Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

Chen says job fit, job happiness can be achieved over time

Highlights

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

J.J. Prescott photo

Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior

Publication Abstract

Prescott, J.J., and J.E. Rockoff. 2011. "Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior." Journal of Law & Economics, 54(1).

Sex offenders have become targets of some of the most far-reaching and novel crime legislation in the United States. Two key innovations have been registration and notification laws, which, respectively, require that offenders provide identifying information to law enforcement and mandate that this information be made fully public. We study how registration and notification affect the frequency and incidence across victims of reported sex offenses. We present evidence that registration reduces the frequency of reported sex offenses against local victims (for example, neighbors) by keeping police informed about local sex offenders. Notification also appears to reduce crime, not by disrupting the criminal conduct of convicted sex offenders, but by deterring nonregistered offenders. We find that notification may actually increase recidivism. This latter finding, consistent with the idea that notification imposes severe costs that offset the benefits to offenders of forgoing criminal activity, is significant, given that notification's purpose is recidivism reduction.

DOI:10.1086/658485 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next