Sex offender

Sex offender

A sex offender is a person who has been criminally charged and convicted of, or has pled guilty to, or pled Nolo contendere to a sex crime. Crimes requiring mandatory sex offender registration may include child sexual abuse, downloading pornographic material of persons under the age of 18, (child pornography), rape, statutory rape and even non-sexual offenses such as kidnapping. The term sexual offender is a broad term, with sexual predator being used to describe a more severe physical or repeat sexual offense. Sexual offenders are also sometimes classified into levels [] , where the highest level offenders have the most aggravating crimes and thus, the most risk to the public and usually must register as a sex offender for their entire lives. Low level sexual offenders may serve only a probationary sentence and only register for 10 years as well as having less restrictions placed on them compared to higher level offenders. As a label of identity it is used in criminal psychology. Especially in the United States the person, if convicted, is most likely required to register with the respective jurisdiction's sex offender registry, a county- or statewide database that is often public and accessible to everyone through the internet.

United States


The State of Georgia passed the most stringent sex offender law in the country, which took effect July 1, 2006 [ (HB-1059)] . The bill stipulated that sex offenders are prohibited from living within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, church, and anywhere where children are known to congregate, including parks, playgrounds, and bus stops. Due to the bus stop regulation, most of Georgia, including virtually all of the metropolitan areas, is a prohibited area for sex offenders. Currently there is a Temporary Restraining Order on the bus stop portion of the law, so that is not being enforced. The 1,000 foot law was struck down by the Ga. Supreme Court.

The Georgia Registry can be found [ here] , and the Georgia General Assembly can be found [ here] .

Their term for sexual offender is:

* A person who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or any dangerous sexual offense; or
* A person who has been convicted under the laws of another state or territory, under the laws of the United States, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or in a tribal court of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or a dangerous sexual offense.

And a sexual predator is:

* A person who was designated as a sexually violent predator between July 1, 1996, and June 30, 2006; or
* A person who is determined by the [ Sexual Offender Registration Review Board] to be at risk of perpetrating any future dangerous sexual offense.

You can read more by clicking [ here] , then on the bottom right, click on the "Sex Offenders" link.


[ Latest News]

The [ Southern Center for Human Rights] filed a class action lawsuit over some of HB-1059's residency and work restrictions, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Discussion of this litigation may be found at []

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kansas v. Hendricks that a predatory sex offender can be civilly committed at the end of his prison sentence.

On November 21, 2007 the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a ruling pertaining to Georgia’s sex offender residency law. The case is [ Mann v. the Georgia Department of Corrections] . In a strongly-worded, unanimous opinion, the Court held that Ga. Code Ann. § 42-1-15(a) is unconstitutional because it “takes” people’s property without just and adequate compensation in violation of the Takings Clause. Justice Hunstein, writing for the Court, stated that “ [i] t is apparent that there is no place in Georgia where a registered sex offender can live without being continually at risk of being ejected.”.

The law had been targeted by civil rights groups who argued it would render vast residential areas off-limits to Georgia's roughly 11,000 registered sex offenders and could backfire by encouraging offenders to stop reporting their whereabouts to authorities.

It also led to challenges from groups like the [ Southern Center for Human Rights] , which argued that it would force some offenders to live in their cars or set up tents or trailers in the woods, and undermine other efforts to keep track of offenders.

On December 04, 2007 SCHR files [ Amicus Curiae brief in Georgia Supreme Court in Mann] .

On December 11, 2007, Rep. Jerry Keen proposed a change to the original bill [ here] .

Then on December 13, 2007 the Supreme Court issued the following clarification:

"The Georgia Supreme Court today made a slight change to its recent ruling in Mann v. Georgia Department of Corrections et al. (S07A1043). In its order of November 21, the Court wrote, “We therefore find that OCGA § 42-1-15 (a) is unconstitutional because it permits the regulatory taking of appellant’s property without just and adequate compensation.” In today’s order, the Court substituted the word, “because” with the phrase, “to the extent that.” The rest of the 16-page order remains unchanged."

So now, apparently everything is the same, except people who own their homes do not have to move when a church, school or day care open near by, but the law still affects renters. The Southern Center for Human Rights is still working on further court cases regarding this ruling, and the latest news can be found [ here] .


The State of Iowa has passed some of the most stringent sex offender legislation in the United States. Under Iowa Code 692A, sex offenders shall not reside within 2,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school or a child care facility. [ [ Iowa Code 692A] ] You can also visit the [ Iowa General Assembly] for more information.

The Iowa registry can be found [ here] .

Other States

Alabama - Offenders can't work or live within 2,000 feet of schools, child care facilities. Arkansas - Serious offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers. California - Those released since Nov. 7 may not live within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, other places where kids gather. Florida - Offenders who've hurt minors can't live within 1,000 feet of where kids gather.

Georgia - Offenders, no individual required to register pursuant to Code Section 42-1-12 shall reside or loiter within 1,000 feet of any child care facility, church, school, or area where minors congregate [] Idaho - Offenders can't live or loiter within 500 feet of school with kids under age 18. Illinois - Offenders of children can't live within 500 feet of a school. Indiana - Violent offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth program center. Iowa - Offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of school or child care facility. Kentucky - Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of school, child care facility, ball fields and playgrounds. Louisiana - Serious offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools or related activities, including school buses. Maryland - Parole commission restricts registrants from living or loitering near places used mostly by kids where feasible.

Minnesota - Parole commissioner decides whether serious offenders may live within 1,500 feet of school zones. Mississippi - Offenders can't live within 1,500 feet of school or child care facility. Missouri - Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of school or child care facility. Montana - Judges can bar offender of children from living near schools, churches, parks and day care centers. Nebraska - The Sex Offender Registration Act does not have the authority to place restrictions on a registered sex offender as to where or with whom they can live. However, local ordinances can be enacted that restrict level 3 (high risk) sex offender with victim(s) 18 years old or younger, from living within 500 feet of a school or child care facility. Not all communities have enacted such ordinances. New York - Serious offenders can't enter school grounds or facilities caring for kids. Ohio - Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, child care facilities or places kids gather. Oklahoma - Offenders can't live within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers or parks. Oregon - Department of Corrections decides where offenders may live. South Dakota - Offenders can't live or loiter within 500 feet of community safety zones. Tennessee - Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools, child care facilities or their victims. Texas - State Parole Board decides where offenders may live or go. Virginia - Some offenders can't loiter within 100 feet of schools or child care centers. Washington - High-risk offenders can't live within 880 feet of schools or day care centers. West - Virginia Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of schools or child care facilities. [ [ States restricting where sex offenders live - ] ] This information was posted on USA Today in 2007, so it may be outdated.

Recidivism rates

A study covering the American state of Arizona in an earlier time frame than the USDOJ study showed that 5.5% of convicted sex offenders eventually returned to prison with a new felony for a sex crime. [Arizona Department of Corrections, [ Sex Offender Recidivism] , statistics from the 1990s, retrieved May 42007] The study does not extend beyond the scope of the State of Arizona and is not necessarily indicative of trends in other jurisdictions.

Figures from a DOJ study on recidivism among sex offenders released in 1994, called the most comprehensive of its kind, can be found at the US Department of Justice's publication [ Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994] ( [ PDF] ).

In 2007, the State Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina made significant changes to its sex offender registration system, including new search criteria that include an "offender status" search, enabling an explicit search for convicted sex offense recidivists in the sex offender database. Manual searches by county using the new criteria yield some of the lowest recidivist percentages ever disseminated by any law enforcement establishment. In the entire State of North Carolina, there are only 71 recidivists shown on the registry, if incarcerated offenders are included. Per-county results for "Registered" status offenders compared against "Recidivist" status offenders on the North Carolina registry yield actual convicted recidivist percentages ranging from zero to fractions of one percent. [ [ North Carolina Sex Offender and Public Protection Registry] , searches performed as of May 6, 2007]

According to the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice: [U.S. Department of Justice [ Criminal Offenders Statistics: Recidivism] , statistical information from the late 1990s and very early 2000s, retrieved May 42007]

Recidivism in general

Source: []

For clarification: the 272,111 persons mentioned include all criminals released—not just sex offenders.
* Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years, 46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% resentenced to prison for a new crime.
* The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest charges over their recorded careers.
* Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.
* Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense –– 43 percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-sex offenders.
* Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison –– 5.3 percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders.

ex offenders

Source: []

* On a given day in 1994 there were approximately 234,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies; nearly 60% of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.
* The median age of the victims of imprisoned sexual assaulters was less than 13 years old; the median age of rape victims was about 22 years.
* An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of the offense for which they were in State prison in 1991.
* Of the 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 States in 1994, 5.3% were rearrested for a new sex crime within 3 years of release.
* Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40% perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.

Child victimizers

Source: []

* Approximately 4,300 child molesters were released from prisons in 15 States in 1994. An estimated 3.3% of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.
* Among child molesters released from prison in 1994, 60% had been in prison for molesting a child 13 years old or younger.
* Offenders who had victimized a child were on average 5 years older than the violent offenders who had committed their crimes against adults. Nearly 25% of child victimizers were age 40 or older, but about 10% of the inmates with adult victims fell in that age range.

tate specific recidivism studies

Many states have released their own studies of sex offender recidivism. [ [ Recidivism study: Alaska - (2007)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Arizona - (1988 - 1998)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Arkansas] ] [ [ Recidivism study: California - (2005 - 2006)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Colorado - (2004) Part 1] , [ Part 2 Appendices] , [ 50 state survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Corrections] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Delaware (2007)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Illinois (2002)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Iowa - (2000 - Page 10)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Kentucky (2006)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Michigan - (2000 - Page 184)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Minnesota - (2007)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Missouri - (2006)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: New York (1986)] - ( [ 2001] ) - ( [ 2007] )] [ [ Recidivism study: Ohio - (2006)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Oregon - (Page 7)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Pennsylvania - (2005)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Tennessee - (2007)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Texas - (2005)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Vermont - (2003)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Virginia - (2001)] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Washington - (2001 - Page 2)] , [ Study is invalid, explanation here] ] [ [ Recidivism study: Wyoming - (2005 - Page 2)] ]

An extensive 50-state survey can be found [ here] , which was conducted on November 01, 2000.


A sex offender registry is a system in place in a number of jurisdictions designed to allow government authorities to keep track of the residence and activities of felony sex offenders, including those who have completed their criminal sentences. In some jurisdictions (especially in the United States), information in the registry is made available to the general public via a website or other means. In many jurisdictions registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including housing. Those on parole or probation may be subject to restrictions that don't apply to other parolees or probationers. [ [ Sex Offender Registry Review 2007] ] Sometimes these include (or have been proposed to include) restrictions on being in the presence of minors, living in proximity to a school or day care center, or owning toys or other items of interest to minors.


Behavior modification programs have been shown to reduce recidivism in sex offenders [Marshall, W.L., Jones, R., Ward, T., Johnston, P. & Bambaree, H.E.(1991). Treatment of sex offenders. "Clinical Psychology Review, 11", 465-485 ] . Often such programs use principles of applied behavior analysis two such approaches from this line of research have promise the first uses operant conditioning approaches which use reward and punishment to train new behavior such as problem solving [Maguth Nezu, C., Fiore, A.A. & Nezu, A.M (2006). Problem Solving Treatment for Intellectually Disabled Sex Offenders. "International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 2(2)," 266-275] and the second uses respondent conditioning procedures such as aversion therapy. Many of the behavior analysis programs use covert sensitization [Rea, J. (2003). Covert Sensitization. "The Behavior Analyst Today, 4 (2)," 192-201] and/or odor aversion, which are both forms of aversion therapy and have had ethical challenges to them. Such programs are effective in lowering recidivism by 15-18 percent [Marshall, W.L., Jones, R., Ward, T., Johnston, P. & Bambaree, H.E.(1991). Treatment of sex offenders. "Clinical Psychology Review," 11, 465-485 ] . The use of aversion procedures remains a controversy and is often discussed as an ethical issue related to the practice of behavior analysis

Risk Assessment

Therapists use various ways to test the dangerousness of sex offenders. Below are some tests used to determine a sex offenders risk to reoffend:

* [ Abel Assessment]
* [ LSI-R]
* [ Static 99]

ee also


*Child sexual abuse
*Day care sexual abuse hysteria
*Mass hysteria
*Moral panic
*Sex and the law
*Sex offender registration
*Sexual predator
*United States National Sex Offenders Public Registry


*Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act
*Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act
*Jessica Lunsford Act
*Jessica's Law
*Megan's Law

Monitoring, Assessment, Other

*Ankle monitor
*Civil confinement
*Global Positioning System (GPS)
*Penile plethysmograph


*Adam Walsh
*Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.
*Dru Sjodin
*Jacob Wetterling
*Jeffrey Dahmer
*Jesse Timmendequas
*Jessica Lunsford
*John Couey
*John Walsh
*Jon Winningham
*Mark Lunsford
*Megan Kanka
*Ottis Toole
*Patty Wetterling
*Polly Klaas
*Richard Allen Davis

hows & Organizations

*America's Most Wanted
* [ Corrupted-Justice]
*Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation
*National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
** [ Law Suit (Kruska v. Perverted Justice Foundation)] - Legal Claims: Copyright Infringement; Defamation; Harassment; Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Other
*Polly Klaas Foundation
*To Catch a Predator

External links


* [ Bureau of Justice Statistics]
* [ Comprehensive Article on Sex Offender Research & Law]
* [ CSOM Publications - Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders]
* [ Facts about Sex Offenders (ATSA)]
* [$FILE/SexOffenderPolicy.pdf NACDL Sex Offender Task Force Policy Report]
* [ Sex Offenders Databases for all 50 States]

Related laws

* [ Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act]
* [ Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998]
* [ Children's Safety Act of 2005]
* [ Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual-Predators Act of 2007] | [ PDF]
* [ Safe NOW Act of 2007 (HR-291)] | [ PDF]
* [ Stop the Online Exploitation of Our Children Act]
* [ The 1994 Jacob Wetterling Act]
* [ Jessica Lunsford Act]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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