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Recidivism: The Great Lie of “Frightening and High”

[oncefallen.com]

Derek W. Logue of OnceFallen.com
January 15, 2018

“In so many instances these individuals should never ever be allowed out for a second chance, they’re ticking time bombs, its not a questions if they a re-offend, it’s a question of when they re-offend.” – Lauren Book, Current FL State Senator and victim industry advocate [1]

“There is a 90 percent likelihood of recidivism for sexual crimes against children. Ninety percent. That is the standard. That is their record. That is the likelihood. Ninety percent.” – Disgraced former Florida senator Mark Foley [2]

“It is a common misconception even today that those who commit crimes are arrogantly breaking the law and deriving a fiendish pleasure from getting away with it. Many people in discussing an offender will assume a hostility not too far removed from the original hostility of the person committing the crime. Thus the old idea of revenge is continued and the possibility of understanding the criminal is kept at a minimum.” — David Abrahamsen [3]

INTRODUCTION

Laws targeting people convicted of sexually-based offenses were justified primarily by a myth that “once a sex offender, always a sex offender,” and that a vast majority of those listed on the public registry will inevitably reoffend. Media personalities, politicians, and victim advocates will repeat this myth. Even the US Supreme Court has propagated this myth. The myth of high offense rates fuel draconian legislation.

What is recidivism? People demand an easy answer to a complex question. Anti-registry advocates recognize the importance of answering this question: “So it is important that these two issues related to re-offense rate that must be dealt with. The first one is; of the people that are on the registry, what is the percentage that are involved in new sexually related crimes, and the second question is, what is the percentage of the people on the registry that are involved in a new sexually related crime in comparison to the ordinary citizen who have never been convicted of a sexually related crime? If in either case, there is a high re-offense rate for people on the registry, than the justification for the law could exist, if not than the justification evaporates.” [4]

This paper is intended to cover this myth and the latest studies that debunk this most dangerous of myths.

Read more

Join the discussion

  1. T

    It seems that people would rather give into all the lies and falsehoods about the “frightening and high” because it’s their comfort zone.

    • ML

      Confirmation bias is a powerful force to be reckoned with. That is largely on what is at work with regard to assertions made by those that write the draconian laws now on the books. This is a very good article with tons of information on factual studies which debunk the “frightening and high” narrative.
      Great job

      • Facts should matter

        Cognitive dissonance along with herd thinking/mentality also!

        “A leopard never changes his spots or a tiger never changes his stripes..”

        It’s radicalized fear mongering rhetoric!!

  2. Q

    I think one of the biggest reasons this myth (has since morphed into an outright lie) stays alive for the majority of the population is that people are too lazy to look and see if what they are being told is in fact true. They are so self absorbed with their own life that it’s more convenient for them if someone tells them what is going on so they don’t have to be bothered reading and searching/researching a subject. They think they are knowledgeable on certain subjects (like the parents that have a couple of kids and watch CNN and think everything reported is fact) but in reality they have fools knowledge. It seems people will believe just about anything they are told except for the truth about people forced to register. The media plays a major role in keeping the “frightening and high” recidivism lie alive. Most of them should be ashamed of themselves, especially the so called investigative journalists and judges.

  3. R M

    Great write up Derek.

  4. Tim Moore

    Derek, you have just demonstrated how far sex offense “science” is behind creating really useful data. A standard should have been set years ago. By now they should have advanced to finding what factors increase recidivism in individuals and what policies work best to prevent sexual crimes both by former offenders but more importantly by new offenders. Isn’t that what this is all about? Prevention. But it is no surprise. It has to be demanded by the public and then funded, and then as with the CASOMB, the information has to be applied. The American public doesn’t want science, they want crime theater.

  5. Eric Knight

    This comprehensively researched, meticulously cited, excellently written paper needs to be disseminated to as many lawyers as possible, and submitted for peer review stature. Well done!

    • TS

      A copy given to Ira Mark Ellman and Tara Ellman for a peer review would be very helpful.

    • kind of living

      why not just have some voodoo doctor chuck some chicken bones to read the future ?

  6. New Person

    Grammatical error:

    Than… means to compare two or more items. Ex. “There are more apples than oranges.”

    Then… means something that occurs after a prior incident. Ex. “If xxx, then yyy.”

    ***
    Article wrote:
    If in either case, there is a high re-offense rate for people on the registry, than[sic] the justification for the law could exist, if not than[sic] the justification evaporates.” [4]
    ***

    The article and research work compiled it great. But the introduction makes me cringe, especially since the intro is only shown, followed by the link. Some people would probably stop seeing the grammatical error at the beginning of reading the article.

    • kind of living

      only those that really don’t care about the stupid ass idea of a registry to begin with , now if they would have added a bunch of smut at the beginning everyone would have read it , and then turned their nose up at any positive findings , the negative force behind this oppressive thing we now call life works kind of like a black hole , if the truly cared anout people they would have been focused on real treatment many years ago , rather that punishment from the gitgo , and wasting resources on laws to further shame , how has that shame thing worked out ? lazy PHD holding losers allow only placebo treatment , while the real treatment could very well be in some real doctors box of wishs he could have the states to listen in the 50’s or 60’s , hell no the state is biz lining their pockets with punishment money , while pointing their fingers , armed with hype , to give the knuckle draggers their favorite pass time going all the way back to the gladiator days , to keep the people entertained while the Gov’t robbed and raped them

  7. Tiered Madness

    I’ve read some of the things that Derek has blogged about regarding the Static-99 “tests.” Like this blog article, Derek has a unique way of expressing some of the fallacies underlying the registry. Also, Derek definitely put much work into the footnotes and references.

  8. mike r

    Another great piece of work by Derek that I will be able to use…

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