Recidivism among Male Juvenile Sexual Offenders in Western Australia
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology
Juvenile sexual offenders form a substantial part of the sexual offender population and a subset of them will continue offending against the person in general, and sexually in particular, into adulthood. Part of a strategy to reduce offending against the person, and sexual offending specifically, should therefore be to identify and treat high-risk juvenile sexual offenders. To identify the characteristics of such offenders, recidivism studies are traditionally used. After reviewing 11 recidivism studies we briefly discuss the difficulty of comparing the recidivism rates found by them. We then report the findings of a study that examined the official records of 326 male juvenile sexual offenders convicted in Western Australia from January 1990 to June 1998. During the follow-up period almost 7 in 10 of the offenders reoffended. Most were convicted of non-sexual offences, with only 1 in 10 convicted of new sexual offences. Offenders who reoffended against the person (sexual and non-sexual), constituted more than one-third of the total sample. Stepwise logistic regression analyses failed to identify variables that are useful to predict sexual reoffending, but identified variables that predict further offending against the person. Western Australian juvenile sexual offenders who consistently offend against the person appear to start offending at a younger age and have a general offending history that, among other offences, includes a violent sexual offence.