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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Emotional congruence with children: Recent developments in an old concept

Ian McPhail

In the past number of years, a few colleagues and I have embarked on a line of research examining emotional congruence with children in sexual offenders against children.  The set of psychological processes typically included within this concept highlight the perceived intimate nature of relationships males who commit sexual offences against children have with children and their understanding of these relationships.  Basically, emotional congruence with children suggests the notion that some men feel more comfortable around children than adults, think of children as their friends, are emotionally attracted to children, and may even yearn for the trappings of childhood.

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Reinventing the wheel: Testing a new CoSA-based sex offender intervention

John Vaccaro

In 1994, a small-town event catalyzed the creation of a new method of supervising sexual offenders in the community. At that time, the residents of Ontario, Canada became aware that a high risk sexual offender, who had molested multiple children, was being released with no supervisory restrictions (Canada’s equivalent of “maxing out”). This led to immense upheaval in the local community. The situation seemed irresolvable until a Mennonite pastor of a local congregation offered to supervise the offender and keep him accountable through regular meetings, checkups, and guidance. After the situation turned into a success story – the offender was never rearrested – the Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario and the Correctional Service of Canada partnered to create what is now called Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA).

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Nextgenforensic at ATSA 2014: Caoilte Ó Ciardha

Caoilte Ó Ciardha

I always come back from the ATSA conference feeling refreshed and motivated. Connecting with peers and friends sparks new ideas and a fresh enthusiasm for research. After returning from #ATSA2014, I was also fortunate enough to present for an inspiring group of PhD students at the Dutch-Flemish Experimental Psychopathology Postgraduate School, feeling additionally motivated as a result. I’ve included below a summary of my contributions at ATSA.

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Procrastinating about laziness: Sometimes we forget that deviant sexual interests are a bit complicated

Caoilte Ó Ciardha

I’m great at procrastinating, or rather; when I procrastinate I am very good at tricking myself into doing something useful. When my house is tidy, the people around me know I’m avoiding work. When I’ve actually gardened they know I’m avoiding something huge. Today, I’m trying something different – procrastinatory blogging! In admitting this I also apologise to those waiting for papers or journal reviews from me, and I apologise to my flatmates who might have reasonably expected a clean house to result from my latest bout of writer’s block. However, toiling as I am with a current piece of work and an impending deadline, I was reminded of an article that I wrote in similar circumstances.

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What’s the point when research on sexual offending has no links to practice?

Ross Bartels

The measure of greatness in a scientific idea is the extent to which it stimulates thought and opens up new lines of research” – Paul Dirac (physicist)

A good deal of research is being conducted by both academics and clinicians to help us understand, assess, and treat sexual offenders. As such, it is understandable to see ‘nextgen’ researchers (myself included) wanting to provide a valuable contribution to the field. However, finding a ‘great scientific idea’ can to be a challenging endeavour. There are a great many factors inherent to the understanding of human behaviour, and offending behaviour is no exception. Luckily, as researchers in forensic psychology, we have a vast body of psychological literature (whether it be a principle, theory, method, or findings from a study) to draw upon when formulating a specific research question. I find this process exciting, as you never know when you might find a ‘hidden gem’ that will reveal new ways of understanding, assessing, and treating sexual offenders.

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