Megan’s law Impact

Community notification, known as ‘‘Megan’s Law,’’ provides
the public with information about known sex offenders
in an effort to assist parents and potential victims to
protect themselves from dangerous predators. The purpose
of this study was to explore the impact of community
notification on the lives of registered sex offenders.
Two hundred and thirty-nine sex offenders in Connecticut
and Indiana were surveyed. The negative consequences
that occurred with the greatest frequency included job
loss, threats and harassment, property damage, and suffering
of household members. A minority of sex offenders
reported housing disruption or physical violence following
community notification. The majority experienced psychosocial
distress such as depression, shame, and hopelessness.
Recommendations are made for community
notification policies that rely on empirically derived risk
assessment classification systems in order to better inform
the public about sex offenders’ danger while minimizing
the obstacles that interfere with successful community
reintegration. Copyright # 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Megans Law Impact

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