The Truth About the Sex Offenders Recidivism Rate

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The Leopard’s Spots—The Sex Offenders’ Recidivism Rate

Sex offenders, once convicted, face a penance far longer than any custodial sentence.

Even if their crime is relatively minor, sex offenders have to place themselves on a registry that puts their name and whereabouts in the public domain. They face years of having to live down the stigma of their crime.

DoNotPay helps you understand the sex offenders’ recidivism rate and how you can best protect yourself and your loved ones from the threat of a re-offending criminal.

What Are the Most Common Sex Crimes?

Sex offenses are categorized according to their severity, as follows:

Level of CrimeExplanation
Level or tier ILevel or tier I crimes are non-violent and do not involve minors. They typically include:
  • Possession of illegal pornography
  • Public indecency
  • Non-penetrative unwanted sexual contact
Level or tier IICrimes that involve pubescent minors are classified as tier or level II, as long as they are non-violent. This can include:
  • Enticement or coercion of a pubescent minor
  • Production or distribution of pornography involving a minor aged 12–15
  • Sexual acts with a minor aged 12–15
Level or tier IIIThe most serious sex offenses are categorized level or tier III and involve violence or pre-pubescent minors. Such crimes can include:
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping with sexual intent
  • Aggravated sexual abuse

The prevalence of different sex offenses varies by state. The highest percentage of rapists—tier III offenders—compared to total registered sex offenders is in Washington at 49%, compared to the lowest percentage (6%) in Oregon. The full ranking is as follows:

State% of Rapists Among Registered Offenders
New Mexico42%
Rhode Island36%
District of Columbia33%
New Jersey32%
North Dakota22%
New Hampshire22%
South Dakota17%
New York16%
South Carolina15%
North Carolina13%
West Virginia12%

How Many Sex Offenders Re-Offend?

There are many studies that have tried to measure the recidivism rate for sex offenders.

Measuring recidivism is made more difficult by:

  1. Underreporting of crimes
  2. Length of observance time

Underreporting of Crimes

Sex offenses are some of the most underreported types of crime in the U.S.

This means that many convicted sex offenders may re-offend, but their crime will not appear in any statistics. The recorded recidivism rates of sex offenders are probably only the tip of the iceberg.

Length of Observance Time

Many studies only track sex offenders for three years after their release into society.

The reported recidivism rate in the first three years after release is low, but studies that track sex offenders for longer show that the rate goes up after longer periods.

Government studies suggest that sex offenders’ recidivism rates are as follows:

  • Within three years—5%
  • Within ten years—20%
  • Within 15 years—24%

The reason for this may be that sex offender registration starts to become less reliable after longer times—offenders stop updating their information, move states, or dive under the radar to avoid the social stigma involved with their registration.

How Does Registration Work?

Convicted sex offenders in most states have to place themselves on their state’s registry for the following periods:

Tier or LevelTime on Registry
Tier or level I15 years
Tier or level II25 years
Tier or level IIIUntil death

The registry contains basic information about each offender, such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Work or school address
  • Recent photos

Many states collect more detailed information, and offenders are required to update their details every year or every quarter for tier III convictions.

Being on a state sex offender registry imposes many restrictions on convicted criminals, including:

Under the terms of the 1996 Megan’s Law, anybody can access their state registry to check up on the whereabouts of sex offenders.

Sex offender registries aim to:

Many offenders drop off the registries after several years and become unregistered, though. This fact also links to the danger that sex criminals are more likely to re-offend after longer periods.

Bearing this in mind, the more information you have about sex offenders in your area, the more you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the danger they represent. This is where DoNotPay can !

DoNotPay Helps Keep You and Your Family Safe From Sex Offenders!

DoNotPay is here to help you use your state sex offender registry to avoid danger!

With our Sex Offender Search product, you can search for registered offenders in your area or look for the whereabouts of a specific person. If you choose, we can even keep you updated on any changes by sending you a weekly report!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. in your web browser
  2. Click on our Sex Offender Search feature
  3. Choose whether you want to search for
    1. A particular person
    2. Sex offenders in your vicinity

We will send you your report in a flash and keep you posted on updates every week if you choose!

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