Internet Sex Offenses
More than a million illicit images and videos of children can be found online. There are thousands of websites devoted to child pornography and collectively they are viewed over a million times per month. Internet sex offenses sometimes consist of people simply viewing such material but can also include instances in which people collect, share, distribute, and produce child pornography. Internet sex offenses also consist of persons using the internet to engage in sex chats with children and arrange meetings with children for the purpose of having sex. Internet sex offenses can also consist of persons using webcams to expose themselves or send nude images of themselves to children or unsuspecting adults. Sometimes persons who commit internet sex offenses also pose a risk for in-person contact offenses and sometimes they don’t.
We conduct evaluations of a person’s risk to engage in these different kinds of internet sex offenses and of their risk to also engage in contact sex offending. These evaluations consist of some of the same measures employed in sex-offense-specific evaluations but also employ specialized assessment tools and different methods to calculate risk. We employ a list of digital sexual behaviors developed by Dr. Jim Tanner of KBSolutions as part of our risk assessment protocol. To review Dr. Tanner’s list of digital sexual behaviors click here (Adobe Acrobat required).
We also have begun to employ a tool, the Internet Progression List, that we are developing with Dr. Tanner that may provide some clues about a client’s potential progression from internet offending to contact offending. Click here to view a draft version of this tool (Adobe Acrobat required); please note that this is a work in progress and has not yet been validated as prediction tool).
Both contact sex offenders and internet sex offenders require supervision and monitoring in order to limit access to inappropriate content. In consultation with Dr. Tanner we have also developed a risk grid which may be useful in determining the level of monitoring a contact sex offender might require. To view our internet monitoring grid for contact sex offenders, click here (Adobe Acrobat required).