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Patterns of federal Internet offenders: A pilot study


  • Ann W. Burgess DNSc, FAAN, APRN, BC,

    1. Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and Private Psychiatric Nursing Practitioner
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  • Carrie M. Carretta PhD, APN, AHN-BC, FPMHNP,

    1. Assistant Professor/Research Faculty, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, and Private Practice Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Coastal Behavioral Health and Wellness, LLC, Red Bank, New Jersey
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  • Allen G. Burgess DBA

    1. President, Data Integrity, Inc. and Adjunct Lecturer, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
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Ann W. Burgess, DNSc, FAAN, APRN, BC, c/o Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. E-mail:


Internet-facilitated sexual offending is receiving increased forensic and clinical attention. Two issues confront this field. First, studies are equivocal as to whether (or not) the possession of Internet pornography can escalate to contact sexual offenses against a child, and second, federal judges have been questioning the length of sentences for users only of child pornography. The findings of this pilot study of 101 federal Internet offenders revealed over half of the men at the time of arrest were employed, educated, were in (or had been in) a relationship, had children, and did not have a prior criminal offense, suggesting a changing profile of a convicted sex offender. Forensic and psychiatric nurses who evaluate users of child pornography contraband need to be knowledgeable of Internet file transfer technology and the various types of contraband viewed specifically for the age of the preferred child, extreme acts to the child (e.g., bondage, S&M), and whether the user prefers images of adults with children or images of children only.