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Sex Offender Recidivism: A Multistate Study Using Criminal History Records

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... used to study violent/sex offender recidivism, but extensive data cleaning is required. Descriptive studies using only criminal history records are easier than ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sex Offender Recidivism: A Multistate Study Using Criminal History Records


1
Sex Offender Recidivism A Multistate Study
Using Criminal History Records
  • Stan Orchowsky
  • Justice Research and Statistics Assn.
  • Presented at the NCJA Conference
  • Louisville, KY
  • August 5, 2008

2
Criminal Histories and NCHIP
  • Criminal history records describe an arrest and
    all subsequent actions that are identifiable to
    an individual
  • The National Criminal History Improvement Program
    (NCHIP)
  • Administered by Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Over 500 million to states since 1995 to improve
    the quality of records

3
Project Goals
  • help SACs obtain and analyze their states
    criminal history records (build capacity)
  • coordinate SAC analyses of state criminal history
    records to address the same key criminal justice
    issue across a number of different states
  • identify critical data quality issues in states
    criminal history records

4
Awards
  • BJS awarded funds to JRSA to coordinate projects
  • JRSA made subawards in two categories
  • Capacity-building AK, IA, NM, TN, VA, WI
  • Coordinated analysis AZ, DE, IL, SC, UT
  • 9 SACs participated in sex offender recidivism
    analysis (all but VA and WI)

5
Criminal History Record Issues
  • Arrest Records with no Dispositions
  • Disposition never received
  • Disposition misrecorded
  • Disposition Records with no Arrests
  • Less common
  • Same explanations
  • Changes in Criminal Codes Over Time

6
Related Issues
  • Non-matches between criminal history files and
    prison release files
  • Most matches by State Identification Number
  • Identified as sex offender by DOC, but no sex
    offense in criminal history files

7
Examples of Data Issues
  • Utah
  • 17 of arrests had missing dispositions
  • NM
  • 77 of dispositions coded as unknown
  • AZ
  • no criminal history info found for 11 of all
    releasees
  • Of releasees identified as sex offenders by DOC,
    57 had a sex offense in the CHx

8
Methodology
  • Modeled after 2003 BJS study
  • Released in 1994
  • Violent male sex offenders
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Released from prison in 2001
  • Rearrest measured for 3 years after release

9
Demographic Characteristics

10
Sentence Length and Time Served (average, in
years)

11
Prior Criminal Record
12
Recidivism
13
Sex Offenders v. Other Offenders
14
Conclusion
  • Criminal history records can be used to study
    violent/sex offender recidivism, but extensive
    data cleaning is required
  • Descriptive studies using only criminal history
    records are easier than those that require
    matching to other datasets
  • Periodic audits of criminal history records are a
    valuable tool
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