Recidivism (Re-Offense) Rates for Registered Sex Offenders

National U.S. Recidivism (Re-Offense) Rates for Criminal Offenses, 3 years After Release 
1.         Vehicle Thefts, 78.8%*
2.        Selling stolen property, 77.4%*
3.        Burglary, 74%*
4.        Larceny, 74.6%*
5.        Possessing stolen weapons, 70.2%*
6.        Robbery, 70.2%*
7.         Domestic Battery, 41%**
8.        Drugs, 27%*
9.        Rape 2.5%* / Sexual Assault or Rape 5.3%**
10.    Murder 1.2%* 

"Sex Offenders" are the second lowest (#9) re-offense group in the U.S. contrary to what State and Federal Politicians, Victim’s Groups and the media have shouted from the mountain tops for the last 20+ years. 

*   - 2002 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics         **   - 2003 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
** - 2000 Edward Gondolf, Reassault at 30-Months after Batterer Program Intake, 44 Int'l J. of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Unable to locate National Recidivism Rates for:

§         Aggravated Assault
§         Animal Abuse
§         Arson§         Bribery§         Child Pornography: Production, Possession or Dissemination 
§         Counterfeiting/Forgery
§         DUI/DWI
§         Elder Abuse
§         Embezzlement
§         Extortion/Blackmail
§         Fraud
§         Gangs
§         Kidnapping/Abduction
§         Online Solicitation of a Minor
§         Simple Assault
§         Stalking
§         Vandalism 

Factors Affecting Recidivism Rates:

I- Ability to Secure Employment to Provide for Family
·        Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) are they only subset of Virginians who have legal statutes prohibiting/criminalizing employment
v      “Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders are ineligible from being licensed to teach children or operate a daycare.
v      Per  § 18.2-370.4. offenders are prohibited from working on school property or to work on daycare property in Virginia.
v      “Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders are ineligible from being licensed to operate a tow-truck in Virginia.
v      "Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders with Commercial Drivers Licenses must carry a Type-P Commercial Drivers License. This type of license prohibits RSO’s from driving a school bus or a commercial vehicle that is chartering a school or daycare group/activity.
v      “Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders can not hold any public office of honor, profit, or trust in the Commonwealth. Anyone who is required to register shall forfeit any office or post and even a full-pardon will not allow the person to return to public service. This is known as the “Ed Barber Law”.
v      “Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders are ineligible from being licensed as a Bail Enforcement Agent Virginia.
v      “Non-Violent” and “Violent” offenders are ineligible from becoming any type of law-enforcement officer in any locality of the Commonwealth.
·        RSO’s best option is to be self-employed but they are legally prohibited from applying for Small Business Loans.
·        Employers in are legally allowed to reject RSO’s who meet every requirement of the position because of their conviction OR because their employer/company name and address will be posted on the VSP Registry for their customers and clients to see.
·        As of 2014 RSO’s are legally prohibited from applying for SNAP Benefits (Food Stamps) 
II- Ability to Secure Housing
·        Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) are legally prohibited from Section 8/HUD Housing
·        Only 2 Virginia-DOC Halfway Houses accept RSO’s and local television news stations regularly run stories about those facilities creating hostile situations
·        Landlords in Virginia are legally allowed to reject or evict RSO’s and their families for no reason other than their registry post
·        RSO’s are they only subset of Virginians who have legal statutes prohibiting a portion of them from residing within 500 ft. of a school or daycare
·        Most homeless shelters are allowed (and most do) to not accept RSO’s forcing many families to fracture 
III- Support of Family and Friends, including the Ability to Participate in Social Events 
·        Virginia Department of Social Services (VADSS) in many cases has forced the spouse to leave the Registered Sex Offender (RSO’s) to retain custody of the children (who were not victimized) or to lose custody of the children if the spouse attempts to keep the family together under the same roof.
·        VADSS in many cases has forced parents to kick out their child (who is an RSO) to retain custody of their other children (who were not victimized) or they will lose custody of the non-RSO children if the parent(s) attempts to keep the family unit together under the same roof.
·        RSO’s are they only subset of Virginians who have legal statutes prohibiting their ability to drop-off or pick-up their own children from school or daycare facilities, forcing their spouse to take on the full responsibility of all drop-offs and pick-ups no matter what their work schedule or  transportation abilities might be.
·        RSO’s are they only subset of Virginians who have legal statutes prohibiting them from attending their own children’s sporting events, choir or band contests, award ceremonies and graduations both on OR off school property 
IV- Ability to Worship with Congregation
·        The Virginia statute that prohibits Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) from being on the property of a daycare facility makes attending church, temple or mosque services a big question mark. After 5 years of asking Virginia lawmakers (many who are also attorneys) “can RSO’s worship in Virginia” not one has been willing to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Resulting in most RSO’s not worshiping or joining a congregation because they fear being charged with a felony.
·        RSO’s are they only subset of Virginians that some churches have created policies and agreements that must be signed ahead of time so they can worship under strict scrutiny 
V- Ability to Complete Education
·         Some Virginia School Districts allow a student, who is a Registered Sex Offender (RSO) to return to school to complete their education, but many districts refuse. Preventing juveniles and 18 year olds from ever earning a diploma.
·         Most Virginia Colleges and Universities have policies prohibiting RSO’s from becoming part-time or full-time students even if housing is not needed, no exceptions. The Commonwealth is denying citizens access to a higher education based solely on their requirement to register. This barrier significantly limits an RSO’s employment options and earning potential. This is not administrative, this is punitive!

Studies and Reports on Recidivism: 
·        U.S. Department of Justice: A Multi-State Recidivism Study Using Static-99R and Static-2002 Risk Scores and Tier Guidelines from the Adam Walsh Act by Kristen M. Zgoba, Michael Miner, Raymond Knight, Elizabeth Letourneau, Jill Levenson and David Thornton, November 2012
·        Inevitable Recidivism: The Origin and Centrality of an Urban Legend by Tamara Rice Lave, September 2012
·        Justice Center Council of State Governments: States Report Reductions in Recidivism, September 2012
·        Preventing Sex-Offender Recidivism Through Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approaches and Specialized Community Integration by Heather Cucolo and Michael L. Perlin, July 2012
·        Failure-to-Register Laws and Public Safety: An Examination of Risk Factors and Sex Offense Recidivism by Offense Recidivism by Levenson, Sandler and Freeman, April 2012
·        National Institute of Justice: Sex Offender Risk and Recidivism in Florida Jill S. Levenson, 2012
·        Ten-Step Guide to Transforming Probation Departments to Reduce Recidivism: The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, August 2011
·        Pew Center: State of Recidivism The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons, April 2011
·        Sexual Offender Laws and Prevention of Sexual Violence or Recidivism by Kelly K. Bonnar-Kidd, March 2010
·        Failure to Register: An Empirical Analysis of Sex Offense Recidivism, by Jill Levenson, April 2009
·        Justice Research and Statistics Association- Improving State Criminal History Records: Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released in 2001, November 2009
Virginia was unable to obtain and analyze their state’s criminal history records to participate in the study
·        Residential Proximity to Schools and Daycare Centers: Influence on Sex Offense Recidivism, An Empirical Analysis by Jill Levenson, Ph.D., December 2008
·        Effectiveness of Residence Restrictions in Preventing Sex Offense Recidivism by Matt R. Nobles, Jill S. Levenson and Tasha J. Youstin, November 2008
·        Making Sense out of Nonsense: The Deconstruction of State-Level Sex Offender Residence Restrictions by Michelle L. Meloy, Susan L. Miller and Kristin M. Curtis, October 2008
·        Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior? by J.J. Prescott and Jonah E. Rockoff, February 2008
·        The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence? by Hollida Wakefield Institute for Psychological Therapies, 2006
·        Juvenile Sex Offender Recidivism Rates in Virginia: 10 Year Follow-Up, July 2005

Virginia Executive Summary Adult Re-entry Initiative: The Four Year Strategic Plan July 2010 – June 2014

Legal Action Center After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry

National Institute of Justice Overview of Offender Reentry

The Sentencing Project: State Recidivism Studies 1995-2009

U.S. Office of Justice Services: Sex Offenders - Treatment and Recidivism 

Articles on Recidivism and Re-entry: 
·        Cuomo wants to bring back college courses for convicts in prison (NY), February 16, 2014
Prison inmates are eligible for mainly high school-level courses. They used to be eligible for state college tuition assistance money until the program was stopped by then-Gov. Pataki in 1995. Under Cuomo’s plan to provide associate’s and bachelor's degrees behind bars, the state will fund college programs in 10 prisons.

·        Jill Levenson: Sex Offense Recidivism Is Rare, Shouldn't Determine Policy, September 5, 2013

·        Recidivism Hard To Shake For Ex-Offenders Returning Home To Dim Prospects, June 9, 2012
·        Sex Offenders: Recidivism, Re-entry, Policy and Facts, November 8, 2011
·        Va. returning prisoners to jail at lower-than-average rate, study shows April 13, 2011
·        Facts and Fiction about Sex Offenders, May 22, 2010
·        For Virginia's Ex-Cons, Re-entering Society is Daunting, May 6, 2010
·        How Likely Are Sex Offenders to Repeat Their Crimes? January 24, 2008
·        Once a Sex Offender, Always a Sex Offender? Maybe not. April 3, 2008
The popular perception of incurable sex criminals may be quite off the mark
·        Predator Panic: Reality Check on Sex Offenders, May 16, 2006

The Best Articles on Registries, Labeling Citizens as Sex Offender and Including Juveniles: 
·         My Son, the Sex Offender: One Mother's Mission to Fight the Law, May 7, 2014
·        Life On the List, May 30, 2012
A single mistake when he was 12 landed Josh Gravens on Texas’ sex offender list. He’s been paying for it ever since.       
·        Laws Gone Wild: As Teen Sweethearts Go to Prison for Sex, Mothers Rebel, January 25, 2012
·        Child Abuse: We’re Making the Problem Worse, November 13, 2011
Experts say America’s approach to sex offenders only increases the likelihood that they will re-offend
·        Roger Lancaster Sex Offenders: The Last Pariahs, August 20, 2011
·        The false hope of sex offender registries, August 8, 2011
An effort to combat predators comes up empty
·        The Accidental Sex Offender, July 28, 2011
It was a classic teenage love story. He was a football star, and she was a cheerleader. They met, they fell in love, they started having sex. And then the cops got involved. Fifteen years later, they're still paying the price.
·        Life on the List, April 4, 2011 
        Does publicly posting names of convicted sex offenders actually reduce the number of sexual offenses?
·        No longer a registered sex offender, but the stigma remains, February 11, 2010
·        Rethinking Sex Offender Laws for Youth Texting, March 20, 2010
·        How Do We Pass Rational Sex-Offender Laws With Psychos Like Phillip Garrido on the Loose? September 3, 2009
With apparent psychos like Garrido wreaking havoc, it's hard for society to be reasonable about the thousands of people have been wrongly swept up by excessive sex offender laws.
·        Unjust and ineffective, August 6, 2009
America has pioneered the harsh punishment of sex offenders. Does it work?
·        How Can You Distinguish a Budding Pedophile From a Kid With Real Boundary Problems? July 22, 2007