Specialization and versatility in sexual offenders referred for civil commitment

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Title Specialization and versatility in sexual offenders referred for civil commitment
Author Harris, Danielle A.; Smallbone, Stephen Walkley; Dennison, Susan Michelle; Knight, Raymond A.
Journal Name Journal of Criminal Justice
Year Published 2009
Place of publication USA
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Offense specialization and versatility have been investigated in general offender populations, but have only recently been examined in sexual offenders. This study explored the extent of both tendencies in the criminal histories of 572 adult male sexual offenders referred for civil commitment. The specialization threshold and the diversity index were used to compare offender subgroups by referral status (committed versus observed) and offense type (rape, child molestation, and incest). Offense versatility was the more likely tendency across the sample. Committed and observed offenders did not differ. Although predominantly versatile, child molesters were significantly more likely than rapists to specialize in sexual offenses, and were also more likely to specialize in child molestation (compared to rapists specializing in rape). These results confirm previous findings on criminal versatility among sexual offenders. This adds to a growing body of research that questions universal and selective crime control policies designed exclusively for sexual offenders.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcrimjus
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2008.12.002
Volume 37
Issue Number 1
Page from 37
Page to 44
ISSN 0047-2352
Date Accessioned 2009-10-05
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
Subject Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/27732
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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