In a recent article posted here, the static-99 (an actuarial assessment instrument) developers are embracing retention and have posted a new report that sex offender risk plunges over time and the community. This is something that has been widely recognized for a long period of time, with many studies pointing this out. It would appear that the Static 99 developers are trying to deflect criticism of their program by admitting things that studies have been proving for the past decade. It seems a little late on their part to admit the obvious.
The Static 99 evaluation has played a key part in the sentencing phase of the criminal justice system. Not to mention that it is also played a large role in deciding rather somebody should be committed after their prison time is up to a mental institution. Now they are saying “whoops, sorry we made a few mistakes”.
It seems to me that the clinicians are still trying to get across that people convicted of sex crimes have a high re-offense rate which just is not the case. In fact in a recent study done for the Nebraska Legislature (Nebraska sex offender registry study) that looked at all the people who had been convicted of sex crimes in Nebraska they found a real offense rate of 6/10 of one percent per year. Most of you will remember the Department of Justice study that was done in 1997 looking at prisoners released in 1994, they came up with the re-offense rate of 3.5% for the worst of the worst. But there was a table missing (Missing Table From Report NCJ 198251 (Exhibit 6F) Exhibit 4) that showed the percentage that sex offenders were involved in new sex crimes during that time in those states in the study that showed that the general public (or non-sex offenders) was responsible for 187,132 new cases, or 99.973% of the new sex crimes reported in that time period. So to say that “risk of committing a new sexual crime may become indistinguishable from the risk presented by non-sexual offenders”, this is actually so far off base it isn’t even funny. The general public is way more likely to be involved in the new sex crime then a person on the registry.