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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222540 Find in a Library
Title: Uncollaring the Criminal: Understanding Criminal Careers of Criminal Clerics
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:35  Issue:5  Dated:May 2008  Pages:583-599
Author(s): Alex R. Piquero; Karen J. Terry; Tasha Youstin; Matt Nobles; Nicole Leeper Piquero
Date Published: May 2008
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study identified key criminal-career characteristics among a large sample (n=959) of Catholic priests alleged to have committed child sexual abuse during the period from 1950 to 2002.
Abstract: The study found that 7.82 percent of the offending clerics accounted for 36.3 percent of all offenses known. This is a somewhat lower prevalence rate than has been found by other longitudinal studies of the general population. An examination of the probability of reoffending indicates it became constant after the accumulation of four to five police investigations, and especially after six police investigations. Offenders' average age at first abuse was almost 39 years old. This age at first offense is similar to that of white-collar offenders (age 35), but differs from that of sex offenders (early adolescence). The total number of police investigations was predicted by prior abuse offenses, being married, and earlier commission of the first offense. The finding that married clerics were more likely to be involved in more police investigations than unmarried clerics runs counter to the general finding that marriage provides an inhibitory influence on offending. Data for this article came from the Nature and Scope Study of Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (John Jay College, 2004). Researchers developed three survey instruments that were sent to the presiding bishops in all Catholic dioceses, eparchies, and religious communities in the United States. The diocese survey sought information about the diocese; the cleric survey sought information on all priests with allegations of child sexual abuse; and the victim survey sought information on individuals who had alleged abuse. 2 tables, 4 figures, 3 notes, and 41 references
Main Term(s): Criminal career patterns; Juvenile victims; Religion
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Institutional child abuse; Sex offender profiles; Sex offenders
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