U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Sex Offender Notification and Protective Behavior

NCJ Number
Violence and Victims Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2004 Pages: 289-302
Victoria Simpson Beck; Lawrence F. Travis III
Roland D. Maiuro Ph.D.
Date Published
June 2004
14 pages
This study conducted an assessment of the underlying assumptions of sex offender community notification statutes and the effect of notification through the comparison of the behavior of residents receiving sex offender notification and those residents who had not received notification.
Sex offender registration statutes require adjudicated sex offenders to provide certain information (personal) to designated law enforcement officials in the area which the offender will be residing in. These statutes allow for the dissemination to the community of the information collected. This gives community members the opportunity to engage in precautionary behavior to prevent victimization. The primary goal of this study was to examine the effect of notification by comparing the behavior of 87 Hamilton County, OH, residents who received notification to the behavior of 149 residents who did not receive notification. Specifically, the study examined whether citizens receiving notification were more likely to engage in behavior to protect themselves and household members from crime victimization and whether citizens receiving notification were more likely to engage in surveillance/reporting behavior. Results indicated that notification did appear to prompt protective behavior with citizens more likely to engage in precautionary actions to protect themselves from victimization. In regards to surveillance and reporting of risky behavior exhibited by labeled sex offenders, notified citizens were more vigilant about crime in their neighborhoods. Tables and references