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Once a Molester, Always a Molester?

The Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM) was created in 1997 “enhance public safety by preventing further victimization through improving the management of adult and juvenile sex offenders who are in the community.” It has received funding via the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and offers training to those who are responsible for sex offender management, including probation and parole officers.

Included on the group’s Web site is research performed on sex offenders, including a 1997 study by Prentky, Lee, Knight, and Cerce which found that:

“…over a 25-year period, child molesters had higher rates of reoffense than rapists. In this study, recidivism was operationalized as a failure rate and calculated as the proportion of individuals who were rearrested using survival analysis (which takes into account the amount of time each offender has been at risk in the community). Results show that over longer periods of time, child molesters have a higher failure rate—thus, a higher rate of rearrest—than rapists (52 percent versus 39 percent over 25 years).”

Below is a chart from that study:

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