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Sex Offenders: Recidivism and Collateral Consequences

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2011
93 pages
Two studies examined whether sex offender registration and notification (SORN) reduces sex offender recidivism and whether the collateral consequences of SORN impede reintegration for sex offenders after their release from prison.
The findings of the two studies indicate that SORN is not likely to be an effective deterrent for sex offender recidivism and may produce a socioeconomic environment for sex offenders that increase barriers to employment and supportive social interactions. This report recommends that policymakers and treatment providers restrict the application of SORN to sex offenders identified as belonging to a high-risk trajectory, with a focus on the risk factors related to a high-risk trajectory. One study found that there are limited observable benefits of SORN in reducing sex offender recidivism as well as general recidivism. SORN status failed to predict whether sex offenders would reoffend with a sexual offense. Results from a second study show that several collateral consequences of SORN - including not living with friends, living in group facilities, and residential relocation - impact sex offenders differently compared to other offenders. One study examined the recidivism rates of two samples of sex offenders, those released prior to SORN and a sample released under SORN in New Jersey. It focused on whether or not there are distinct risk profiles among sex offenders regarding their recidivism trajectories, as well as whether these profiles are similar or different for sex offenders before and after the institution of SORN. Another study examined whether the recidivism trajectories of sex offenders released from prison under SORN were similar to or different from the recidivism trajectories of non-sex offenders released from prison under parole conditions that were not affected by SORN. 4 figures, 11 tables, extensive references, and appended supplementary data

Date Published: September 1, 2011