Those employed in community corrections are constantly working to identify high risk cases and to focus supervision efforts on those cases.This is one of the principles of evidence based practices in community corrections.
However, not all sex offender cases represent the same high risk or dare I say even a greater risk than other offender cases.But what about sex offenders in which the Internet is involved, so called “Internet sex crimes”? We end up painting these broad risk assessments based upon a “sex crime” and the “Internet” and we get mixed results.Who are they and what kind of risk do they represent? Some folks feel is it is all illegal digital make believe and it is not a big deal.Some folks think an Internet sex crime is the adult caught on show, “Catch a Predator”, trying to hook up with a kid, but get Chris Hanson and the police instead. At the other extreme are folks that think everyone is a cyber-Hannibal Lecter.For some it is the adult or young adult sending, soliciting, and or receiving illicit images or text from young teenagers or children, otherwise known as “sexting.” Still others are thinking of the guy downloading or trading child porn with other offenders. Well lets try to refine the definitions and put some numbers to the categories to see if we can focus in on the risk.There are also those offenders who use the Internet to locate, lure, and rape both children and/or adults. Wolak, Mitchell and Finkelhor (2003) describe a review of 2,577 arrests for Internet sex crimes against minors for a 12 month period starting July 1, 2000.
They were able to identify three mutually exclusive types.
Specifically, They were able to further refine the first category where a real victim was involved.
They found that 20% of all arrests involved cases where the offender used the Internet to initiate a relationship with the minor victim and 19% of all arrests were cases in which the offender was a family member or prior acquaintance of the minor.
Wow…20% of all cases involved a real kid victim, who was unknown to the offender previously.
As I recalled there was something about “stranger danger” risks, I decided to do some digging and look at risk assessment tools on this issue.
One of the most used sex offender risk assessment tools is the Static-1999, which has been updated to the Static-2002 (Static-2002-R). I am not trained in these instruments or certified to administer them.