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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock discusses the "new American family" on NPR

Pfeffer and colleagues re-examine impacts of community college attendance

Frey explains the minority-majority remapping of America

Highlights

Apply for 2-year NICHD Postdoctoral Fellowships that begin September 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Michigan's graduate sociology program tied for 4th with Stanford in USN&WR rankings

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Dec 1
Linda Waite

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