The relationship between sex offender registry utilization and awareness

  • Kernsmith P
  • Comartin E
  • Craun S
 et al. 
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Although registries of convicted sexual offenders are widely popular,
little is known about the impact of the policies. The goal of this
research was to measure one aspect of the impact of registry policies:
patterns of usage of publicly available registries. Using a
computer-assisted telephone survey, Michigan residents were questioned
about their utilization of the sex offender registry and whether they
believed any sex offenders lived in their community. The authors found
that few respondents had looked at the registry. Reasons respondents
provided for nonuse included lack of interest in the registry, living in
a ``safe{''} area, and not having children. Although it was found that
registry use was related to awareness of offenders in the community,
after viewing the registry, nearly half of the survey participants still
believed no offenders lived in the community. Logistic regression was
used to predict both registry use and awareness of offenders in the

Author-supplied keywords

  • Community notification
  • Offender registration
  • Sex offenders
  • Sexual abuse
  • Social policy

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