Australian Institute of Criminology

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Recidivism of sexual offenders: rates, risk factors and treatment efficacy

Denise Lievore
ISBN 1 877042 51X
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, May 2004

A report prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Office of the Status of Women.

Note: this report updates a version previously released in June 2003.

Abstract

This report, which was prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Office of the Status of Women, reviews the international literature on recidivism rates and the risk factors that predict sexual, violent and general reoffending, and identifies a number of specific predictors of sexual reoffending. The report then analyses Victorian police data on persons apprehended for sexual assault of adults in 2001, finding that 14% of alleged offenders had previously been apprehended for sexual offences, 35% of the sample had been processed for multiple sexual offences, and a large percentage had also been apprehended for violent (35%) and other (55%) offences during the reference period. Finally, the report provides an overview of sex offender treatment programs offered through corrective services in Australian jurisdictions, and summarises the literature that assesses the efficacy of sex offender treatment programs.