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Sex Offenders Less Likely to Commit More Crimes after Prison Release
Associated Press ^ | November 17, 2003 | Curt Anderson

Posted on 11/17/2003 4:43:55 PM PST by wallcrawlr

WASHINGTON - Sex offenders are less likely to be rearrested after their release from prison than other criminals, a federal study finds.

The Justice Department study of 9,691 men convicted of rape, sexual assault and child molestation who were released in 1994 found that 43 percent were arrested for any type of crime within three years, compared with 68 percent for all other former inmates.

Ryan King, researcher at The Sentencing Project, suggested the difference may be because the most serious rapists, sexual assaulters and child molesters do not get released in the first place and are unable to commit more crimes. Those studied served an average of 31/2/ years, indicating they had committed less severe crimes.

``The corrections system is clearly being very cautious about who is being released from prison for sex offenses,'' said King, whose organization promotes alternatives to prison. ``It's a very significant concern with the public.''

Erica Schmitt, a statistician who co-wrote the report released Sunday, said research repeatedly has shown that released sex offenders tend to get arrested less often than those convicted of theft, robbery, stealing vehicles or illegal weapons trafficking. But a small core of sex offenders often commits similar crimes over and over, she said.

The study found 5.3 percent of sex offenders were arrested for another sex crime after their release. Only 1.3 percent of all other criminals were arrested for a sex crime after serving a prison sentence.

The study was an outgrowth of a landmark project by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Released last year, it examined how often 272,111 prisoners set free in 1994 by 15 states ended up behind bars again within three years. The study is the largest and most comprehensive look ever at prison recidivism.

Most of the sex offenders studied had been convicted of only one sex offense but often had long criminal rap sheets: 78 percent had been arrested at least once previously for another type of crime.

The study found that those with long criminal records also were more likely to commit a sex crime after they got out of prison. The report said 8 percent were rearrested if they previously had committed between 11 and 15 offenses.

``Your typical rapist is an all-around criminal,'' said Jamie Zuieback, spokeswoman for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. ``One of the biggest things we can do to prevent crime and prevent the crime of rape is to vigorously prosecute a whole range of criminals.''

Still, the numbers appeared to dispute the popular notion that sex offenders are incorrigible. Even among child molesters, about 18 percent had been arrested for similar offenses before, and only 3.3 percent of those released in 1994 were arrested again for a crime against a child.

A few, however, fit the mold of a serial pedophiles. The study documents an unidentified man who was first arrested in 1966 and continued to molest children in the 1970s and 1980s until he was sentenced to 11 years in prison, gaining release again in 1994.

These repeat sex offenders have led all 50 states to adopt laws allowing the public access to certain high-risk or serious offenders, including where they live. These ``Megan's Laws'' are named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed in 1994 by a child molester who moved in across the street from her house.

Most children molested by those in the Justice Department study were 13 or younger and in half the cases were the offender's son, daughter or other relative.

The study examined prison releases in 1994 from Arizona, Maryland, North Carolina, California, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware, Minnesota, Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Illinois, New York and Virginia. The researchers did not include sex offender recidivism rates for the individual states.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: recidivism; sexoffenders

1 posted on 11/17/2003 4:43:56 PM PST by wallcrawlr
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To: wallcrawlr
Oh, good. Then I don't mind them living in my community after all. Maybe they can get jobs in the local elementary school or at the day care center. I always thought they where really bad people, but I guess they're just misunderstood. This study proves it.
2 posted on 11/17/2003 4:47:45 PM PST by Batrachian
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To: wallcrawlr
I suppose a lot of them found prison life a pain in the rear ;-) and decided not to repeat the experience.
3 posted on 11/17/2003 5:05:49 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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To: wallcrawlr
The Justice Department study of 9,691 men convicted of rape, sexual assault and child molestation who were released in 1994 found that 43 percent were arrested for any type of crime within three years, compared with 68 percent for all other former inmates

Neither statistic is encouraging to say the least
4 posted on 11/17/2003 5:07:39 PM PST by uncbob
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To: wallcrawlr
So robbers go back to prison more than rapists , I gues you have to decide if you would rather be robbed or raped, Me: I think I would rather have something stolen other than have sexual relations with a rapist. Of course I am a man and hardly likely to be raped so i guess my opinion doesnt count for much.
5 posted on 11/17/2003 5:27:24 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (I aint wrong, I aint sorry , and I am probably going to do it again.)
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To: wallcrawlr
43% or 68% are both far too high! If recidivism is a given, then much longer sentences are called for. And, maybe three is too many strikes.

Is the author using the relativist argument that since there's less 3-year recidivism on sex offenders (not that that is a proven fact, anyway) than on robbers, we get "more bang for our corrections buck" by releasing sex offenders? What is he -- nuts?

6 posted on 11/17/2003 5:52:20 PM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine
This flies in the face of all previous data. Sex crimes, particularly child molestation, has the highest rate of recidivism of all crimes. I'm really leery that with the swelling prison population somebody is trying to release some "feel good" information so we will accept these people into our communities. After all, child molesters are people too, right?
7 posted on 11/17/2003 7:52:34 PM PST by PistolPaknMama
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To: Pearls Before Swine
Sex offenders are among the worst threats to our society as they prey on the weakest among us. The problem is that to many "free-thinking" liberal types continue to view sex offenders as "mentally ill" and not as a threat to society at large.

Having worked with sex offenders for many years I know how little "rehabilitation" works on this particular group of offenders and this study showing their recidivism rate to be lower, as a group of offenders, is most likley atributable to the fact that sex offenders are among the most closley supervised parolees following their release. Having little or no chance to re-offend while under such close supervision most sex offenders wait out their parole being good little boys.

I would dearly like to see a study comparing the overall recidivism rates i.e. sex offenders v. All other types of offenders. I would be willing to bet a good deal of money that when you don't limited the study to the 3 years following parole you would see a sharp increase in the numbers of sex offenders commiting a new sex offense in their lifetimes.

8 posted on 11/17/2003 7:58:19 PM PST by The_Pickle ("We have no Permanent Allies, We have no Permanent Enemies, Only Permanent Interests")
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To: wallcrawlr
As a former Detective, (or defective;), I can assure you that the majority of pedophiles and sex offenders I had dealt with were 4 and 5 time offenders. Meaning, they had been incarcerated before, and went right back to hunting their prey. We shoot rabid dogs don't we? Why not these animals?
Stupid idea to EVER let them free, or LIVE. No such thing as rehab.
9 posted on 11/17/2003 8:23:35 PM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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To: Terridan
As a detective, I'm sure you know with prolific pedophiles that for every victim you DO find, there are a few others you don't. Take them out to the tool shed and put them down. Why should the tax payers clothe and feed this scum while old grannies and veterans eat dogfood?
10 posted on 11/17/2003 11:31:46 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: PistolPaknMama
This flies in the face of all previous data

Yes, but the point the article makes is that the most likely re-offenders are not released.

It is a selection issue (the sex offenders released are not a representative sample of the sex offenders in prison).

11 posted on 11/17/2003 11:34:57 PM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: Terridan
Does anyone molest just one child? It's the kind of thing a person either does repeatedly, or not at all. Nobody rapes three children and then decides "you know, this rape thing really isn't for me. I think I'll take up that game with the mallets and wickets. I do love putting my foot on one ball and hitting it with the mallet and watching the other ball roll away even though I didn't really touch it." It doesn't happen.
12 posted on 11/17/2003 11:37:13 PM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: cyborg
"We shoot rabid dogs don't we?"

That is exactly what I meant... sorry you didn't get it. Hell, I would do it for free.
13 posted on 11/18/2003 7:05:37 PM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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To: wallcrawlr
Prison makes some criminals more successful the next time.
14 posted on 11/18/2003 7:18:11 PM PST by OldEagle (Haven't been wrong since 1947.)
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To: wallcrawlr
Guess they learned a lot from being in prison...like how to avoid getting caught.
15 posted on 11/18/2003 7:21:45 PM PST by Politicalmom
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To: Terridan
Well apparently Michael Jackson is being served an arrest warrant in California now for a 'situation' involving a 12 year old boy. Jacko really... his children need to be taken away from him and given back to mom and he needs to be put in a dungeon. I'd like to see all these people gassed into the hearafter, but in America it's highly unrealistic. Boy if this was my mom's country Jacko would be swinging from someone's tree, unless the cutlass didn't get to him first.
16 posted on 11/18/2003 8:32:38 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: cyborg
I think maybe FINALLY these tree huggers out here are waking up, fed up, and ready to bring back public hangings... why did we ever stop them? I really am probably being too optimistic, but I've noticed local lib's complaining about criminals, wishing for capital punishment being more expediant, AND the Hiltonesque prisons and our schools in failure.
17 posted on 11/18/2003 11:25:08 PM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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To: wallcrawlr
This just in... murderers less likely to murder again after execution.
18 posted on 11/18/2003 11:28:17 PM PST by Nick Danger (With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.)
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To: wallcrawlr
Headline says "Less Likely to Commit More Crimes after Prison Release"

Story says "less likely to be rearrested."

Gee, perhaps that is because they are getting away with it?

19 posted on 11/18/2003 11:31:34 PM PST by doug from upland (Why aren't the Clintons living out their remaining years on Alcatraz?)
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To: Terridan
My mother isn't a FReeper but she offered an alternative to death that FReepers may not be familiar with. One of the lovely gifts of the English colonists to the Trinidadian justice system was the leather and glass tipped cat-o-nine tails. The first lash usually smoothes out the man's bowels pretty well and by the time it's over he's practically unconscious with pain. ALMOST ZERO repeat offenses.

Criminals get better treatment than the victims. We pay for their therapy, their medicines,etc. It's a full ride courtesy of the taxpayer.
20 posted on 11/18/2003 11:37:11 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: cyborg
The money is running out... I pray soon.
21 posted on 11/19/2003 12:25:38 AM PST by Terridan (God help us send these Islamic Extremist savages back into Hell where they belong...)
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