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Contextualizing Sex Offender Management Legislation and Policy: Evaluating the Problem of Latent Consequences in Community Notification Laws



Sexual victimization has become one of the most publicized and researched social problems in society. However, potential linkages between the intended and unintended effects of sex offender management legislation have gone largely unaddressed in social science literature. This article addresses these linkages by applying a social-systems model to help better understand the problems of managing sex offenders. Additionally, latent consequences of current and proposed sex offender legislation, including community notification laws, are examined. It is argued that sex offenders (and the community at large) may face a considerable variety of problems not intended by such legislation. In addition, we examine the "one-dimensional monster" stereotype of a sex offender and how this ostracism may discourage offenders from reporting their behavior and seeking counseling. Finally, we provide proposals for addressing these issues with the use of the therapeutic jurisprudence model.

For the remainder of this paper: by William Edwards, Morehead State University, #108920, Kentucky State Reformatory, 3001 West Highway 146, La Grange, KY 40031, USA -AND- Christopher Hensley, Institute for Correctional Research and Training, Morehead State University, 114 Rader Hall, Morehead, KY 40351, USA

International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol. 45, No. 1, 83-101 (2001) DOI: 10.1177/0306624X01451006

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