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Sex offender residence restriction laws: Parental perceptions and public policy


  • Mancini, Christina
  • Shields, Ryan T.
  • Mears, Daniel P.
  • Beaver, Kevin M.


Despite a steady decline in sex crime over the past twenty years, new laws, such as residence restrictions, targeting such crime have proliferated. Some scholars have argued that public concern about sexual offending against young children has served as a catalyst for the emergence of these laws. Few studies, however, have empirically tested this claim. To address this gap and to contribute to scholarship on public opinion about crime and justice, this research tests a central implication flowing from prior work--namely, the notion that people with children will be more likely to endorse increased restrictions on where sex offenders can live. Analyses of public opinion data from a 2006 poll of Florida residents suggest that parents are indeed significantly more likely to support such restrictions. Implications of the study for research and policy are discussed.

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  • Mancini, Christina & Shields, Ryan T. & Mears, Daniel P. & Beaver, Kevin M., 2010. "Sex offender residence restriction laws: Parental perceptions and public policy," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1022-1030, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:5:p:1022-1030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kleck, Gary & Gertz, Marc & Bratton, Jason, 2009. "Why do people support gun control?: Alternative explanations of support for handgun bans," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 496-504, September.
    2. Vogel, Brenda L. & Vogel, Ronald E., 2003. "The age of death: Appraising public opinion of juvenile capital punishment," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 169-183.
    3. Holtfreter, Kristy & Van Slyke, Shanna & Bratton, Jason & Gertz, Marc, 2008. "Public perceptions of white-collar crime and punishment," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 50-60, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lussier, Patrick & Bouchard, Martin & Beauregard, Eric, 2011. "Patterns of criminal achievement in sexual offending: Unravelling the “successful” sex offender," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 433-444.
    2. Koon-Magnin, Sarah, 2015. "Perceptions of and support for sex offender policies: Testing Levenson, Brannon, Fortney, and Baker’s findings," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 80-88.

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