skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 219658 Find in a Library
Title: Sex Offender Legislation in the United States: What Do We Know?
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:51  Issue:4  Dated:August 2007  Pages:369-383
Author(s): Michelle Cohen; Elizabeth L. Jeglic
Date Published: August 2007
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews current trends in sex offender legislation and analyzes how these policies may impact sex offender recidivism and treatment.
Abstract: Despite less than promising research findings, it is likely that the public will continue to favor incarceration and incapacitation of sex offenders over treatment. Future research should explore other methods of dealing with sex offenders to replace or accompany those already in use. Main trends under examination included: mandatory sentencing laws, civil commitment, community notification, monitoring, and supervision. The current trend in dealing with sex offenders is to incarcerate them. Additionally, multiple new laws have been enacted allowing for longer periods of confinement for sex offenders. Many States even have mandatory sentencing laws for sex offenders to ensure that their incarceration will be both severe and uniform. For those who have already been released, there has been a movement toward increased monitoring. Sex offenders can also be civilly committed following the termination of their criminal sentence. While the option of civil commitments was originally designed to offer treatment to mentally ill offenders, it has devolved into a system used to keep sex offenders out of the community after their maximum sentences have expired. Once sex offenders have been released into the community and are under community supervision, a variety of laws govern their whereabouts and actions, including community notification laws, physical monitoring systems, and lifetime supervision policies. Many of these legal-based methods for dealing with sex offenders lack research regarding their effectiveness and the research on community notification laws indicates that these laws are ineffective and impractical. References
Main Term(s): Legislation; Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Mandatory Sentencing; Offender supervision; Sex Offender Registration; Trend analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.