nextgenforensic

Long-term reconviction rates for individuals convicted of indecent image offences appear to be low

Ian A. Elliott

Although they’re a relatively small proportion of individuals convicted of sexual offences there is increasing concern about the behaviours and management of individuals with offenses relating to indecent images of children (IIOC) online. The consensus in the literature appears to be that, contrary to popular notions, sex offenders don’t reoffend at high rates and that the rate for IIOC offenders is lower than those who commit contact sexual offences. This post summarises the findings of our new study into (relatively) long-term reconviction rates for IIOC users.

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Transnational child sex offenders: A not so new but distinct type of child sex offender?

Sarah Wefers (@s_wefers on Twitter)

For years, and decades even, so-called “child sex tourism” has been an issue that has attracted public interest. Several offenders, who travelled abroad and sexually abused children there, have gained notoriety.  One example is Richard Huckle, who is believed to have abused up to 200 children in extremely poor parts of Southeast Asia. He gained access to children through churches and orphanages, presenting as a philanthropist and grooming the local communities. He abused this trust to assault children and produced indecent images, which he shared on the Dark Web with other offenders. He even compiled a “manual” giving advice on how best to groom and abuse children from developing countries.

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Examining the latent structure of pedophilic interest

By Ian McPhail (@IanVMcPhail on twitter)

In the last five years, there has been a series of attempts by forensic and sex scientists to examine and elucidate the latent structure of sexual interests in prepubescent children, or, pedophilic interest. In this blog post, I will discuss what latent structure is and what the recent science has been finding. In two upcoming blog posts, I will examine the ramifications of this recent latent structure research.

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The link between pedophilia and height

Ian McPhail

If I were to ask the question, “what are some markers of early development experiences that might be linked to the development of pedophilic interests?”  I doubt most people would suggest “physical height”.  But to the contrary, pedophilic sex offenders are, on average, 1.7cm shorter than other groups of people (for example, other sex offender groups, non-offenders).  A more recent study by Fazio and colleagues found pedophilic offenders to be 3.09cm shorter than non-pedophilic offenders.

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Towards a more universal understanding of “grooming”

Ian A. Elliott

So could that explain how terrorists groom children for political violence too?

That was the question (paraphrased, admittedly) that I posed to terrorism gurus John Horgan and Mia Bloom, with whom I shared a corridor at Penn State, during a brainstorming mini-summit back in 2012. They were shaping the ideas that would form Small Arms, their upcoming book on the recruitment of children for political violence. We had engaged in a number of conversations about the similarities between recruitment processes in violence and terrorism and the “grooming” processes described in the sex offense literature, and had come to preliminary conclusions that there was likely to be some universal process that underlies those preparatory processes in both. I had just briefed attendees to our small meeting on the existing models of “sexual grooming” and set forth my initial half-baked ideas that would eventually become a newly-published attempt at a holistic model.

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Community reboot: Getting former prisoners safely back online

Ian A. Elliott

For a number of years now I have been involved in a series of projects that have sought to answer a modern reentry conundrum: given the ubiquity and the professed positive effects of internet access, how can we safely incorporate ‘online reentry’ into parole and probation community practice, both generally and for those where internet access was a part of their crimes? How can we encourage and support internet use while at the same time impede potential criminal opportunities that such access may afford?

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Prototypes in sexual crime discourse

Craig Harper
@CraigHarper19

Media reports inform and enhance public attitudes toward a host of social phenomena, not least sexual offending. For instance, the News of the World reacted to the public’s horror toward the killing of schoolgirl Sarah Payne in 2000 by printing the names and locations of convicted child sex offenders, playing on and amplifying the public’s feelings about the relative riskiness of sex offenders.

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