Juvenile Sex Offenders

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Juvenile Sex Offenders: A new issue in the Juvenile Justice System

Morgan Cotter
Juvenile Justice CJ 307-A
Dr. Monica Robbers
Marymount University
December 7, 2009
Juvenile Sex Offenders: A new issue in the Juvenile Justice System The classification and treatment of juvenile sex offenders is a unique issue in the Juvenile Justice System today. This is either because we do not have much research on the recidivism rates of repeat juvenile offenders or not all cases are reported. In order to understand a sociopathic adolescent with sexually abusive tendencies provides a set of challenges that need special attention from the juvenile justice system. Additional attention from the Mental Health Systems are required when discussing the characteristics of the typical offender, the risk factors for juvenile sex offending and the treatment and intervention programs that are being used to prevent juvenile sexual recidivism. Characteristics of a typical juvenile sex offender:

A debate has risen over whether or not juvenile sexual offenders evoke unique characteristics distinctive from non-sexual juvenile sexual offenders (Bonomo, 2004). Some differences between a juvenile sex offender and non-sexual delinquents are that non-sexual delinquents are more socially introverted, more likely to engage in hostility, and are prone to be resentful (Bonomo, 2004). Juvenile sex offenders often happen to have higher levels of anxiety and are more prone to social isolation.

Another way to investigate the characteristics of a typical juvenile sex offender is to administer an assessment. In the research article “Offense Related Characteristics and Psychosexual Development of Juvenile Sex Offenders” they used the Global Assessment Instrument for Juvenile Sex Offenders (GALJSO) to determine the psychosexual development of the offenders. The GALJSO is used to identify, investigate, and predict the validity of a juvenile sex offender to re-offend or harm another again. The study was broken down into three different sub categories: 1. Child Molesters who abused children who were at least four more years younger than themselves. 2. Solo Peer Offenders who assaulted peers or older persons on their own. 3. Group Offenders who assaulted peers or older persons in a group consisting of two or more people (Doreleijers, 2009). The results of the study concluded that amongst the three sub categories, the Child Molesters showed the most concern in relation to domain offense. This may have to do with the way they developed as a child. If has been found that children who have been molested run the risk of becoming molesters themselves (Bijleveld 2008, p. 24). Those who have not been molested still show family issues as children. The study also showed that family problems were more frequently found amongst the Child Molester sub category as well. Children who were often neglected or isolated by their families often presented antisocial behaviors and negative attitudes. Those who sexually offended peers their own age presented less emotional issues than those who molested children.

It is hard to characterize female’s personalities or behavioral traits in relation to juvenile sex offending because there is not a lot of research on girls who sexually abuse. In the journal “Examining the Sexual Offenses of Female Juveniles; the relevance of childhood maltreatment” they share a 2007 report in which the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice covered a five year period from 2001-2006 in which they determined that females constitute for 5%-10% of juvenile sex offenders (Krysik, J. 2008). Since the percentage of female juvenile sex offenders is significantly smaller than male juvenile sex offender’s females receive less attention.

Juvenile sex offenders are not all alike when it comes to personality or behavioral traits. The largest groups of sexual offenders are considered to fall into the...
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