Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 32–44

Once a sex offender … always a sex offender: Myth or fact?

  • Elizabeth Turner
  • Stephen Rubin
Article

Abstract

In the current focus upon prisons, prisoners, and correctional treatment, there also seems to be an increase in fear of sex offenders. “Once a sex offender, always a sex offender” has become a common belief. The following study, however, has concluded that this phrase is mistaken and misleading. The actual number of sex offenders who recidivate are few. This study, and many prior to this one, have concluded that upwards of 65% donot commit another sex offense. Most reoffenses are committed between 1 and 5 years after release, and the percentage of reoffenders declines rapidly after. A positive correlation was found between length of time spent in prison and recidivism rates. Further studies are suggested to follow up this interesting finding.

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Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Turner
    • 1
  • Stephen Rubin
    • 1
  1. 1.Whitman CollegeWalla WallaUSA

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