Sex Offender Management

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS


The NCJA advocates for effective criminal justice policy and adequate funding for state, local, and tribal justice assistance programs.

Sex Offender Management

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) compiles its Uniform Crime Report (UCR) from data submitted by approximately 17,000 law enforcement agencies around the nation.  Law enforcement agencies reporting crimes to the FBI account for approximately 93% of the total U.S. population (Department of Justice, 2004). The FBI UCR indicates that in 2009 there were 88,097 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement, for a rate of 28.7 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants of the United States.  Slightly more than 4 out of 10 rapes reported to police in 2009 were cleared by arrest or exceptional means (FBI, 2009a).  Overall, an estimated 21,407 arrests for forcible rape were made by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. in 2009 (FBI, 2009b).   According to the "American Indians and Crime" report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) American Indians were the victims of rape or sexual assault at 3.5 times the rate of United States residents of other races. About 70% of the American Indian victims of rape or sexual assault reported an offender of a different race.  Nearly a third of all American Indian victims of violence were between the ages of 18 and 24. As with all rape or sexual assault victims, under reporting is a large issue. Only 49% of rapes or sexual assaults are reported to the police. In addition, only 17% of these reports are made by the victim herself.

Also according to BJS, at yearend 2005 there were more than 160,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault in state prisons. The vast majority of these offenders will be released to communities at some point in the future. Additionally, there are presently more than 700,000 registered sex offenders residing in communities across the U.S. These numbers create a significant management challenge to criminal justice professionals. In response to this challenge, lawmakers have enacted many laws and policies aimed at controlling sex offenders in communities; and for those under some form of community supervision (i.e., probation or parole), a variety of strategies have evolved to effectively manage these offenders.

The evolution of sex offender management has brought about changes in the ways that criminal justice professionals supervise and treat offenders, as well as the ways in which they communicate and collaborate with others involved in the management of sex offenders. Sex offender management is much more than simply supervision and treatment conducted by a few knowledgeable individuals in a community.  Effective sex offender management necessitates a comprehensive approach. More research and promising practices information from NCJA will be available in the near future.