A multivariate analysis of sex offender recidivism

Mario J. Scalora, Calvin Garbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Sex offender recidivism risk is a multifaceted phenomenon requiring consideration across multiple risk factor domains. The impact of treatment involvement and subsequent recidivism is given limited attention in comparison to other forensic mental health issues. The present analysis is a retrospective study of sex offenders treated at a secure facility utilizing a cognitive-behavioral program matched with an untreated correctional sample. Variables studied included demographic, criminal history, offense related, and treatment progress. Recidivism was assessed through arrest data. Multivariate analysis suggests that recidivism is significantly related to quality of treatment involvement, offender demographics, offense characteristics, and criminal history. Successfully treated offenders were significantly less likely to subsequently reoffend. Recidivists were also significantly younger, less likely married, had engaged in more victim grooming or less violent offending behavior, and had significantly more prior property charges. The authors discuss the clinical and policy implications of the interrelationship between treatment involvement and recidivism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Recidivism
  • Sex offender
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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