The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS)
reports the results of a 2004 Harris and Hanson study which indicates that rapists have a 24% rate
of re-offense, child molesters targeting girls 16%, and child molesters targeting boys, 35%.
Offenders with a previous sex offense conviction have a 37% re-offense rate.
Rapists repeat their offenses at rates up to 35%; offenders who
molest young boys, at rates up to 40%; and those rates do not decline appreciably over time.
“Reported recidivism rates vary widely depending on the length of
follow-up period employed, the methods used to calculate recidivism, and, perhaps, the sample size
of the study.”
“In his study of 561 sex offenders, Dr. Gene Abel found pedophiles
who targeted young boys outside the home committed the greatest number of crimes with an average of
281.7 acts …m olesters who targeted girls within the family committed an average of 81.3 acts…”
46% of rapists who were released from prison were re-arrested within
3 years of their release for another crime: 18.6% for a violent offense, 14.8% for a property
offense, 11.2% for a drug offense and 20.5% for a public disorder offense.
The average age of a rapist is 31-years-old and 52.2% are white
One-Fourth of Exhibitionists Commit Additional Sex
On a given day in 1994 there were approximately 234,000 offenders
convicted of rape or sexual assault under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies;
nearly 60% of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.
An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those
serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for
which they were in State prison in 1991.
Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime,
40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.
Overall, an estimated 61% of violent sex offenders in State prisons
have a prior conviction history that resulted in a sentence to probation or
Only 2% of the Catholic clergy sexual abusers were ever jailed. The
number of victims reported were 10,667 with an estimate of 4,392 abusers.
1 New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Available online at: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/som_mythsandfacts.htm
2 Godfrey and Botelho v. John Doe. Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae in
Support of Petitioners. 01-729. Page 3.
3 Recidivism and Reoffense Rates of Adult Sex Offenders. Stephen Brake, Ph.D.
4 Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Law Enforcement Officers Investigating
Cases of Child Exploitation (1992) Kenneth V. Lanning
5 Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994. US Department of
Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
6 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Statistics. 1997 Sex Offenses and Offenders
7 Sex Offenses and Offenders an Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault.
(1997) U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
8 Hamilton, Marci (2004) Shockingly, Only 20% of Catholic Clergy Sexual Abusers Were
Ever Jailed. Find Law, March 11,2004.
9 Howard E. Barbaree, Stephen M. Hudson and Michael Seto (1993) Sexual Assault in
Society: The Role of the Juvenile Offender. In The Juvenile Sex Offender. Guilford Press, NY.