The 18-year mystery surrounding the kidnapping case of Jaycee Dugard ended this week when a sex offender admitted to correction authorities that he abducted her.
Dugard was 11-years-old when she was snatched from the street in front of her house in 1991. She had two children with the man accused of taking her and since her kidnapping she has lived in her alleged abductor’s backyard, in a shed. All of this played out in a residential neighborhood.
All of this got us thinking – what are the recidivism rates for sex offenders? We found this report released a few years ago by the Department of Justice. It is a study based on convicted sex offenders who were released from prison in 1994.
Here are some of the findings from the study:
– Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. If all crimes are included, 43 percent of sex offenders were rearrested for various offenses.
– Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders. But sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.
Click here for the full report.°
Lets get the facts straight and report the other side of the story. The majority of sex offenders are the least likely to reoffend with another sex crime. Especially when you have taken a registry meant to protect children from violent sexual preadators and include teen having consensual sex, public urination, mooning and those who have never hurt a child or in some cases their is NO VICITM.
Everyday thousands are being added to the registry for life and there will come a point when no amount of law enforcement will be able to monitor these offenders.
Don't blame law enforcement for not discovering this horrific tale. The laws need to be changed so that law enforcement can adequately monitor those who pose a serious threat to our children like this man. Instead, we have them checking up on teens who made bad choices. visit: reformsexoffenderlaws.org
Nicely put, Midwest Dad. I agree wholeheartedly.
Jim wrote, "I have read the available information on the rate of recidivism of Sex Offenders concluding that there is no rehab for this type of criminal. "
If you have really read that information, you would see that there IS rehabilitation for sex offenders. The US, Canada, and Britain have all done studies which show that sex offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rate of any class of offender. Just because this one NUT does something like this extra-ordinary crime doesn't mean people should paint all SO's with the same brush. I am sorry that your child was injured, but this guy's offense was far different than your average sex crime.
Drug dealers re-offend far more often than people who collect child porn or fondle a child. With mandatory sex offender treatment after prison, the rate falls even more. This guy very likely never received any type of treatment. The bottom line is, he is obviously mentally ill. He did indeed create great harm in this girl, her children by him, and her family and should be locked in a mental health facility for many, many years. However, the majority of SO's are not like him.
Believe it, subtract 5.3 from 100 and you have 94.7% of people once convicted of a sex offense that by the way would not necessarily involve molestation or rape, or child porn, do not for the most part repeat their offense. Yes, you do hear what seems to be a lot of sex offender cases on television these days, but in actuality you do not. What you hear are horrific instances of sex offenses. Upward of 20 to 30% of people forced to carry the label of sex offender never molested anyone, child or adult, and yet they are made to wear the same label that the habitual and psychotic sex offender wear.
Most of you don't know and don't care to know the people that are forced to bare the label of sex offender, many whom committed no sexual assault against anyone, nor have attempted to do so. It takes a certain type of person to physically harm another person, even emotionally harm another person.
The mother who allows her daughter or sons who may not be of age have sex. This is not a sex offender; this is a stupid mom or dad. The exhibitionist typically and normally is not a molester or rapist. Their compulsion is showing off, and they can learn not to do it again. The teenagers separated by a few years are not in anyone's reasonable mind molesters or rapists, and there are a slew of other people, even those who weren't able to defend themselves adequately. All that most of you can see through my-optic eyes is that anyone labeled a sex offender MUST be a molester, rapist, or sexual predator, and that simply is not true.
This hang-up that many of you have on REPEAT offender is not analogous to molestation, rape, or sexual predation. Like anyone who has a compulsion or addiction there may be a repeat until the therapist and person who REALLY WANTS TO CHANGE changes and many do, and never commit anything that resembles a sex offense.
The horrific cases are indeed horrific but they do not tell of all the people day after day who never thought they would become a sex offender or be labeled as such, who do become labeled because of some mindless or stupid thing they did and some irate person decides to get even, or gets upset beyond measure.
I am defending the fact that not everyone forced to bare the label of sex offender is not a child molester, rapist, or sexual predator, nor are they persons involved in child porn, or soliciting children on the Internet, but there are those who do, and unfortunately, you good folks won't demand of your legislators to make laws targeting these egregious people who do molest, rape, and time and time again do perform sexual predation. The later are the people you need to focus on and ask why? Why are these habitual molesters, rapists, and sexual predators still on the streets? Think about it people. Look beyond the surface and look deep, lest you are afraid of what you will find.
He should be shot painlessly in the back of the head.
It's important to make the distinction between people like Mr Garrido, a violent, contact offender, and the hundreds of thousands of others who appear on sex offender registries across the country, who have never assaulted a child, or even touched a child. Cases like this one are extremely rare, but receive a tremendous amount of publicity. Violent predators are also extremely rare, yet we treat everyone convicted of a sexually related offense the exact same way that a violent offender such as Mr. Garrido will be treated. A non-violent offender is publicly shamed, monitored for life, cast aside with little chance for employment or redemption. Politicians have used the primal fear that these handful of cases evoke to pass laws which have destroyed millions of lives; not just the lives of the convicted, but the lives of their families, their spouses, their children. Yet there is not a single shred of evidence that these laws have prevented even one instance of abuse. This case is proof positive of that fact. Mr Garrido was monitored by GPS. He was a registered sex offender. He was visited by parole officers and sheriff's deputies, yet for 18 years he was holding a hostage in his backyard. Garrido was lost in the clutter of the tens of thousands who appear on the CA sex offender registry, yet present no danger to the public. Recently in Georgia, the state Sex Offender Management Board estimated that 10% of those who appeared on the state sex offender registry posed an actual threat to the community. Fully two thirds of those who appeared, presented absolutely no danger to the public. The remainder fell somewhere in between. Yet state law requires that the two thirds be monitored just as closely as the most dangerous 10%. Every state across the nation is faced with a similar situation, resources strained to the limits to keep track of people who will never offend again and present no danger to the public.
5.3% recidivism is extremely low, when compared to virtually any other type of criminal offender. There is not a law on the books that can prevent a crime, or protect a child. They are there to punish those who have already committed an offense. Yet we still buy into the hype that these laws are passed to "protect the children", making restrictions ever harsher on those convicted of any sexually related offense, ruining countless lives, and never considering the actual danger presented to the community by any given individual. These laws that paint everyone with the same broad brush strokes are popular with politicians, who can piously claim they are protecting our children, but they are destroying an entire generation of Americans.
How many children die from gang violence? How many wreckless driving incididents cause children to die or suffer? Domestic violence? Children being slapped around and beaten... it's a huge problem in America. If we want to protect our children, let's focus not just on one "group" of people that seem to be lumped together and labeled as dangerous to children.
Let's also pay close attention to domestic violence and other issues.
What about drugs? These harm children too. Suggestive clothing? That's a huge problem. Why doesn't the media come down on clothing manufacturers and stores that sell these types of things?
Does your child have a problem with self esteem? Do you even know what's going on in your child's life? Especially if they are a teen. Too much pressure in schools about sex and social importances and little to do with actually acedemic resposibilities... it's no wonder things are all screwed up in society.
I guess nobody remembers prohibition. They taught it in history, but you were probably too busy thinking about some underage chick. If you were girl, you were probably thinking how hot that teacher was. Wake up, society... (ESPECIALLY most of the media), it's time we realize that humans that act like humans are still humans. Crimes only exist because of laws.. and most laws had good intentions.. but lawmakers don't understand the negative impacts. General media doesn't help matters by skewing facts and using fear mongering.
You have 7 billion people on the planet, there are some who will do the unthinkable.
That’s not a smart thing to say, John Evans, as vigilante violence will land you in prison. Chances are he won’t ever be released for his crimes, deservedly so.
On to why I’m here. I’m amazed CNN is indeed capable of giving correct statistics for a change. Recidivism rates amongst registrants are low, as evidenced by multiple studies. Other long term studies have found equally low rates among release registrants.
I’d like to also point out there are many on the registry for relatively minor offenses. While cases like Jaycee’s are heartbreaking, they are also ultra-rare. And the fact is you are more likely to be targeted by someone you know than by a stranger, and far more likely to be someone NOT on the registry.
Annie Cate, for every high profile case out there, there are other cases where the act was committed by someone NOT on the list. Remember the Hayleigh Cummings case? Nancy Grace was downplaying this mystery sex offender from two states away, but it looks like the girl’s babysitter, a female not on the list, is becoming the likely culprit. Or Sandra Cantu, who was killed by her Sunday school teacher, also not on the registry. The Runaway Bride case, anyone? The Duke Lacrosse case?
For far too long, we’ve based laws on emotions in response to high profile tragedies. We need to base our laws on what works rather than on what feels good. Anything less are sugar pills to cancer patients.
The statistics arent as bad as I thought they would be.
RE: " The 9,691 released sex offenders included 4,295 men who were in prison for child molesting" The 4295 men that molested children: I want you dead. Just dead. No backsies, no whining, no 'you got the wrong guy'– you die. To my way of thinking: there should never be a term called "REPEAT OFFENDER"
Of course, I realize there must be some kind of foolproof way of id-ing the ones that molested the kids the FIRST time.
No one has the right to invade a childs innocence and destroy part of our future. Child molestation should be punishable with death. No second chances. One touch, youre out.
BOB: There were serious methodological problems with the CA study of parolees mentioned above, which is why, at least in part, it has not been released or published. MIDWEST DAD: Any studies reporting rates of 3.5 percent are unusual and, if they even exist, likely followed a highly select group of sex offenders for a very short period, likely no more than 1 year. --- The best research on the issue of DETECTED sexual reoffending by known sex offenders is a meta-analysis from 1996, which analyzed data on over 20,000 sex offenders. That study reported that about 14% of sex offenders were convicted of a new sex offense in a follow-up period that averaged 5 years. Unfortunately, there are no studies that can directly measure ACTUAL recidivism rates because it is well-known that many sex offenses are never even reported to law enforcement. Also, beware of studies with short follow-up periods, as it is not unusual for sex offenders to get caught many years after their last known sex offense. Lastly, the offenders with the lowest rates of detected recidivism are those who have no male victims, have only biologically related victims (incest only), have very short rap sheets, are age 60 or older, have only one sex offense detection in their lifetime, and have lived in the community for the past 5 years or longer without any arrests for a serious, violent, or sexual crime. There is tremendous diversity in sex offenders - avoid assumptions of similarity based largely on a shared label ("sex offender," "sex predator").
Jeff Toobin said on AC360 Friday night that sex offenders have the highest recidivism rate of all crime offenders. In fact, the evidence is that they have the LOWEST rate of all major crimes. The US Govt DOJ report, posted at the site, said the same thing on p. 2:
"Compared to non-sex offenders released from State prison, sex offenders had a lower overall rearrest rate."
If we can't even tell "highest" from "lowest," or don't care about the difference, no wonder out policy of this issue seems so ineffective to deal with the problem.
But memo to Mr. Toobin, get this one right.
repeat offenders only repeat because of the failures of correctional facilities not placing an importance on crime + conviction = correct placement of the offender. what i mean is, in california the department of corrections policy is to place all sex offenders in one of two places, they are generally placed in protective custody or on a level one yard. this is done to insure their safety from other inmates. protective custody costs much more than general population due to added security, level one yards are filled with short timers(2 years or less left on the sentence) so the danger of the sex offender getting hurt or killed is not there. because the short timers just want to go home. but what the general public is unaware is that it is easy to do your time on a level one yard. lets take California Training Facility Soledad, California as an example, level one consists of a 18 hole putters coarse, a boxing ring, a very large and well equipped weight pile, double rations of food, and a job that pays .30 to 1.00 an hour plus you are allowed to get more commencary goods. this is meant to be a reward for the inmates that have proven to be rehabilitatable. so what we are telling these animals that prey upon our children is "molest a child and live high on the hog". this is disgusting and needs to be changed. it should be " molest a child and fear for your life". these animals need to be placed on a level four yard with the rest of the violent offenders(murders,rapists,ect.). there safety and well being is not my concern nor anyone else. if we want to curve repeat offenders shouldn't they do hard time? shouldn't they fear waking up everyday? our children do, they didn't care about what they were doing to our children so why should we care about them. if it is known that if you molest a child you are gonna do time with individuals on a level four yard that are gonna make life behind bars very unpleasant(even though the other inmates are convicts there is a select group that do believe molest a child and you are through,done,game over). i think that if the corrections departments adopt this way of thinking most if not all molestation cases will not exsist. we don't need a court to impose the death penalty just let the animals take care of them selves. but it is all about revenue if a sex offender meets his demise in general population on a level four yard the state won't get paid. they don't care about your child mental state or god forbid their life its a money thing. all i can say is scream foul to the media, politicians, and special interest groups and demand that correct placement for the level of the offender. put pressure on them, make them change current policy. no more free rides, no more easy jail time, no more molestation.
This goes for the cases on record. What about the cases that dont ever get reported? These are usually the ones that occur within the family household, and charges are often never filed.
And what about these women accomplices who are just as guilty?
DawnL,CA August 28th, 2009 6:58 pm ET
If this post proves anything, it is that sex offenders should spend their life in prison-no parole.
YES YES YES It proves the registry does not work. The studys out there prove that these registry do not work. NO registry will keep a real VIOLENT,FORCIBLE,STRANGER DANGER predator from not re-offending. If it was not for the Hype of these very rare cases most people would not even pay any attention. I although disagree with the accused saying the story will be "Heartwarming" Keeping someone put away against their will is not heartwarming.
Jeffery Toobin misspoke when he said that sex offenders have the highest recidivism of all prison inmates. It is something that is also commonly believed by most people. The correct statistic for sex offenders is about 13%. Recidivism is based on re-incarceration, not arrest for any offense. Therefore, his response should have been "sex offenders have a lower recidivism rate compared to the general criminal population (40%).
Dr. Dave Agresti,
Professor Criminology (retired)
Dear Jim –
I am the daughter of a man who "took the law in his own hands". The case happened in the 1950's but it can be found on Findlaw (I won't post to protect family member's with the same last name).
He was charged with manslaughter for beating the man to death with his bare fists.
Do you think that, as his daughter, I admire what he did? That I am proud my father took the life of another human being ?
I hate to disappoint you, but the answer is "no". I do not wish the burden of another person's death to be on MY shoulders.
Cases like this are beyond rare. As shocking and horrible as it is –it is RARE.
We are told to be afraid, to watch and spy on our neighbors, to be on the alert for this behavior.
I think my chances of being abducted by aliens is far greater.
I pray for the day this hysteria ends, but it is always soon replaced by another...
my comment is if arent part of the bluewall community,a/e fire dept,paramedic,or cop ,and or have no disposible income they will hardly look past the first page of a case
We need tougher laws!!!!
This needs to be investigated to the fullest extent. I believe there is an intricate underground world of child trafficing in America that is being hidden by higher authorities and your government is aware.
They must be monitored their entire life. Look at the disaster this has done to this young lady and now her children. Child molesters are ALWAYS A DANGER. They are never cured. I have worked with them in a treatment facility for years. THEY ARE NEVER CURED. Why didn't the police check out his home ever? Disgusting.
Kudos to Anderson Cooper for having the brains and guts to publish this information in the age of sex offender hysteria. Also Kudos to Linda (comments) who cites very accurate information. I might also point out that the 68% who are returned to prison are for technical parole violations. California loves to incarcerate and then return people for technical violations of parole. This one incident will be turned into a circus while very few news people will have to guts to report the truth and no one will make a big deal of the thousands of sex offenders who never reoffend.
As for killing all of them, well heck why not apply that to burglars, drunk drivers, thiefs, assaults, domestic violence and on and on. Lets all get guns and just start shooting each other, surely that will solve every problem we have.
This is a horrifying story. The sad reality is there could be stories like this in every state. Law enforcement needs to be proactive in their supervision of sex offenders. How does a property with multiple tents in a fenced-in backyard go unnoticed for 18 years?
All of the police who did such a bad job on this should lose their jobs right NOW
They do not deserve a second chance to mess up again .
Thank you for bringing this matter out in the open. I have been trying to argue this point to many lawmakers and media. It is because of the stories heard like this young girl's/lady, that people are so fast to convict anyone with sex offender charges. I know, my son at 18 was convicted as a sex offender due to a video his girl friend gave him for his 18th birthday present. A month later, he was arrested. He now has to serve 8 years in DOC and a lifetime on the registry. I really think that if the law would look at the individual person, instead of the charges, the registry would not be so big! Then we would all know who the real pedophiles are, instead of the violent offenders hiding among our teens that are convicted and on the registry. As it is now, we have no way of knowing who the truly dangerous offenders are or which one just got caught having consensual teenage sex. I agree, the law needs reform and the true pedophiles need the key thrown away! I believe ALL children need protection, including our teenagers facing convictions. Perhaps the recidivism rate is so low because of the amount of wrongful convictions? It's worth thinking about!
From the U.S. Department of Justice.
* Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%),
motor vehicle thieves (78.8%),
those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
* Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape,
and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.
I'd put the link in but they don't get approved with links. Sorry
The only thing this case proves is that law enforcement needs to pay more attention to high risk offenders instead of spreading their resources so thin on the masses who do not reoffend.
The reason it seems like more than 5.3% reoffend is because this 5.3% makes up nearly 100% of the news stories you see. The thousands and thousands of stories of first time offenders with crimes that didn't leave the family or teenagers having sex with other teenagers don't make the evening news. No one talks about the thousands of ex offenders out there that are truly sorry for their crimes, undergo therapy and never re-offend.
Fear mongering makes money for the networks and there's nothing to fear from most ex offenders.
I am very grateful Anderson is reporting the facts and not the bogus "statistics" most news organizations and politicians cite. Politicians use them as sound bites, and if I am not mistaken, many of their quotes come from an old 1980's study, but many new studies on my "Sex Offender Issues" blog, show that cases like this are RARE, and most sex offenders do not reoffend.
But, if you tell a lie long enough, it will eventually be believed, and this is exactly what is being believed now, lies.
I have many studies documented on my blog, that show recidivism is low among sex offenders, not high.
Also, vigilantism is on the rise, and I have TONS of cases documented on my blog as well. Ex-sex offenders are being murdered, beaten, their homes set on fire, and property vandalized, and in many cases, an innocent person is harmed or killed.
The media needs to start looking at ALL sides of the issues, and reporting facts, not bogus sound bites.
Thank you Anderson, for not following the bandwagon!
The reason the rates "seem" to be high is that a few high profile cases a year seem to pre-occupy the more sensationalistic newscasters (ie Nancy Disgrace).
I am a registered sex offender. 16 years ago I slept with a 16 year old girl, I was 20. It would be very easy to say burn me, hang me etc. But i remain close friends with my "victim", her and I talk frequently despite several hundred miles between us.
The laws went into effect AFTER my release and I have not had any legal problems since. 16 years. I am required to register for life becuase of something i did 16 years ago. When is enough enough? When will you idiots who pass these laws that paint eveyone with the same brush get off my back?
I struggle like everyone else, but in addition to all the same problems you have, i have residency restrictions, public humiliation and a constant worry about one of you troglodytes burning down my house because you think you know something about me.
I ask you this, what happens when you push 680,000 sex offenders to the breaking point? I don't know either, but it seems to me that bullying around close to 700,00 people, most who have seen the inside of a prison, is not the wisest idea.
An official California study done by casomb.org entitled "RECIDIVISM OF PAROLED SEX OFFENDERS – A TEN (10) YEAR STUDY" found a 3.38% sex offense recidivism rate after 10 years.
I am glad that she has been found alive. Too many times these things turn out the other way.
As for Annie Kate comment. “It sure seems like more than 5.3 percent of sex offenders do it again”
It may seem that way because high profile cases get so much attention. I have seen studies that put the rate as low as 3.5% and with treatment as low as 1%. The problem is that the registry as it is now is not protecting anyone. 674,000 registered offenders to watch over with the numbers growing every day.
Risk assessment tools would help everyone. Since the majority of registered offenders are not going to reoffend (Proven by studies), it would be nice to know who the truly dangerous are. Let’s get rid of the others from the registry so parents can concentrate on the ones who pose the greatest threat; such as this nut job. Then use the money to keep closer watch on them.
In addition, for someone like this who has done this before, put him away for good!
But we should not punish others who are not reoffending. Punish the person responsible, not the whole group because of guilt by association.
We need balance here. Only through balance can we use limited funds to make a real difference.
Yes, these type of crimes are rare indeed. It's because of the high media attention that we go into hysterics thinking all sex offenders are alike.
To my mind, this shows the utter failure of the Adam Walsh Act, Jessica's Law and Megan's Law. They are a total waste of hundreds of millions of California tax payers dollars.
Most sex offenders are just like our dads, uncles and friends of the family because 90 percent of all new sex crimes come from this category and are not on any registry because they have never been caught or convicted. Yet, that 94.7% of first time offenders never repeat another sex offense.
If we could pay special attention to:
1. The REPEAT offender
2. The Violent offender
2 The offender who DID NOT KNOW their victim,
I believe, Phillip Garrido falls into all three category's.
This is the fault of our law makers who incite the population for votes and the entertainment news media for ratings. There has NOT been one iota of "evidence based research" go into these "feel good" knee jerk laws.
Believe it or not, children are safer walking down the street than in their own homes.
I never realized that the odds of someone released on parole had a 68% of being arrested again. Since that's just the ones that get caught, it seems that the real rate of repeats is going to be way north of 75%. This makes an good argument to either make more sentences for life, or impose the death penalty more often or both.
It sure seems like more than 5.3 percent of sex offenders do it again – a lot of times one reads or hears of an attack on a child by a sex offender that hasn't been back in society very long. Jaycee's story fits right in with this with one exception – she got out alive. Most don't.
Having two daughters that have been hurt, I have but only one issue to raise.
When will fathers take the law into their own hands?
Leave the police, prosecutors and the well meaning out of the conversation and out of the room when Dads seek revenge for crimes against their innocent children.
My daughters assailant faced 355 years and received only 7. I have read the available information on the rate of recidivism of Sex Offenders concluding that there is no rehab for this type of criminal. Prison is not the place to be rehabilitated for a sex crime. (or for any crime for that matter)
If he is released, I will be waiting for him.
No other child needs to be hurt. Especially one of mine, again.
I am a resident of South Lake Tahoe. I am so pleased that Jaycee has been found. Her abduction left a permaninent mark on our small town. She was NEVER forgotten. I am outraged that this man was never considered as a suspect in Jaycee's disapearance. He kidnapped a young woman from South Lake in 1971. He had been released from jail in Nevada only two years before she was taken. And, he owned a car matching the description of the vehicle that Jaycee's was taken from. There can't have been oo many woman abducted from ths small town. I also find myself wondering why El Dorado County is handling this investigation. Doesn't the FBI handle missing and exploited children? Thank you for handling this case with kindness and sensitivity.
The best thing for the courts to do is to let Garrido bond out. This would save us tax payers alot of money and insure swift justice. I lived just a couple of blocks from where Jaycee was abducted , the whole community was shocked beyond belief. My heart goes out to Jaycee and the whole Dugard family.
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