Saturday, June 9, 2012

Do sex offenders who live together or in close proximity to each other re-offend at a higher rate?


As best we can figure this idea is the result of a far out Politician who is trying to garner more supporters, because we can find no support for the principle. To start with former offenders will have a tendency to cluster because of ineffective residency laws and offenders' loss of employment due to newer laws, which means they need cheaper living arrangements. Lawmakers create the problem then complain it exists; Lawmakers are their own worst enemy.

Admittedly there is a belief that a group of former offenders living together makes the surrounding community more dangerous, but there is no authority -that we know of- to support that theory either. Over time we have seen that people and politicians will conger up all sorts of claims, always unsupported, to rid their community of sex offenders; its banishment they want!

Interestingly enough there is research to support that, former offenders living together is good. Yes, GOOD! see this 2004 Colorado report to its legislature:
Do the living arrangements of sex offenders, including Shared Living Arrangements, have an impact on community safety?

The findings and subsequent recommendations are presented below.

High-risk sex offenders living in Shared Living Arrangements had significantly fewer violations than those living in other living arrangements. In addition, the average overall number of violations was low in Shared Living Arrangements, which is surprising, given that this was the only residence type that had significantly more highrisk sex offenders. Shared Living Arrangements also had one of the shortest amounts of time between when a sex offender committed a violation and when the probation officer or treatment provider found out about the violation. In addition, the roommates of sex offenders living in Shared Living Arrangements called in violations of probation and treatment requirements to the sex offender’s treatment provider and probation officer more times than roommates in any other living arrangement. This leads back to the conclusion that a positive support system, which 100% of the Shared Living Arrangements provided, is an important component of being successful in treatment.

Shared Living Arrangements appear to be a frequently successful mode of containment and treatment for higher risk sex offenders and should be considered a viable living situation for higher risk sex offenders living in the community. Source: REPORT ON SAFETY ISSUES RAISED BY LIVING ARRANGEMENTS FOR AND LOCATION OF SEX OFFENDERS IN THE COMMUNITY
Offenders hold each other accountable for their actions and responsibilities and notify the appropriate authorities when a roommate commits certain behaviors, such as returning home late or having contact with children.

In California, the San Diego County District Attorney's FAQ: What is the rationale for placing multiple patients at the same location? has this in response "However, more importantly according to DMH, the research indicates that sex offenders living together who are in treatment reoffend at lower rates that those living alone."

And, as to making the immediate community more dangerous, in a 2003 Minnesota Report to its Legislature. Of the 13 sex offenders who did re-offend between 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002, none of them re-offended in their immediate community; their offenses were mile/s away from where they lived. see LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDERS RESIDENTIAL PLACEMENT ISSUES: 2003 Report to the Legislature (Revised 2004)

Finally, if anyone has other information or studies we can cite, positive or negative, please contact us and we will update this; no hearsay please.