The Predictive Power of Juvenile Sex Offending: Evidence from the Second Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study

29 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007

See all articles by Franklin E. Zimring

Franklin E. Zimring

University of California, Berkeley

Alex R. Piquero

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Griffith University

Wesley Jennings

University of Florida

Stephanie A. Hays

Buena Vista University

Date Written: June 21, 2007

Abstract

There is very little information available about whether juvenile sex offending predicts sex crime in adulthood. In this study, we use data from the Second Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study to examine the natural history of sex offenders and their involvement in sexual offending through age 26. A number of key findings emerged from our effort. First, one in ten juvenile sex offenders has a sex-related offense during the first eight years of adulthood. Second, 92% of all the cohort males with adult sex records had no juvenile sex offense. Third, a Philadelphia boy with no sex contacts but five or more total juvenile police contacts is more than twice as likely to commit a sex crime as an adult as a juvenile sex offender with fewer than five total police contacts. Taken together, the results indicated that the assumptions underpinning current registration and notification laws are fraught with problems and should be re-considered.

Keywords: sex offender, juvenile justice

Suggested Citation

Zimring, Franklin E. and Piquero, Alex R. and Jennings, Wesley and Hays, Stephanie A., The Predictive Power of Juvenile Sex Offending: Evidence from the Second Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study (June 21, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995918 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.995918

Franklin E. Zimring (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

383 Boalt Hall
School of Law
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-0854 (Phone)
510-643-2698 (Fax)

Alex R. Piquero

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

800 W. Campbell Road, GR31
Richardson, TX 75080
United States
972-883-2482 (Phone)
972-883-6572 (Fax)

Griffith University

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, Queensland QLD 4111
Australia

Wesley Jennings

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Stephanie A. Hays

Buena Vista University ( email )

610 W 4th Street
Storm Lake, IA 50588
United States

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