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The impact of prior criminal charges on sex offender recidivism outcomes: an exploration of population heterogeneity and state dependent models

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Two competing theories explain the link between past and future criminal behavior: population heterogeneity and state dependence. Actuarial models of risk prediction for sexual offenders emphasize static variables, akin to population heterogeneity. State dependence, however, has never been tested with similar populations. This study examines both models. The sample consists of sex offenders admitted to a penitentiary in Quebec, Canada from 1994-2000. Analyses were conducted on offenders age 36 and over (n=242). Official criminal activity was measured at: (a) 18-23 years; (b) 24-29 years; (c) 30-35 years; and, (d) 36 + years. Survival analyses and Cox proportional hazards show supporting evidence for both state dependent and population heterogeneity models after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates. Violent/sexual recidivism after prison release was based on convictions. Findings are discussed in light of the current application of sex offender risk assessment and community management.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Lussier, Patrick
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