Sunday, October 14, 2012

Study reveals when rapists reoffend

FACTOID (Part-1) & TRUTH (Part-2):

First the news article, then explanation why that is false, then what is true:
Legislator wants new look at sex-offender registry 10-5-2012 by Crystal Gutierrez

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Alarming numbers released in a recent study show the longer some sex offenders are out of prison the higher the chance they'll strike again. That has a state representative looking to toughen up the law.

There are hundreds of convicted rapists and child molesters who live in New Mexico and are ordered to register as sex offenders. The type of crime they’re convicted determines if they need to register for 10 years or for life.

It’s a requirement by law to keep better tabs on them so they don't claim more victims.

That's the main focus of a new study released by the New Mexico Sentencing Commission. It compiled information from studies that looked at more than 200 registered sex offenders, some just released from prison and others had been sentenced to probation.
The study showed five years after parole or probation begins about 15 percent reoffend. The study shows after 25 years back on the streets, that number jumps to 60 percent.
The study caught the eye of Democratic Rep. Moe Maestas, D-Albuquerque.

“Oh no, it's very alarming,” Maestas said.

Maestas said it shows New Mexico laws for registered sex offenders need to be tougher and more effective. He said they could start with adding a third tier to the state’s system. He thinks some on the list for 10 years maybe need to be on the list for 25.

“Maybe so, maybe so, and at the same time maybe some life-timers may be on the 25,” Maestas said.

He's considering adding that three-tier system for registering and he wants more requirements for those registered.

“IP addresses from their computer,” Maestas said. “Palm prints, updated photographs.”

However, he's up against a nationwide group called Reform Sex Offenders Laws. That group is completely against sex offender registries saying they're a second sentence and not effective.

RSOL Executive Director Brenda Jones said other studies show forcing molesters and rapists to register can lead to them reoffend because they claim it destabilizes them.

Jones said more restrictions would also be unconstitutional.

“Any kind of restriction after they completed their sentence after probation or parole is unnecessary,” Jones said.

The House bill Maestas is putting together would also require child predators who use the Internet or a phone to go after children to register as sex offenders.


PART-1: The study which the 60% recidivism rate is quoted from is: Lifetime Sex Offender Recidivism: A 25-Year Follow-Up Study by Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume:46 Issue:5 Dated:October 2004 Pages:531 to 552 Author(s): Ron Langevin ; Suzanne Curnoe ; Paul Fedoroff ; Renee Bennett ; Mara Langevin ; Cheryl Peever ; Rick Pettica ; Shameen Sandhu
Date Published: 10/2004

That study has been severely criticized because of the method used to chose participants. "Given that the follow-up period in Langevin?s study was more than 15 years, all of the inactive (non-recidivist) offenders should have been deleted from the RCMP database." In other words, the people chosen for the study WAS NOT a cross section of ALL sex offenders, it was only recidivists.

PART-2: The article also mentions a "New Study" by the Sentencing Commission. That study is best described as a review of all sorts of other sex offender studies which do not pertain to the recidivism rates of New Mexico offenders.

The Commission Report itself mentions it tracked a total of 79 persons on probation, and 126 persons still in prison as of 2004. Offenders in the probation cohort were tracked for probation violations through January 2012 and tracked for prison admissions through May 2012. Of the 79 persons, only 1 (1.3%) was convicted of a new sex offense by 2012.

Offenders in the prison cohort were tracked for prison re-admissions through May 2012. Of the 126 offenders, 7 (5.5%) were re-admitted for a sexual offense, and 3 (2.3%) were admitted for failure to register.

The Commission Report stressed that their single-year cohort should not be generalized to presume recidivism rates for the whole state, and that the study is not "comparable" to the literature review which takes up most of the report.

All the other studies mentioned in the report merely took up space and none were relevant to sex offenders in New Mexico. It is shocking to see what some will go through to get the focus off what is relevant, and here, it misled the media to the erroneous and not relevant 60%.