Course detail: Sex Offenders: Understanding and Responding to Sexual Crimes

Course Description: 
This presentation examines the relationship between confession rates and sex offender characteristics (ie., offender age, relationship to victim, personality type, offense history and prior experience with the criminal justice system). In addition, several studies that investigated the effectiveness of various interviewer styles (investigator demeanor and approach) will be reviewed.  Lastly, the presenter will provide anecdotal comments (from 121 admitting adult male sex offenders) related to the thoughts and concerns they had while they were initially being interviewed by detectives.   Comments focus on the reason they declined to be interviewed, lied about their sexual crimes, or confessed.  Video clips will be used to illustrate some of the specific skills used by police to enable offenders to confess, along with recommendations for specific interview comment/questions from 26 veteran child abuse detectives from 10 law enforcement agencies in Oregon.  

Core Competency: 
  • Participants will employ best practices as they investigate any crime from its beginning to its eventual disposition; either as an individual, or as part of an investigatory team. 
Course Objectives: 
Part 1. Sex Offenders: What Every MDT Member Should 
  1. Participants will develop an understanding of the process involved developing a sexual interest/preference for children and the pro-offending attitudes that support and allow for child sex abuse. 
  2. Participants will gain information about the typical number and patterns involved in undetected sexual crimes committed by sex offenders. 
  3. Participants will gain information about some of the unique differences between male and female, adult and juvenile sex offenders. 
Part 2. Creepy but Crucial: Advanced Grooming as Described by Child Molesters
  1. Participants will understand some of the issues related to the low rates of reporting and detection of sexual crimes. 
  2. Participants will be able to identify the strategies and goals of "grooming behavior" used by sex offenders. 
  3. Participants will gain an understanding of some of the dynamics of grooming that make it difficult for children to fully/accurately comprehend the abuse they are experiencing, report and recover from child sexual abuse. 
Part 3. "Protecting our Children: Advice From Child Molesters:" 
  1. Participants will understand some of the deficits inherent in early models of child sex abuse prevention models. 
  2. Participants will be able to describe the benefits derived from adult focused child abuse prevention education.  
  3. Participants will be able to describe some of the problems related to promoting adult focused child abuse prevention education. 
Part 4. If They Knew What I Was Thinking: What Sex Offenders Can Teach Us About Interviewing 
  1. Participants will review the research related to overall confession rates with sex offenders and the factors that inhibit and increase confession rates. 
  2. Participants will review the various interviewer styles that appear to increase confession rates. 
  3. Participants will review the various offender characteristics that increase and decrease confession rates. 
Instructional Methods: 
  • Lecture 
  • Video
  • Anecdotes 
Who Should Attend: 
  • Law Enforcement Officers 
Course Requirements: 
  • 100% Attendance and Participation

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Available sessions