Archival crime data of forcible rapes for all 50 states of the United States dating from 1960 to 2008 were analyzed using an interrupted time-series design. For each state, rates of forcible rape prior to the passage of sex offender legislation were compared to rates of forcible rape after the passage of sex offender registration and notification laws. The results were mixed, with 17 states demonstrating a significant drop in rates of forcible rape following implementation of sex offender notification laws, and 32 states demonstrating no discernable change. Potential explanations for the obtained results were explored including the effect of differences in notification practices, registration practices, and the availability of sex offender treatment. Implications for future research are discussed.
- legal theory
- sexual offenders