Nearly 60% of convicted sex offenders serve a term of felony probation or parole. Using data for 917 convicted male sex offenders on probation in 17 states, this study examines the efficacy of community supervision for this population. Offenders’ social demographics and baseline criminality were studied in conjunction with formal and informal social controls to determine their collective deterrent impact. The overall recidivism rate was 16%. However, only 4.5% of offenders committed a new sex crime during probation. Regression analyses indicate that factors readily available to court personnel can accurately predict non-sexual recidivism among sex offenders on probation. However, accurately predicting additional sexual violence proved a more dubious task. The only significant predictor of chronic sex offending was the imposition of a jail term as a condition of probation. Results indicate that under the right set of conditions, probation is the most appropriate criminal sanction for some types of sex offenders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- probation/community supervision
- sex offenders