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Publish Date: December 2020 | Download PDF |

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Adults convicted of a sexual crime must register with the police for the sexual offender registry in the United States (U.S.), as well as several other countries around the world. Sometimes they have to register for the rest of their lives, and much of the information about them is posted on the internet for everyone to see.

These registration laws began in the U.S. in the 1930s. They were first used by the police to track adults who had committed sexual crimes, and only the police knew the names of people on the registries. Gradually, registration laws were expanded to include community notification and the registration information became available to the public. The federal government in the U.S. sets registry standards that most states, territories, and tribes follow. Other nations also have expanded their sexual offender registration laws, but very few have any form of community notification.

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) published a paper on the reform of sexual offender registration and community notification in September 2020. This document is a summary of the findings and recommendations. For a more comprehensive overview and references, readers are encouraged to review the full publication.

Publication Type:
Policy Papers



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