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Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Supplemental Report on Open-Ended Responses on Policy Recommendations

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2016
23 pages
Data and methodology are presented for a 2014 online national survey of law enforcement professionals in five States and two tribal jurisdictions to solicit information and perspectives on the functions, utility, and management of sex offender registration and notification systems.
This report focuses on the respondents' responses to the survey's unstructured, open-ended questions on policy priorities. The survey's phase 1 interviews reflect diverse perspectives on how policies that govern SORN (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) systems and related strategies might be most effectively calibrated. Based on interview data, the researchers identified 16 commonly referenced policy reform proposals in four broad categories: enforcement and compliance, operational improvements, offender management, and public-focused strategies. Two of the three top-ranked priorities on enforcement and compliance were expanded penalties for SORN non-compliance and expanded prosecution of registrant non-compliance. Within operational improvements, respondents gave the highest priority to policies and strategies for improving the integration and inter-operability between SORN and other criminal justice and government information. This priority was followed by measures that will improve registry accuracy and reliability and improvement in system registrant classification that will effectively target compliance. In the area of offender management, the expansion of formal probation and parole supervision for registrants was the highest policy priority for respondents across all categories. In the area of public-focused strategies, lower priority was given the suggestions in this category compared to the other three. The highest ranking item in this category involved policy strategies related to the education of community members in sexual violence prevention. Survey design and respondent and agency characteristics of the survey sample are addressed in the report. 5 figures

Date Published: July 1, 2016