The influence of sex offender registration on juvenile sexual recidivism

Elizabeth J. Letourneau, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Debajyoti Sinha, Kevin S. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the influence of South Carolina's sex offender registration policy on juvenile offender recidivism risk. Juvenile male sexual offender (N = 1,275) risk of recidivism was examined with an average 9-year follow-up. Survival analysis was used to examine the influence of covariates, including the primary time-dependent covariate registration status at time, on risk of new sexual offense charges and adjudications. A competing risks model was used to explain the effects of covariates on different types of recidivism events (sexual, assault, and other). Registration status at time had a significant effect on risk of new "other" offense charges and a marginal (p < .10) effect on risk of sexual offense charges (survival analysis) but no statistical evidence of affecting risk of new adjudications. Results suggest a surveillance effect leading to unnecessary charges for registered (vs. nonregistered) youth. State and national policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-153
Number of pages18
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 14 2009

Keywords

  • Juvenile sexual offender
  • Recidivism
  • Registration

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