Sex Offender Risk Assessment: The Need to Place Recidivism Research in the Context of Attrition in the Criminal Justice System
Violence Against Women - An International and Interdisciplinary Journal | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2012
Jurisdictions in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia now have laws that enable preventive detention of post-sentence sex offenders based on an assessment of the offender's likely recidivism. Measures of recidivism, or risk assessments, rely on the criminal justice process to produce the "pool" of sex offenders studied. This article argues that recidivism research needs to be placed in the context of attrition studies that document the disproportionate and patterned attrition of sexual offenses and sexual offenders from the criminal justice process. Understanding the common biases that affect criminal prosecution of sex offenses would improve sexual violence prevention policies.