Hood, Roger, Shute, Stephen, Feilzer, Martina and Wilcox, Aidan (2002) Sex Offenders Emerging from Long-Term Imprisonment. A Study of Their Long-term Reconviction Rates and of Parole Board Members' Judgements of Their Risk. British Journal of Criminology, 42 (2). pp. 371-394. ISSN 0007-0955

This study challenges a number of preconceptions about the risks posed by sex offenders who have been sentenced to long determinate terms of imprisonment: 162 prisoners were followed-up for four years and 94 for six years. The category ‘sexual offender’ was disaggregated in order to examine reconviction rates of offenders against adults as compared with offenders against children, whether in an intra-familial or extra-familial setting, and to explore evidence of ‘specialization’. The study also analysed the extent to which members of the Parole Board, in deliberating on the suitability of these prisoners for parole, correctly identified as ‘high risks’ those who were subsequently reconvicted of a sexual or serious violent crime. These ‘clinical’ predictions were compared with those derived from an actuarial prediction instrument for sex offenders. The findings have implications for both sentencing and parole.

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