Well, yes… but…

My question is still: Do we know the comparative rates of recidivism among those who remain in religious life vs. those who are kicked out? I realize this poses major legal dangers to religious communities if some member abuses and I recognize there has been abuse at abbeys and such. And I’m naturally excluding from consideration those who have abused within the statute of limitations and so should be locked up. But what of those whose crimes are outside the statute of limitations. So far, it’s been spoken of as self-evident that keeping somebody with a long past (but not recent) record of abuse in religious life is more or less making it possible for them to go on abusing somebody and that kicking them out will put a stop to this, or make it much less likely. My question is: Do we know this? If somebody has not abused for 20 years, will kicking them out increase or decrease the chance that they will resume abuse? I honestly don’t know and am wondering if anyone does.

It seems to me the basic goal here is to do what will make abuse less likely, right? So if leaving them in religious life (away from where they can hurt somebody) is statistically more likely to reduce recidivism and kicking them out is more likely to destabilize them and encourage them to abuse, then I can see that as a logical plan. If it makes no difference one way or t’other, then other considerations enter in. If it’s more likely to encourage abuse, then kick ‘em out. But so far, I’ve seen no discussion of what the numbers are here. Just a couple of anecdotes about places where such a course of action failed. I wonder if anybody’s run numbers on this?