May 28, 2015

This woman is trying to stop juvenile sex offenders — by helping them

5-28-15 National:

Elizabeth Letourneau is one of the country's leading experts on sex crime — why it happens and whether there are better ways to stop it. She focuses in particular on juvenile sex offenders: people who commit a sex crime before they turn 18. This is an important group to understand in the fight against child sex abuse. Juvenile sex offenders perpetrate approximately one-third of sexual offenses against minors.

They are also are more likely than adult offenders to commit crimes against younger victims. That's why it's so important to figure out the most effective ways to treat them. Understanding what makes them offend and intervening in innovative ways can protect other kids.

As the director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins University, Letourneau has devoted her career to trying to do just that. Letourneau and I spoke recently about why adolescents commit sex crimes, and how to stop sex abuse before it happens. ..Continued.. by Sarah Kliff

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