We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

The War on Sex Offenders: Community Notification in Perspective

November 2000:

This article explores the contemporary phenomenon of ‘naming and shaming’ sex offenders. Community notification laws, popularly known as Megan’s Law, which authorise the public disclosure of the identity of convicted sex offenders to the community in which they live, were enacted throughout the United States in the 1990s. A public campaign to introduce ‘Sarah’s Law’ has recently been launched in Britain, following the death of eight-year old Sarah Payne. Why are sex offenders, and certain categories of sex offenders, singled out as targets of community notification laws? What explains historical variability in the form that sex offender laws take? We address these questions by reviewing the sexual psychopath laws enacted in the United States in the 1930s and 40s and the sexual predator and community notification laws of the 1990s, comparing recent developments in the United States with those in Britain, Canada, and Australia. We consider arguments by Garland, O'Malley, Pratt, and others on how community notification, and the control of sex offenders more generally, can be explained; and we speculate on the likelihood that Australia will adopt community notification laws.

For the remainder of this paper: by Lyn Hinds -and- Kathleen Daly

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