Longitudinal Patterns of Sexual Recidivism by Age Over a 25-Year Follow-Up in California


  • Stephanie Brooks Holliday
  • Shoba Sreenivasan
  • Sarah Cusworth Walker
  • Victor Jordan
  • Allen Azizian
  • Thomas Garrick


This study followed 146 sexual offenders released from prison custody for a period of 25-years. Overall, 34% of individuals committed at least one sexual reoffense in the 25 years following release from incarceration. Most sexual recidivism occured within the first 15-years following release. The highest rates of sexual recidivism were observed for individuals under 34 years at release from incarceration, for whom recidivism steadily increased over time before peaking at 42% at 25 years. The mean age at reoffense was 42.51. Age was significantly associated with sexual recidivism at 5 years, but not at subsequent follow-up periods. These findings suggest that long-term patterns of sexual recidivism may be related to age at release. It will be important for future research to explore the characteristics of individuals who commit sexual offenses that may contribute to reoffending risk, and examine the effectiveness of policies and practices designed to mitigate recidivism.