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Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sex Offender Registration and Notification

NCJ Number
Date Published
Andrew J. Harris, Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky, Jill S. Levenson
This is the summary report on the first comprehensive national assessment of law enforcement uses of and perspectives on sex offender registration and notification systems envisioned under the provisions of the Federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORN).
The 2-year, mixed-method study involved the collection and analysis of interview data from approximately 24 jurisdictions, as well as the administration of a nationwide survey of law enforcement professionals. The study’s overall goal was to provide information on policy and practice as well as recommendations for Federal and State policymakers, State and tribal public-safety agencies charged with designing and managing SORN systems, and county/local law enforcement agencies responsible for registering and monitoring sex offenders within their communities. The study explored the ways in which law enforcement leaders, uniformed staff, and civilian staff who are engaged in SORN-related duties perceive SORN’s roles and functions, general effectiveness, and the usefulness of the information SORN systems provide. In addition, the study solicited law enforcement perspectives on promising SORN and related sex-offender management practices, perceived barriers and challenges to effectiveness, and policy reform priorities. After an overview of the general themes and concepts reflected in the collected data, law enforcement personnel’s perspectives on policy priorities focus on enforcement and compliance, operational improvements, offender management, and public-focused strategies. Implications of study findings are drawn for SORN policy and research. 48 references and appended research tools
Date Created: September 19, 2016