Reality Check: Sex Crime Recidivism Lower Than Other Offenses


With sexual predation back in the national spotlight with the Penn State scandal, Huffington Post commentator Paul Heroux offers statistics on sex crimes that seem counter to the conventional wisdom. Contrary to popular belief, he says, sex offenders have the lowest rate of recidivism of all the crime categories. The percentage of those rearrested for the “same category of offense” for which they were most recently in prison included 41 percent for drug offenders, 34 percent for larcenists, and about 20 percent each for defrauders, assaulters and burglars. The rate for released rapists was 2.5 percent.

Heroux writes, “Independent studies of the effectiveness of in-prison treatment programs for sex offenders have shown that evidence-based programs can reduce recidivism by up to 15 percent. This might not sound like much, but it is. Recidivism can be further reduced up to 30 percent with after-prison intervention. However, our current policies make no sense; we release many offenders to the public without some form of post-release supervision.”

Comments are closed.