SOC313H1 Lecture Notes - Hybrid Offence, Sex And The Law

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Week 2 - Sex Offenders (January 16)
Sex offenders come in many varieties that encompass many different behaviours
recent changes in legislation suggest changes in culture (ex. wife rape)
rape is "sexual assault"; there are varying degrees of the same crime; increase
reporting by removing "rape" and replacing it with sexual assault as a hybrid offence
rapes are the least likely of violent offences to result in an arrest and conviction
sexual assault is highest among female teens
1980-90s - 2/3 children abused were female; 81% of cases the attacker was known to
the victim; 24% involved a parent, 17% involved another family member, 40% an
acquaintance, and 11% involved strangers
pop culture and media suggest it is a life-long state
measuring recidivism is typically done through re-arrests/convictions and reporting
comparisons are done against:
odifferent types of sexual offenders
odifferent violent criminals
oany offence vs. any offence
1994 - Bureau of Justice Study - 9000+ sexual offenders released and followed for
three years; compared to all other offences
omeasured by rearrest, reconviction, and reimprisonment
oSexual offenders vs other offenders - rearrest for anything 43% vs 68% (65-
75% is normal); rearrest for sex crime 5% vs 1%
oof those who committed another sex crime (5%), 3% were against children
and 2% were against other
first 12 months after release is highest risk period
no association between length of time served and recidivism; implications on
sentence severity arguments
good indication of recidivism is previous convictions
Harris and Hansen - metanalysis (2004) - follow up period of 2-23 years; used
reconviction as a measure
o14% committed another offence within 5 years; 20% after 10 years, 25% after
20 years; incest had the lowest recidivism rate, rapists were in the middle,
highest for male child molesters who target boys
What should be done?
community notification
treatment - highly controversial - study involved voluntary participation
o9% of treated rapists, 8% of treated child molesters
o28% of untreated rapists; 10% of untreated child molesters
57% of Canadian sex offenders receive prison sentences; 38% of other violent
o51% of violent received probation; 38% of sex offenders
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