Criminal Trajectories of Adult Sex offenders and the Age Effect: Examining the Dynamic Aspect of Offending in Adulthood
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Several policies have been implemented to manage the risk of sex offenders in the community. These policies, however, tend to target older repeat sex offenders. This is the first study to examine and describe the offending trajectories of adult sex offenders from early adolescence to adulthood. The current study is based on a quasipopulation of convicted adult sex offenders in the province of Quebec, Canada. The number of convictions was examined from the period of adolescence up to age 35 using a group-based modeling technique. The study uncovered four offending trajectories: (a) very low-rate group (56%); (b) late-bloomers (12%); (c) low-rate desistors (25%); and (d) highrate chronics (8%). These trajectories differed on several key criminal career dimensions such as age of onset, frequency, diversity, and specialization in different offence types. The study findings challenge the conception of sex offenders' risk as high, stable, and linear. The implications for the risk assessment and the risk prediction of recidivism are discussed.
International Criminal Justice Review
Causes and Prevention of Crime