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Examining the Continuity of Juvenile Sex Offending Into Adulthood and Subsequent Patterns of Sex and General Recidivism

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2017
36 pages
Using data collected at two different time points from a sample of sex offenders who served a prison sentence for an adult sex offense, this study examined the prevalence of sex offending continuity and its potential linkages with subsequent sex and general recidivism, and it also identified risk factors for these outcomes.
Current sex offending legislation and public opinion present an image of sexual offenders as specialized predators who are likely to exhibit continued sexually deviant behavior over the life-course. Although sex offending continuity and post-release recidivism has been independently assessed in prior research, the potential link between sex offending continuity and post-release recidivism has yet to be investigated. In addressing this issue, the current study found that the multivariate results showed a low rate of sex offending continuity in general, but they suggest the presence of identifiable risk factors that predict sex offending continuity. Specifically, non-sexual juvenile offending was the most notable of the numerous risk factors found to be associated with those displaying sex offending continuity from adolescence into adulthood. Subsequent analyses also revealed a significant association between sex offending continuity and sexual recidivism but not general recidivism. Policy implications, study limitations, and directions for future research are discussed. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017