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Recidivism among Child Molesters: A Brief Overview.

Keith F. Durkin and Allison Leigh Digianantonio
Ohio Northern University

The sexual abuse of children has received a tremendous amount of attention in recent years.  Accordingly, both the criminal justice and mental health systems deal with child molesters.  Since much of the public concerns revolve around the potential dangerousness of any given child molester, practitioners are frequently responsible for making assessments regarding these risks.  Ideally, this should be based on the research on recidivism.  However, studies on this topic frequently produce conflicting and confusing results.  This paper reviews the relevant literature to summarize the problems facing many recidivism studies.  Considering these limitations, estimates of baseline recidivism rates and risk factors for recidivism are discussed.  

Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 45:249-256
Psychology and Sociology