Sex offender residence restrictions: Sensible crime policy or flawed logic? Article

Levenson, J, Zgoba, K, Tewksbury, R. (2007). Sex offender residence restrictions: Sensible crime policy or flawed logic? . FEDERAL PROBATION, 71(3), 2-9.

cited authors

  • Levenson, J; Zgoba, K; Tewksbury, R



  • In sum, the empirical research on sex offender residence restrictions is extremely limited. Only one study (Minnesota Department of Corrections, 2007) has specifically examined the empirical relationship between residence restrictions and recidivism, and that study was prospective because no such law was in place. No true empirical evaluations of existing residence laws have been completed to date. There is a growing body of evidence, however, that residence restrictions create unintended consequences for sex offenders and communities. These adverse effects include: homelessness; transience; inaccessibility to social support, employment, and rehabilitative services; registry invalidity; and clustering of sex offenders in poor, rural, or socially disorganized neighborhoods, Residence laws are often predicated on erroneous assumptions of high recidivism rates and "stranger danger," and they have infrequently incorporated empirically derived risk assessment. As a result, the community reintegration of lower-risk, non-violent, and statutory offenders may be unnecessarily impeded. So, in the absence of evidence that residence restrictions are effective In achieving goals of improved community safety, their unintended effects may outweigh their benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to determine whether these laws are indeed efficacious methods for controlling sex offense recidivism and preventing sexual violence,.

publication date

  • December 1, 2007

published in

start page

  • 2

end page

  • 9


  • 71


  • 3