"Popular policy responses to youth who commit sex offenses, like listing them on sex offender registries, are largely based on misconceptions about why youth commit such offenses and how best to address their behavior. In fact, registries required by laws like the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) not only fail to protect child welfare and overall public safety, but actually jeopardize it, while taking an enormous toll on the youth who have offended. Fortunately, new research sheds light on why youth commit sex offenses and how to achieve the best outcomes for those they have harmed, the public, and the youth themselves" (p. 1). Sections explain: youth who commit sex offenses are still young people in development; most youth who commit sex offenses will never recidivate—the recidivism rate is 4%; youth who commit sex offense are not a special group; and youth who commit sex offenses respond well to treatment.
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Youth Who Commit Sex Offenses: Research Update