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: 221185 Find in a Library
Title: When Evidence Is Ignored: Residential Restrictions for Sex Offenders
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:69  Issue:6  Dated:December 2007  Pages:54-57
Author(s): Richard Tewksbury; Jill Levenson
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 4
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents residential restrictions for registered sex offenders as an example of how ex-offender reintegration and public safety are jeopardized by the failure of policymakers to rely on research evidence in establishing crime prevention policy.
Abstract: Although one-half of the States and hundreds of municipalities have enacted laws that impose restrictions on where registered sex offenders may live, there are no empirical data that indicate residential restrictions reduce reoffending by sex offenders. A 2004 Colorado study found that those sex offenders who did repeat sex offenses were randomly located and did not live closer to schools and parks than convicted sex offenders who did not reoffend. In Minnesota, a 2003 study failed to find a link between sex offenders living close to schools and their reoffending. A subsequent Minnesota study concluded that "there is very little support for the notion that residency restriction laws would lower the incidence of sexual recidivism, particularly among child molesters," and that "rather than lowering sexual recidivism, housing restrictions may work against this goal by fostering conditions that exacerbate [problems with] sex offenders' reintegration." Reinforcing this view, a California Research Bureau report that was prepared for the Assembly Public Safety Committee determined that "there is little research regarding the effectiveness of restricting the housing locations available to sex offenders, but the few studies available find they have no impact on reoffense rates." It is the responsibility of corrections professionals--through both rigorous empirical evaluation and the sharing of knowledge based on experience--to identify correctional practices and policies that work to achieve goals of public safety and those that impede such goals. 14 notes
Main Term(s): Corrections effectiveness
Index Term(s): Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Federal legislation; Legislation; Municipal ordinances; Post-release programs; Recidivism causes; Research uses in policymaking; Sex Offender Registration; Sex offenders; State laws
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.