Military Veterans Who Are Sexual Offenders: What We Know and What We Don’t Know

  • Shoba Sreenivasan
  • Stephanie Brooks Holliday
  • Allen Azizian
  • James McGuire


Nationwide justice surveys have repeatedly found that military veterans are incarcerated at a proportionately higher rate for sexual offenses than other offenses when compared to civilians. The reasons for such over-representation remain unclear. This chapter will review the limited existing literature on military veterans who are sexual offenders and focus on three areas: (1) Does the military culture increase the risk of sexual offending? (2) Are risk factors for sexual offending in military veterans similar or dissimilar to civilians? (3) What community re-entry challenges are unique to military veterans with sexual offenses? The few studies reviewed suggest that military veterans who are sex offenders are older, better educated, and with limited criminal histories when compared to their civilian counterparts. Veterans who are repeat sex offenders may disproportionately target minors; and in one study of high-risk sex offenders were found to have a twofold higher rate of pedophilic disorder (targeting minor male victims) than their civilian counterparts. Housing remains a re-entry challenge for military veterans with sex offenders and remains one of top three unmet needs of veterans who are registered sexual offenders.


Veterans Criminal justice Sex offenses Pedophilic disorder 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoba Sreenivasan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stephanie Brooks Holliday
    • 3
  • Allen Azizian
    • 4
    • 5
  • James McGuire
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychiatry and the Behavioral SciencesKeck School of Medicine University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of State HospitalsForensic Services DivisionSacramentoUSA
  3. 3.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA
  4. 4.Department of CriminologyCalifornia State University FresnoFresnoUSA
  5. 5.Department of State HospitalsSacramentoUSA
  6. 6.Veterans Health Administration Justice Program (Retired)Washington, DCUSA

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