Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Terance Miethe

Number of Pages



In response to public concern, all states currently have some form of a sex offender community notification law. The enactment of these sex offender laws has sparked many debates regarding their implications and overall effectiveness. Sex offender community notification laws differ in their restrictiveness between states, which, in turn, may affect the overall effectiveness of these laws. The current study examines secondary data on released sex offenders before and after implementation of community notification laws. Three different states with available pre and post notification data on their released offenders in 1994 were used for analysis; Upon examination of these state statues, Delaware was ranked as the most restrictive state, followed by New Jersey, and then Virginia as the least restrictive state. Since Delaware was found to be the most restrictive state, it is expected that Delaware should have higher rates of rearrest among sex offenders because of the increased surveillance and monitoring of their released offenders. Consistent with this expectation, released sex offenders in Delaware after community notification was enacted had higher rates of recidivism and shorter relapse time between release and rearrest than the other states. These results are interpreted in light of the deterrence ideology of the increased certainty of punishment under more restrictive community supervision. This paper concludes with a discussion of its findings and implications.


Community; Laws; Notification; Offender; Periods; Recidivism; Sex; State; Study; Time

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

1761.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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