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Criminal recidivism of illegal pornography offenders in the overall population - a national cohort study of 4612 offenders in Switzerland

Goller, Anne, Jones, Roland, Dittmann, Volker, Taylor, Pamela and Graf, Marc 2016. Criminal recidivism of illegal pornography offenders in the overall population - a national cohort study of 4612 offenders in Switzerland. Advances in Applied Sociology 6 (2) , pp. 48-56. 10.4236/aasoci.2016.62005

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Abstract

Convictions for taking, possessing and distributing pornographic photographs of children have increased with the growing use of the Internet. Previous studies of any progression to contact offences have been small scale and only a few of these have included an investigation of subsequent reconvictions for use of illegal and especially of child pornography. The aims of the present study are to compare reconviction rates among illegal pornography offenders with and without previous child contact offences. The former are referred to as “dual offenders”. This study is a national cohort study of all individuals in Switzerland convicted of an illegal pornography offence since 1973 and was followed-up until 1st November 2008. Reconvictions were ascertained using criminal records from the Federal Office of Justice of Switzerland, leading to a total of 4612 offenders, consisting of 4249 illegal pornography offenders and 363 dual offenders. Comparison of 3-year reconviction rates showed that only 0.2% of the illegal pornography offenders were convicted of contact child sex offences, whereas 2.6% of the dual offenders were reconvicted. The illegal pornography offenders were also significantly less likely to be convicted of further pornography offences, or indeed other sexual offences. The very low “progression rate” among illegal pornography offenders to contact child sexual offences, and their low rate of even repeat pornography offences suggests that community sentences remain appropriate. It is important, however, to bear in mind that conviction rates tend to underestimate the true offending rates, and that with greater access to the Internet, characteristics of pornography users may change over time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Scientific Research Publishing
ISSN: 2165-4328
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2016
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2020 08:45
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95127

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