Fast Facts About Managing Individuals who have sexually offended

Fact 1: Most individuals who have sexually offended live in the community.

Most individuals who are adjudicated or convicted of a sexual offense either receive community supervision or return to their communities upon parole or release after incarceration. Very few sexual offenders receive lifelong sentences. For this reason, it is important that sexual offenders receive the treatment and social supports they need to achieve and maintain productive, crime-free lives.

Fact 2: Residence restrictions do not enhance public safety.

Most people who sexually offend against others do so against people they know, not against strangers. For this reason, sex offender registries that include residence restrictions based on the concept of stranger-danger generally are not effective in reducing sexual violence.

Fact 3: Public registries do not enhance public safety.

Studies have shown that sex offender registries limited to use by law enforcement agencies contribute to a reduction in recidivism. However, public registries (in which the offenders’ names, faces, and locations are available for viewing by the general public) do not contribute to increased community safety. In some studies, researchers have found that public registries actually lead to a slight increase in recidivism.

Fact 4: Approaches that provide social supports do help enhance public safety.

Programs that have proved to be effective in preventing recidivism are those that provide supports such as help finding housing, employment and transportation; ensuring access to treatment; and focusing on other prosocial activities, while at the same time holding offenders accountable for their crime and working toward restitution.

The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.

2018 ATSA Conference