Sex-Offender Legislation and the Effectiveness of These Policies on Offenders and Our Communities

The Megan’s Law

            The Megan’s law involves the notification and registration of sex offenders upon their release to the community (Lytle, 2013). The registration must take place within a specified period after release and involves the provision of the address to local police station, who will then notify the community of the presence of the sex offender. Notification is aimed at informing the community and past victims, the presence of the sex offender so that they can exercise individual protection. This means that the criminal justice is compelled to keep the registry of all sexual offenders, those that have been released.

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            Although the true effectiveness of Megan’s has not been measured fully, the law has positively influenced protective behaviors among the victims (Cain, Sample, & Anderson, 2015). However, the law has had negative influence on the sex-offenders. The enactment of the law has created victimization, stigmatization, abuse, loss of job and housing, verbal, and physical assaults of the sex offenders (King & Roberts, 2015). Megan’s law may not be effective in reduction of recidivism, although it leads to rapid detection of sexual offenses by the released sex offenders. To address the shortcomings of the Megan’s law, it is recommended that other methods of treatment of sex offenders, such as psychological treatments, mandated parole and strict supervision be employed in order to reduce recidivism.

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Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

            Singed into law by President Bush in 2006, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 require all the states in the United States to adopt three-tier system based on sex offense committed (Zgoba et al., 2015). A failure to register and update information is considered as felony. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 has had economic and social implications. The implementation of the act has seen a reduction in recidivism among the sex offenders. Sex offenders are less likely to be re-arrested for similar offense upon their registration. Moreover, strange children abductions has decreased tremendously. However, the act has caused negative repercussions on the released sex offenders as some have been killed, while many are subject of social stigmatization.

There is no research with published evidence that shows that the reduction in recidivism as a result of implementation of the act, has led to increased protection of children against sex offense from the released sex-offenders (Zgoba et al., 2015). Although the act has helped criminal justice system in fighting crimes related to sex offense, the act has changed the functions of the criminal justice system, which is now additionally required to keep registry of all offenders upon their release. In order to address the shortcomings of the act, there is need to increase protection of the offenders by restricting the access to their personal information in the registry to prevent them from attacks by people who access their information over the internet.

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Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act

            The act provides for the collection and disclosure of information of convicts and registered sex offenders, who either are enrolled or working in the institutions of higher learning. Moreover, the act requires that such information is made available to the law enforcement agencies near the institutions. Although the law has reduced the number of sex offenses in the campuses, it has led to unintended labeling. Labeling has a negative implication of creating secondary deviance among the convicts of sexual offenses (Maddan, 2008, p. 74). Moreover, most of the sex offenders have found exclusions from education as a result of being registered sex offenders (Wright, 2014, p. 269).

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The Campus Sex Crime Prevention Act has reduced sex offenses in the institutions of higher education. However, the registration of sex offenders has warranted the deviation from the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system. In as much as the law has seen success in reducing cases of sexual offenses in the institutions of higher learning, it tends to negate the primary goals of the juvenile justice system. It is recommended that a rehabilitation program be established within the institutions of higher education in order to tackle secondary deviance. Moreover, the establishment of rehabilitation services within such institutions will facilitate the integration of the sex offenders into the society.

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