Are we getting the biggest bang for our sexual offense prevention dollars?

By Shelly Stow . . . From North Carolina comes this all-too-familiar story: Law enforcement is patting itself on the back for “tracking” those on the sex offender registry. In the typical it’s-a-dirty-job-but-somebody’s-got-to-do-it style of reporting, the journalist lauds Investigator J. Moore and the other two in the sex offender unit for spending all of their working hours verifying that Wake County’s 800 registered sex offenders are where they are supposed to be. I guess when they finish with them all, they start over.

Congratulations, Mr. Moore, et al.: it would appear that you are truly doing your share to keep people safe, but let’s just look at the science: A Dept. of Justice study of all released sexual offenders in 1994, almost 10,000 persons, shows that 96.5% did not recidivate. 3.5% were convicted for committing another sexual crime.

Since child victims are normally the greatest concern with this issue, I have tried to find a study giving some indication of what percentage of sexually molested children were victims of repeat offenders. It appears those studies haven’t been done. Instead, I find statements by law enforcement personnel that in years of dealing with child sexual abuse cases, not one, or maybe one or two out of hundreds, was committed by a repeat offender.


What I find are studies showing that virtually all of those who sexually abuse children, as high as over 98% for young children, are those close to the children in their everyday lives and people highly unlikely to be on a sex offender registry. And what I find is that, as horrible as it is, sexual abuse of children accounts for only 7.6% of the abuse that children suffer, almost always at the hands of those who claim to love them.

It would appear that, no matter how you slice it, the resources expended in “tracking” this specific category of individual, even if it actually prevented crime, are only addressing the tiniest percentage of the problem. How much is being expended on fact-based education and prevention initiatives that are shown to actually reduce the other 98-or-higher-percentage of child sexual abuse? How much is being expended on effective rehabilitative and re-entry initiatives for former offenders, things shown to bring down the already extremely low re-offense rate? How much is being expended on initiatives to reduce the other 92.4% of non-sexual violence and abuse of children as well as that of vulnerable adults?

I wonder if the answer would show a concern for public protection that is in concert with the facts, or if it would show a topic that captures the public’s imagination and earns public officials kudos for keeping children safe even though it falls far, far short of that noble goal.

Source image 1: Pub. 2003; “Recidivism of sex offenders released from prison in 1994” (NCJ198281)
Source image 2: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Statistical Briefing Book 2008
Source image 3: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and    Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families,Children’s Bureau.(2010).Child Maltreatment 2009. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/index.htm#can
Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Avatar

Viewing 14 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #36234 Reply
      Avatar
      TS

      Take the middle graphic showing the three pie charts a step further with definitions of acquaintances, e.g. neighbor, baby sitter, clergy, law enforcement, teacher, politician, coach, et al, to the next big hearing/meeting and watch how quick people get quiet to realize they or someone they know could fall into one of those two big categories. They may not look at others the same. All about perspective and context.

      • #36242 Reply
        Avatar
        Hank

        The California Department of Corrections did a similar study but came up with numbers much lower. According to the CDC less than 1% of convicted sex offenders commit a new sex crime.

        • #36261 Reply
          Sandy Rozek
          Sandy Rozek
          Admin

          Every study yields different results. It all depends on the specific persons in the study. What is important is that, even though the results are different, they all reflect low sexual re-offense rates.

          • #36329 Reply
            Avatar
            Art B.

            Timeframe is another important consideration. What is the population being tracked in the study and over what time period? Is it recidivism rate calculated over a 1 year period, 5 year period, 10 year period, etc. All these factors are important to control for an accurate apples-to-apples comparison.

            I don’t believe citing these studies and low recidivism rates are enough ammunition to “win” the argument against abolishing or reducing the impact of sex offender laws and registries. The counter arguments will be: 1) the recidivism rates are low because of the tough laws and registry requirements. If they didn’t exist, the recidivism rate would be much higher. 2) Even though the recidivism rate is low and many people may be “inconvenienced” by these laws, if it saves one child from being abused, it is worth it.

            I’ve seen studies and arguments against 1)…the before/after recidivism rates don’t change when tougher laws are enacted. However, we need to have some good talking points supported by solid quantitative evidence to counter 2). This article provides some solid reasoning for why prevention efforts (and associated $$) would be better served elsewhere. If lawmakers and their constituents can be convinced that investment would be better served elsewhere then we might make some headway.

            Great article!

          • #36337 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek
            Admin

            Granted; recidivism arguments will never win the day. And correct: Recidivism can mean and does mean different things, depending on the situation. This same writer on her blog posted a great article apropos of that several years ago: http://with-justiceforall.blogspot.com/2013/04/thoughts-on-sex-offender-recidivism.html

            Low rates aren’t due to the registry or today’s laws. They have remained steady through decades of studies and examination, before and after the registries as we know them came into being.

            And even though recidivism arguments will never win the day, it is the horrible misstatement about them, the “frightening and high” rhetoric, that is largely responsible for the mess we are in now. We must do everything we can to combat that rhetoric as long as we have breath.

      • #36288 Reply
        Avatar
        TS

        Wonder how many of the acquaintances, when the minor is a teen, are Romeo and Juliet romances which are thrown in the data set?

    • #36233 Reply
      Avatar
      Debra Welsh

      I have another segment to add to this – my son was incarcerated for having child pornography – was given 10 years in federal prison – did his time there went to his halfway residency did well there and released – this November will be his third year out. In that time he has managed to find employment, has taken college courses so that he can find better employment, has found social activities he can be safe at, has a vehicle and with our help was able to purchase a house (his name is solely on the mortgage). He attends church, goes to his group meetings as required and meets with his counselor once a week – he is following all the rules the best he can and he is up front and honest if his past needs to be revealed he was doing good and it actually looked like life was going to be good to him, then his PO ruined it for him. Prior to him moving into his home he was living with his brother so he reported to the PO for that district never had a problem then once he moved his district changed which meant he had to report to a different PO – for nearly two months he was in limbo his original PO had no jurisdiction over him and the new one was out on medical leave. A month or so after he moved to his house a friend gave him a computer that had been “cleaned” so there was nothing on it that would get my son into trouble – he checked with his original PO and he more or less gave him an ok so my son went ahead and put the computer together – all he wanted it for was for word processing and to set up a balance sheet so he could keep track of his finances – he didn’t have any internet capability on it period. About a month after that his new PO made a house call and saw the computer and asked my son what was on it – he told her then he went about showing her that it was not capable of getting into the internet which meant he couldn’t get into any social sites or download anything or even go into things like Utube, the PO left without saying much of anything at that time, another visit was made to the house and the PO told my son that he had to get rid of the computer or get internet placed on it so they could place a monitoring system on it to make sure he wasn’t going into places he shouldn’t be – he didn’t want to do that – all he wanted was to keep it as he had it but the PO insisted so he did what the PO requested. Now he’s possibly in trouble because he happed to go into Utube and of course the monitoring system made the alert and now things are starting to fall apart. He immediately contacted his counselor so they could meet and in a few weeks he will be meeting with his PO to discuss what was found on the system and if any of it is questionable. Because of the instance of the PO to “get” internet so they could “monitor” him he has a chance of losing just about everything – from what my son has told me he may have to report to a judge and if the judge is in a crappy mood could order him either back to the halfway residence for a few months or possibly back to jail not only that the church he was attending who knew of his past has asked him not to return because he is under investigation – a place that one is to feel safe. Now we, his family, sit in limbo while we wait to see which way this will go. They the justice department says they want people like my son to succeed in life and want them to make a new start but I so disagree with this – this PO to me, wanted to see if my son would fail and she gave him the tool to do so – he was very happy and I mean VERY happy with how his life was going and he was pursuing every avenue to do so – he lives alone and each day I wake up hoping and praying that I hear his voice that day for it sure could go the other way when a system tends to work against you.

    • #36240 Reply
      Avatar
      Elohim

      The article is great to continue shedding light on this issue. But their question I have if we got rid of the registry in one swipe what would fill the void since the many registries been enacted since 1991. Their many articles supporting the waste of resources the offender registry is. Purpose solutions and ideas to legislature and those small committees that are arranged by legislators. Let’s get rid of the registry and offer background checks for free across America.

      • #36244 Reply
        Avatar
        Debbie

        This is a travesty and very frightening. Your son sounds amazing and I truly hope things work in his favor.

    • #36243 Reply
      Avatar
      Mike

      This goes to all law enforcement and all lawyers and all government officials for what you are doing to so’s and other people of how u treat them , you WILL answer to God for what u have done as in treating so’s an others an u WILL be judged for the way u are treating them n ur showing your true colors an if u dont repent an change your ways u WILL spend eternity in Hell an any n all so’s who repent n turn away from sin will be in heaven n you’ll be in Hell, ironic isn’t it?

    • #36256 Reply
      Avatar
      Mother of a sex offender

      Debra you and your son are in our prayers, my 23 year old son is in a similar place as yours, he was 20 going on 15 when they found cp in his phone, it was giving to him when he was a child himself and he had forgotten about it ( I don’t know how they didn’t detected when he got his new phone) he gets very depress sometimes and has not been able to find a job, we are paying for everything and trying to help him out; but it’s very difficult because his father and I leave in different states. Only God knows where his future is going but we will always be there for him no matter what. Good luck and I will be praying for your family.

    • #36258 Reply
      Avatar
      Raymond L Shaffer

      I agree with all of what has been researched.
      Let alone those convicted via ple agreement, cause they bolster charges and use fear tactics by hanging decades of years over ones head and giving lil to no time. Most people dont even understand the dynamics of all of this unconstitutional laws placed on american citizens.
      But i beleive many people are waking up to the fact our goverment and judicial system is not constitutional.
      If goverment and judicial systems are alowed to abuse any person or group, it will not be long before they come after you.
      If you think the judicial system is always fair and correct. Just ask Rosie Parks who placed her in jail and for why. The constitution and the word of God is clear and unchangeable.
      Peoples prejudice and preconcived ideas are ever changing.
      Yes one day all who claims or have beared the sword of judgement in vain or in a unreasonable and unrighteous way, will be judge in same manner.
      Today those that laugh will morn.
      Officers that come to my house or laughing and making jokes about many things that have nothing to do with any law or criminal activity but cause they can come in my home with out a warrant or supervision i have to humbly sit by and allow it.
      Nothing out of ordinary ever found, cause iam not a criminal.
      But people in power think they are doing the work of God, but oppresion and destruction is not of a loving heavenly Father but is of the devil.
      One day every man will give an account for what they have done in this body.
      On that day their will be no defence of human law to protect.
      So remember this Jesus was clear, do unto others as you would want men to do to you.
      Jesus said hang all the law and the prophets on these 2 things.
      Love the lord your God with all your heart mind and soul and love others the same.
      All the law and the prophets on those 2 things. That is a lot of weight and responsibility on 2 lil commandmandments.
      But children of the most high God, remember this, vengance is mine, I will repay saith God.
      And will God avenge His elect, yes He will avenge them speedily.
      God will bring to judgement every tounge that has come against his children.
      Remember, apostle pauls words by the Holy Spirit.
      Christ Jesus came to save sinners of whom iam cheif.
      Repent and receive the Lord Jesus Christ and you to will receive the Holy Spirit.
      This promise is to YOU your children and your childrens children as many as the Lord your God shall call.
      Let God be true and every man a liar.
      One last thing.
      If you dont forgive then God will not forgive.
      You self righteous people.
      If someone followed you around with a camera what darkness would the world see.
      Cause true spirit filled peoole are about redemption and reciciliation the the most High God.
      Thank you Jesus.
      You are King of kings and Lord or lords.
      And the Kingdoms of this world will be the kingdoms of our God and His Christ.
      Amen.

    • #36263 Reply
      Avatar
      Capt Charles Munsey Jr. USN (Ret)

      It’s good to know that we have so little crime in this nation that law enforcement officers can occupy their time checking on non-problems.

    • #36292 Reply
      Avatar
      Ric Moore

      I don’t blame the officers. I DO blame those who pay them to do that job.

    • #36297 Reply
      Avatar
      david

      Nice article. Another myth that is commonly accepted as fact is the 1 in 5 young woman get sexually assaulted. DOJ numbers are less than 7/1000.

      Sex crimes sure do capture the public’s imagination. Why?

    • #36298 Reply
      Avatar
      Craig Rodney

      Debra, u should tell your son, to get a roomate or someone that can look out for him. He needs someone to be able to vouch for him, or otherwise he might find himself in trouble for something he didn’t do. This is off topic but I live IN PA, does anyone know what type of motion to file to get back to court. Reason I asked is in 2010 I was charged with 1 count of misdemeanor indecent assault. Didn’t have a record and was sentenced to 2.5 to 5yrs. I did all 5yrs trying to appeal my case.i took a plea of 10yrs Megan’s law and now I’m on it for life. I don’t have the money for a high priced attorney, because I haven’t been able to find work. No one will take a shot and hire me. I’ve been home since 2015. There’s a lot more about my case but I’m just looking for any advice on how to get back back to court what paperwork to file. If anyone is wondering why I was giving an illegal sentence it’s simple last Nov the prosecuter who did my case ran for the head DA job. Used my case a low level misdemeanor as a platform to get elected. Worst part the lead detective who was in charge of my case testified in a family court matter that he had next to no evidence on me.. So yeah I was given that sentence again for political gain. If anyone knows anything please let me know. Thank you

    • #36299 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      My dad use to say this to me “Pie are square and cornbread are round”. I never was into pie charts or figures and science sort of bored me. Man seems to figure out all this but they can’t figure out the human conscience because they didn’t make it or create it.

      Now Raymond’s comment up there has a good ring to it and also some of this sex offender is unjust. As far as my PO goes he just walks out of my house. Believe it or not PO’s are just doing their job. He even tells me I’m different from some of the others he tends to on a monthly basis but he doesn’t open up and says very little and he I guess watches for me to slip or say the wrong word or I feel like he’s probing me when he comes to do his monthly visits.

      I’m sure a lot of you all feel that way also but each to his or own circumstances in these situations that are wrong in a lot of ways. Now who would manipulate another to be honest? Sure we have enough crime in this world. If a crime is using a potty mouth than I’m sure we all would be in jail or a prison.

      Sure science does has some advantages to those who think.. I’m sure people wondered how fire was started by rubbing rocks together. We’ve came a long way since, but the story’s we hear on here in these comments are of a human nature that effects all. Now I believe in Justice but fair justice. Answer me this if one dedicates their profession to their creator. Shouldn’t they obey the instructions of that creator or has man run amuck in a lot of these cunning sex offender ordeals?

    • #36304 Reply
      Avatar
      Jude

      Great article. It’s about time some good news was published here. Now to just spread that news to those that need to hear it. Now to use this information and other facts like it to educate those that propose the bills and make the laws. When will NARSOL and other similar groups take action, begin to do that, and demand results?

      • #36312 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Thank you, Jude, and thank you for reading. I guess you haven’t noticed, but NARSOL prints and writes everything it can in the way of good news here. The majority of our front page articles right now are good news. We even have a Good News category, and we do everything we can to spread it far and wide. We use social media and give interviews and write to legislators and newspapers and put out press releases and get involved in legal action as much as our resources will allow. We have been taking action and demanding results for years now. What NARSOL needs, what we all need, is for more people who already know the facts and the truth to get involved, take action, demand results, and help support our efforts.

        Thank you.

    • #36342 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      Well Sandy you did it again with another impressive article on here. I know my comment with shelly’s article about the”me too” movement was more of a come down on that movement but the whole issue is about responsiblity. Sure we all have a responsiblity to be responsibe to our neighbor’s. I can see some reasoning in the ” me too” movement but thats a movement and a personal situation, although responsiblity is the key to a lot of things.

      This article of Shelly’s is good plus some of your comments and others has really brought things to light. One of your comments on here is recidivism argnment will never win the day. I would have to agree with that and different results and different circumstances can also be a big factor also.

      Now here I come into this situation on here with my little internet encounter to expresss my opinions about these ordeals, used a bit of gospel principals” and it seemed it made no sense at all. Even Maestro got a bit upset with me and you did also. Well we all have to learn to forgive.

      The point of the whole thing is we as humans have to use the old testament principals as well, compare them with the new new testament. Sure we learn examples from the old and the new or should one use their liberty as a cloak of malice. Isnt’ that what they are doing in many of these sex offender ordeals? Now we can talk about welding the sword. vain or using the sword of the spirit or we can talk about how to deal with people, but like one person said on here ” Let God be true and every man a liar” I’ve even used that verse myself.

      Now Sandy we are all here to help others and try to understand some of this situation and not to predict whats going to happen in the future. Sure we can all get off probation after a 10 yr. plea deal or something like that but are still under this slavery if that makes sense. Its all about principals. Remember all things are good but all things are not expedient.

    • #36348 Reply
      Avatar
      Rajendra

      I wonder if Nazi soldiers made house calls on Jews to make sure that they are behaving properly.

    • #36374 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      @Rajendra actually this is an interesting article as myself I believe a lot of this registry is a bunch of hockey puck. Are we not all carnal by nature? Now that pie chart or graph chart is like a measuring device to measure the sex offense percentages.
      We could go with a chart of gun killings or abortions,homosexuals, or lesbians. Oops maybe I should not say that in this day and age as that might be wrong in todays society, or if their is more people going to church today or any number of things. Oh I forgot we can’t go to church without a chaperone or things of that nature. That sort of breaks down free will if one wants to look at it that way.. Sure NARSOL has very interesting articles and topics on here of various natures pertaining to the sex offender plight.
      Its sometimes appears that the United States is more of a police state on Sex offenders, internet control, and undercover tactic’s than real (flat foot policing). Sure nobody likes to have a shadow on their back and there is nothing wrong with being honest about situations. Here they are trying to trip one up on the internet by pretending to be teenagers. If everybody was model citizens their would be no gun killings, sexual abuse to others, even no divorces, that is if everybody followed the golden rule so you do the best you can in this life.
      Sure we all learned Stranger Danger rules in school but it seems police have learned how to take that and make lots of money out if it thru this internet device if one isn’t responsible for themselves , but how much responsibility do you have to have when someone is trying to con one into all this game of chance to see if I can get that one to come down and meet. That’s when one’s enter since takes over. If one hears and listens carefully they can since what’s going on.
      See the thing about police is their not responsible for there moral actions. A lot of this sex offender stuff is out of balance as is the justice system if one really wants to take a good look at it. Sure gun’s are good for protection and only for protection and not running amuck and killing others. I wonder if one can kill someone via an internet with these sex offender undercover stings. And the bottom line is killing is no good in any form.

Viewing 14 reply threads
Reply To: Are we getting the biggest bang for our sexual offense prevention dollars?
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points provided that they stay on topic - keeping in mind...

  • *You must be 18 or older to comment.
  • *You must check the "I am not a robot" box and follow the recaptcha instructions.
  • *Your submission must be approved by a NARSOL moderator.
  • *Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • *Comments arguing about political or religious preferences will be deleted.
  • *Excessively long replies will be rejected, without explanation.
  • *Be polite and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • *Do not post in ALL CAPS.
  • *Stay on topic.
  • *Do not post contact information for yourself or another person.
  • *Please enter a name that does not contain links to other websites.

  • *DO NOT POST LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES
Your information:





<a href="" title="" rel="" target=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre class=""> <em> <strong> <del datetime="" cite=""> <ins datetime="" cite=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">