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Law Enforcement Registration and Community Notification (From Managing Adult Sex Offenders: A Containment Approach, P 5.1-5.13, 1996, Kim English, Suzanne Pullen, and Linda Jones, eds. - See NCJ-162392)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
13 pages
Law enforcement registration and community notification of sex offenders are discussed with respect to the major issues involved and the elements that should be in place to enhance the use of registration with law enforcement.
Forty States have passed laws that require sex offenders to register with law enforcement agencies. Some States also allow communities to be notified of the identity or location of some sex offenders living in the area. Field research conducted as part of an NIJ-sponsored study revealed that issues related to such legislation range from the extent to which public safety is improved using these techniques to problems of resource allocation. The analysis concludes that registration laws are vital to the effective management of sex offenders in the community. Although supplementing registration laws with community notification may further enhance public safety, the use of community notification must be discretionary so that the police officer most closely involved with the case can develop a case-specific plan. Notification may work best when the offender's parole or probation officer is directly involved with the development and implementation of the plan. In addition, community notification laws should grant immunity to notification officials. Finally, police agencies required to notify must have adequate resources to do so. Footnotes and 9 references

Date Published: January 1, 1996