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

Sex offender residency requirements: an effective crime prevention strategy or a false sense of security?

December 2013

Several high-profile cases have emerged in recent years generating public and political concern for effective sex offender management. The general response has been to implement a series of legislative crime prevention measures designed to restrict the movement of sex offenders with public safety in mind.

One of the more recent prevention strategies includes sex offender residency restrictions. The problem with the approach to sex offender management is that methodologically strong empirical evaluations of crime prevention strategies pertaining to this group of offenders are relatively non-existent.

Given the changing composition of contemporary law enforcement and the focus on evidence-based practices, criminal justice officials and policy-makers would certainly benefit from exploring more effective crime prevention strategies in this context.

This paper aims to present the effectiveness of residency requirements through a review of the most current literature and empirical research. Theoretical underpinnings related to sexual violence and the effectiveness of residency requirements are also discussed and empirical evaluations are assigned a score that is based on the Scientific Methods Scale. ..Source.. by Michele P. Bratina, PhD is an assistant professor in the criminal justice department at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

Summary: Bratina reviewed the results of 15 studies on sex offender residence restrictions and concluded that “the effectiveness of residency restrictions as a crime prevention strategy is unknown. As a group, these evaluations suggested that residency restrictions have negative consequences on outcomes, whether collateral consequences, re-offending or proximity to target… some of the findings suggest that residency restriction policies may even be counterproductive” (p.214).

Michele P. Bratina (2013) Sex offender residency requirements: an effective crime prevention strategy or a false sense of security?. International Journal of Police Science & Management: Autumn 2013, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 200-218.

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