Recidivism in convicted rapists.
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Factors associated with recidivism in 86 men convicted of rape were studied. These men had been out of prison for up to 12 years (mean, 7.6 years). The majority of the men had been assessed in a sexual behaviors clinic of a general psychiatric hospital at the time of their conviction. Almost 50 percent of the group had committed some offense by the fifth year out of prison. The recidivism rates for sexual, violent, and any criminal recidivism were 16 percent, 26 percent, and 53 percent, respectively. The ability to predict sexual and violent recidivism in this population of rapists was rather poor. More sexual recidivists, compared with nonrecidivists, had been removed from their family home prior to age 16. Violent recidivists compared with nonrecidivists were also more frequently removed from their homes prior to 16 years of age, and they showed significantly more problems with alcohol. In terms of any criminal recidivism, recidivists compared with nonrecidivists were younger and scored higher on the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST). They also had more previous charges and/or convictions for violent offenses and more charges and/or convictions for any criminal acts. The combination of age and MAST scores was able to predict 92.6 percent of the nonrecidivists and 53.3 percent of the recidivists. The outstanding feature of the total group of rapists was their poor sexual adjustment as indicated on the Derogatis Sexual Functioning Inventory, on which they scored at approximately the seventh percentile of the population at large. There was also an indication that rapists have problems with hostility, as measured by the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory. Furthermore, the range of scores on the MAST indicated that the total group of rapists has serious problems with alcohol. The inability of phallometric assessments and psychopathy as measured by the Psychopathy Checklist-R to predict recidivism are discussed.
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