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NCJ Number: NCJ 235979   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Residence Restriction Legislation, Sex Crime Rates, and the Spatial Distribution of Sex Offender Residences
Author(s): Kelly M. Socia
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 190
Sponsoring Agency: NLECTC Small, Rural, Tribal and Border Regional Ctr
United States of America
Grant Number: 2010-IJ-CX-0004
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study addresses the effectiveness of registered sex offender (RSO) residence restrictions on reducing recidivism rates by examining the characteristics of counties passing these policies, the efficacy of county residence restrictions to reduce sex crime rates in New York State, whether these policies are associated with the spatial distribution of residences in upstate New York neighborhoods, and whether this spatial distribution is in turn associated with differences in county-level recidivistic sex crime rates.
Abstract: Residence restrictions are one of the most recent, and controversial, public policies seeking to protect community members from RSOs reentering society following incarceration. These policies prohibit RSOs from living within a given distance of certain places where children might gather. The expectation is that RSOs will have a harder time finding and approaching children whom they can sexually assault, thus driving recidivism rates down. These policies, first passed in 1995 at the state level and in 2005 at the county/local level, have become popular in the United States, but without proof of effectiveness. The research on these policies has been limited, and largely focused on the unintended consequences that these policies cause for RSOs, typically as a result of reduced housing options. This study addresses this lack of research by examining: the characteristics of counties passing these policies, the efficacy of county residence restrictions to reduce sex crime rates in New York State, whether these policies are associated with the spatial distribution of RSO residences in upstate New York neighborhoods, and whether this spatial distribution is in turn associated with differences in county-level recidivistic sex crime rates. This study draws on a number of diverse literatures, including the diffusion of policy innovations, incapacitation and deterrence theories, reentry and rehabilitation research, and the conceptualization and measurement of the spatial distribution of ex-offender residences. Results indicate that political competition is influential in passing a county residence restriction and that a nearby residence restriction may dissuade others from passing their own policies. While these restrictions do not reduce recidivistic sex crimes, they may generally deter some individuals from sexually victimizing adults. Results indicate that while a residence restriction is in some cases associated with the within- and between-neighborhood spatial distribution of RSOs, there is no indirect effect on recidivistic sex crime rates.
Main Term(s): Sex Offender Registration/Registries
Index Term(s): Sex offenders ; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs ; NIJ final report
   
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