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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 167021 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Sex Offender Community Notification: A Review of Laws in 32 States
Author(s): S Matson; R Lieb
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Washington State Institute for Public Policy
Olympia, WA 98504-0999
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Washington State Institute for Public Policy
110 Fifth Avenue Southeast
Suite 214
P.O. Box 40999
Olympia, WA 98504-0999
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report analyzes the 32 States with legislation authorizing some form of notification or access to information on registered sex offenders.
Abstract: Community notification refers to the distribution of information about released sex offenders to citizens and community organizations. The 32 States with some form of sex offender notification are organized into three basic categories: (1) those with broad community notification; (2) those with notification to organizations and individuals at risk; and (3) those with access to registration information. The authors point out that notification has been subject to challenges on constitutional grounds, most frequently based on the argument that notification represents an additional punishment. The analysis of State statutes indicates that notification is reserved for offenders assessed as high-risk and for those convicted of offenses against children. Approaches to and methods of notification vary by State, with typical methods being press releases, flyers, newspaper advertisements, and direct mailings. Notification usually includes name, description or photo, address or approximate address, description of crime, and age of victim. Some States use specific risk assessment instruments to determine an offender's risk of reoffending and whether an offender should be subject to notification. State organizations often develop rules and procedures for carrying out notification, and local organizations are generally responsible for the actual notification. States that maintain sex offender registries locate them within a State agency. 2 tables and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Criminology; Sex Offender Registration; Sex offenders; State laws; State-by-state analyses
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