Statistics – Offenders

Statistics - Offenders


  • 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. 1

  • 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. 2

  • “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.” 3

  • “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 …molesters who targeted girls within the family committed an average of 81.3 acts…” 4

  • 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.  5

Offender Characteristics:

  • The average age of a rapist is 31-years-old and 52.2% are white males. 6

  • One-Fourth of Exhibitionists Commit Additional Sex Offenses.   

  • 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. 7

  • 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. Ibid.

  • Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge. Ibid.

  • Overall, an estimated 61% of violent sex offenders in State prisons have a prior conviction history that resulted in a sentence to probation or incarceration. Ibid.

  • 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. 8


  • The average adolescent sex offender will, without treatment, go on to commit 380 sex crimes during his lifetime. 9

  • 20% of all rapes and 30% to 50% of child molestations are perpetrated by adolescent males. Ibid


1 New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.  Available online at:
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 Study. 1997.
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 2% 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. 
Page 11.