Recidivism Studies

sex-offender-recidivism-studies.jpegRecidivism Studies of Sexual Offenders

The following represents recidivism studies of sexual offenders conducted over the last decade.  They were all conducted by various federal and state agencies, or by academic researchers with grant assistance from agenicies such as the U.S. Department of Justice.  Most report on the recidivism rate of offenders after 3 years because most reoffending behavior occurs within that time period.

It should be noted that various agencies define recidivism differently.... rearrest, reconviction or return to incarceration.  Some studies report more than one of these statistics.  The recidivism rates highlighted below are for "new sex crime" recidivism, as opposed to technical violations of parole or probation or conviction for other crimes such as drug offenses, etc.  You may click on the respective link to access the full report.

Individually and collectively these studies reveal a compelling fact: Sex offender recidivism is much lower than what people think.


“Sex Offender Recidivism in Connecticut”, 2012

State of Connecticut, Office of Policy & Management

Study of 746 Male Offenders released from prison in 2005 – 5-year study

Re-arrest rate: 3.6% after 5-year follow-up

Re-conviction:  2.7% after 5-year follow-up


“A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment”, 2011

Vermont Department of Corrections

Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision

Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up


“Sexual Assault Trends & Sex Offender Recidivism in Maine”, 2010

Maine Statistical Analysis Center, USM Muskie School of Public Service

Study of 552 Male Offenders released from prison between 2004 and 2008

Re-conviction: 3.8% after 3-year follow-up


“Evaluating the Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies for Reducing Sexual Violence against Women”, 2010

Medical University of South Carolina

Study of 490 Male Offenders over a mean follow-up period of 8.4 years

Re-arrest rate: 8%

Re-conviction: 4%


 “Adult Institutions Outcome Evaluation Report”, 2010

California Department of Corrections And Rehabilitation

Study of 7,011 Male Sex Offenders released from prison

Re-conviction: 5% after 3-year follow-up


“Improving State Criminal History Records: Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released in 2001”, 2009

Justice Research & Statistics Association

A Study of recidivism rates for 2,493 sex offenders released from prison in 9 states in 2001 – a 3-year follow-up study

Recidivism rates: AK 3.4%, AZ 2.3%, DE 3.8%, IL 2.4%, IA 3.9%,

NM 1.8%, SC 4%, TN 0%, UT 9%


“Recidivism of Alaska Sex Offenders”, 2008

Alaska Justice Forum, University of Alaska, Anchorage

A Study of 232 Offenders released from prison in 2001 - a 3-year follow-up study

Re-arrest rate: 3.4%


“Recidivism of Paroled Sex Offenders – Ten (10) Year Study”, 2008

California Sex Offender Management Board

A Study of 3,577 sex offenders released from CDCR prisons in 1997 and followed through the end of 2007

Returned to Custody due to new sex offense: 3.38%


“Recidivism Rates Compared 2005 – 2007”, 2008

Indiana Department of Correction

A Study of 339 sex offenders released from IDOC facilities in 2002, 382 released in 2003 and 387 released in 2004 and followed for 3 years

Recidivism rates: 2002 – 5.3%; 2003 – 5.2%; 2004 – 5.7%


“Sex Offender Populations, Recidivism and Actuarial Assessment”, 2007

New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

A Study of 19,827 offenders on the New York State registry on March 31, 2005 that examined recidivism up to 8 years from time of registration date

Recidivism Rate: 8%


“Sex Offender Recidivism”, 2007

Arizona Department of Corrections

A study of 3,205 sex offenders released from Arizona correctional facilities over a 15-year period between 1984 and 1998 with an average follow-up period of 6.85 years.

Recidivism Rate: 5.5%


“Sex Offender Recidivism in Minnesota”, 2007

Minnesota Department of Corrections

A study of 3,166 sex offenders released from Minnesota Correctional Facilities between 1990 and 2002 with an average follow-up period of 8.4 years

Re-arrest rate: 12%

Re-Conviction Rate: 10%

Re-incarceration: 7%


“Criminal Recidivism in Alaska”, 2007

Alaska Judicial Council

A Study that included 162 sex offenders charged and convicted of a sexual offense in 1999 and examined for 3 years following release

Re-Conviction Rate: 3%


“Sex Offender Sentencing in Washington State: Recidivism Rates”, 2005

Washington State Institute for Public Policy

A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years

Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%


“Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994”, 2003

United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics

A Study of 9,691 sex offenders released from prisons in 15 states in 1994 and followed for 3 years.

Sex Crime Re-arrest Rate: 5.3%

Sex Crime Re-conviction Rate: 3.5%


“Ten Year Recidivism Follow-up of 1989 Sex Offender Releases”, 2001

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

A study of 879 sex offenders released from prison in 1989 and followed for 10 years

Sex Crime Return to Incarceration: 8%

Sexually Related Parole Violations: 3%


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