Sex offender residence restriction laws: Parental perceptions and public policy

Christina Mancini, Ryan T. Shields, Daniel P. Mears, Kevin M. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite a steady decline in sex crime over the past twenty years, new laws, such as residence restrictions, targeting such crime have proliferated. Some scholars have argued that public concern about sexual offending against young children has served as a catalyst for the emergence of these laws. Few studies, however, have empirically tested this claim. To address this gap and to contribute to scholarship on public opinion about crime and justice, this research tests a central implication flowing from prior work-namely, the notion that people with children will be more likely to endorse increased restrictions on where sex offenders can live. Analyses of public opinion data from a 2006 poll of Florida residents suggest that parents are indeed significantly more likely to support such restrictions. Implications of the study for research and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1030
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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