P1: Vendor/FYT/LOV/GGN P2: GVG
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment [saj] pp291-sebu-361272 November 8, 2001 20:26 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 2002 (
Juvenile Sex Offenders in Diversion
Justin S. Campbell
and Cherise Lerew
This study was designed to address the treatment of juvenile sex offenders within
diversion programs. Using data from 32 diversion programs in Colorado during
the 1998–1999 ﬁscal year, the study observed the demographic and legal charac-
teristics of 112 juvenile (Mean age = 14.64) sex offenders referred to diversion
programs for seven types of sex assault, incest, and indecent exposure charges.
Descriptions of services offered to juveniles and their in-program outcome were
also observed. Data support previous contentions in the literature that diversion is
an option for adjudicated juvenile sex offenders as well as diversion’s traditional
nonadjudicated population. However, the assumption that only nonserious juve-
nile sex offenders are referred to diversion was challenged by the data observed
in this study.
KEY WORDS: juvenile sex offenders; diversion; juvenile sex offender interventions; juvenile sex
Many adult sex offenders report that their careers of sexual offending be-
gan before the age of 18 (Abel, Mittelman, & Becker, 1985; Martin & Pruett,
1998; Ryan, 1997). Groth, Longo, and McFadin (1982) administered surveys to
a sample of 49 men who sexually assaulted adults, and 41 men who had sexually
assaulted minors. They found the mode age for committing a ﬁrst rape and child
molestation was 16. Barbaree, Hudson, and Seto (1993) observed evidence indi-
cating male adolescents are the perpetrators in approximately 20% of rapes and
30–50% of child molestation cases. Moreover, they noted approximately 50% of
adult sex offenders reported sexually deviant behavior in adolescence (Barbaree
et al., 1993). The early onset of criminal sexual behavior has forced our society
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado.
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Educational Psychology, McKee
Hall, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado 80639; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation