The Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center says that about one fifth of the sex offense cases it handled in the first half of 2006 involved offenders who were under age 13, says the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. Those offenders generally have few places to go for any kind of long-term treatment. The 20 percent figure applies nationally, says an article in the journal Pediatrics. Children or adolescents who exhibit “inappropriate or excessive sexual behavior” may be reacting to their own victimization, the article said.
Cathy Dixon of the Mississippi center the state has “a sore lack of treatment of juvenile offenders.” She added: “Until our state wakes up and addresses this need, we will be raising up a whole next generation of sex offenders larger than the one we have now.” In one case, a 9-year-old boy penetrated and had oral sex with younger neighbors who were sister and brother. “He was engaging in adult sex,” Dixon said. “If he’s doing that at 9, what is he going to be doing at 25?”