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US: Connecticut report released on rates of sex offender recidivism

A study released in February 2012 by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management found that sex offenders released from prison in Connecticut are unlikely to return to prison for a new sex crime. 14,398 sentenced male offenders, among several other groups, were followed from their release in 2005 for five years. The study accounted for not only new arrests and convictions, but importantly distinguished between instances of general recidivism and new sexual offences. The low number of those who committed new sexual offences is in contrast to the public perception of sex offenders as having a high rate of recidivism. However, it also revealed that a small number of sex offenders are at a higher risk for recommitting. The study found that the Connecticut Department of Correction’s Sex Treatment Score appropriately accounted for such diversity in sex offenders and worked as a good predictor for sexual recidivism.

Notably, the report also accounted for offenders who committed a sex crime but were ultimately sentenced for another charge. This usually happens as the result of a plea bargain, where a sex crime is dropped from the charges in exchange for a guilty plea (saving court resources and avoiding further victim trauma). 

Read the report here

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