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Sexual reconviction rates in the United Kingdom and actuarial risk estimates

By Leam A. Craig, Kevin D. Browne, Ian Stringer and Todd Hogue


Objective: Assessing the risk of further offending behavior by adult sexual perpetrators of children is highly relevant\ud and important to professionals involved in child protection. Recent progress in assessing risk in sexual offenders has established the validity of actuarial measures, although there continues to be some debate about the application of these instruments. This paper summarizes the debate between clinical and actuarial approaches and reviews the “base rate” for United Kingdom sexual offense reconviction.\ud Method: A review of the literature revealed 16 UK sexual reconviction studies, 8 using incarcerated samples\ud (N= 5,915) and 8 using non-incarcerated samples (N= 1,274). UK estimates of sexual reconviction rates are\ud compared with European and North American studies.\ud Results: The mean sexual reconviction rates for the incarcerated sample at 2 years (6.0%), 4 years (7.8%) and 6\ud years or more (19.5%) were higher than that of the comparative non-incarcerated sample at 2 years (5.7%), up to\ud 4 years (5.9%), and 6 years or more (15.5%). The overall sexual reconviction rate for both samples combined was\ud 5.8% at 2 years, and 17.5% at 6 years or more.\ud Conclusions: The sexual reconviction rate for incarcerated sexual offenders is higher than that of non-incarcerated\ud sexual offenders. The UK sexual reconviction rates were comparable with European and North American studies

Topics: C800 Psychology, C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.09.002
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