Introduction to Part II

  • Alexandra HoltzmanEmail author
  • Sean McKinley


This chapter provides an overview of the existing sex offender legislation, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses; such laws pertaining to mandatory registration, public notification, civil commitment, and residency restrictions are discussed, as well as their financial, social, and psychological implications for offenders, their families, and their respective communities. Overall, there appears to be an unnerving lack of evidence-based legislation that effectively prevents sexual violence, instead focusing on punitive restrictions on individuals who have already offended. Therefore, alternatives to the current legislation are introduced, setting the stage for the second half of this book. Primary and secondary interventions and their relative effectiveness compared to current legislation are discussed, and parallels are drawn between intervention efforts in the public health field and criminal justice policy.


Sexual offenders Sexual violence prevention Legislation Treatment Prevention 


  1. Banyard, V. L., Plante, E. G., & Moynihan, M. M. (2003). Bystander education: Bringing a broader community perspective to sexual violence prevention. Journal of Community Psychology, 32(1), 61–79. doi: 10.1002/jcop.10078 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bruell, C., Swatt, M., & Sample, L. (2008). Potential consequences of sex offender residency restriction laws: Housing availability and offender displacement. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, St. Louis, MO.Google Scholar
  3. Calkins, C., Colombino, N., Matsuura, T., & Jeglic, E. (2015). Where do sex crimes occur? How an examination of sex offense location can inform policy and prevention. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 39(2), 99–112. doi: 10.1080/01924036.2014.973047 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlsmith, K. M., Monahan, J., & Evans, A. (2007). The function of punishment in the “civil” commitment of sexually violence predators. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 25, 437–448.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014a). Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs. Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from:
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014b). Trends in cigarette smoking among high school students and adults, United States, 1965–2014. Retrieved from:
  7. Chaffin, M., Levenson, J., Letourneau, E., & Stern, P. (2009). How safe are trick-or-treaters? An analysis of child sex crime rates on Halloween. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 21(3), 363–374.Google Scholar
  8. Chajewski, M., & Mercado, C. C. (2009). An evaluation of sex offender residency restrictions in rural, urban and county-wide jurisdictions. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 20, 44–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, M. A., & Piquero, A. R. (2009). New evidence on the monetary value of saving a high risk youth. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25(1), 25–49. doi: 10.1007/s10940-008-9057-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Craig, G. (2015, August 31). Judge: State’s sex offender program needs overhaul. Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved from
  11. D’Orazio, D. M., Arkowitz, S., Adams, J., & Wesley, M. (2009). The California sexually violent predator statute: History, description, & areas for improvement. The California Coalition on Sexual Offending.Google Scholar
  12. Farkas, M., & Miller, G. (2007). Reentry and reintegration: Challenges faced by the families of convicted sex offenders. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 20(2), 88–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Foshee, V. A., Reyes, L. M., Agnew-Brune, C. B., Simon, T. R., Vagi, K. J., Lee, R. D., et al. (2014). The effects of the evidence-based safe dates dating abuse prevention program on other youth violence outcomes. Prevention Science, 15(6), 907–916. doi: 10.1007/s11121-014-0472-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hanson, R. K., Gordon, A., Harris, A. J. R., Marques, J. K., Murphy, W., Quinsey, V. L., et al. (2002). First report of the collaborative outcome data project on the effectiveness of psychological treatment for sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 14(2), 169–194. doi: 10.1177/107906320201400207 Google Scholar
  15. Hanson, R. K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. E. (2005). The characteristics of persistent sexual offenders: A meta-analysis of recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 1154–1163. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.73.6.1154 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Jeglic, E. L., Hanson, K., & Calkins, C. (2016). Sex offender treatment: The need for cognitive behavioral therapists. The Behavior Therapist, 39(5), 162–165.Google Scholar
  17. Jennings, W. G., & Zgoba, K. M. (2015). An application of an innovative cost-benefit analysis tool for determining the implementation costs and public safety benefits of SORNA with educational implications for criminology and criminal justice. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 26(2), 147–162. doi: 10.1080/10511253.2014.940057 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kotz, D., Brown, J., & West, R. (2013). “Real-world” effectiveness of smoking cessation treatments: A population study. Addiction, 109(3), 491–499. doi: 10.1111/add.12429 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Levenson, J. (2010). Sex offender residence restrictions and community re-entry. In A. Schlank (Ed.), The sexual predator: Law, policy, evaluation and treatment (Vol. 4). New York, NY: Civic Research Institute.Google Scholar
  20. MacMillan, R. (2000). Adolescent victimization and income deficits in adulthood: Rethinking the costs of criminal violence from a life-course perspective. Criminology, 38, 553–588. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2000.tb00899.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mercado, C., Alvarez, S., & Levenson, J. (2008). The impact of specialized sex offender legislation on community re-entry. Justice Research and Policy, 9(2), 1–16.Google Scholar
  22. Miller, T. R., Cohen, M. A., & Wiersema, B. (1996). victim costs and consequences: A new look, National Institute of Justice Research Report (NCJ Publication No. 155282). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved from:
  23. Reichmann, G., & Sommersguter-Reichmann, M. (2012). The Austrian Tobacco Act in practice—Analysing the effectiveness of partial smoking bans in Austrian restaurants and bars. Health Policy, 104(3), 304–311. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2011.11.004 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Sandler, J., Freeman, N., & Socia, K. (2008). Does a watched pot boil? A time-series analysis of New York State’s sex offender registration and notification law. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 14(4), 284–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tabachnick, J. (2013). Why prevention? Why now? International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 8(3–4), 55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tewksbury, R., Jennings, W. G., & Zgoba, K. M. (2012). A longitudinal examination of sex offender recidivism prior to and following the implementation of SORN. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 30, 308–328.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Tewksbury, R., & Levenson, J. (2009). Stress experiences of family members of registered sex offenders. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 27, 611–626.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Tewksbury, R., & Zgoba, K. (2010). Perceptions and coping with punishment: How registered sex offenders respond to stress, internet restrictions, and the collateral consequences of registration. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 54(4), 537–551.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Trust for America’s Health. (2008). Prevention for a healthier America: Investments in disease prevention yield significant savings, stronger communities. Available from:
  30. Zandbergen, P., & Hart, T. C. (2006). Reducing housing options for convicted sex offenders: Investigating the impact of residency restriction laws using GIS. Justice Research and Policy, 8(2), 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zandbergen, P., Levenson, J., & Hart, T. (2010). Residential proximity to schools and daycares: An empirical analysis of sex offense recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(5), 482–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Zgoba, K., & Levenson, J. (2012). Failure to register as a predictor of sex offense recidivism: The Big Bad Wolf or a red herring? Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 24, 328–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zgoba, K., Miner, M., Knight, R., Letourneau, E., Levenson, J., & Thornton, D. (2013). A multi-state evaluation of sex offender risk and recidivism using the Adam Walsh Act tiers. Corrections Today, 92–95.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations