Juvenile Registration and Notification Policies Fail to Prevent First-Time Sexual Offenses: An Extension of Findings to Two New States

Elizabeth J Letourneau, Ryan T. Shields, Reshmi Nair, Geoffrey Kahn, Jeffery C. Sandler, Donna M. Vandiver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of Maryland and Oregon juvenile sex offender registration and notification policies on first-time sexual offense charges and adjudications. We used autoregressive modeling to compare the monthly average of first-time sexual offense charges (N = 5,657 and 13,278 for Maryland and Oregon, respectively) and adjudications (N = 1,631 and 5,451 for Maryland and Oregon, respectively) across pre- and post-policy years. Results indicate that neither state’s registration policy had any impact on first-time sexual offense charges or adjudications and are consistent with prior studies evaluating the juvenile registration and notification policies of four other states. The absence of general deterrence effects across three studies evaluating six state registration policies suggests that, regardless of specific policy characteristics, juvenile registration and notification policies fail to improve community safety via deterring first-time sexual offenses among children. Recommendations include replacing juvenile registration policies with more effective prevention and intervention practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • children
  • juveniles
  • notification laws
  • policy implications
  • registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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