Suicidal ideation in offenders convicted of child pornography offences

Chad M. S. Steel*, Emily Newman, Suzanne O'Rourke, Ethel Quayle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the prevalence of suicidal ideation in Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) offenders and their psychological concerns provides the basis for early treatment and intervention. This research solicited responses (n = 78) via an anonymous, web-based survey from adults in the United States previously convicted of CSEM offences. Significant suicidal ideation was present in 73% of respondents (n = 57), and 19% (n = 15) reported attempting suicide after they were made aware of an investigation, with 41% (n = 32) stating they would have been likely to seek counselling if provided a contact. Most of the respondents felt they were not treated with fairness, understanding, and compassion by investigators, and that their primary psychological strains were going to jail and their families finding out. This research highlights the need for more empathetic investigative approaches, as well as the need for more rapid assessment and treatment of proximal suicide risk in this population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Early online date18 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2022


  • child pornography
  • child sexual exploitation material
  • suicidal ideation
  • suicide


Dive into the research topics of 'Suicidal ideation in offenders convicted of child pornography offences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this