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California Sex Offense Recidivism Data

August 19, 2009

forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com : CA Study: Shockingly low sex offender recidivism.

Research in California shows that only a tiny fraction – 3.38 percent – of released sex offenders are convicted of a new sex offense within 10 years of release. The study followed 3,577 prisoners who were released between 1997 and 2007 after serving time for sex offenses. (Note: this was before Adam Walsh Act enactment)

In an even larger parallel study by California’s Sex Offender Management Board, tracking 4,204 paroled sex offenders, only 3.21 percent were convicted of a new sex offense within 5 years of release.

In both studies, almost all of the recidivism came within the first year post-release. Sex offenders were returned to custody for parole violations at a lower rate than other paroled prisoners, despite the fact that they were supervised more intensely. And they were more likely to be rearrested for crimes other than sex offenses.

The findings are consistent with a smaller study two years ago of recidivism by civilly committed Sexually Violent Predators. Of 93 such high-risk offenders released from Atascadero State Hospital without completing treatment, only 4.3 percent reoffended within six years.

Download the 5-year data HERE; the 10-year data are HERE. (.doc files)

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