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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Matt DeLisi, Daniel E. Caropreso, Alan J. Drury, Michael J. Elbert, Jerry L. Evans, Timothy Heinrichs and Katherine M. Tahja

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dark figure of crime among federal sex offenders from the USA to quantify crime victims and sex crime events among those with…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the dark figure of crime among federal sex offenders from the USA to quantify crime victims and sex crime events among those with no official criminal record.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data on 119 offenders selected from a five-year census of sex offenders selected from a federal probation jurisdiction in the Midwestern United States, descriptive, partial correlations, and ROC-AUC models were conducted.

Findings

In total, 69 percent of offenders self-reported a contact sexual offense during polygraph examination. In total, 34 offenders had zero official record of sexual abuse but non-zero self-reported history of sexual abuse. These 34 clients offended against 148 victims that potentially denoted a minimum number of 148 sex crime events, a median number of 1,480 sex crime events, a mean number of 32,101 sex crime events, and a maximum number of 827,552 sex crime events. Total paraphilias were not predictive of self-reported sexual offending but were strongly associated with prolific self-reported sexual offending.

Originality/value

The dark figure of sexual offending is enormous and the revelation of this information is facilitated by polygraph examination of federal sex offenders. Ostensibly non-contact sex offenders such as those convicted of possession of child pornography are very likely to have a history of contact sexual offending. Consistent with the containment model, polygraph examinations of the sexual history of offenders convicted of sexual offenses should be required to facilitate public safety.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Studies have found innate vulnerabilities which potentially may increase the risk of an individual with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) finding themselves involved with…

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1184

Abstract

Purpose

Studies have found innate vulnerabilities which potentially may increase the risk of an individual with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) finding themselves involved with the criminal justice system as a result of being charged with a sexual offence. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the literature which has explored sexual offending in individuals with ASD.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic PRISMA review (PRISMA, Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) was conducted using internet-based bibliographic databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection and PsycARTICLES) in order to access studies which investigated to any degree the association between ASD and sexual offending.

Findings

Only a small number of case reports (n=7) on sexual offending in individuals with ASD and a small number of prevalence studies (n=7) were identified.

Research limitations/implications

Research is urgently required to identify the specific requirements and needs of sexual offenders with ASD in order to inform an appropriate treatment strategy for successful outcomes.

Originality/value

Relatively few studies and reviews have investigated the area of ASD and sexual offending specifically.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Alex Lord and Derek Perkins

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the role of mental disorder in sexual offending as well as identifying innovations in assessment and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase our understanding of the role of mental disorder in sexual offending as well as identifying innovations in assessment and treatment with offenders who present with these typically complex risks and needs.

Design/methodology/approach

The converging literatures on “good lives” and other developments in sexual offender treatment are compared with recovery from mental disorder and what is known about the particular needs and characteristics of sexual offenders with mental illness and severe personality disorder (PD).

Findings

A key outcome of this review is that many mentally disordered sexual offenders have similar needs to those in prison and the community but there are particular challenges posed by severe PD, paraphilias and the relatively rare individuals whose offending is functionally linked to psychotic symptoms.

Practical implications

Practical implications include the need for case formulation of complex needs related to mental disorder using direct and indirect measures of attitudes and interests. Treatment needs to be responsive to very different personality and mental health presentations as well as problems with offending and cognitive schemas. Direct functional links between mental health symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations are very rare in practice and are usually secondary to PD and sexual offending issues. In practice, treatment promoting recovery from mental disorder is highly compatible with the “good lives” approach to sexual offender treatment. Staff development, supervision and support are particularly important for staff treating mentally disordered sexual offenders.

Originality/value

It is argued that mentally disordered sexual offenders are an under-researched sub-group within the wider sexual offender population. This paper brings together the relatively limited literature on treatment with examples of recent treatment innovations, multi-modal assessment approaches and reviews of research on the needs of this relatively uncommon but highly risky group.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Bryanna Fox

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ability of a comprehensive set of covariates to distinguish and predict juvenile sex offenders (JSOs) from non-sexual juvenile…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ability of a comprehensive set of covariates to distinguish and predict juvenile sex offenders (JSOs) from non-sexual juvenile offenders (NSJOs) using demographic traits, criminality covariates, childhood trauma, and psychopathologies in a sample of male and female juvenile offenders in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

A multivariate binary logistic regression will be conducted on a total of 64,329 juvenile offenders in Florida to determine what demographic, criminal history, childhood traumas, and psychopathologies make a difference in identifying sexual and NSJOs while controlling for the other key predictors in the model.

Findings

Results indicate that having an earlier age of criminal onset and more felony arrests, experiencing sexual abuse or being male, having low empathy, high impulsivity, depression, and psychosis all significantly increase the risk of sexual vs non-sexual offending among the male and female juvenile offenders, even while controlling for all other key covariates in the analysis.

Originality/value

This study uncovered many new findings regarding the key distinguishing traits of juvenile sex offending vs non-sexual offending, using a comprehensive list of predictors, a large sample of male and female offenders, and a rigorous statistical methodology.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Mnthali Price, Ian Lambie and Ariana Marie Krynen

The purpose of this paper is to identify the demographic characteristics, psychological and mental health difficulties, victimisation histories, and offending behaviours…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the demographic characteristics, psychological and mental health difficulties, victimisation histories, and offending behaviours of New Zealand child pornography offenders (CPOs) who presented to community-based treatment. Findings are compared with national and international research, and with population norms. Such comparisons can help identify factors that may play a role in the development of child pornography (CP) consumption and potential treatment needs for this population.

Design/methodology/approach

A file audit of assessment information and service exit reports was conducted of 46 CPOs who were referred to community-based treatment service in New Zealand.

Findings

CPOs were predominantly male, European, and unemployed. Most CPOs were single or separated/divorced, and had no friends or one to five friends, which indicates possible social functioning difficulties, including intimacy. Mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, loneliness, and childhood abuse appear to be elevated among CPOs in comparison with general population norms. Prior to referral, one-third had engaged in contact sexual offending and most had no non-sexual offending history. CP was often in the form of photos or images, and contained European pre-pubescent females. CPOs’ mental health, social isolation, intimacy deficits, and childhood abuse could be treatment targets for this population.

Originality/value

Limited research has been conducted concerning New Zealand CPOs. Furthermore, studies often do not compare findings with general population norms, which can help identify factors prevalent among the CPOs and treatment needs for this population.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Jenny A. Keeling and John L. Rose

This paper aims to explore treatment implications of the self‐regulation model (SRM) for sexual offenders with an intellectual disability in an effort to provide practical…

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410

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore treatment implications of the self‐regulation model (SRM) for sexual offenders with an intellectual disability in an effort to provide practical applications that could be employed in treatment.

Design/methodology/approach

The SRM of sexual offending proposes that difficulties in self‐regulation may lead to an increased risk of sexual offending; describing four potential pathways to sexual offending that are based on self‐regulation style and offence‐related goals. Research has focussed on the application and implications of this theoretical model for mainstream sexual offenders. However, more recently, there has been an increasing interest into the application and treatment implications for the SRM for sexual offenders with an intellectual disability. This paper reviews literature on both the SRM and related work on offenders with intellectual disability.

Findings

The evidence reviewed supports the notion that the SRM is a valid theoretical model on which to base treatment programmes for people with intellectual disabilities and specific recommendations are made for the design of treatment programmes with this client group.

Originality/value

It is suggested that this model should be used when devising intervention programmes for people with intellectual disabilities in the future.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2007

Paul Greenall

This paper explores the link between sexual offending and antisocial personality. Drawing on previous research, it illustrates that sex offenders with an antisocial…

Abstract

This paper explores the link between sexual offending and antisocial personality. Drawing on previous research, it illustrates that sex offenders with an antisocial personality are a heterogeneous group, differentiated by several factors. They victimise children, adults or both, those who victimise adults or adults and children are more psychopathic. They are motivated primarily by non‐sexual factors like opportunistic impulsivity or generalised anger, and violence is a source of erotic pleasure in some cases. A small group of men, however, are driven to offend by sadistic sexual fantasies of a serious nature, which develop over time and later form the basis of their violent predatory assaults. Varying definitions of antisocial personality confuse the research, and diagnostic co‐morbidity means that pure psychopathic types are probably rare.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2011

Kerry Sheldon

This review aims to focus on men who access, download, and circulate child abuse images across the internet as the most frequently occurring type of internet sex offender.

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1390

Abstract

Purpose

This review aims to focus on men who access, download, and circulate child abuse images across the internet as the most frequently occurring type of internet sex offender.

Design/methodology/approach

Some of the misconceptions associated with this behaviour are outlined and the extent to which internet offenders display some of the criminogenic factors thought to be associated with the multi‐factorial theories of sexual offending are reviewed.

Findings

One conclusion from this is paper is the general impression that internet offenders show many of the characteristics of paedophiles. Their theoretical importance is that they appear to be “desisters” from acting out their sexual interest in children by hands‐on offending.

Originality/value

It is argued that there is a need for more research to stimulate our understanding of this type of offender. Furthermore, what of those who both download material and offend directly against children? They present a dilemma for the literature as some research would suggest that they are not entirely like the internet or the contact sexual offenders in their psychological make‐up; they are the group most in need of reappraisal.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Stephanie Kewley, Anthony Beech, Leigh Harkins and Helen Bonsall

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which risk is addressed in the risk management planning process of those convicted of sexual offending.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which risk is addressed in the risk management planning process of those convicted of sexual offending.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a risk assessment and management system called the Offender Assessment System (OASys), used by the National Offender Management Service, in England and Wales. The records of 216 clients were accessed and each risk management plan analysed. The study aimed to understand if first, general and sexual risk factors identified by assessors were recorded and detailed in subsequent plans; second, if specialist sexual offending risk assessment tools were used to inform risk management strategies; and third, if both a balance of control and support mechanisms were in place to tackle identified risk and needs of clients.

Findings

Inconsistencies were found in relation to practitioners transposing risks identified, into the subsequent risk management plans. Strategies were therefore deemed, inadequate as there was a significant omission of the use of specialist sexual risk assessment tools to inform and ensure risk assessment to be robust. In addition risk management plans were often overbearing in nature, as assessors tended to utilise control strategies to assist the reintegration process, in contrast to a combination of both control and support.

Research limitations/implications

This sample was taken from only one probation trust in England and Wales. The findings might therefore be unique to this organisation rather than be representative of national practice. This study should therefore, be replicated in a number of other probation areas. In addition, it is important to note that this study only reviewed one electronic tool used by practitioners. Therefore, while it might appear for example that the RM2000 tool was not routinely completed; this cannot be assumed as practitioners might have adopted local custom and practice, recording RM2000 scores elsewhere.

Practical implications

These findings highlight the need for some understanding as to why there is a lack of consistency throughout the risk management planning process. Practitioners should receive ongoing risk management training, development and supportive supervision. In particular, practitioners require supervision that supports and develops their skills when applying RM2000 classifications to their clients’ risk management plans. Likewise initiatives which develop practitioner’s awareness and application of strengths based approaches such as the Good Lives Model should be encouraged. These will help practitioners develop plans that address both the risks while supporting their development of the strengths a client presents.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of its kind, which examines the risk management plans of those convicted of sexual offending, completed by practitioners in England and Wales using the OASys tool.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2018

Clare Sarah Allely and Larry Dubin

As recently highlighted by Creaby-Attwood and Allely (2017), it is crucial that the possible innate vulnerabilities that contributed to sexual offending behaviour in an…

Abstract

Purpose

As recently highlighted by Creaby-Attwood and Allely (2017), it is crucial that the possible innate vulnerabilities that contributed to sexual offending behaviour in an individual with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are taken into consideration for the application of a diversion programme to avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction or during sentencing for a non-custodial outcome. Specifically, in those defendants with a diagnosis of what used to be referred to as Asperger’s syndrome (AS) and now is recognised as an ASD and who are charged and convicted of a non-contact sexual offense, education and mental health intervention will best serve the interests of justice. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focusses on one particular type of sexual offending behaviour, namely, possession of child pornography. A systematic PRISMA review was conducted.

Findings

The authors linked examples of child pornography in the research literature to the ASD symptomology and describe how the symptomology explains such behaviour as not reflecting actual sexual deviance.

Originality/value

Downloading and viewing of child pornography by individuals with ASD has received relatively little research outside the mental health field. This review is of particular importance to those in the criminal justice system who may not have much knowledge and understanding of ASD. It is suggested that diversion programmes and mental health courts should be set up for this particular population charged with this particular crime in mind so that the necessary treatment/intervention/support and care can be given to this particular group.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

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