Research Papers on the Sex Offender Registry
Research papers on the sex offender registry can explore the rational behind the registry or the ethical considerations involved. Either way, Paper Masters will custom write research on any topic that involves the criminal justice system, such as the sex offender registry.
The sex offender registry is the system that was created to give government authorities a way to keep track of the activities and residence of sex offenders. This registry would include offenders that completed their sentences. In the United States, registration is followed by notification requirements to the community.
The sex offender registry can be accessed online by the general public. Registered sex offenders have various restrictions including the following:
- Living in an area near schools or day cares
- Using the Internet
- Being in the presence of a minor
- Owning toys
The Supreme Court has upheld sex offender registration laws, but two challenges to the laws have succeeded in Missouri and Hawaii.
California was the first state in the U.S. to implement a sex offender registry in 1947. Community notifications for released sex offenders did not occur until 1994. The federal statute called the Jacob Wetterling Act to enforced all states to require sex offenders to register with state sex registries.
In 2006, Proposition 83 was passed by voters in California. This law enforces monitoring of convicted sexual predators, and creates “predator free zones”. Prop 83 was challenged the next day. The U.S. District Court found that Proposition 83 did not apply retroactively.
Considering what can be done to protect society from sex offenders, it is clear that criminal justice agencies have made a number of marked strides toward greater public protection. The institution of Megan’s Law has created a system in which sex offenders must register with local law enforcement officials upon release from prison. This process helps law enforcement track the activities of sex offenders, and in certain cases report the residence of sex offenders to the community at large. This process has raised public awareness about the dangers of sex offenders living in the community.
Although Megan’s Law has been noted to be a step in the right direction, researchers do note that problems in the system allow many released offenders to avoid the registration system. As such, there has been growing debate about the efficacy of the law and what could be done to improve it. While numerous proposals have been made, it seems reasonable to argue that sex offenders released from prison should have to register with local law enforcement agencies on a periodic basis. At the present time sex offenders have to register after their release and when they move. By making registration more frequent, offenders would be less likely to slip through the system.
Research on recidivism of all offenders indicates that most offenders are likely to recidivate in the first three years after release. As such, during this period, sex offenders should be required to register with law enforcement officials every three months. Between three and five years of release, offenders should be required to register every 6 months. After five years of release, the sex offender should be required to register every year. Offenders that fail to register should be jailed for noncompliance, with the imposition of stiff penalties. By forcing sex offenders to register periodically, local law enforcement professionals would be able to ensure that the activities of released sex offenders are carefully monitored for public safety.