Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Sex Offenses

  • Amanda AganEmail author
  • J. J. Prescott
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_579


Sex offenses today may be generally defined as acts of a sexual nature to which a victim has not given legal consent. This broad definition covers many different types of behaviors, but almost all individuals in the U.S. (and in a few other jurisdictions) who are convicted of committing any crime in this category are subject to unique postrelease regulations such as registration, public notification, and residency restrictions. In this entry, we briefly examine the scope of sexual offending in the U.S., the utility of the economic model of crime in understanding sex offender behavior, and the rise of sex offender postrelease regulations. With respect to postrelease regulations, we discuss potential reasons why sex offenses are treated differently and review the literature on the theoretical and empirical effects of these policies for crime rates and recidivism as well as their collateral consequences.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Law SchoolUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA