Decision Making in the Crime Commission Process: Comparing Rapists, Child Molesters, and Victim-Crossover Sex Offenders
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Based on a rational choice approach, this study compares the decision making involved in the crime commission process of rapists (n = 30), child molesters (n = 17), and victim-crossover sex offenders (n = 22). Using a mixed-methods framework and following Clarke and Cornish's decision-making model, the authors organized offenders' narratives collected during semistructured interviews into three major areas: (a) offense planning (i.e., premeditation of the crime, estimation of risk of apprehension by the offender, and forensic awareness of the offender); (b) offense strategies (i.e., use of a weapon, use of restraints, use of a vehicle, and level of force used; and (c) aftermath (i.e., event leading to the end of crime and victim release site location choice). Results emphasize the important role of situational factors and age of the victim on the decision-making process of serial sex offenders. Moreover, results show that because of particular choice-structuring properties, the decision making varies across different groups of serial sex offenders.
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Causes and Prevention of Crime