Sex offender registration and community notification requirements are universally applied to all sex offenders irrespective of their type. In this way, these policies treat sex offenders as a homogenous group, assuming that they exhibit similar reoffending patterns regardless of the age of their victims or the nature of their crimes. In this article, the authors highlight the assumption of homogeneity underlying sex offender laws and reviewit in light of current empirical evidence. They also offer a case study of recidivism rates for sex offenders in Illinois. The authors find that sex offenders are not the homogenous group that our policies assume, and they discuss the implication of this finding for the application of sex offender laws.
- sex offender
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