Is Sex Offender Registries Be A Precautionary Measure For Recidivism Rates?

Is Sex Offender Registries Be A Precautionary Measure For Recidivism Rates?

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Although sex offender registries are intended to be a precautionary measure to reduce recidivism rates, they do have collateral consequences for the sex offenders. Being a registered sex offender may make it difficult for an offender to maintain employment and their relationships. Their offense may cause them to lose their job and make it difficult for them to obtain another. The lack of financial stability and support combined with residency restrictions can make it difficult for registered sex offenders to find suitable housing (Bonnar-Kidd, 2010). If sex offenders are able to acquire housing, then a sense of fear encompasses the neighborhood based on the assumption that registered sex offenders are likely to recidivate and pose a threat to the community. Also, sex offenders may be subject to physical assault, harassment, or other forms of victimization due to the public knowledge of their crime and their whereabouts. Such potential consequences may explain why some offenders fail to register upon their release (Levenson, Letourneau, Armstrong, and Zgoba, 2010).
Not all sex offenders are compliant with registration. A study conducted by Levenson, Letourneau, Armstrong, and Zgoba (2010), found that there is no significant difference in sexual recidivism rates between compliant offenders who do register and those who fail to register. Although it is often assumed that sex offenders who fail to register are exceptionally dangerous because it seems as if they are attempting to avoid detection, there was no significant differences found in recidivism rates when compared with offenders that were compliant registrants (Levenson et al., 2010). Failure to register, however, is associated with general criminality. The results also indicat...


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...act recidivism rates differently and may lead to false-assumptions in terms of the effectiveness of SORN.
When determining the effectiveness of sex offender registries, it is important to acknowledge how the offenders themselves are affected while also acknowledging the needs and concerns of the public. Studies (Jennings et al., 2012; Levenson et al., 2010; Tewksbury et al., 2011) have examined the collateral consequences of sex offender registries and the challenges and misconceptions they create for registered sex offenders. It is important to recognize both the needs of the offenders and the community in order to create a successful program that promotes optimistic reintegration. By offering offenders adequate support and resources, a more positive environment will provide offenders the opportunity to properly adapt while ultimately decreasing recidivism rates.

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