Sexual assault is one of the fastest growing violent crimes in America. Approximately 20% of all people charged with a sexual offense are juveniles. Among adult sex offenders, almost 50% report that their first offense occurred during their adolescence. (FBI, 1993) There are many different opinions, treatment options and legislation to manage the growing numbers of juvenile sex offenders. In today’s society the psychological and behavioral modification treatments used to manage juvenile sex offenders is also a growing concern. To understand and determine the proposed treatment methods, several related issues will need to be reviewed such as traditional sex offender therapy methods like cognitive therapy and alternative therapies like wilderness camps. Once, the juvenile sex offender becomes part of the justice system the cost of rehabilitated or incarcerating the juvenile also must be discussed. The disposition for juvenile sex offenders should be personalized to the offenders’ age, offense and mental health. How we choose these methods and if such treatment is more effective than incarceration are key issues to be discussed. This literature will discuss who the juvenile sex offender is, the various treatment options to rehabilitate juveniles, the viable solutions to monitor and reduce juvenile sex crimes and the cost to properly manage juvenile sex offenders once they have been adjudicated.
Juvenile sex offenders often vary in age, gender and social class; which require a variety of different therapy and rehabilitation methods. Adolescent sex offenders commit a wide range of illegal sexual behaviors, ranging from exploratory behaviors committed largely out of curiosity to repeated aggressive assaults. Adolescents are responsible for a significant number of rape and molestation cases. In Phoenix, Arizona four boys’ ages 9 to 14 were charged with sexual assault on an 8-year-old girl in 2009. According to Phoenix police, the girl was lured to a storage shed at an apartment complex. The four boys, who had offered the girl chewing gum, allegedly restrained and sexually assaulted her. The Phoenix police officers called the case, one of the worst they have investigated in many years. The 14-year-old was charged as an adult and will face two counts of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping. The other three boys were charged in juvenile court with sexual assault, and two of them also were charged with kidnapping. (Trevino CNN, 2009) Currently, it is estimated that adolescents (ages 13 to 17) account for up to one-fifth of all rapes and one-half of all cases of child molestation committed each year (Barbaree, Hudson, and Marshall, 1993).
Who are Juvenile Sex Offenders?
There is a moderate portion of juvenile law violations that are minor; however some young offenders are extremely dangerous and violent. (Caldwell, 2002) Studies have shown that most delinquent behavior stems from some sort of underlining issue or issues in a youth’s...