It would be a logical error to presume that the low rate of re-conviction of released sex offenders "reveals them to be the prisoners least likely to reoffend", as has been stated.
What Professor Ian O'Donnell's research (Irish Independent, December 6) convincingly demonstrates is that the tiny subset of sex offenders who are identified, charged, prosecuted and ultimately convicted are unlikely to be convicted again within a short space of time.
Adult rapists are the most readily convicted category of sexual criminal, of whom 63pc are identified, 27pc prosecuted and just 12pc convicted (NUIG Department of Law research reported in the Dail, May 19 2004).
Because less than one tenth of rapes remain unreported, the real conviction rate of offenders is less than one oper cent. Other sexual criminals are less often partners of their victim. Some are influential (parents, relatives and authority figures) or strangers, so the conviction rate is probably far below the one in every hundred of adult rapists. DR STUART NEILSON, YORK TERRACE, YORK HILL, CORK