Reference: Williams-Taylor, L. A. (2009). Measuring the impact of New York City’s Specially Targeted Offenders Project on sex offender recidivism. PhD dissertation, New York: City University of New York.
Strategy: Intensive supervision program for sex offendersdesigned to increase communication, information sharing, and tracking of sex offenders among police and other criminal justice agencies
There were no significant differences in rates of general recidivism, sexual, violent, violent sexual or non-compliance recidivism between S.T.O.P. and non-S.T.O.P comparison groups.
Methodological Rigor: Moderate- offenders in intensive supervision program compared to matched comparison group of offenders not receiving intensive supervision
Abstract (from author): This dissertation used a quasi-experimental design to analyze recidivism rates of sex offenders monitored by an intensive supervision program in New York City. The Specially Targeted Offenders Project (S.T.O.P.) began in July 2003 as an effort between numerous criminal justice agencies to increase communication, information sharing and tracking of high-risk sex offenders. Ultimately, the intention of this public safety project was to reduce recidivism using rigorous enforcement efforts to monitor sex offenders more closely. The first goal of this study was to assess whether the program monitored all offenders according to the inclusion criteria set forth. The second goal was to compare the short-term recidivism rates of sex offenders who were and were not monitored by S.T.O.P., considering variables such as criminal history and type of sexual offender. Various types of recidivism were explored, including general, non-compliance with Megan’s Law requirements, violent, and sexual recidivism. Lastly, analyses of the risk factors associated with recidivism were performed in an effort to create prediction models for those who reoffended versus those who did not. Results indicate that not all offenders who should have been monitored were included in the program. In addition, there were no significant differences in rates of general recidivism, non-compliance recidivism, or violent or sexual recidivism between comparison groups. Lastly, when examining S.T.O.P. offenders, analyses indicated that there were specific offender characteristics that significantly relate to and predict recidivism. These results contribute to the body of literature concerning risk factors and recidivism for individuals involved in supervision programs. There is limited peer- reviewed research on compliance with Megan’s Law or factors associated with various types of recidivism for those under supervision. Differentiating between high-risk and low-risk to reoffend or abscond from registration is of great value to all criminal justice agencies, including law enforcement, court systems, supervisory units and an important aspect to understanding these types of public safety initiatives.