Risk of Recidivism of Sexual Assault

Published: 2017-09-21 19:06:14
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Carnegie Mellon University
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Literature review
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Risk- Level Determination and Validity

            The presence of child sexual assault offenders in the society automatically instills fear in the entire community (Cohen, & Jeglic, 2007, p. 371). In order to regain confidence and assure the whole community that there is no possibility of recidivism from the registered sexual assault offenders, scholarly works put forth three types of risk levels namely; high, medium, and low-risk offenders respectively (Hanson, et al., 2007). This classification centers on an individual's ability to commit the same child sexual assault offense upon release from the prison.

High

            People who fall under this category are the ones who have a high likelihood of recidivating upon release from the jail or anything of that kind. It is clear to state that despite the thorough punishment he or she undergoes, he or she still has a high likelihood of committing a similar crime upon release (Hanson, et al., 2007). People will, therefore, try their best to keep away from such individuals because their likelihood of committing a similar crime in the next minute or second is extremely high (Duwe, & Donnay, 2008, p. 440).

Medium

            Individuals who fall into the above category neither indicates nor show significant signs of recidivating or no likelihood of recidivating in the near future (Cohen, & Jeglic, 2007, p. 374). Such individuals are hard to deal with since scholars, as well as other persons do not know exactly what they think at a particular moment in time (McAlinden, 2006, p. 200).

Low

            Individuals under this category show no signs of recidivating upon release from conviction and are perceive to be the better individuals since they are “harmless.” One can easily conclude that the lesson from the punishment they received is sufficient for them, and they do not want to engage in a similar offense in the near future (Hanson, et al., 2007, n. p).

            The primary result of classification of the individual into the above risk levels are further registration with the department of justice of the United States. The ones who fall into the high-risk category, while their counterparts in the low-risk group start to be slowly accepted by the society(Cohen, & Jeglic, 2007, p. 381). One can therefore easily conclude that these classifications further the aspect of differential treatment of the child sexual assault criminal offenders after conviction.   

            The high-risk category individuals automatically fall victims of prey because things like public notification, residency restriction, and potential civil confinement automatically take the course and their rights are infringed, as no one really wants to accept them (Duwe, & Donnay, 2008, p. 412). A major blow or challenge under this classification is the fact that they are based on actuarial conclusions.

            Some of the major risk level determination assessments especially the ones in use throughout the United States of America are not 100 percent accurate as they give room for errors (Duwe, & Donnay, 2008, p. 420). It is, therefore, deductible that some individuals that this assessment can classify under low risk might fall under the high-risk category in the real sense. However, it is important to note the prediction accuracy of an instrument increases with its validity in the prediction site.

            Some scholars argue that with the available instruments of speculation, it is easy to classify the child sexual assault offenders as either high-risk or low-risk levels depending on the available devices (Cohen, & Jeglic, 2007, p. 376). However, this does not mean that the whole thing is settled. As some questions remain unanswered as that margin for inaccuracy is automatically there, because a human being can decide to behave in a particular manner if he or she knows what exact picture they want to depict to the researcher(Hanson, et al., 2007, n. p). A major question crops up when it comes to the instruments that can show that an individual falls into the medium category (McAlinden, 2006, p. 199).

Risk Assessment

            There is no set criterion for risk assessment of recidivism. However, scholars or researchers use a few tools whenever they carry out the risk assessment. Recidivism factors must be put into consideration when the assessment tools can take the center stage and individuals start valuing the results as well as the research itself (Bonnar-Kidd, 2010). Age, victim gender, familiarity with the victims, as well as the number previous sexual offense contacts, are some of the factors that the risk assessment devices consider before arrival or portraying the last and crucial result about an individual.

            All the above factors fall under the umbrella of static factors, but this does not mean that the tools as well as risk assessment individuals only check on the static factors (Eke, Seto, & Williams, 2011, p. 477). The other category of factors are the dynamic ones, and they consider the fact that the world and its components like human beings are never static as they keep on changing with the available demand as well as other things within the environs.

            On the question, of which is the best to use among them to achieve the best risk assessment results is both because whenever two different tools, as well as dynamics, are considered in one research, then the answer is always better in terms of accuracy in comparison to a situation where only one factor of the type of tool is used to make a final judgment (Bonnar-Kidd, 2010).

Factors that Influence the Aspect of Recidivism

            No research that touches on the issues of a sexual offense, punishment, and recidivism should go without tackling factors that influence recidivism, and this review is not an exception either (Hanson, & Morton-Bourgon, 2007, n. p). Most researchers concentrate on one aspect of the factors and forget the other types or factors, which are a necessity in the determination of the above elements (Sample, & Bray, 2006, p. 88).

            Scholars majorly tackle static elements, which are within the files and policies, but they brush aside the dynamic factors, which are core especially when intervention crops up (Levenson, D'Amora, & Hern, 2007, p. 589). Nevertheless, it is vital to note that this section of the review is not trying to portray the static factors as useless because they are a very valuable prediction of the likelihood of some sort of sexual assault criminal offense to occur (Hanson, & Morton-Bourgon, 2007). The significant contribution of dynamic factors is that they provide up to date things on the consideration that the world is never static, and so are the human population that occupies or inhabit the earth itself. Treatment of the individuals of sexual offenders as well the level of income of the prior sexual offenders is some of the dynamic factors that any research on recidivism need to consider to come up with an appropriate finding (Sample, & Bray, 2006, p. 101).

            An excellent case study (Levenson, D'Amora, & Hern, 2007b, p. 601) uses a population of already convicted child sexual assault criminals. It is central to note that one cannot do this on his or her own as they require the help of the community as well as state department or the internet in a situation where the information about convicted individuals is accessible to the general public. Among his sample, there are both recidivists as well as non-recidivists (McAlinden, 2006, p. 198).

 

            The results reveal that the recidivists who were very minute had recommitted the crimes due to certain dynamic factors like lack of good employment opportunity, which translate to low income and inability to access all the necessities (Hanson, & Morton-Bourgon, 2007). The non-recidivists virtually had a good life because they had good jobs and some who did not have the good jobs. They had the ability to conform to the society and therefore took life healthy as opposed to their recidivists’ counterparts who were suffering from an inferiority complex (Sample, & Bray, 2006, p. 92). Drug abuse, availability of many victims and antisocial behaviors are a few of the characteristics of the individuals who fall under the category of recidivists.

sheldon

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