The juvenile sex offender: The effect of employment on offending

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Abstract

Purpose: In many countries, sex offenders are treated as a special group of offenders, requiring special criminal justice responses and treatment modalities, presuming they are at high risk of re-offending. These special measures limit them in entering adult roles, especially employment. At the same time, such adult roles have been found to reduce offending risk in general offenders. We aim to investigate whether employment reduces offending rates in juvenile sex offenders' (JSO). Method: Using longitudinal data on a Dutch sample of 498 JSO, we investigate employment and offending careers in JSO. A hybrid random effects model is used to investigate within-individual changes of employment quality and employment stability on offending. We also investigated whether the effects differ for child abusers, peer abusers and group offenders, who have different background profiles and for whom employment effects could be less. Results: We first show that JSO enter the labor market at relatively young ages, with stagnating participation rates from age 25 on, and numerous and short-lived employment contracts. In spite of these fractured careers, employment is associated with a decrease in offending. We found no difference for offender types in the effect of employment on offending. Conclusions: We conclude that for JSO, employment decreases offending. Policies aimed at guidance towards employment, or the inclusion into conventional society, may be effective for JSO. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume42
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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