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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CoSA: An inconvenient truth

Ian A. Elliott

This week I read the new (July) edition of the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Inside was a new outcome study of the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) re-entry program in the South East region of the United Kingdom, by Andrew Bates and colleagues. I consider myself to be a supporter of CoSA and its mission, and I think it’s an excellent program implemented by motivated, diligent, and benevolent individuals. Myself and Ian McPhail have written positively about CoSA on this very blog. Nonetheless, I have constant lingering concerns about the inconvenient truth that, as yet, there is simply not enough evidence to suggest that CoSA programs are effective in their aim to significantly reduce sexual reoffending by Core Members (the individual to whom support and accountability is provided).

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Once a sex offender, always a sex offender?

Kelly M. Babchishin

It is a striking task to ask undergraduate students (as well as friends and family members) what they believe is the proportion of convicted sex offenders who recommit a new sexual offence. The typical response is: “most” or, for the more statistically-inclined, “80%, give or take 5%.” Research, however, does not match the public’s view. When based on official statistics (for example: new arrests or convictions for a sexual offence), the rates are disproportionately lower than common expectations: about 7% after 5 years and 12% after 10 years (Helmus et al., 2012).

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