Sex criminals least likely to re-offend, study shows

Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007

ANCHORAGE - A new report shows that in Alaska, sex offenders are the least likely of all convicts to repeat their crimes after being released from prison, but legislators who back tough sex crime laws said the study in unconvincing.

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The study by the Alaska Judicial Council of nearly 2,000 Alaska ex-convicts found that 3 percent of sex offenders committed another sex crime within three years of release.

The report says sex offenders were arrested again for other crimes - including vehicle theft, drunk driving, drug offenses and other violent crimes - 39 percent of the time, while people convicted of property crimes were most likely to go back to jail for any crime at a rate of 67 percent.

Sen. Con Bunde, R-Anchorage, said nothing would persuade him to repeal a law adopted last year that imposes severe penalties on people convicted of sex crimes. The measure tripled sentences for offenses such as sexual abuse of a child.

Rep. Anna Fairclough, an Eagle River Republican and former head of Anchorage-based Standing Together Against Rape said sex offenders are highly intelligent people who learn how not to get caught again.

"Some of these people are very, very bright. They're just very, very bad," Fairclough said.

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