Researching the registered: challenges and suggestions for researchers studying sex offender populations

Jennifer L. Klein, Danielle J.S. Bailey, Lisa L. Sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

As interest in registered sex offenders proves to be a popular topic among community members, the media, and legislators alike, researchers must continue to examine the experiences of this offender group. Sex offender registration and community notification laws are diverse across states, creating a difficult and confusing environment for registered sex offenders post-conviction. Often, registered sex offenders report experiences with social stigmatization and physical isolation from their communities as a result of their labeled status. This leads them to be distrustful of outsiders; researchers included. This paper examines the experiences of researchers who have conducted three quantitative and qualitative research projects focused on registered sex offenders and life on the registry. In addition to highlighting the challenges in conducting this type of research, this paper provides a discussion of four specific challenges that may occur when gathering data from community sex offender samples, and several recommendations to overcome these challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-211
Number of pages20
JournalCriminal Justice Studies
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Keywords

  • Registered sex offenders
  • participant protection
  • qualitative research
  • quantitative research
  • researcher experiences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

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