Spatial Analytical Framework for Examining Sex Offender Residency Issues Over Space and Time
Sexual assault is a serious problem, with long term social and psychological impacts. Nationally visible cases of sex offenders who recidivated after release into the community have prompted state and federal legislators and local communities to focus on the public safety risk posed by offenders and the most appropriate means of dealing with this unique population. With recidivism rates for convicted offenders around 15% in the U.S., and substantially higher for the more violent and deviant, the risk faced by communities is real. The monitoring and management of convicted sex offenders is therefore a major policy consideration in the United States. Passed in 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act mandated that U.S. states register individuals convicted of sex crimes against children. Additional modifications, including the recent Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (2006), require that agencies monitor the whereabouts of convicted offenders for at least fifteen years, and up to a lifetime. Local jurisdictions have also extended these federally mandated requirements for convicted offenders with increasingly punitive ordinances that ban offenders from living within a specified distance of locations where children congregate, like schools and playgrounds, and imposing dispersion and saturation statutes that limit the number of offenders living within a community or local area.
This research will develop a spatial analytical framework and toolbox for addressing convicted sex offender residency issues, facilitating access to a combination of new and existing exploratory and confirmatory statistical methods as well as new and existing spatial optimization models for analyzing impacts and evaluating/developing public policy associated with the management of convicted sex offenders.
ASU Project Staff
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.