A Comparison of Violent and Nonviolent Juvenile Sex Offender Careers

Carl McCurley, National Center for Juvenile Justice

ABSTRACT
The overlap and relationship between violent and nonviolent juvenile sex offending remains a relatively unexplored segment of delinquency phenomena. Do kids who commit nonviolent sex offenses tend to also commit violent sex assaults, either conterminously or subsequently? Are some types of nonviolent sex offenses, such as obscene phone calls, more correlated to violent sex assaults than other nonviolent sex offenses, such as statutory rape? These questions will be investigated using longitudinal data sets that allow the tracking of juveniles' entire case histories, or careers, with the juvenile court. In three areas of the country- Utah and Washington States and Maricopa County, Arizona-case information on juveniles is stored from the first time the juvenile is referred to court (which could be as young as age 7) until the juvenile ages out of the juvenile justice system (at their 18th birthday) and any new cases would be referred to criminal rather than juvenile court. The data sets also permit investigation of some fundamental aspects of sex offending careers: whether there were prior offenses, whether prior offenses were sexual in nature, the age of onset for offending careers, the number of cases brought against juveniles across the span of their careers, and comparison of sex offenders' careers with other juvenile person offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006