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July 10, 2009

Of note and interest around the blogosphere

As is often the case, a quick tour of the blogosphere reveals lots of interesting and notable reading from some of my favorite blogs:

July 10, 2009 at 11:32 AM | Permalink


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CA Study: Shockingly low sex offender recidivism

New research in California shows that only a tiny fraction - 3.38 percent - of released sex offenders are convicted of a new sex offense within 10 years of release. The study followed 3,577 prisoners who were released between 1997 and 2007 after serving time for sex offenses.
"The data call into question the dramatically higher recidivism rates cited by state evaluators at Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) civil commitment trials. Those data are based on Canadian research with an actuarial instrument called the Static 99. The Static 99 recidivism base rates are 18 percent after five years and 21.3 percent after 10 years, many times higher than the California data."

Posted by: George | Jul 10, 2009 1:16:34 PM

For every conviction for a sex offense, there are 100's of sexual victimizations, including serial murder for sexual pleasure. The predator learns. The lawyer immunizes. The recidivism rate is unreliable reflection of sex crime victimization.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 1:53:46 PM

I have a hard time accepting release dates between 1997 and 2007 as giving much information on 10 year rates. Only a small fraction of the study population has actually completed the period. Release dates of 1987 and 1997 would be far more relevant.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jul 10, 2009 2:17:34 PM

Soronel, they were released in 1997 and followed through 2007. Here is a graphic summary in pdf.

S Clause, people who rant on the Internet kill people and we can never know how many of their crimes went undetected. Are you a serial killer? Prove you are not. I propose a James Von Brunn Internet ranters registry.

Posted by: George | Jul 10, 2009 3:04:26 PM

George: People who make personal remarks are frustrated in the traverse. Try some facts, which are the most persuasive, even with me. Why do you ask about being a serial killer? Is a lawyer missing?

The data showing 100's of sex crimes for every crime known, came from interviews immunized by a certificate from the Department of Justice, allowing the researchers to get candid counts of sexual victimization. For example, if we are counting exhibitionism, the count may be 10,000 victims, dozens a day over decades. How would an arrest record ever capture that count? If one does not get an immunity certificate for the data, one may interview a random sample of the offenders anonymously. Was that done?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 3:54:40 PM

"The study followed 3,577 prisoners who were released between 1997 and 2007 "

Okay, I read that quoted language to mean that the last prisoner in the study was released in 2007, not that the followup stopped then.
Iam blind and unable to deal with the link. The pdf is formatted for text to speech, but trying to make sense of charts just doesn't work well.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jul 10, 2009 3:58:17 PM

Soronel, you are correct. The original article misquotes the study and my apologies for the confusion. I realized you are blind but thought you would be able to view the pdf. Here is the key sentence from the pdf:

The following figures report on a five-year California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) follow-up study of the recidivism of 3,577 individuals convicted of a sex offense who were released from CDCR prisons in 1997 and followed until the end of 2007.

S. Clause, so now there are 10,000 potential serial killers and you still haven't offered proof you are not a serial killer, though technically James Von Brunn is only a murderer.

It wasn't a personal remark. The point is, can you prove a negative by proving you are not a serial killer? You could start by tracking every murder location and proving an alibi, but if you were in the area and had no alibi, how do we know you didn't do it? Statistics confirm with 100% certainty that murderers were in the vicinity of the murder.

Posted by: George | Jul 10, 2009 4:59:28 PM

George: The data were not looking for a negative. They allowed candor, and the sex offenders gave more accurate counts of their offenses.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 8:45:10 PM

Here. Sentence these gentlemen to counseling.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 11:39:18 PM

Prof. Simon is right. This is too much. He should just have received counseling.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 10, 2009 11:42:10 PM

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