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General News

The Promise (and Perils) of Predicting Sex Crimes

Attorney-General Eric Holder’s August 1 speech criticizing the use of risk assessment in sentencing decisions may not lever the issue to the top of the policy agenda. But a new paper could revive the debate about the effectiveness of risk tools in evaluating the chances of recidivism among those convicted of sex crimes.

A forthcoming article in the Arizona State Law Journal argues that state criminal justice systems which use risk assessment tools may overestimate sex offenders’ likelihood of committing another crime. That message may complicate the efforts of those who advocate reform of sex offender policies. A key goal of reformers is to have states use actuarial risk assessments to classify offenders, instead of basing risk levels on their crime of conviction, as required by the 2006 federal Adam Walsh Act. Full Article

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  1. Q

    Of course the state criminal justice systems overestimate sex offenders’ likelihood of committing another crime. They have a ve$ted intere$t. All they have to do is look at the numbers; the numbers don’t lie. But then again this is just another group of people so self deluded they think they can predict the future. All this risk assessment crap is just another aspect of the sex offender lie which $o many wi$h to keep alive.

  2. Jim

    So if a person is placed at a higher risk then he or she should be, goe’s many years without any kind of infration, couldn’t they counter sue for defmation of charecter?????

  3. td777

    If you think about it, isn’t this what all the internet crimes included in Jessica’s Law are all about? Look at the wording of P.C. 388.3…”Every person who contacts or communicates with a minor, or attempts to contact or communicate with a minor, who knows or reasonably should know that the person is a minor, with intent to commit an offense.”

    And here’s one for you: to know something implies fact. You cannot “know” something if it is not true, you can only believe it. According to the letter of the law, convicting someone caught in a sting using this penal code is a completely bogus conviction. In fact, most of the penal codes concerning internet crimes has similar wording, yet these are always used for those caught up in the internet stings.

  4. ab

    What a load of crap. This is not about predicting sex crimes. It’s about predicting sex crimes a second, third, fourth, and so on time. Look I could care less what someone might do again. Because if they do the same thing or something similar clearly whatever the cause(s) were the first time were not properly addressed and that failure says more about flaws in the process than with an individual.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. Crime prevention must happen on the front end prior to the possibility of a crime happening. Say a forty year old women murderers someone. I am someone who believes something set her down a path that led to her becoming a murderer. That something could have happened when the woman was five years old. Rather than saying person 1 did X and now could be in A,B,C risky situations, I want to have someone say person 1 could in 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50+ years be at risk of (insert health risks, possible social/environmental risks based on current circumstances) and then make adjustments over the years leading him or her away from negative stuff before that stuff has any chance of having a lasting impact.

  5. turtle

    EGO-FEAR-CONTROL……………. That is all this really comes down to 🙁

  6. Tim

    http://drgabormate.com/book/in-the-realm-of-hungry-ghosts/
    Dr. Gabor Mate presents the case that addictions leading to criminal behavior are influenced by events affecting the early development of the brain, and by studying the issue from a medical viewpoint, he offers hope that people plagued with anti social addiction can and do change. My summary, judge for yourself.
    Assuming a human brain can be studied like any other natural system, the human brain is much more complex than a weather system. Using super computers, meteorologists can’t be very accurate beyond more than a day or two. How than can an evaluator predict what a former offender is going to do 10 or 20 years in the future?
    Our Constitution, a product of centuries of trial and error, recognizes the right of individuals to redeem themselves.
    Without this complexity in our natures, the ability to create chaos and order, to do things that are unpredictable, we would still be living in caves.
    Using the insurance model is basically unfair. It means that some who never re -offend will be punished for the tendencies of a demographic, unless the identification of risk is used instead for humanitarian reasons, to help those people suffering from their addictions to lead a more peaceful life.

    • Q

      Tim:

      ” Using super computers, meteorologists can’t be very accurate beyond more than a day or two. How than can an evaluator predict what a former offender is going to do 10 or 20 years in the future?”

      OK; I’ll tell ya how an evaluator can predict what a former offender is going to do 10 or 20 years in the future; they can’t, it’s BS. It’s impossible. These clowns are a step below a witch doctor. These people are the biggest load of crap in the whole offender lie. They are frauds and anyone that co-signs this trash by believing it is not very smart, in fact fools.

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