Monday, February 24, 2014
It is very apparent from this and other studies that index offense and prior sexual offenses are very poor indicators of the diversity and extent of actual deviant sexual behavior (Weinrott & Saylor, 1991). This is an understood truism for the category of extrafamilial child molester, as it is almost assumed that these offenders have additional victims. However, for incestuous offenders some people in corrections/offender management find this same result surprising or unlikely. Indeed, more than half of our sample with an incestuous index offense admitted to also having non-incestuous victims. Being an incest offender makes one much more likely to be assessed as low-risk to recidivate based on the existing actuarial risk assessment instruments. In some regions (e.g., Canada), the case management decisions following from this are based on the premise that risk and treatment needs are directly related. That is, that an incest offender who is deemed “low risk” is also deemed “low needs” in terms of treatment. Unfortunately, an offender’s need or suitability for treatment is hardly related to their status as an intra or extrafamilial offender. Indeed, it could be argued that an incest offender who maintains a relationship with his family would be in greater need for comprehensive treatment so as to perpetuate the least amount of future harm to an already flawed family system.
Posted by Valigator at Monday, February 24, 2014