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Examining the Concentration of Registered Sex Offenders in Upstate New York Census Tracts

2014 New York:

This study examined the census tract characteristics associated with the spatial concentration of registered sex offender (RSO) residences in 1,823 census tracts across 53 counties in upstate New York. The concentration of RSOs for each tract was measured using excess risk scores that essentially measure disproportionate concentrations of RSOs based on the resident population of the county and tract.

The tract characteristics examined included structural characteristics from the 2010 Census, such as indicators of social disorganization, housing availability and affordability, and population density, legal characteristics describing the presence of residence restrictions, and controls for spatial autocorrelation and regional differences.

Results indicate that registered sex offenders (RSOs) are disproportionately more likely to be found in tracts exhibiting high levels of concentrated disadvantage, available housing, and affordable housing, and disproportionately less likely to be found in tracts with high levels of ethnic heterogeneity. Controlling for spatial autocorrelation (lag) did not change overall results but was significantly and positively associated with excess risk. Implications for future policy and research practices are discussed. ..Source.. by Kelly M. Socia, School of Criminology and Justice Studies, University of Massachusetts, 113 Wilder St., H&SS Room 483, Lowell, MA 01854, USA. Email: Kelly_Socia@uml.edu

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