2016) studied sexual recidivism of adolescents adjudicated of a sex crime, (N=33,783) (tracked for just over 5 years, based on official records of arrests and/or convictions as juveniles or adults). Caldwell determined: "…the most appropriate estimated base rate for sexual recidivism over the full data set falls approximately between 3 and 10%, with a global average of approximately 5%." (2016, p. 6). ...
Article
This paper closely examines descriptive and significant group comparison results on a sub-sample of youth, 16-19 years of age, referred to as 'emerging adults'; a term descriptive of reaching the age of transitioning into adulthood. Findings cover gender differences, risk levels, and protective factors; neuropsychological difficulties; family, education, and antisocial variables, along with data on victims, types of crimes and so on. The sub-samples (n = 1,170 and n = 1,731) came from two large validation studies: the MEGA ♪ Combined Cross-Validation Studies (N=2,717), and MEGA ♪ Combined Samples Studies (N=3,901) respectively. MEGA ♪ is a risk level assessment tool (comprised of seven aggregates and four scales) for assessing coarse sexual improprieties and/or sexually abusive behaviour in adjudicated and non-adjudicated male and female youth ages 4-19, including youth with low intellectual functioning. MEGA ♪ 's calibrated risk levels provide an accurate assessment of sexually abusive youth, including youth, ages 16-19, transitioning into adulthood.
... Letourneau et al. (2014) description of balkanized professional fields resonates in an Australian context in which victim and perpetrator services have evolved in silos. Victim services emerged out of the grassroots Second Wave Feminist Movement in response to crisis levels of sexual assault and domestic violence, whereas perpetrator services have traditionally been restricted to forensic responses (Carmody & Carrington, 2000). ...
... The evidence about the trajectory from adolescent harmful sexual behavior to adult child sexual abuse perpetration appears to be conflicted. It is well-established that children and young people who sexually harm are not likely to continue abusing in adulthood, especially if they have received therapeutic treatment (Caldwell, 2016). However, some studies appear to contradict this. ...
Article
Background Child sexual abuse is a problem of significant proportion in Australia and globally. Prevention efforts have tended to occur on an ad hoc basis and to be poorly evaluated. A measured, evidence-based public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse is necessary to enhance the prevention agenda. Objective The objective of this paper was to engage with the work of Letourneau and colleagues about a public health approach to child sexual abuse prevention from an Australian perspective. Methods In this commentary paper, following on from Letourneau and colleagues, policy resistance to addressing the problem of child sexual abuse and its prevention in the Australian context is explored. Promising pockets of research, policy and practice are described that indicate greater readiness and a lessening policy resistance to address child sexual abuse through a comprehensive public health approach. Finally, ideas for enhancing primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies in Australia are highlighted. Conclusions The Australian child sexual abuse prevention agenda would benefit from adopting a measured public health approach involving the design, implementation, and evaluation of primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions. Early intervention strategies are particularly underdeveloped in an Australian context.
... Recidivism of adolescents adjudicated of sex offences followed into adulthood is often derived from meta-analyses (e.g. Caldwell, 2016) or systematic reviews (e.g. Gerhold, Brown, & Beckett, 2007). ...
... Studies show contraventions are generally low for youth adjudicated for sex crimes; unreported, however, is whether recidivism occurred as juveniles, or adults. In a metaanalysis of 106 studies (from 1938-2014), Caldwell (2016) studied sexual recidivism of adolescents adjudicated of a sex crime, (N=33,783) (tracked for just over 5 years, based on official records of arrests and/or convictions as juveniles or adults). Caldwell determined: "…the most appropriate estimated base rate for sexual recidivism over the full data set falls approximately between 3 and 10%, with a global average of approximately 5%." (2016, p. 6). ...
Article
This paper closely examines descriptive and significant group comparison results on a sub-sample of youth, 16-19 years of age, referred to as 'emerging adults'; a term descriptive of reaching the age of transitioning into adulthood. Findings cover gender differences, risk levels, and protective factors; neuropsychological difficulties; family, education, and antisocial variables, along with data on victims, types of crimes and so on. The sub-samples (n = 1,170 and n = 1,731) came from two large validation studies: the MEGA ♪ Combined Cross-Validation Studies (N=2,717), and MEGA ♪ Combined Samples Studies (N=3,901) respectively. MEGA ♪ is a risk level assessment tool (comprised of seven aggregates and four scales) for assessing coarse sexual improprieties and/or sexually abusive behaviour in adjudicated and non-adjudicated male and female youth ages 4-19, including youth with low intellectual functioning. MEGA ♪ 's calibrated risk levels provide an accurate assessment of sexually abusive youth, including youth, ages 16-19, transitioning into adulthood.
... Among JSOs, sexual offense recidivism rates appear to be between 5.0-7.9% [4][5][6][7], indicating that the vast majority of JSOs do not commit sexual offenses into adulthood [8,9]. For non-sexual offenses, the recidivism rate among JSOs is about 41.2-43.4% [6,7]. ...
... [4][5][6][7], indicating that the vast majority of JSOs do not commit sexual offenses into adulthood [8,9]. For non-sexual offenses, the recidivism rate among JSOs is about 41.2-43.4% [6,7]. These rates suggest that JSOs are more likely to reoffend non-sexually than sexually. ...
Article
Juveniles referred for adjudicative competence evaluations make up a subset of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Among those referred for adjudicative competence evaluations, a significant number involve youth with current or past charges for sexual offenses. This study examines the profiles of youth with sexual offense charges who have been referred for competence evaluations at a state psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. Differences between the characteristics of youth with and without sexual offenses were explored, and predictors of competence opinions were examined among the subset of youth with current or prior sexual charges (juveniles with sexual offenses, or JSOs). Findings indicated that youth with sexual offenses have several demographic, cognitive, clinical, and legal differences from youth without sexual offenses. Although youth with sexual offenses were less likely to be opined competent, presence of a sexual offense was not a predictor of competence opinions after controlling for other factors. Predictors of competence among JSOs were found to be similar to those among youth referred for competence evaluations in general. Primary diagnosis of an autism‐related disorder was a unique predictor of being opined not competent among the JSO subgroup, but not the overall sample. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.
... Lastly, while sexual recidivism rates are low for both children and adults, it appears that children adjudicated or convicted of sexual crimes may be far less likely to reoffend sexually, relative to their adult counterparts. Caldwell (2016), using more than 20,000 cases, computed a weighted 5-year average sexual reoffense rate of approximately 2.75% for children under 18 with formal adjudications or convictions. Hanson and colleagues, using more than 105,000 adult cases, computed a weighted 5-year average sexual reoffense rate of approximately 9% (Hanson, Harris, Letourneau, Helmus, & Thornton, 2017), a recidivism rate more than 300% greater than was found for children. ...
Article
This chapter encourages thoughtful and critical evaluation of policies that affect the lives of children under age 18 who have engaged in illegal sexual behavior, as well as the practice of professionals who work with these children. It focuses on the policies enacted in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America that affect children who have engaged in illegal sexual behavior. The chapter begins with an argument for developing separate policies for children versus adults. In Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, children with a sexual‐offense conviction face often‐insurmountable stigmatization and forfeiture of their civil rights, without empirical basis. The chapter reviews failed and ineffective policies, as well as policies that appear to be effective or promising. It ends with suggestions for how to best advance sound policies for children who have engaged in illegal sexual behavior.
... In avoiding a sexual charge, the youth can avoid being subject to their jurisdiction's sexual offender management strategies but may be considered ineligible to take part in any specialized treatment programs that may address sexual offender specific needs. Given the unique needs of juvenile sexual offenders and the efficacy of specialized treatment programs, denial of services may be detrimental to both the offender's well-being and public safety (Borduin, Schaeffer, & Heiblum, 2009;Burton, Miller, & Shill, 2002;Caldwell, 2016;Huang, 2016;Jones, Joyal, Cisler, & Bai, 2017;Mulder, Vermunt, Brand, Bullens, & Van Marle, 2012;O'Brien, Burton, & Li, 2016;Seto & Lalumiere, 2010). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
There has long been concern among academics and those in criminal justice professions regarding the public's seemingly enthusiastic support for punitive responses to sexual offenders, such as long sentences, residency restrictions, registration, and community notification. Yet there has been little research to date on what motives may be driving the endorsement of these policies, particularly registration. Our understanding is further muddled by conflicting research on punitive attitudes in general, with some suggesting that retributive motives are behind such attitudes while others report the efficacy of utilitarian motives. Using a sample of 376 university students, the current study sought to determine whether retributive, utilitarian, or other motives drove support for longer sentences and registration for juvenile and adult sexual offenders. Results indicated that motives largely differed between the two sanctions as well as the two age groups of offenders. Both retributive and utilitarian motives contributed to support for policies, suggesting that these motives work in congruence with one another. This has clear implications for policy discussions, as advocates for criminal justice reform should be appealing to both motives to change societal attitudes.
... It is also worth noting that both terms were associated with inflated concern that the youth posed a high risk to sexually offend in adulthood (42.5% and 31.7% strongly agreed with the statements for each term, respectively), considerably higher than the 2.75% sexual recidivism rate reported in Caldwell's (2016) recent metaanalysis. Harris and Socia (2016) posited that the availability, representativeness, and affect heuristics may play a role in the harsh evaluations. ...
Article
Over the past several decades, societal responses to juvenile crime has evolved from harsh sentences (including death) to more lenient punishments in congruence with our greater understanding of adolescent development. However, some groups of young offenders, such as those convicted of sexual offenses, appear to have fallen victim to a more punitive zeitgeist, where the mitigating effect of age may be diminished. In a 3 x (2) design, participants were randomly assigned to one of three vignette conditions and completed several measures regarding both juveniles and adults adjudicated for sexual offenses, including attitudes, moral outrage, and recommendations for sentence length and registration. Results indicated that adjudicated juveniles are viewed more favourably than their adult counterparts, although both received relatively long sentences. Further, over 90% of participants endorsed some form of registration for juvenile offenders. Implications for offender reintegration and public policy are discussed below.
... The prevalence of sexual recidivism with 8.6% for the ThePaS-I and 31.0% for the ThePaS-II (within a mean time of 4.3-4.6 years) was somewhat higher than the prevalence of 4.9% (within a mean time of 4.9 years) reported in the most recent metaanalysis by Caldwell (2016). Furthermore, this prevalence is higher than that from previous findings in Switzerland (Aebi et al., 2011;Barra et al., 2018b). ...
Article
There is ongoing debate about whether specialized treatment is effective to reduce sexual recidivism in juveniles who have sexually offended (JSOs). Although most treatment programs are based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles for preventing sexual offending, accordant scientific evidence is poor. Following CONSORT guidelines, the present study aimed to evaluate two versions of a short-term outpatient treatment program for JSOs in Switzerland: (a) the Therapy Program for Adequate Sexual Behaviors Version 1 (ThePaS-I), which included offending-specific skills training; (b) the ThePaS-II, which included general socioemotional skills training. Based on changes in self-reported mental health, sexual behaviors, victim empathy, and therapist-rated risk, as well as comprehensive data on sexual and general recidivism, we found some similarities regarding the effects of the two treatments. ThePaS-II showed better short-term changes in self-reported mental health than the ThePaS-I. However, JSOs in the ThePaS-I showed lower rates of sexual reoffending (but not general reoffending) after treatment than those in the ThePaS-II. Despite some methodological limitations, the current findings favor offending-specific skills-based therapy over general skills-based ones for preventing sexual reoffenses. The findings may encourage further methodologically sound studies to examine different treatment approaches for juveniles and adults who have committed criminal offenses.
... Sexual recidivism rates for adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors appear to be declining since the 1980s and most adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors who complete treatment do not reoffend sexually (Caldwell, 2016;Seabloom et al., 2003). For adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors that do reoffend, they are more likely to commit nonsexual offenses (Carpentier & Proulx, 2011;Parks & Bard, 2006;Stevens et al., 2013). ...
Article
A high percentage of adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors have been found to have a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). The purpose of this review is to synthesize literature specific to adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors who have histories of CSA. This review will explore characteristics of this subset of adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors, risk factors, etiological theories that aim to explain the pathway from childhood sexual victimization to sexually abusive behavior in adolescence, and the clinical implications of this literature. Using Kiteley and Stogdon’s narrative review framework, findings from 66 peer-reviewed articles published between 1990 and 2017 that included male adolescent participants with sexually abusive behaviors were integrated to inform the purpose of this review. The literature presented that different characteristics of CSA experiences, such as a younger age at the time of abuse and a longer period of abuse, were more prevalent among adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors. The CSA experiences of these adolescents could act as triggers for their sexual offenses, and the Trauma Outcome Process Assessment model addresses the importance of processing past trauma in treatment with adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors. This review concludes with clinical recommendations for how the reviewed literature could be applied within trauma-informed interventions with adolescents with sexually abusive behaviors with a history of CSA.
... In the present study, court records pertaining to arrests (i.e., convictions) were coded by type of crime. Consistent with the fact that sexual recidivism is a low base rate event for youths with a history of illegal sexual behaviors (Caldwell, 2010(Caldwell, , 2016, only two instances of officially recorded sexual recidivism (i.e., both violent sexual assaults) were identified in the present sample throughout the 10.2-year follow-up period. Thus, we collapsed across sexual and nonsexual crimes and coded them into three broad categories: violent (e.g., assault, murder), nonviolent (e.g., theft, forgery), and drug-related (e.g., possession of an illegal substance). ...
Article
Although researchers have identified the more immediate mechanisms of change in family-based treatments for juvenile justice-involved youths, it is not known whether these same mechanisms continue to prevent criminal offending into adulthood. The present study evaluated whether caregiver-directed improvements in family relations, youth prosocial peer relations, and youth academic performance during multisystemic therapy (MST) for serious and violent juvenile offenders had an impact on young adult involvement in criminal activity and sentencing 10.2 years following treatment. The results showed that improvements in family relations were associated with reduced odds of criminal outcomes a decade later for former MST participants. Furthermore, improvements in youth prosocial peer relations and academic performance were also related to lower odds of long-term criminal activity. These results are consistent with the underlying theory of change in family-based treatments and demonstrate that caregivers are critical to achieving and sustaining decreased antisocial behavior for youths with serious and violent criminal histories.
... Adolescentperpetrated CSA may result from lack of knowledge and clear rules about appropriate sexual behavior (Letourneau & Schaeffer, 2014), suggesting that the onset of CSA perpetration in adolescence is an appropriate target for universal prevention programming. Further, approximately 90-95% of youth who have an adjudicated sexual offense do not reoffend sexually (Caldwell, 2016;Letourneau et al., 2009). Such low recidivism rates suggest that adolescent CSA offending is strongly influenced by contextual factors that, if addressed, can prevent the first offense. ...
Article
In the evolution of efforts to reduce child sexual abuse (CSA) rates in the United States, there has been a gradual shift to add preventive measures to after-the-fact interventions (i.e., interventions and policies implemented after the abuse has already happened, such as services and treatment for victims and punishment, treatment, and management of offenders). Prevention of CSA perpetration, however, is often missing from these efforts, despite decades of experts calling for broader prevention solutions. The current paper describes the scope of the problem of CSA, highlights problems with an over-reliance on after-the-fact interventions, and describes promising perpetration-focused CSA prevention interventions. While most existing preventive efforts focus on teaching children to protect themselves from incurring sexual harm, perpetration prevention efforts may hold more promise by addressing the onset of harmful behavior. As such, perpetration prevention efforts can contribute to a more robust and comprehensive approach to CSA – an approach that focuses on prevention of harm from occurring in the first place, as well as responding once harm has occurred.
... However, 30% to 50% of CSA is perpetrated by a child or teen (Finkelhor et al., 2014). Although sexual recidivism rates for youth who engage in sexual abuse are quite low (Caldwell, 2016) and youth respond well to treatment (Dwyer & Letourneau, 2011), current criminal justice-oriented responses, such as registration and notification and civil commitment, can be ineffective (Caldwell, Ziemke, & Vitacco, 2008;Letourneau, Bandyopadhyay, Sinha, & Armstrong, 2009), iatrogenic (Letourneau & Miner, 2005), and harmful (Letourneau et al., 2018). Consequently, youth-on-youth sexual abuse remains a critical public policy issue. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines data from Stop It Now!’s Helpline in the United States primarily over a 5-year, 3-month period and offers insights into the needs of individuals and families confronting issues related to child sexual abuse (CSA). Stop It Now!’s Helpline serves the global community by providing support, information, and guidance to those in need, such as helping to identify and respond to warning signs of sexually abusive behaviors in adults, adolescents, or children. More than 7,000 ( N = 7,122) nonidentifiable user records are the subject of this inquiry and reflect individuals who contacted the Helpline between December 1, 2012, and March 7, 2018. The article also places this analysis in a larger context through an overview that includes total user count of this service since its inception in 1995 ( N = 21,030). Descriptive statistics revealed that the majority of Helpline users identified as bystanders, family members, or friends/acquaintances of an individual at risk to abuse. The majority of users knew both the person at risk to abuse (adult or youth) and the child at risk of being abused. Twelve percent of users had questions or concerns about their own feelings and/or behaviors that were or could be putting a child at risk of sexual abuse. Chi-square tests examined the relationship between Helpline contact type, level of assessment, and gender. Findings provide insights into this hidden population of individuals at risk to abuse, those who have abused, as well as their friends and families who are seeking support. Study findings also reinforce the importance of CSA prevention helplines that focus on reducing the isolation and secrecy that creates conditions which make children more vulnerable to abuse. Implications for future research and prevention programming are also discussed.
... Some research has begun to better understand how differential abuse experiences influence serious or non-serious offending patterns (Yoder et al., 2019b). Furthermore, youth who commit sexual crimes may be criminally versatile in their reoffense patterns, as they are more likely to commit a subsequent non-sexual crime (Caldwell, 2016;Mulder, Vermunt, Brand, Bullens, & van Marle, 2012;Nisbet, Wilson, & Smallbone, 2004;Rajilic & Gretton, 2010;Waite et al., 2005). Therefore, the field requires longitudinal research that tests the sequential nature of sexual and non-sexual violence and the developmental antecedents to such experiences. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research is becoming increasingly nuanced in its examination of offenders, and thus typological distinctions according to generalist and/or specialization offense profiles may be notable for targeted intervention efforts within and between classifications of offenders. There is a significant body of evidence identifying early-life victimization and executive function deficits as critical developmental antecedents to sexual and non-sexual offending alike, but they have not been exhaustively evaluated as a discernable experience among criminally versatile offenders (youth who commit both sexual and non-sexual crimes). This study aims to address gaps by examining associations between early-life victimization, other traumatic experiences in the home, and executive functioning deficits and then test how disparate offending groups differentially experience these early risks. Using a sample of juvenile-justice-involved youth ( N = 200), who committed sexual only offenses ( n = 41), non-sexual only offenses ( n = 124), and criminally versatile offenders ( n = 27), multivariate analysis of variance tests and bivariate correlations were conducted. Results revealed that there were statistically significant correlations between measures of executive functioning and specific incidents of victimization, particularly sexual, physical, and emotional. There were also significant group differences in measures of sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse, and executive functioning with criminally versatile offenders showing higher rates of physical and emotional abuse and sexual only offenders showing higher rates of sexual abuse and some executive functioning deficits. Practice and research implications are discussed.
... Some question the value of using risk assessment tools, pointing to the low recidivism rate of sexually abusive youth (B.L. Bonner & J.F. Silovsky, personal communication, March 6, 2018). Recidivism rates are 5-14% in most studies (Caldwell 2016;Gerhold et al. 2007); however, crime rates are not static. ...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical findings are reported on an age group of sexually abusive youth (4-12 years) not commonly studied. Findings are from major studies employing the ecologically framed MEGA ♪ risk assessment tool: MEGA ♪ Combined Samples Studies (N = 3901 [1979-2017] (Miccio-Fonseca Journal of Child Sexual Abuse: Special Issue on Risk Assessment of Sexually Abusive Youth, 2018a, Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 2018b) and MEGA ♪ Combined Cross Validation Studies (N = 2717). Samples consisted of male, female, and transgender-female, ages 4-19 with coarse sexual improprieties and/or sexually abusive youth, including youth with low intellectual functioning. Findings provided normative data, with cut-off scores according to age and gender, establishing four (calibrated) risk levels: Low, Moderate, High, and Very-High. The fourth risk level, Very-High Risk, sets MEGA ♪ apart from other risk assessment tools by the ability to assess those few most seriously concerning and/or dangerous youth, whereas other risk tools (with three risk levels) do not make this differentiation.
... Prior to any discussion of prediction, it is necessary to note that this outcome (recidivating with a new sexually based offense) is rare, and this finding is consistent with prior literature (Fanniff, Piquero, Mulvey, Schubert, & Iselin, 2015;Fanniff et al., 2017;Piquero et al., 2012;Sample & Bray, 2003Zimring et al., 2009;Zimring et al., 2007). Beyond being rare, juvenile sex offense recidivism rates have been declining over the past few decades (Caldwell, 2016) and are fairly similar to sexual offending rates among adolescents in the juvenile justice system not charged with sex offenses (Fanniff et al., 2017). ...
Article
The current study focuses on adolescents with sex offense histories and examines sexual reoffending patterns within 2 years of a prior sex offense. We employed inductive statistical models using archival official records maintained by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ), which provides social, offense, placement, and risk assessment history data for all youth referred for delinquent behavior. The predictive accuracy of the random forest models is tested using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves, the area under the curve (AUC), and precision/recall plots. The strongest predictor of sexual recidivism was the number of prior felony and misdemeanor sex offenses. The AUC values range between 0.71 and 0.65, suggesting modest predictive accuracy of the models presented. These results parallel the existing literature on sexual recidivism and highlight the challenges associated with predicting sex offense recidivism. Furthermore, results inform risk assessment literature by testing various factors recorded by an official institution.
... Moreover, assigning a youth to unnecessary intensive treatment is a waste of time, resources, and may even increase their risk of reoffense (Lowenkamp & Latessa, 2004). Additionally, the base rate of adolescent sexual reoffending is incredibly low (Caldwell, 2016), and thus any attempt at predicting a reoffense will be rife with false-positives, capping risk assessment validity. In light of the developmental limitations that can impact risk, focusing on predicting sexual reoffending may not be a valuable use of time; rather than using risk assessment scales to predict risk, Kang and colleagues (2019) recommends focusing on remediation, which requires a strong understanding of the individual treatment needs of the adolescent. ...
Article
The Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II) is a tool used to aid clinicians in assessing the sexual and criminal reoffense risk of male youths who have committed a sex offense. Despite its popularity, the factor structure has not been thoroughly assessed. The present study used confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to test the factor structure of the four subscales of the J-SOAP-II in a group of youths aged 12-18 who were confined for sexual offenses (N = 909), and whether the fit is affected by youth race. The results showed a poor fit to the data. An ad-hoc goal was added, to propose a new factor structure using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) on one half of the data, and CFA on the second half of the data. The EFA identified three-factors: Sexual Offending and Victimization History, Risk for General Delinquency, and Antisocial Beliefs and Attitudes. This three-factor model, provided an improved, but not good, fit, indicating that further modifications to the J-SOAP-II are required to meaningfully capture risk-relevant latent constructs.
... Although some researchers suggested that juvenile recidivism should be examined soon after the initial offense (e.g. Carpentier & Proulx, 2011), a somewhat longer follow-up period would likely have resulted in slightly higher reoffending rates (Caldwell, 2016). Moreover, the additional analyses for describing criminal recidivism in greater detail relied on a small subsample of adolescents, and thus need to be replicated with a larger sample of JSOs. ...
Article
Criminal behaviours vary significantly among juveniles who have sexually offended (JSOs). Offense-related subtypes may differ in criminal persistence and inform clinical practice. In the present study, Latent Class Analysis empirically derived four distinct JSO subtypes based on 10 offense/victim characteristics in a comprehensive sample of 670 JSOs (M age = 14.49, SD age = 1.94): a severe peer/adult-offender subtype (22.4%), a child-offender subtype (30.1%), a touch-offender subtype (27.9%), and a verbal/online-offender subtype (19.6%). Cox regressions indicated that JSOs of the severe peer/adult-offender subtype were at increased risk of sexual and nonsexual criminal recidivism. JSOs of the severe peer/adult-offender subtype as well as the child victim subtype appeared highly burdened with behaviour/social problems and psychosocial adversity/adverse childhood experiences. Our findings show that the variety of offense characteristics, predispositions, and recidivism risks characterising JSOs deserve precise consideration to allow the implementation of effective, individually tailored treatment approaches aimed at reducing future crime.
... Additionally, even though the public supports mandatory registration and believes juveniles will grow up to be adult sex offenders, it does not appear that juveniles with sex offenses reoffend at high rates. Caldwell (2016) conducted a meta-analysis, which found that on average, studies found that recidivism rates are quite low for juveniles who have sexually offended (2.75% sexual recidivism rate). Even though research studies continue to find that sexual recidivism rates for juveniles are very low, the public has reported support for mandatory registration and appears to believe juvenile sex offenders grow up to become adult sex offenders (Katz-Schiavone et al., 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Public perceptions regarding a sex offender’s likelihood to reoffend and the efficacy of sex offender policies and practices is often inconsistent with the extant literature in academia. Thus, there is a critical need to better understand what influences those beliefs regarding sex offender policies and practices. We collected data from 284 residents from government defined rural counties and sought to examine: (1) the sources that were most influential in shaping their beliefs regarding sex offender policies and practices; (2) what characteristics the ‘influential sources’ had; and (3) the residents’ emotional response when they think about ‘sex offenders’. The majority of participants were supportive of registration, community notification, and use of the polygraph. Further, the results suggest that ‘academics and peer review articles’ rarely influence beliefs. Rather, ‘personal experiences’ and the emotions ‘rage’ and ‘sadness’ (but not anger or disgust) may be important in influencing rural residents’ beliefs regarding sex offender treatment, castration, execution, and misconceptions regarding juveniles with a sex offense. We conclude by discussing: (1) potential factors that may affect why academics are not perceived as influential sources; and (2) possibilities for how scientists can influence rural residents’ beliefs by utilizing personal experiences and anecdotal information that may spark emotion.
... This concern does not survive even casual scrutiny. Less than 3% of children adjudicated or convicted of sex crimes reoffend with new sex crimes (Caldwell, 2016), a fact that suggests most of their first offenses could also have been prevented. Even among adult offenders, the majority (82%) do not go on to reoffend with a new sex crime following adjudication (Hanson et al., 2018). ...
Article
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a preventable public health problem typically addressed with either after-the-fact interventions or prevention programs focused on teaching children to protect themselves and report abuse. Such responses do little to prevent CSA victimization, leading to calls for prevention efforts targeting individuals most at risk of perpetrating CSA. These individuals include young adolescents, who are prone to making mistakes and bad decisions when it comes to their sexual behaviors. To begin to address this call to action, we developed Responsible Behavior with Younger Children (RBYC), a universal school-based prevention program to provide sixth and seventh grade students (and their parents and educators) with the knowledge, skills, and tools to prevent engaging younger children in sexual behaviors. School-based CSA prevention interventions are often met with feasibility and acceptability concerns including that (a) people at risk of offending are impervious to prevention efforts, (b) schools do not have the resources to take on additional programs, and (c) the content is too sensitive for educators, parents, and students. The goal of this article is to describe how the RBYC program was developed to address these concerns. We also summarize data on the feasibility of the RBYC program obtained from focus groups with educators, parents, and students during the development of the program and interviews with educators after a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). Feedback received during program development and after the pilot RCT suggests that RBYC is relevant, salient, palatable, and feasible for implementation in middle schools.
... The study of juveniles who have commit ted sexual offences has mainly focused on the comparison of offenders' demographic and psychosocial characteristics between different subcategories of these offenders (see, e.g., Ford and Linney 1995;Hunter et al. 2000;Hendriks and Bijleveld 2004;Joyal, Carpentier, and Martin 2016;Ueda 2017;Lillard et al. 2020). Such studies were important, especially in establishing that juveniles who have committed CSA were not more dangerous than other offenders; the opposite was true (e.g., Caldwell 2010Caldwell , 2016Seto and Lalumiere 2010;Zimring 2004;van den Berg and Bijleveld 2015). Nonetheless, these studies neglected to investigate the crime-commission processes followed by juveniles who have committed CSA. ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to explore the crime-commission process involved in the sexual victimization of children perpetrated by juveniles. Specifically, this study aims to explore the interconnectedness of pre-crime, crime, and post-crime phases with victimological characteristics using a criminal event perspective. The sample used in this study consists of 185 cases of child sexual abuses perpetrated by juveniles. The first step of this study uses latent class analysis to explore the relationship between each step of the crime-commission process. As a second step, additional variables were used to test the external validity of our model. Results suggest that there are three different criminal event patterns: familiar sexually non-intrusive, familiar sexually intrusive, and stranger sexually non-intrusive. Moreover, we found that specific victimological characteristics were associated with each of the patterns. Practical implications in terms of situational crime prevention and victim assistance are discussed.
... The last 20 years have seen increased research into sexual recidivism by adolescents who have sexually offended (ASO). The three most recent meta-analyses of sexual recidivism by adolescents have reported mean rates of 5% (Caldwell, 2016; N = 106 studies), 7% (Caldwell, 2010; N = 63 studies) and 12% (McCann and Lussier, 2008; N = 18 studies); the mean follow-up period for all these was ∼5 years. The vast majority of these studies were conducted using adjudicated samples and official data on recidivism. ...
Article
Full-text available
The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a cognitive-behavioral treatment in reducing recidivism by adolescents who have sexually offended (ASO). A secondary objective was to determine whether typologies based on victim age (child, adult/peer, mixed) and relationship (intrafamilial, extra familial, intra/extra familial) discriminate ASO in terms of response to treatment and recidivism. The sample comprised 327 adolescents 12–18 years old (M = 15.8 years, SD = 1.9) who were evaluated in an outpatient clinic after committing a contact sexual assault. Official data on recidivism (criminal charges) was collected after a follow-up period of 21–162 months (M = 7.8 years, SD = 32.2). Survival analysis indicated that adolescents who completed treatment (n = 62) had a recidivism rate for violence (including sexual violence) almost half that of adolescents who had either not completed the treatment or not received treatment (n = 261), (16.1 vs. 30.7%). Neither of the two typologies studied had any effect on the completion of treatment. However, sexual aggression against adults/peers was associated with an increased probability of violent re-offending. These results confirm the effectiveness of this cognitive-behavioral treatment —which targets risk factors associated with sexual aggression as well as those associated with violence in general—in ASO.
... While there are many evidence-based interventions available for victims of CSA, there are limited treatment programs which have demonstrated positive outcomes for youth offenders. A recent meta-analysis by Caldwell (2016) highlighted concerns about treatment availability and effectiveness for juvenile offenders. The author noted a severe lack of empirical evidence supporting the main treatments for youth who have sexually offended. ...
Article
While there is substantial research focused on the prevalence, outcomes, and practical challenges associated with child sexual abuse, there are limited resources specific to sibling sexual abuse (SSA). As a result of the limited literature there is inadequate empirical support for policy development to guide identification, assessment, and intervention for children and families who have experienced SSA. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine and address these challenges with the goal of contributing to an evidence base that can inform policy and reduce barriers to care for children and families who have experienced SSA. Concerns related to identification including definitional issues and parental knowledge and perceptions are explored, as are those related to disclosure including child and caregiver perceptions and beliefs. Barriers related to treatment are discussed, including professional and caregiver response, and relevant cultural considerations. The paper concludes with a discussion of research and potential policy solutions aimed to address the identified challenges for children and families.
... Current findings support that sex-only tend to sexually reoffend more often than sex-plus ASO. Nevertheless, sexual recidivism percentage is higher than in previous research (Caldwell, 2016). This might be due to fact that researchers usually measure recidivism using official criminal records, which could have underreported additional offenses, while in this study, sexual reoffending has been interpreted as the repetition of the sexually coercive behavior through official records and through professionals' information and participants' selfreport (Siria et al., 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
IntroductionOne of the most consolidated classifications of adolescents adjudicated for sexual offending (ASO) is based on their antisocial behavior background. This allows identifying sex-only and sex-plus ASO. However, limited research related to this classification has been focused on relevant risk factors, such as sexual development, and none of them has been conducted in Spain.MethodsA cross-sectional study was carried out with a sample of 73 ASO. Data collection took place between 2013 and 2015. They were divided into sex-only (n = 33) and sex-plus (n = 40). Assessments included reviews of official files, interviews with professionals in charge, and interviews with the ASO. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted to compare intergroup differences.ResultsNo significant differences between groups in family background, history of maltreatment, and sexual development variables were found. Sex-plus had a significantly higher prevalence of disruptive behavior at school, school absenteeism, substance consumption, and antisocial misconduct with peers. Significant differences between groups were also found in some sexual crime variables. Logistic regression analyses showed that antisocial behavior with peers and school absenteeism were related to sex-plus.Conclusions These findings highlight the importance of assessing sexual development and family background when intervening with ASO. Sexual development-related variables should be further examined to understand their involvement in sexually coercive behaviors. Policy ImplicationsThe identification of specific criminogenic needs for each offense pathway would benefit court decisions and more tailored interventions to reduce recidivism. These treatments should include family interventions.
... Girls tend to have an earlier age of onset than boys, consistent with their histories of sexual abuse. Developmentally limited nature of abusive behaviour: The majority of boys and girls who have displayed harmful sexual behaviour do not persist with such behaviours into adulthood (28). Harmful sexual behaviour often coincides with a period of relative immaturity and impulsivity where consequential thinking may be minimal and an appreciation of the seriousness, illegality and impact of their behaviour may be limited. ...
Chapter
Harmful sexual behaviour displayed by children under the age of 18 is a common form of sexual violence and can be every bit as harmful to victims as child sexual abuse perpetrated by adults. A child developmental perspective foregrounds the fact that children who have harmed others often have vulnerabilities themselves. The question of gender is surprisingly absent from the relevant literature, despite this form of harm typically involving the sexual abuse of girls by boys. The implications of this insight for intervention and prevention are explored in this chapter.
... For example, between one-third and threequarters of sexual offenses against children under age 18 are caused by other children under age 18 (Finkelhor, Shattuck, Turner, & Hamby, 2014;Gewirtz-Meydan & Finkelhor, 2020). The vast majority of children adjudicated for a sex crime (95 %) will not go on to commit another sex crime (Caldwell, 2016). Likewise, most adults convicted of sex crimes (over 80 %) do not go on to commit another sex crime (Hanson, Bourgon, Helmus, & Hodgson, 2009;Hanson, Harris, Letourneau, Helmus, & Thornton, 2018;Schmucker & Lösel, 2008). ...
Article
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is common, severe, and substantively contributes to the global burden of disease through its impact on physical, mental, and behavioral health problems. While CSA is preventable through non-justice system response efforts, the vast majority of resources support criminal justice efforts to identify, prosecute, punish and monitor offenders after CSA has already occurred. Policy makers have not supported CSA prevention efforts in part because the public does not view CSA as a preventable public health problem. Here, we describe a program of research to be conducted to bridge the gaps between expert and public opinion about CSA as a preventable public health problem. We propose such research use a three-step approach to alter the way experts communicate about CSA to increase audiences’ understanding of CSA as preventable. The three steps are: 1) identify consensus expert and public perspectives about CSA and the differences between these perspectives; 2) develop and test communication strategies to align public with expert perspectives; and 3) broadly disseminate validated communication strategies. Through this approach, we seek to develop and disseminate an informed communications strategy that effectively and accurately translates the science of CSA prevention to the public and the media.
... However, youth who commit sexual crimes seem to have similar high rates of antisocial and callous traits when compared to delinquent youth (Seto & Lalumière, 2010). Further, the vast majority of youth who commit sexual crimes are adolescent limited offenders (Caldwell, 2016;Lussier, 2017) suggesting that perhaps only a small proportion of youth who commit sexual crimes exhibit callous traits linked to offending patterns. ...
Article
Full-text available
Few research studies examine how the relationship between trauma and executive functioning can influence sexual violence among youth. Knight and Sims-Knight (2004) proposed a Developmental Etiological Theory (DET) connecting early life physical and sexual victimization to sexual violence via antisocial traits. Drawing from research that identifies a link between early life victimization and executive functioning, this study tests an adaptation to the DET by including executive functioning as an intervening factor. Using data on adolescents adjudicated of sexual and non-sexual crimes in a western state (N = 200), multiple structural equation models tested direct and indirect relationships between early life sexual, physical victimization, and other adversity, four differential forms of executive functioning, callousness, and sexual violence. Results revealed statistically significant direct pathways between variables of interest and a multi-meditational effect of certain forms of executive functioning and callousness in the relationship between victimization and sexual violence. Treatment and research implications are discussed.
... Extensive efforts to prevent and address CSA contributed to substantial declines in the rates of such abuse. For example, in the U.S., lifetime rates of CSA among children ages [14][15][16][17] (that is, children with the most exposure to childhood violence by virtue of their age) declined 22% across three national surveys, from 27.8% in 2009 to 21.7% in 2015. 19,20,21 Even steeper declines were identified between 1992 and 2009. ...
... Ahora bien, es sabido que muchos de los adolescentes desisten de cometer delitos sexuales en la adultez (Lussier & Blokland, 2014) y que las tasas de reincidencia sexual de los adolescentes que llevan a cabo PAS son bajas, pues registran una tasa media ponderada de 2.75 % de reincidencia, según estudios realizados posteriores al año 2000. Este dato resulta auspicioso, debido a que se mani#esta una disminución importante respecto a la tasa del 10.3 %, reportada en los estudios aplicados entre 1980 y 1995, lo que supone un nivel de efectividad potencial de las políticas públicas destinadas a reducir la violencia sexual en la sociedad (Caldwell, 2016). En Latinoamérica, la investigación sobre adolescentes con comportamientos desadaptativos se ha enfocado mayormente en el análisis de aquellos que cometen delitos contra la 4 propiedad o contra las personas (Ávila-Navarrete, 2017; Komatsu & Bazon, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
El objetivo de este estudio fue caracterizar las variables psicosociales y criminológicas asociadas a los adolescentes que desarrollan prácticas abusivas sexuales (PAS), en función de la edad de las víctimas. Mediante un diseño no experimental y transversal, con características descriptivas y correlacionales, se analizan antecedentes psicosociales y criminológicos de 232 adolescentes varones que han realiza-do PAS. Los resultados indican diferencias estadísticas significativas entre los adolescentes que cometen PAS contra víctimas menores, en contraste con quienes abusan de víctimas pares, tanto en las variables psicosociales (trayectoria escolar e historial de victimizaciones) como en las variables criminológicas (contexto de la práctica abusiva sexual y relación adolescente-víctima). Finalmente, se discuten los resultados en relación con la evidencia internacional y las implicaciones de la generación de conocimientos sobre la temática.
Chapter
This chapter examines our current understanding of how a trauma-informed clinical perspective influences our understanding and treatment of problematic sexual behaviour in children and adolescents. Creeden highlights the difficulties embedded in the varied definitions of trauma and encourages readers to move beyond a calculation of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) to a contextual approach that evaluates the impact of these experiences on specific developmental skills that may have been curtailed as a result. This perspective then informs how Creeden evaluates our current treatment practices, suggesting that efforts to identify a single treatment model for a population that is regularly described as heterogeneous may be unproductive. The chapter concludes with an encouragement for treatment approaches that seek to foster developmental growth as a means for diminishing risk.
Article
Over the last decade, we have witnessed consistent advances in risk assessment procedures, namely the validation of those used with juveniles who have committed sexual offenses. The adaptation of these instruments into other languages requires research examining the conceptual and metric equivalence of the instruments, not just translation equivalence. Informed by data from 141 boys, aged 13 to 18, the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol–II (J-SOAP-II), regarding reliability and construct validation, are presented and discussed. Factor structure, internal consistency, and interrater reliability were examined, and a reliable factorial structure that was consistent with the original validation of the J-SOAP was found. Scales 2 and 3 had good internal consistency, and Scale 1 had acceptable internal consistency. Results regarding concurrent validity revealed mostly statistically significant correlations. The implications of this research for juvenile sex offender risk assessments are discussed.
Article
The authors explored the possible utility of the Youth Needs and Progress Scale (YNPS) with individuals ages 18 to 25 with sexually abusive behavior. Several concerns arose when attempting to use the YNPS with three subjects in the first author’s 15-year longitudinal recidivism study, which had followed adolescents adjudicated for sex offenses after they transitioned to adulthood. The authors followed the instructions in the YNPS User Guide but were unable to apply the YNPS given conflicting information about the data needed. Significant limitations were identified in the YNPS related to individuals ages 18 to 25 with sexually abusive behavior: (a) absence of a literature review or empirical support for using the tool with this age group; (b) limited use for youth in correctional settings where available data are primarily judicially based and lack sufficient information about direct clinical services; and (c) cumbersome and time-consuming rating process.
Article
Full-text available
This document represents the full Final Report for the project funded by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs [Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking; SMART Office] through grant # 2016-AW-BX-K004. The recommendations included in the report are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the SMART Office or the DOJ.
Chapter
This chapter is about sex offenders, covering the difference between a sexual offense versus a paraphilia, various sex offenses, the public’s view of sexual offending, incarceration, and different treatment approaches for sexual offenders. It ends with a review of studies that focus on treatment efficacy.
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the association of juvenile psychopathy features and treatment response in a sample of 102 youth, court adjudicated for sexual offenses and followed up more than 11 years in the community. The Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL: YV) was rated from comprehensive archival sources, along with a youth sexual offense risk assessment and treatment planning measure scored pre-and posttreatment. The PCL: YV converged with domains of sexual offense risk and change in conceptually meaningful ways, and significantly predicted nonsexual violent, general violent, and any recidivism; it did not significantly predict sexual recidivism. Higher levels of psychopathy-related personality features were significantly associated with noncompletion of youth sexual offense-specific treatment, while changes in risk were associated with decreased recidivism controlling for PCL: YV score and baseline risk at p < .10. The findings underscore the importance of intervention and support services for youth convicted of sexual offenses as well as the clinical and risk relevance of the juvenile psychopathy construct to decrease violent victimization to others.
Article
Youth who engage in violent crime, including sexual offences, remain understudied. Research conducted on adults suggests that factors linked to antisocial and violent behaviour may enhance the current understanding of sexual offences. These factors include a consideration of how dark personality traits (such as psychopathy) and childhood maltreatment may inform the likelihood of sexual offending. Utilizing a sample of juvenile alleged violent offenders (n = 113), the present study examines the construct of adolescent psychopathy, with abuse as a potential moderator, in relation to offence perpetration. Contrary to some of the literature on adults, the findings indicate that neither psychopathy nor experience of abuse differentiates sexual from non-sexual violent offenders. They also suggest that scoring higher on psychopathy relates to violence more broadly. The importance of tailored programming for youth who may be at risk of offending or who require treatment in the justice system is explored.
Article
Résumé Objectif Cette revue de littérature a pour objectif de synthétiser l’état des connaissances sur la sexualité des adolescents auteurs de transgressions sexuelles afin de soulever une réflexion quant aux implications cliniques qui en découlent. Méthode Une revue de la littérature a été réalisée, à partir des recommandations PRISMA via les bases de données PsycInfo et PubMed, grâce aux mots-clés : Sex Offen* ou Sexual Offen* combinés à Sexual behavio* ou Sexuality. Résultats Trente articles ont été retenus. Les connaissances concernant la sexualité des adolescents auteurs de transgressions sexuelles demeurent très limitées. Les études comportent des limites méthodologiques importantes, qui non seulement restreignent la comparabilité des résultats et par le fait même notre capacité à tirer des conclusions quant à leur sexualité, mais empêchent également la compréhension du phénomène des violences sexuelles dans une perspective développementale. De plus, elles se sont surtout intéressées à la sexualité sous l’angle des aspects atypiques ou non normatifs. Conclusion Les implications cliniques du manque de connaissances sont importantes : les besoins en matière d’éducation à la sexualité et de traitement spécialisé demeurent difficiles à cerner et les cliniciens disposent de peu d’orientations dans la prise en charge des adolescents auteurs de transgressions sexuelles en lien avec cette sphère du fonctionnement, malgré son rôle crucial dans la problématique des violences sexuelles. Ainsi, il apparaît nécessaire de mener des recherches empiriques sur ce thème en considérant ses multiples dimensions et les liens entre elles. Celles-ci devraient idéalement adopter un protocole longitudinal et comprendre des groupes de comparaison.
Article
A new risk/treatment needs protocol for assessing “juveniles with sex offenses” operationalized in the Treatment Needs and Progress Scale (TNPS) was recently introduced, prompting quick embrace before any serious examination. This article critiques the proposed protocol and TNPS. Highlighted are misleading statements, substantial omissions related to review of research, and significant margins of TNPS underpinnings that cause considerable pause. Target population, essential to adopting and implementing TNPS, is not clearly stated. Multiple basic rudimentary steps are missing in the research protocol for two age groups. The “new” protocol appears to be a re-installment of the old one, applying templates from adult tools and empirical findings on adults to adolescents, thus treating youth like adults, an outdated stance in contemporary research and clinical practice related to risk assessment of sexually abusive youth..
Research
Full-text available
ABSTRACT A new risk/treatment needs protocol for assessing “juveniles with sex offenses” operationalized in the Treatment Needs and Progress Scale (TNPS) was recently introduced, prompting quick embrace before any serious examination. This article critiques the proposed protocol and TNPS. Highlighted are misleading statements, substantial omissions related to review of research, and significant margins of TNPS underpinnings that cause considerable pause. Target population, essential to adopting and implementing TNPS, is not clearly stated. Multiple basic rudimentary steps are missing in the research protocol for two age groups. The “new” protocol appears to be a re-installment of the old one, applying templates from adult tools and empirical findings on adults to adolescents, thus treating youth like adults, an outdated stance in contemporary research and clinical practice related to risk assessment of sexually abusive youth..
Article
Child-on-child harmful sexual behaviour (HSB) at school is highlighted in the literature, although very little is known about how teachers experience it. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to address this knowledge gap. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine teachers from two special schools and one mainstream school. The proverb of the three wise monkeys was used as an analogy to aid sense-making and to capture the essence of the teachers’ lived experiences of child-on-child HSB, revealing it was not seen, heard or spoken about. Instead, HSB was accepted and expected as part of the special school day because it was not recognised and paid little attention to, whilst in the mainstream school, it was not recognised due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. A lack of training, support and the sharing of information compounded teachers’ fears for personal safety, careers and reputation. Implications for teachers and multi-agency professionals are discussed.
Chapter
Goal. Comparative legal analysis of the application of legal norms regarding the rape of minors which resulted in grievous bodily harm to victims with similar norms in legislation of advanced countries of the world. Objectives. To identify the most efficient ways of enforcement of Paragraph “b” of Part 4 of Article 131 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, not only in Russia, but also in the countries which signed the Lanzarote Convention. Methodology. The general scientific methodological approach was used in preparation of this paper. Specific scientific methods of cognition (dialectical method, analysis, synthesis, generalization) and special scientific methods (comparative legal, legal technical) were used during the research. Conclusions. Following the positive example of advanced countries of the world (Germany, France, USA, United Kingdom, China), Russia needs to strengthen criminal responsibility for sex crimes, in particular, for rape which entailed severe consequences for a child under 14 years old, for which reason proposals to improve Russian criminal law were put forward. If the suggested modifications in Russian legislation in the field under consideration will be effective, fruitful cooperation of Russia with the control mechanism of the Lanzarote Convention can make a noticeable contribution for other states.
Article
Juveniles that commit sexual offenses tend to be a misunderstood population. Even professionals working in the juvenile justice system can hold misconceptions about these youth that interfere with implementing appropriate treatment and supervision services. Judges play a particularly powerful role in guiding the trajectory of intervention in these cases, but little is known about their understanding of this challenging population. To that end, the present study surveyed judges and a public reference sample to better understand current judicial perceptions of juvenile sexual offending. Results suggest that there are substantial misperceptions across participants surrounding juvenile sexual offending and offenders; however, judicial officers held more accurate information and less punitive orientations in comparison to the reference sample even when overestimating actual offending and recidivism rates. Details regarding these findings are presented along with subsequent recommendations for judicial education and preparation for working cases involving juveniles that have committed sexual offenses.
Article
Full-text available
A New Jersey Supreme Court decision directed the New Jersey Attorney General's Office to develop a risk assessment scale specific to juvenile sex offenders, to be used to place juvenile sex offenders in risk tiers in accord with New Jersey's community notification law. In light of the court's decision, the scale previously used for both adults and juveniles in New Jersey was modified, creating the JRAS. The present article describes the development of the JRAS, as well as the predictive validity study that was conducted to determine the relationship between JRAS scores and recidivism. The predictive validity study found that the ability of the JRAS to predict both sex offense and non-sex offense recidivism is on the same level as other accepted scales. Factor analysis revealed that the major predictive factor in the JRAS was a general antisocial behavior factor.
Article
Full-text available
The authors gratefully acknowledge the co-operation and support of the Western Australia Police Service, in particular the Computing and Information Management Branch and the Crime Information Unit in the provision of apprehension records. The assistance of Mr. Max Mailer and Ms Anna Ferrante in the preparation of the data collection is also appreciated.
Article
Full-text available
As we move forward in the field of sex offender treatment, clinicians should consider incorporating principles of trauma-informed care (TIC) into evidence-based sex offender treatment models. Early adverse experiences are prevalent in the general population and more so in criminal and sex offender populations. Early trauma paves the way for maladaptive coping and interpersonal deficits, which can lead to abusive behaviour. Content-oriented sex offender treatment models emphasising cognitive-behavioural skills should integrate process-oriented components that address the ways in which early trauma shapes adult cognitions and behaviour. Relational approaches to therapy can enhance clients' interpersonal skills and improve general well-being. This type of personal growth would be expected to mitigate future offending as the client adopts and successfully practices healthier, non-destructive strategies for meeting emotional needs.
Article
Full-text available
This systematic review examined 140 outcome evaluations of primary prevention strategies for sexual violence perpetration. The review had two goals: 1) to describe and assess the breadth, quality, and evolution of evaluation research in this area; and 2) to summarize the best available research evidence for sexual violence prevention practitioners by categorizing programs with regard to their evidence of effectiveness on sexual violence behavioral outcomes in a rigorous evaluation. The majority of sexual violence prevention strategies in the evaluation literature are brief, psycho-educational programs focused on increasing knowledge or changing attitudes, none of which have shown evidence of effectiveness on sexually violent behavior using a rigorous evaluation design. Based on evaluation studies included in the current review, only three primary prevention strategies have demonstrated significant effects on sexually violent behavior in a rigorous outcome evaluation: Safe Dates ( Foshee et al., 1996); Shifting Boundaries (building-level intervention only, Taylor, Stein, Woods, Mumford, & Forum, 2011); and funding associated with the 1994 U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA; Boba & Lilley, 2009). The dearth of effective prevention strategies available to date may reflect a lack of fit between the design of many of the existing programs and the principles of effective prevention identified by Nation et al. (2003).
Article
Full-text available
This article will present data gathered by the authors through structured clinical interviews of 561 paraphiliacs regarding demographic characteristics, frequency and variety of deviant sexual acts, and number and characteristics of victims. Results show that nonincarcerated sex offenders (1) are well educated and socioeconomically diverse; (2) report an average number of crimes and victims that is substantially higher than that represented in the current literature; and (3) sexually molest young boys with an incidence that is five times greater than the molestation of young girls. The relevance of these findings is discussed.
Article
Full-text available
This study uses data from the Second Philadelphia Birth Cohort to examine the natural history of sex offenders and their involvement in sexual offending through age 26. Several key findings emerged from our effort. First, only one in 10 of the 221 male and female juvenile sex offenders had a sex-related offense during the first eight years of adulthood. Second, 92 percent of all the cohort males with adult sex records had no prior juvenile sex offense. Third, a boy with no sex contacts but five or more total juvenile police contacts was more than twice as likely to commit a sex crime as an adult as a juvenile sex offender with fewer than five total police contacts. Fourth, multinomial logistic regression results demonstrated that being a juvenile sex offender did not significantly increase the likelihood for an individual being an adult sex offender, nor did the frequency of juvenile sex offending. In short, the assumptions underpinning current registration and notification laws are fraught with problems and should be re-considered.
Article
Full-text available
As the youth justice system has evolved, clinicians have been increasingly asked to make judgments about the likelihood that a youth who has committed a sexual offense will reoffend. However, there is an absence of well-validated tools to assist with these judgments. This study examined the ability of the Juvenile Sexual Offense Recidivism Risk Assessment Tool—II (J-SORRAT-II), Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), and Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol—II (J-SOAP-II) to predict violent behavior in 169 male youth who were admitted to a residential adolescent sex offender program. Total scores on the SAVRY and J-SOAP-II significantly predicted nonsexual violence but none of the instruments predicted sexual violence. The J-SOAP-II and SAVRY were less effective in predicting violent reoffending in youth aged 15 and younger than in older youth. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
Estimating the risk of sexual recidivism for a juvenile sex offender is essential in order to protect public safety by identifying and evaluating high risk adolescents and to ensure the rights and welfare of juvenile offenders who will not likely reoffend. Empirically validated risk assessment methods are needed to aid in the classification and treatment of juvenile sex offenders. The present study utilized a dataset collected by Maricopa County, AZ, and aggregated by the National Juvenile Court Data Archive. The purpose of the study was to evaluate and characterize risk factors for juveniles who have been charged with a sexual offense in order to determine the predictive utility of these factors for subsequent offending, as well as offense trajectory, and to evaluate risk factors for nonsexual offenders who have committed crimes of various severities. The results of the present study show the strongest individual predictors of sexual recidivism to be prior nonsexual offending, prior sexual offending, hands-off offending, offending against a child, younger school grade/age at time of initial offense, Asian or Hispanic ethnicity, and not attending school. A preliminary screening measure was developed from the seven positive risk factors, and ROC analysis produced an AUC indicating moderate predictive utility in discriminating between juvenile sex offenders who would sexually reoffend and those who would not. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Full-text available
The predictive validity of violence risk assessments can be divided into two components: calibration and discrimination. The most common performance indicator used to measure the predictive validity of structured risk assessments, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), measures the latter component but not the former. As it does not capture how well a risk assessment tool's predictions of risk agree with actual observed risk, the AUC provides an incomplete portrayal of predictive validity. This primer provides an overview of calibration and discrimination performance indicators that measure global performance, performance in identifying higher-risk groups, and performance in identifying lower-risk groups. It is recommended that future research into the predictive validity of violence risk assessment tools includes a number of performance indicators that measure different facets of predictive validity and that the limitations of reported indicators be routinely explicated. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Full-text available
Denying individual liberty on the basis of community protection requires a defensible mechanism for identifying those sex offenders likely to reoffend. Reliance on expert opinion has become routine, even when such opinions have limited accuracy. Careful attention to the empirical literature, however, has the potential to improve risk assessments for sexual offenders. This article describes different approaches to risk assessment, summarizes the empirical literature on individual risk factors, and reviews recent attempts to create actuarial risk scales for sex offense recidivism. A number of historical and highly stable predictor variables have been documented (e.g., offense history and deviant sexual preferences), but the research on dynamic (changeable) risk factors has been limited. Consequently, the research is more useful for identifying high-risk offenders than for determining when they could be safely released into the community. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Data from the Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism (ERASOR; Worling & Curwen) were collected for a sample of 191 adolescent males who had offended sexually. Adolescents were aged 12 to 19 years (M = 15.34; SD = 1.53) at the time of their participation in a comprehensive assessment. The ERASOR was completed by 1 of 22 clinicians immediately following each assessment. Forty-five adolescents were independently rated by pairs of clinicians, and significant interrater agreement was found for the ERASOR risk factors, the clinical judgment ratings (low, moderate, or high), and a total score. Recidivism data (criminal charges) were subsequently collected from three sources that spanned a follow-up period between 0.1 and 7.9 years (M = 3.66; SD = 2.08). Overall, 9.4% (18 of 191) of the adolescents were charged with a subsequent sexual offense over this time period. A shorter follow-up interval of up to 2.5 years (M = 1.4; SD = 0.71) was also examined. Recidivism data for the shorter follow-up interval were available for a subgroup of 70 adolescents, with a comparable recidivism rate of 8.6% (6 of 70). Clinical judgment ratings, the total score, and the sum of risk factors rated as present were significantly predictive of sexual reoffending for the short follow-up period. The total score and the sum of risk factors were predictive of sexual reoffending over the entire follow-up interval. These results add to the emerging research supporting the reliability and validity of structured risk assessment tools for adolescent sexual recidivism.
Article
Full-text available
Reliable and valid risk assessments are essential for responding adequately to juveniles who have sexually offended (JSO). Given the lack of specific research focusing on the JSO population, the present study aims at confirming and expanding previous findings based on clinical samples dealing with risk assessments of JSO. The predictive power of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol (J-SOAP-II) and the Sexual Offence Severity (SOS) Scale are evaluated retrospectively by analyzing forensic, police, and judicial files in a consecutive sample of 223 adolescents (mean age of 15.7 years, SD=2.1 years) who had been convicted of a sexual crime in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, between 2000 and 2008. Based on local official recidivism data (mean follow-up period=4.3 years; SD=2.5 years), univariate and multivariate predictions of sexual and nonsexual recidivism are tested by use of the J-SOAP-II and the SOS Scale in logistic regression and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses. Sexual recidivism (n=7, 3.1%) is best predicted by a multivariate model, including the J-SOAP-II Adjustment Scale and the SOS Scale (ROC: Area under the curve [AUC]=.818). Nonsexual violent (n=37, 16.6%) and general recidivism (n=100, 44.8%) are only moderately predicted by the J-SOAP-II impulsive/antisocial behavior scale (AUC=.677 and .662, respectively). In conclusion, the J-SOAP-II adjustment scale, the J-SOAP-II impulsive/antisocial behavior scale, and the SOS Scale may be helpful for screening purposes in JSO, but additional risk assessment seems necessary. Overall, further research is necessary for a comprehensive understanding of risk factors in JSO.
Article
Full-text available
There are a large number of structured instruments that assist in the assessment of antisocial, violent and sexual risk, and their use appears to be increasing in mental health and criminal justice settings. However, little is known about which commonly used instruments produce the highest rates of predictive validity, and whether overall rates of predictive validity differ by gender, ethnicity, outcome, and other study characteristics. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of nine commonly used risk assessment instruments following PRISMA guidelines. We collected data from 68 studies based on 25,980 participants in 88 independent samples. For 54 of the samples, new tabular data was provided directly by authors. We used four outcome statistics to assess rates of predictive validity, and analyzed sources of heterogeneity using subgroup analysis and metaregression. A tool designed to detect violence risk in juveniles, the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY), produced the highest rates of predictive validity, while an instrument used to identify adults at risk for general offending, the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R), and a personality scale commonly used for the purposes of risk assessment, the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), produced the lowest. Instruments produced higher rates of predictive validity in older and in predominantly White samples. Risk assessment procedures and guidelines by mental health services and criminal justice systems may need review in light of these findings.
Article
Full-text available
Adolescent sexual offending represents an ongoing social, judicial, clinical, and policy issue for services. The current study investigated the characteristics, criminal versatility, and rates of recidivism of a cohort of 156 male adolescent sexual offenders who were referred for psychological assessments by the courts between 1996 and 2007 in Singapore. Analyses revealed that specialists (sex-only offenders; n = 71, M follow-up = 56.99 months, SD follow-up = 31.33) and generalists (criminally versatile offenders; n = 77, M follow-up = 67.83 months, SD follow-up = 36.55) differed with respect to offense characteristics (e.g., sexually assaulting familial victims) and recidivistic outcomes. Although both groups sexually reoffended at roughly the same rate (14.3% vs. 9.9%), consistent with their typology, significantly more of the generalists reoffended violently (18.2% vs. 1.4%), sexually and/or violently (27.3% vs. 11.3%), nonviolently (37.7% vs. 16.9%), and engaged in any further criminal behaviors (45.5% vs. 23.9%) during follow-up. Adjusting for total number of offenses and age at first sexual offense, Cox regression analyses showed that generalists were significantly more likely than specialists to reoffend violently (hazard ratio = 9.31; 95% confidence interval = 1.15-76.39). The differences between generalists and specialists suggest a valid typological distinction with a higher risk trajectory for the generalists. These findings therefore have important clinical implications for assessment, management, and intervention planning for adolescent sexual offenders.
Article
Full-text available
An American Travesty is the first scholarly book in half a century to analyze the justice system’s response to sexual misconduct by children and adolescents in the United States. Writing with a refreshing dose of common sense, Franklin E. Zimring discusses our society's failure to consider the developmental status of adolescent sex offenders. Too often, he argues, the American legal system ignores age and developmental status when adjudicating young sexual offenders, in many cases responding as they would to an adult. “An opinionated, articulate, and forceful critique of current politics and practices. . . . I would recommend this book for anyone interested in rethinking the fundamental questions of how our courts and systems should respond to these cases.”—Law and Politics Book Review “One of the most important new books in the field of juvenile justice. . . . Zimring offers a thoughtful, research-based analysis of what went wrong with legal policy development.”—Barry Krisberg, President, National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Article
Full-text available
A randomized clinical trial evaluated the efficacy of multisystemic therapy (MST) versus usual community services (UCS) for 48 juvenile sexual offenders at high risk of committing additional serious crimes. Results from multiagent assessment batteries conducted before and after treatment showed that MST was more effective than UCS in improving key family, peer, and academic correlates of juvenile sexual offending and in ameliorating adjustment problems in individual family members. Moreover, results from an 8.9-year follow-up of rearrest and incarceration data (obtained when participants were on average 22.9 years of age) showed that MST participants had lower recidivism rates than did UCS participants for sexual (8% vs. 46%, respectively) and nonsexual (29% vs. 58%, respectively) crimes. In addition, MST participants had 70% fewer arrests for all crimes and spent 80% fewer days confined in detention facilities than did their counterparts who received UCS. The clinical and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
The past two decades have seen a movement toward harsher legal sanctions and lengthy, restrictive treatment programs for sex offenders. This has not only been the case for adults, but also for juveniles who commit sex offenses. The increased length and severity of legal and clinical interventions for juvenile sex offenders appear to have resulted from three false assumptions: (1) there is an epidemic of juvenile offending, including juvenile sex offending; (2)juvenile sex offenders have more in common with adult sex offenders than with other juvenile delinquents; and (3) in the absence of sex offender-specific treatment, juvenile sex offenders are at exceptionally high risk of reoffending. The available data do not support any of the above assumptions; however, these assumptions continue to influence the treatment and legal interventions applied to juvenile sex offenders and contributed to the application of adult interventions to juvenile sex offending. In so doing, these legal and clinical interventions fail to consider the unique developmental factors that characterize adolescence, and thus may be ineffective or worse. Fortunately, a paradigm shift that acknowledges these developmental factors appears to be emerging in clinical areas of intervention, although this trend does not appear as prevalent in legal sanctions.
Article
The predictive validity of the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (YLS/CMI) and the use of professional override were examined in a matched sample of youth who committed sexual (n = 204) and non-sexual (n = 185) offenses. Based on the actuarial score, the YLS/CMI obtained moderate to strong levels of predictive validity for non-violent, violent, sexual, and technical recidivism in both samples of youth. Probation officers always used override to increase risk level classification and did so at a high level for both sexual (n = 151; 74.0%) and non-sexual (n = 77; 41.6%) offending youth. There was a detrimental impact on the predictive validity of the YLS/CMI for youth who received an override adjustment, regardless of offending category. These preliminary findings suggest that the application of override should be carefully considered on instruments such as the YLS/CMI.
Article
Purpose This study examines the selective incapacitation effects of civil commitment on sexual reoffending among 105 Minnesota sex offenders who were civilly committed between 2004 and 2006. Methods The Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-3, a sexual recidivism risk assessment instrument, was used to estimate what the four-year sexual recidivism rate would have been for these offenders had they been released to the community. Integration of Survival with Quality of Life (iSQoL) software was used to extrapolate the survival curves over a 50-year period to develop a lifetime sexual recidivism estimate. Results If the 105 civilly committed sex offenders had been released to the community, an estimated nine percent would have been reconvicted of a new sex offense within four years. Civilly committing these offenders therefore likely reduced the overall four-year sexual recidivism rate by 12 percent. The results further suggest that if these offenders had been released to the community, an estimated 28 percent would be rearrested for another sex offense within their lifetime. Conclusions To better align the costs of civil commitment with its public safety benefits, states operating these programs should emphasize the use of intermediate alternatives in the community for a more positive return on investment.
Article
The present study explored the predictive validity of two measures designed to assess risk for sexual recidivism in adolescent sexual offenders (ASO), the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol—II and the Estimate of Risk of Adolescent Sexual Offense Recidivism, in the context of an antisociality-based typology of adolescent sexual offenders. The authors distinguished between adolescent sexual offenders with a history of general offending (delinquent ASO) and adolescent sexual offenders without a history of general offending (sex offense—only ASO). They found differential predictive accuracy of risk measures according to offender type: Both instruments predicted sexual recidivism in the sex offense—only ASO group (large effect sizes), whereas in the delinquent ASO group, the measures did not predict sexual recidivism beyond chance levels. Risk assessment in the context of an antisociality-based sex offender typology is discussed.
Article
This study examines the influence of South Carolina's sex offender registration policy on juvenile offender recidivism risk. Juvenile male sexual offender (N = 1,275) risk of recidivism was examined with an average 9-year follow-up. Survival analysis was used to examine the influence of covariates, including the primary time-dependent covariate registration status at time, on risk of new sexual offense charges and adjudications. A competing risks model was used to explain the effects of covariates on different types of recidivism events (sexual, assault, and other). Registration status at time had a significant effect on risk of new “other” offense charges and a marginal (p < .10) effect on risk of sexual offense charges (survival analysis) but no statistical evidence of affecting risk of new adjudications. Results suggest a surveillance effect leading to unnecessary charges for registered (vs. nonregistered) youth. State and national policy implications are discussed.
Article
Although interest in the treatment of juvenile sexual offenders has increased significantly in recent years, there are still few programs specifically geared toward these youths and few of the existing programs have been evaluated. This article presents an evaluation of one court-based program. The results show that youths handled in the program fare no better than youths processed through normal, nonoffense specific programming. These results suggest that the growth of interventions has proceeded without adequate knowledge of how to identify at-risk youths, the causes of the behavior, and the most appropriate treatment for juvenile sexual offending.
Article
the purpose of this study was to investigate the long term community re-adjustment of adolescent sex offenders released from a state residential group treatment program between 1988-1990. The results suggest: (1) the post-release behavior of adolescent sex offenders may not present the degree of personal risk assumed by the public; (2) the majority of adolescent sex offenders who eventually enter the adult correctional system will be committed on property related charges; and (3) serving adolescent sex offenders within an agency's main campus peer group treatment program may produce long term recidivism rates comparable with those reported among specialized treatment models. The findings are discussed in relation to the current demand for specialized sex offender programs and the need for correctional practitioners to develop strategies for this population of youth offenders.
Article
Despite recent advances in risk assessment procedures, relatively little research has targeted validation of procedures with sexually offending minority youth. The current study used retrospective coding of the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol—II (J-SOAP-II; Prentky & Righthand, 2003) with a group of 60 male youth of mostly Latino and African American ethnicity. Correlational and receiver operating curve (ROC) analyses were used to test the J-SOAP-II's relationship with and accuracy in predicting general reoffense, sexual reoffense, and treatment compliance. The J-SOAP-II total score was significantly correlated with all three of these outcome variables, and ROC analyses demonstrated a high degree of accuracy in predicting general (area under the curve [AUC] = .76) and sexual reoffending (AUC = .78). There was mixed support for the J-SOAP-II individual subscales, with Dynamic subscales consistently outperforming Static subscales. The implications of this research for juvenile sex-offender risk assessments are discussed.
Article
The objective of this study was to compare the recidivism rates of juvenile sexual offenders with those of other juvenile offenders once they became young adults. The authors found that the juveniles adjudicated for a sexual offense had a significantly higher rate of recidivism for sexual offenses as adults than did the comparison group, but rearrest rates for sexual offenses were low in both groups. The juvenile nonsexual offenders had higher rates of adult recidivism for all other types of offenses.
Article
The purpose of this research was to investigate how best to identify juvenile sexual offenders who are likely to reoffend. The juvenile justice records of 112 male juvenile sexual offenders were examined. Information obtained during evaluation at a specialized, community-based program was compared with records of subsequent sexual and nonsexual reoffending. Certain characteristics of the referral offense and aspects of the offender's clinical presentation were found to be reliably related to reoffending; on several dimensions the nonsexual reoffenders differed markedly from the sexual reoffenders. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify the combination of predictor variables that best discriminated reoffense groups.
Article
This study used four Cox regression analyses to examine the predictors of reoffending in a sample of 86 male adolescents adjudicated delinquent for the commission of sexual offenses and treated in a corrections-based sex offender treatment program. The results indicate that the predictors of reoffense, when defined as an arrest, conviction, or parole violation for any new crime, differ somewhat from those found for adults. Specifically, increased risk for reoffense was associated with impulsivity, involvement with significantly younger children, younger age at first offense, and shorter treatment stays. Decreased risk for reoffense was associated with having a male victim, having been a sexual abuse victim, and multiple paraphilias. These factors were not all stable across analyses. These data indicate that the risk prediction methods used for adult sex offenders would not be appropriate for adolescent populations and that more research is needed before attempts are made to develop such tools for adolescents.
Article
This study involved an 8-year comparative analysis of sexual assault among adolescent perpetrators of sexual assault against children, adolescent perpetrators of rape against same age or older peers, other adolescent delinquents, and the general population. Results of this study found that adolescent sex offenders were significantly more likely to sexually reoffend in the 8-year period after their release from a juvenile correctional facility than were a control group of other non–sex offending adolescent delinquents from the same institution. Juvenile non-sex offenders, child sexual offenders, and adolescent rapists were all found to be significantly more likely to be involved in sexual assaults than was the general male population in the United States.
Article
In an effort to reduce sex offense recidivism, local and state governments have recently passed legislation prohibiting sex offenders from living within a certain distance (500 to 2,500 feet) of child congregation locations such as schools, parks, and daycare centers. Examining the potential deterrent effects of a residency restrictions law in Minnesota, this study analyzed the offense patterns of every sex offender released from Minnesota correctional facilities between 1990 and 2002 who was reincarcerated for a new sex offense prior to 2006. Given that not one of the 224 sex offenses would have likely been prevented by residency restrictions, the findings from this study provide little support for the notion that such restrictions would significantly reduce sexual recidivism.
Article
Sexually violent predator laws are not the first wave of American legislation aimed at committing sex offenders to locked mental hospitals; they are the second. Preceding them by half a century were the sexual psychopath laws, which differed in significant detail but provided the same basic framework of indeterminacy and dangerousness. This article looks at the history of the sexual psychopath laws. It begins by critically examining the popular belief that there was a sex crime wave. It then discussed different solutions proffered to solve the sex crime problem. Finally, it provides an overview of the sexual psychopath laws and discusses the reasons for their demise.
Article
This study reviewed the records of 198 juveniles who were committed to secured custody after being adjudicated delinquent for a sexually violent offense that qualified them for possible commitment under a Sexually Violent Person's (SVP) civil commitment law. For an individual to be committed, the statute requires that the individual have a qualifying mental disorder and is "likely," to commit a future act of sexual violence. Each youth was screened by at least two expert examiners in a two-step process. Fifty-four of the youth were found to meet the commitment criteria in an initial examination and were subject to an SVP petition. The remaining 144 were screened out. Subsequent criminal charges were collected over a 4.97-year mean follow-up. The results showed that the prevalence rates for general sexual offending and felony sexual offending did not differ between youth who were screened out and those who were subject to a petition. Among petitioned youth, 11.76% were charged with a new sexual offense including 9.80% who were charged with a felony sexual assault. By comparison, 17.36% of the youth that were screened out were charged with a sexual offense including 13.19% who were charged with a felony sexual assault, a nonsignificant difference.
Article
The last two decades have witnessed major changes in the way that mental health professionals assess, describe, and think about persons' risk for future violence. Psychiatrists and psychologists have gone from believing that they could not predict violence to feeling certain they can assess violence risk with well-above-chance accuracy. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis has played a central role in changing this view. This article reviews the key concepts underlying ROC methods, the meaning of the area under the ROC curve (AUC), the relationship between AUC and effect size d, and what these two indices tell us about evaluations of violence risk. The area under the ROC curve and d provide succinct but incomplete descriptions of discrimination capacity. These indices do not provide details about sensitivity-specificity trade-offs; they do not tell us how to balance false-positive and false-negative errors; and they do not determine whether a diagnostic system is accurate enough to make practically useful distinctions between violent and non-violent subject groups. Justifying choices or clinical practices requires a contextual investigation of outcomes, a process that takes us beyond simply knowing global indices of accuracy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Recidivism after residential treatment for a sex offence was studied for 114 male adolescent juvenile sex offenders. The juveniles had been treated for an average period of two years and four months. The median time at risk after leaving the institution was nine years. Almost a third of the young men re-offended with a serious offence. Eleven % committed a sex offence; 27% committed a non-sexual violent offence; approximately a third of the respondents re-offended with a range of other acts; and 30% did not re-offend at all. Sexual recidivism appears to be related to the prior selection of a (very) young victim, and choice as a victim of a girl from outside the offender's family. Seventy % of sexual recidivism takes place during the first three years after discharge. Violent recidivism is linked with the offender's ethnicity, parental neglect, the quality of relationships with peers and classification by the institution as an opportunistic sex offender. We recommend greater differentiation in treatment offered, and improvement of follow-up provision.
Article
Many residential treatment and sex offender programs for adolescents historically have used coercion-based interventions. Treatment programs employing coercive techniques often replicate the same destructive and intrusive behaviors they seek to eliminate. Tension between departments coupled with poor communication and discomfort around sexual behavior issues within the staff of residential treatment centers are more likely to inhibit the progress of the youths they serve. Collaboration among residential, educational, and clinical components enables staff to work in a direct, genuine, and respectful fashion with students who have histories of sexually abusive behavior. It further assists in maintaining a safe and predictable environment for these students. Finally, it helps students eliminate destructive behaviors by directly and consistently addressing four key areas: sexually abusive behavior, antisocial attitudes, social/emotional functioning, and overall self-care. It is not the author's intention to hold Bennington School, Inc.up as a model residential treatment program or to criticize other residential facilities. Rather, it is hoped that what is working in Bennington may be helpful to others. Many who have worked on the front lines of residential treatment with sexually abusive adolescents have received training in elements specific to sexually abusive behavior. The origins of treatment for youth who have sexually abused were noteworthy for their lack of offense-specific interventions (National Adolescent Perpetration Network, 1993). However, a wealth of literature soon emerged addressing the need for assessment and treatment techniques specific to this population (Perry & Orchard, 1992; Barbaree, Marshall & Hudson, 1993). Much of this literature made assumptions regarding high levels of chronicity (Perry & Orchard,1992) while other contributions stressed the role of denial and minimization (Barbaree & Cortoni, 1993). As a result, while many issue-specific forms of assessment and treatment were developed, they often did not take into account other developmental needs and issues in the lives of sexually abusive youths (Lane, 1997). Concurrent with this emerging research was a substantial increase in the number of treatment programs for juvenile sex offenders (National Adolescent Perpetration Network, 1993). In this context, it is not surprising that many treatment programs relied heavily on treatment targeting denial, minimization, and perceived sexual deviance without taking into account other treatment needs of youths. Although a recent literature review of adolescent residential programs (Curwen, 2000) notes a trend away from shame-based approaches, there appears to be less clarity on specific criteria on which to base residential treatment of adolescents who have sexually abused (Curwen, 2000). Finally, recent research shows that among adult populations, accepting responsibility for abusive behavior in treatment is more likely to result from a warm, genuine, and empathic treatment style (Marshall, Fernandez, & Anderson, 1999). Group therapy participation, similarly, results from encouragement, open questions, and nonconfrontational challenge. The emerging themes of recent trends and research should inspire those at the front lines of residential treatment to reconsider not just basic treatment approaches, but the most minute elements of their interactions with youths.
Article
The recently enacted Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act will expand and standardize the registration of adolescent sex offenders. To evaluate the effectiveness of this and similar legislation, the authors assessed 91 juvenile males who had been adjudicated for a sexual felony offense and 174 juvenile males who had no history of sexual offending with several risk measures. On admission to treatment, all participants were assessed with the Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV; A. E. Forth, D. Kosson, & R. D. Hare, 2003). The Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol-II (J-SOAP-II; R. A. Prentky & S. Righthand, 2003), 3 state-developed risk protocols (from Wisconsin, Texas, and New Jersey), and the tier designation embedded in the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 (SORNA) were coded from the sex offender participants' records. Participants were followed for an average of 71.6 months (SD = 18.1 months) to determine charges for general, violent, and sexual offenses. Results showed inconsistencies in risk designations between the J-SOAP-II, SORNA tier, and state risk measures, and none, except for the PCL:YV, significantly predicted new general, violent, or sexual offense charges. Policy and legal implications concerning the assessment of adolescent sex offenders are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Assessed self-reported sexual reoffending and the impact of a juvenile sex offender program on the posttreatment lifestyle. The program addressed 5 content areas: personal accountability, life history, personal victimization, sexual assault cycle, and victim empathy. 193 youths (aged 12–18 yrs at intake) who completed the program also completed follow-up questionnaires. The recidivism rate of 6% verifies the efficacy of intervention. Unexpectedly, the self-report sexual reoffense rate was 11%, which is notably higher than the actual recidivism rate. There were no reoffenses for Ss spending more than 15 mo in the program. There was no pattern for reoffending and length at risk. Ss' responses to open-ended questions suggest that their maintenance of a nonabusive lifestyle was due to the way that they were treated in the program, not to the content of the program. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)