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Residential Proximity to Schools and Daycares: An Empirical Analysis of Sex Offense Recidivism

May 2010:

Residential restrictions for sex offenders have become increasingly popular, despite the lack of empirical data suggesting that offenders’ proximity to schools or daycares contributes to recidivism. Using a matched sample of recidivists and nonrecidivists from Florida (n = 330) for the period from 2004 through 2006, the authors investigated whether sex offenders who lived closer to schools or daycares were more likely to reoffend sexually against children than those who lived farther away.

No significant differences were found between the distances that recidivists and nonrecidivists lived from schools and daycares. There was no significant relationship between reoffending and proximity to schools or daycares.
The results indicate that proximity to schools and daycares, with other risk factors being comparable, does not appear to contribute to sexual recidivism. These data do not support the widespread enactment of residential restrictions for sexual offenders.

For the remainder of this paper: by Paul A. Zandbergen, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, zandberg@unm.edu -AND- Jill S. Levenson, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida -AND- Timothy C. Hart, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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