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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Edin and Shaefer's book a call to action for Americans to deal with poverty

Weir says pain may underlie rise in suicide and substance-related deaths among white middle-aged Americans

Weitzman says China's one-child policy has had devastating effects on first-born daughters


MCubed opens for new round of seed funding, November 4-18

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

John Knodel honored by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 7 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Daniel Eisenberg, "Healthy Minds Network: Mental Health among College-Age Populations"

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