Adolescent Sex Offenders?

Adult Sex Offenders & Age of Onset
1/3 to 1/2 began offending In adolescence (Prentky et al., 2000)

Juvenile Sex Offenders: Age of Onset
Begin Offending Under Age 12 46% (Burton, 2000)

Rise and Fall of Juvenile Crime 1983 ± 1992 Arrests 

Girls Boys

+85% +50%  

Youth in juvenile facilities +41% ( Children¶s Defense Fund, 1997)

Rise of Juvenile Crime
1980 ± 1994 Arrests Violent crimes Murder +64% +99% (Butts & Travis, 2002)

Fall in Juvenile Violent Crime
Fell 6 years 1994 ± 2000 (Butts & Travis, 2002)

Decline in Juvenile Crime
Violent Crime Murder, rape, robbery aggravated assault -34%

Decline in Juvenile Crime
Arrests 1994 - 2000 Murder Robbery Burglary Rape -68% -51% -33% -25% (Butts & Travis, 2002)

Decline in Violent Crime
2000 Lowest in 20 years (Butts & Travis, 2002)

Decline in Juvenile Crime
Largest of any age group

Increases in Juvenile Crime
Arrests 1994 ± 2000 DUI +54% Liquor Law Violations +33% Drug Abuse +29% (Butts & Travis, 2002)

Decline in Crime 2008
Violent Crime 19991999-2008 Decreased 41%

Decline in Crime 2008
Property Crime 19991999-2008 Decreased 32%

Decline in Crime 2008
Decline in Rape & Sexual Assault 19991999-2008 53%

Adolescents & Violent/Sexual Crime

Age of Onset of Serious Violence
85% of those involved in serious violence by age 27 report that their 1st act occurred between 12 & 20 Peak age of onset 16 Almost no serious violence starts < age 10 & > age 23 (Prentky 2002)

Two Onset ³Trajectories´
Childhood Onset strong link between childhood factors and persistent violence into adulthood Juvenile Onset: most violence begins in adolescence, ends with the transition into adulthood (Prentky, 2002)

Onset of Sexual Offending
Incarcerated adolescents Onset < 12 Onset> 12 Offending < and > age 12 N 48 130 65

Seriousness & complexity of sexual acts more severe for the continuous offenders (Burton, 2000)

Chronic Juvenile Offenders
% of Offenders 6.3% 7.5% % of Crime 52% 61% (Wolfgang¶s 1958)

Juvenile Crime Offenders 8% Crimes 70%

(Beuhring, 2002; Howell, 1995; Beuhring, Kelley et al., 1997)

Genetic Contribution to Violent Behavior
½ Variance in antisocial behavior Due to genetic factors ( Beaver, 2008; Mason & Frick, 1994; Miles & Carey, 1997; Rhee & Wald, 2002)

Interaction of Genes and Environment
Males with low MAOA activity allele (specific gene) + Childhood maltreatment Increased antisocial behavior (Beaver, 2008)

Genetic Contribution to Violent Behavior
½ Variance in antisocial behavior Due to genetic factors ( Beaver, 2008; Mason & Frick, 1994; Miles & Carey, 1997; Rhee & Wald, 2002)

Genetics & Environment Interactive
(Rowe, 2002; Rutter, 2006; Walsh, 2002)

Violence Delinquency Scale 

How many times past 12 months hurt someone badly enough to require medical attention Used a weapon to get something from someone Took part in a group fight (Beaver, 2008)  

Violent Adolescents
3 samples Pretrial Assessment Institutional Assessment Assessment Before Release (Lodewijks et al., 2010)

Protective Factors Adolescent Violent Offenders 

Prosocial involvement Strong social support Strong attachments & bonds Positive attitude towards intervention and authority Strong commitment to school & work Resilient personality (Lodewijks et al., 2010)

Impact of Protective Factors
0 Pretrial Assessment High risk Low risk 40% 12 6% 6 1 or more

(Lodewijks et al., 2010)

Impact of Protective Factors
Institutional Assessment High risk 86 Low risk 44 PrePre-Release High risk Low risk 54 13

78 33 38 3 (Lodewijks et al., 2010)

Which Factors? 

Strong social support Strong attachments to prosocial adults 

Boundaries of Developmentally Normative Sexual Behavior

Normal & Deviant Adolescent Sexual Behavior (Adapted from Dr. Robert Prentky & Dr. William Friedrich)

³Normal´ Normal´ 

Sexually explicit conversations with peers Obscenities and jokes within cultural norm Sexual innuendo, flirting and courtship Interest in erotica Solitary masturbation Hugging, kissing, holding hands Foreplay, (petting, making out, fondling) Mutual masturbation Sexual intercourse with consenting partner* partner*

Deviant Behaviors: Level 1 


High degree of sexual preoccupation and/or anxiety Frequent use of pornography or sex shows Indiscriminate sexual contact with multiple partners Sexually aggressive remarks/obscenities Sexual graffiti (especially sexually aggressive images) Embarrassment of others with sexual remarks or innuendo Violation of others¶ body space Pulling skirts up / pants down Peeping, exposing or frottage with known agemates Obscene gestures or ³mooning´

Deviant Level 1 

Red flags - may signal an abnormally high degree of sexual preoccupation and/or sexually aggressive impulses Some form of intervention may be desirable 

Deviant Behaviors: Level 2 


Compulsive masturbation (especially public) Degradation/humiliation of self or others with sexual overtones Attempting to expose others¶ genitals Chronic preoccupation with sexually aggressive pornography Sexually explicit conversation with young children Sexualized touching without permission
(grabbing, goosing) 

Sexually explicit threats (verbal or written) Obscene phone calls (voyeurism, exhibitionism, frottage)

Deviant Level 2 

Indicate a high degree of sexual preoccupation and/or deviant sexual interests, Require intervention 

Deviant Behaviors: Level 3 

Genital touching without permission (e.g.

Sexual contact with significant age difference
(sexual abuse of children)

Forced sexual contact (any assault having sexual

Forced penetration (vaginal or anal) Sexual contact with animals (bestiality) Genital injury to others

Deviant Level 3 

VictimVictim-involved sexual assault Require intervention 

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment: Impact of Working with Offenders 

N = 200 young offenders of all types Sentence = 2 years Data: Presentence Current offense Previous convictions One meeting (Williams, unpublished)

Risk Assessment: Impact of Working with Offenders 

Data: Original information Experience of working with offenders for previous years (Williams, unpublished)

Risk Assessment: Impact of Working with Offenders

1st Evaluation Moderate correlation with recidivism 2nd Evaluation No outcome with recidivism (Williams, unpublished) 


Doug Epperson

Item 1 Number of Adjudications for Sexual Offenses, including the Current 

One«««««««««««««««0 Two«««««««««««««««1 Three««««««««««««««.2 Four or more«««««««««««.3   

Item 1 

Count the number of formal adjudications for sexual offenses Include attempted sex offenses and conspiracy Record the score and NOT the number of adjudications   

Include all adjudications regardless of the level of the sex offense (misdemeanor or felony) The number of victims or number of discrete events does not count ± simply count the number of adjudications 

Number of Adjudications & Recidivism
No. 1 2 3 4+ N Sex Recidivism

452 6.2% 118 26.3% 37 35.1% 29 41.4 (Epperson, 2005)

Item 2 Number of Different Victims in Charged Sex Offenses, Including Current 

One«««««««««««««««..0 Two«««««««««««««««..1 Three or more «««««««««««2  

Item 2 

Count the number of different victims in charged sex offenses including current Record the score, NOT the number of victims For ³hands-on´ victims, count each distinct ³handsvictim in charged offenses  

Item 2 

For ³hands-off´ exposure offenses ³handsinvolving groups, count only one victim for each offense The number of events, charges or adjudications do not count ± only the number of victims of charged sex offenses 

Item 2 

Do not count victims of self-reported or selfalleged offenses that were not charged

Number of Victims
No. 1 2 3+ N Recidivism 442 6.8% 116 24.1% 78 33.3% (Epperson, 2005)

Item 3 Length of Charged Sex Offending History, Including the Current Charge 

Zero time (only one charge).«««««..0 0.01 to 5.99 months.«««««««««1 6.00 to 11.99 months.««««««««..2 12 months or longer.«««««««««3   

Item 3 

Length of time in months between the date of the first sexual offense CHARGE and the date of the most recent sexual offense CHARGE 8 months & 10 days = 8 months Count the number of full months between the two charges  

Duration of Sex Offense History
Duration 0 months(1 charge) Up to 6 months 6 to 12 months 12 + N 416 144 27 49 Recidivism 5.3% 17.4% 37% 55.1%

Persistence of Offending

Number of adjudications

3. Length of offending history 2. Number of different victims

Factor 2: Antisocial Orientation (Unwillingness or Inability to Follow Rules 12. Number of adjudications for non-sexual nonoffenses 11. Number of education time periods with discipline problems 4. Commission of a charged sexual offense while under court-ordered supervision court10. Placement in special education for any reason

Factor 3: Abuse History / Treatment Needs
9. Number of officially documented physical abuse incidents with JSO as victim 8. Number of officially documented ³hands-on´ ³handssexual abuse incidents with JSO as victim 7. Prior sexual offender specific treatment failures

Factor 4: Risk Taking ??
5. Commission of a charged, felony-level, felony³hands³hands-on´ sexual offense in a public place 6. Use of deception or grooming in any charged sexual offense

Development Sample Utah
All juvenile sex offenders adjudicated 199019901992 N = 636

Development Sample Utah
Baserates Charges Juvenile sexual recidivism Adult sexual recidivism Anytime sexual recidivism

13.2% 9.1 19. 8%

Utah development Sample
Score 0±2 3±4 5±7 8 ± 11 12+ Percent Juvenile Percent Adult Sexual Recidivism Sexual Recidivism 1.0% 6.6% 24.3% 43.1% 81.8%

5.9% 6.6% 7.6% 23.1% 27.3%

Results for Anytime Offending
Risk Level Low Moderate/Low Moderate Moderate/High High Score 0±2 3±4 5±7 8 ± 11 12+ Anytime Recidivists 21/305 17/137 33/107 37/65 18/22 Percent Recidivism 6.9 12.4 30.8 56.9 81.8

Utah Validation Sample
N = 538 boys N = 406 complete data adjudicated sexual offense in 1996 or 1997

Juvenile sexual recidivism base rates
y y

Total sample: 12.8% (69/538) Complete data sample: 12.3% (50/406)

Utah Validation Sample
Score Range 0 1-3 4-7 8+ Recidivist s/ Selected 1/65 27/271 25/137 16/65 Recidivis m Rate 1.5% 10.0% 18.2% 24.6%

Risk Level 1 2 3 4

Iowa Validation Study
N = 366 Adjudicated 1998 ± 2000 Baserate juvenile offending 7.1%

Iowa Validation Sample
Sexual Recidivism Rates Risk Level 1 2 3 Score 0 -1 2±6 7+ Total Sample 0.0% 8.0% 17.9% 12-months at Risk 0.0% 11.1% 33.3% 24-months at Risk 0.0% 16.4% 50.0% 

Systemic changes between 1990-92 and 199019961996-97 and again between the mid 1990¶s and early 2000¶s in the way JSO¶s were charged, adjudicated, and managed Recent discussions with Utah JJS officials confirms that beginning in about 1995 more minor offenses were charged and processed through the juvenile court 


More plea bargaining down to avoid registration and community notification

Bjørkly, Bjørkly, 2009
Table 2 Possible differences between characteristics of violence in Asperger¶s syndrome and psychopathy. Characteristic Sensory reactivity Interpersonal communication Typical violence Reinforcement contingency Relating to violence Psychopathy Hypo Manipulative Proactive Positive Denial Asperger¶s Syndrome Hyper Naïve Reactive Negative Confession

³Findings from these comparisons indicated that there may be substantial differences between the two diagnostic disorders regarding these five criteria.´

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