Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders: Public Opinion on Appropriate Distances

Amy L. Anderson, Lisa L. Sample, Calli M. Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Although many states have enacted statewide residency restriction laws, others have left the need for, and content of, these laws to local municipalities. To better understand within-state variation in residency restriction laws, this study investigates the public’s desire for these laws and the distances they feel restrictions should be from public spaces populated by children. We review both quantitative and qualitative data from a statewide survey to determine where the public feels sex offenders can live without threatening children. Our results are interpreted using the “dikes” perspective of public opinion to predict the passage and content of future of residency restriction laws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-277
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice Policy Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 15 2015


  • criminal justice policy
  • public opinion
  • residency restrictions
  • sex offender residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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