Sex Offender Community Notification Law Reform: A Call for More Active, Consistent, and Detailed Information about High-Risk Offenders

Michelle L. Beshears, Mike L. Beshears, Dena Weiss, Catherine D. Crocker


There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the enforcement of sex offender registration and community notification laws. A major argument against such laws involves the lumping of all sex offenders into a single category, which hinders offender management and public safety. Further exacerbating this problem is the fact that less than 35% of state registries provide the information necessary for citizens to make informed decisions regarding their safety, such as the victim’s age or gender. In some cases, law enforcement will go door-to-door and in other cases, community members need to look up information on their own. Misinformation and inconsistencies can cause unnecessary angst among community members. Therefore, states should consider the value of enacting uniformed legislation that is more active in its pursuit to provide consistent and detailed information about high-risk offenders and the offense(s) committed. This will better enable community members to more effectively form their own risk assessments and make better informed decisions.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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