Patterns and predictors of reoffending among child sexual offenders: A rapid evidence assessment

Dr Christopher  Dowling1, Ms. Hayley  Boxall1, Dr Kamarah  Pooley1, Mr Cameron Long1, Ms. Christie  Franks1

1Australian Institute Of Criminology, Canberra, Australia

There has been considerable academic, clinical and policy interest in child sexual offenders, particularly in how often and under what circumstances they go on to reoffend. An understanding of the trends and patterns in reoffending for this population is critical to informing the scale, targeting and future direction of a number of measures, including sentencing, treatment programs and post-sentence management schemes. The current study takes stock of this evidence, providing an up-to-date review of the research published in the past ten years on reoffending among child sexual offenders. A rapid evidence assessment methodology was employed to locate and synthesise the findings of 33 studies analysing 55 independent samples of adults and juveniles who had come into contact with the criminal justice system for sexual offences against children, including child sexual abuse material offences. Rates of sexual and non-sexual reoffending are examined, as are findings concerning the key predictors of reoffending. The implications of this research for how practitioners and policymakers respond to reoffending, and the identification of those offenders most at risk of reoffending, are discussed.


Cameron Long (BCrim, MCrim) is a Research Officer in the AIC’s Violence against Women and Children Research Program. Cameron has participated in research projects involving the evaluation of community crime prevention programs, defining removal from harm in child abuse cases, child sex offender recidivism, public sector corruption and individual cybercrime victimisation in Australia.


Dec 09 2021