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ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18, 2021

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Sex Offender Registries: Fear without Function? A Study

Abstract: I use three separate data sets and designs to determine whether sex offender registries are effective.

First, I use state-level panel data to determine whether sex offender registries and public access to them decrease the rate of rape and other sexual abuse.

Second, I use a data set that contains information on the subsequent arrests of sex offenders released from prison in 1994 in 15 states to determine whether registries reduce the recidivism rate of offenders required to register compared with the recidivism of those who are not.

Finally, I combine data on locations of crimes in Washington, D.C., with data on locations of registered sex offenders to determine whether knowing the locations of sex offenders in a region helps predict the locations of sexual abuse.

The results from all three data sets do not support the hypothesis that sex offender registries are effective tools for increasing public safety.

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Here they go again, confusing a perfectly good argument with facts!

I like this part” Further, for registered offenders, already being on a registry eliminates the possible deterrent effect of having to register for committing a sex crime. So again the opportunity cost of committing another sex offense is lowered because the offender is already experiencing the costs of reintegration and will continue to do so whether or not he reoffends. Prentsky, Knight, and Lee (1997, p. 9) reflect the opinion that community notification may increase recidivism through increased stress caused to offenders by “threats of bodily harm, termination of employment, on-the-job harassment, and forced instability of residence,” all of which… Read more »

The author completely ignores the purpose of Sex Offender Registries. The Registries were not implemented to decrease child sexual assault. They were designed and introduced to afford American society an engineered object for the absorption of hate. We learned from the civil rights movement that government cannot legislate morality and there will always be an extreme fringe ready to commit mayhem in the name of racial superiority or privilege. We learned from the failure of religion to provide a stable, enduring society for all mankind and now our popular conflict continues in the name of various religions and their styles… Read more »

I will “re-state” the above mentioned true purpose of the sex offender registries with my own input “in parentheses.” They provide a false sense of security for single mothers. ( Not to mention an excuse for control-freak helicopter-parents – both Moms AND Dads – to keep their poor hapless children locked inside the house 24 hrs a day, weekend or not!!! Only in the projects are kids now allowed to play on and ride their bikes down the streets, due to the mostly suburban paranoia generated by our classist sex offender registration systems. All under the false banner of “protecting… Read more »

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