Grant 44/10-11: Reoffence risk in intrafamilial child sex offenders

Child sexual abuse has enduring and potentially devastating effects for victims and families. The absence of comprehensive research on core subtypes of child sexual offenders has precluded understanding about the specific risk profile and treatment needs of intrafamilial offenders. The findings in this report show that parental offenders can be distinguished from other intrafamilial sexual offenders and that they have unique characteristics and criminogenic needs. The outcomes of the current study have important implications for states and legislatures examining alternative methods to prosecute child sex offenders, most notably that diversion into community-based treatment was more effective at reducing recidivism among low risk parental offenders than standard criminal prosecution. In addition, the research suggests that utilising risk assessment instruments that include dynamic factors (e.g. the Violent Risk Scale: Sexual Offender version) can enhance screening and selection of offenders eligible for diversion, by identifying level of risk as well as the likelihood that a particular offender will comply with and complete treatment. By improving the ability to predict completion of a community-based program and identify offenders who will receive the greatest benefit from treatment, this report contributes to a more-informed allocation of resources in the rehabilitation of child sex offenders.