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This article notes how various extra penalties like banning sex offenders from using social media is based on an old "fact" that recidivism for sex offenders is really high. But that "fact" appears to be wrong; various studies seem to put it at closer to 3.5%.

Anyway, interesting read.

edit: bolded link to make it easier to find...
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Ken
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Wow. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the common knowledge was so wrong when you actually study it, but that's an amazing discrepancy.
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perfalbion wrote:
Wow. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the common knowledge was so wrong when you actually study it, but that's an amazing discrepancy.


Indeed. Just one of many bogus "facts" that end up being accepted by the courts. Like polygraphs. Bite mark analysis. List goes on.
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That doesn't necessarily surprise me despite it being a long-held belief of the justice system. Notably, there is a large discrepancy in certain offenders:

Not all sexual offenders, however, were equally likely to reoffend. By using simple, easily observed characteristics, it was possible to differentiate between offenders whose five year recidivism rate was 5%, from those whose recidivism rate was 25%. The factors associated with increased risk were the following: a) male victims, b) prior sexual offences, and c) young age.

https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/sx-ffndr-rc...
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Sue_G wrote:

This is the link from the OP deletion, I take it?
 
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In 1996 I had the opportunity to read the FBI's Big Book o' Sex Crimes (I forget the specific title), and the very first chapter strongly cautions against lumping sex crimes together. They discuss in detail that motive differ and the psychologies of offenders differ. I can't imagine that the professional view has gotten less nuanced in the last 20 years.
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When horny teenagers swapping nude selfies is classified as a sex crime, it's pretty clear that it isn't a monolithic criminal category.
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Koldfoot wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
This article notes how various extra penalties like banning sex offenders from using social media is based on an old "fact" that recidivism for sex offenders is really high. But that "fact" appears to be wrong; various studies seem to put it at closer to 3.5%.

Anyway, interesting read.

edit: bolded link to make it easier to find...


3 year study.

Which means 3% were convicted of further sex crimes while still on parole.

Furthermore, do we believe or not believe the "fact" that only a couple percent of rapes ever get reported? Do we disregard the "fact" that child molesters have dozens of victims before they get caught, and often only caught after the victims attain adulthood?

Convicted offenders who then are convicted for further crimes while still on parole, is the standard?

Yeah. That's a good study. Take those numbers and run.


Well, I know you are the expert on simply everything, so I do look forward to your 'splaining it all so my poor li'l mind can understand it.
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The OP's linked article struck me as sloppy and full of hasty generalizations (note that the author is a public defender and documentary director, not a crime statistician or even a statistician.) Since crime statistics is an interest of mine, I did a little further reading.

This article is a pretty good, if technical, overview of the subject and covers many of the objections I have to the simplistic assignment of a true recidivism rate for such a broad category of offenses.

Considering that there is universal agreement that the observed rate of "reoffense" as measured by rearrest/reconviction is lower--probably dramatically lower--than the actual rate of reoffense, I think we should be careful in viewing the Slate article as some kind of "aha" moment. And considering furthermore the dramatic underreporting, underarrest and underconviction rates for sexual crimes (particularly for rape and child molestation, and most particularly for the subset of child molestation with male perpetrators and male victims), we should be a bit more circumspect about what new "truths" we rush to embrace.

EDITED TO ADD: The article I linked also mentions but does not discuss in great detail the fact that many crimes committed by sexual offenders that are not in and of themselves sex offenses may have underlying sexual motivations to them. This would not be reflected in a sex offender's criminal history. Neither would sexual offenses plea bargained down to non-sexual offenses.
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